Author Archive

"Burst Angel Volume 6 Guardian Angel": Duel with a Deadly Dull Doppelganger

by Chris Woodon June 15, 2006
I’ve long been skeptical of people who offer qualified praise for specific story arcs within a TV series, as if they were somehow cut from a completely different cloth than the rest of the show. Surely if something was entertaining in one episode the writers would not fail to apply it to others. However, this […]

"Doogal": At Least It’s Not Hoodwinked

by Chris Woodon May 26, 2006
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for casual moviegoers to discern which company actually made the animated film they’re watching, and in which country. The marketing campaigns for Valiant and The Wild were both emblazoned with “Walt Disney, ” though the former is from a small British studio and the latter a Canadian one. The Weinstein Company […]

Galaxy Railways Station 4 Leaps of Faith: The Thrill is Back

by Chris Woodon May 24, 2006
It was commonly claimed in the golden years of Japan’s economic miracle that its companies succeeded because they focused on long-term results, unperturbed by occasional short-term setbacks. It seems a similar viewpoint is beneficial when regarding Galaxy Railways, which I came close to abandoning after the . The series roars back to life with volume […]

"Final Fantasy VII Advent Children": Fastest Blades in the East

by Chris Woodon May 13, 2006
As video games, aided by Hollywood talent and ever more realistic graphics, become increasingly cinematic, it is little surprise that film adaptations have grown in popularity. Or that they are almost uniformly awful. However, sometimes even Uwe Boll takes a vacation, and other stars are given the chance to shine. And shine they do on […]

"Burst Angel Vol. 5 Line in the Sand" – Babes: Missing in Action

by Chris Woodon April 7, 2006
Future Tokyo’s finest, and I do mean finest, female gunslingers return for another round of crime-fighting and spandex stretching in Burst Angel Volume 5: Line in the Sand. Following the sensational 3rd and 4th volumes, Line is a slight letdown, but entertaining all the same. The girls themselves are given surprisingly little screen time, with […]

"Chicken Little": Disney Lays a Bronze Egg

by Chris Woodon March 28, 2006
Though they recently kissed and made up on a long weekend in Barbados, in 2005 Disney and Pixar’s relationship came to a rocky end, and as the former dodged Wedgwood barrages it drunkenly vowed to succeed on its own in the CGI world. Those flying saucers gave Disney six stitches and an idea: what if […]

"Howl’s Moving Castle": Home is Where You Park it

by Chris Woodon March 23, 2006
Hayao Miyazaki set the bar perilously high for himself with 2002’s Spirited Away, winning an Academy Award and setting a Japanese box office record. The much anticipated Howl’s Moving Castle doesn’t quite measure up, but engineers a rousing fantasy adventure in the classic Miyazaki mold. Howl was written by novelist Diana Wynne Jones, though you’d […]

"Lupin Columbus Files": Explores Familiar Territory

by Chris Woodon March 10, 2006
If you’ve only recently joined the Lupin the Third fan club you’ve been spoiled, because beginning with 1997’s thrilling Island of Assassins the annual Lupin TV specials have all been solidly entertaining. Although no exception to the rule, 1999’s The Columbus Files struggles to stand out. With Excel Saga‘s Shinichi Watanabe directing, the film’s deftness […]

"Galaxy Railways Station 3 – The Vastness Within": Sci-Fi for Lifetime?

by Chris Woodon March 2, 2006
Have you ever confidently set out on a journey, only to find yourself headed in the wrong direction? No? Look, work with me here. Such has been my experience with Galaxy Railways (GR), which, after the exciting space opera of the , seems to be moving toward being a soap opera. This trend intensifies in […]

"MirrorMask": Dream a Dreary Dream

by Chris Woodon February 23, 2006
Art house films almost invariably seem to be dramas. At least I’ve never encountered a buddy cop indie. MirrorMask attempts to break out of this genre prison, bringing bizarre underground sensibilities to that most conventional and commercial breed of film: the family picture. Somewhere within MirrorMask beats the heart of an engaging coming of age […]