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Beowulf Versus the Draggin': Director's Cut Fails to Excite

Ever since the success of Lord of the Rings, Hollywood has been enjoying a euphoric—and surprisingly long-term—relationship with the sword and sorcery genre. It’s become a common industry practice lately to rifle through the fantasy-and-magic bin, pull out a few rusty swords, some computer-generated monsters, an aging English actor or two (preferably with a theater […]

Just Deserts: Yar-Har for "The Desert Princess and the Pirates"

It has been said there is nothing more fashionable than being late for a party. But how late is “late”? Fifteen minutes? An hour? Okay, how about 183 hours? Or, to cast the same number in TV/cinematic terms, how about 343 episodes and 7 movies late? Rare for anime visuals to make me smile, but […]

Solid Shōnen: "Beck" Sustains Its High Note

Since the mid twentieth century, rock and roll has been the obsession of youth. But the musical road is a tough one to follow—I know, having followed it myself during my vibrant years—and it leads to more failures than successes. As far as realism—or even a vague association to realism—goes, I’ve seen few stories that […]

Dude, Where's My History Books?

This has been a year that cinema has reminded us that often there is “more than meets the eye”, and this observation extends far further than toy cars that swivel, twist and ultimately snap into robots with the tiniest heads imaginable. No, we can take this line one step further. There are other products out […]

Mad For "Mushi-Shi"

It sometimes seems that Japanese animation ranges over a smaller field than you might hope. Fighting. Big breasts. Confused young protagonists. Big breasts. Naive females with big breasts. More fighting. Comical sweat drops, big breasts and some more fighting for the sake of naive women with big breasts. Smoking isn’t cool. Unless you’re Ginko. Remember […]

"Beck" Strikes a Chord: The Mongolian Chop Squad Returns in Volume 2

Ladies and Gentlemen! Tonight—and for tonight only—on your very own DVD player comes the return of the guitar-strumming, mic-fumbling, tom-tapping heroes of teen angst. Yes, light your lighters, spill your drinks and get all sweaty for Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad Volume 2. Koyuki: Guitar and babe magnet extraordinaire, author of the bestselling book “How to […]

Popping Out for "Popotan": DVD Shrugs Off Its Hentai Roots

Quests. Difficult things really; they have a start, a middle and an end. For Popotan, the story has arguably one, maybe two of these elements as three sisters partake a quest to find fulfillment—I think. What is it with anime characters and facial tics? I had the fortunate luxury of going into this DVD box […]

The Secret of Relativity: "Baby Einstein" Is Only for the Very Young

There will come a day when nearly all of you dear readers will experience a tiny, ignorant, and distinctly wiffy bundle of joy that you will call your own. This little, bed-wetting cherub of nature will eventually grow into a pouting, greasy catalyst of rampant hormones, and on more than one occasion will attempt to […]

Nappy Days: Looney Tunes DVD Goes Pint-Sized.

It’s funny—we take such time, energy and focus on giving our tots a staple diet of reading, writing and arithmetic that we forget how important it is to ensure they get the basic ingredients of comics, cartoons and comedy. Might not be the most cerebral offer, but Baby Looney Tunes does have some beautifully rendered […]

Mongolian Chop Suey: "Beck" on Form

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad is an odd beast: an anime ambiguity, a musical misfit, a punk peculiarity. It does come with a free plectrum, though. Looks like someone enjoys a little T-Shirt bootlegging.. If you pick up this DVD while looking for the standard anime manga attributes—over-the-top fights; large breasts; big explosions; big, big guns—you […]

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