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"Blade of the Phantom Master" Is Style Without Sense

The title character of Blade of the Phantom Master doesn’t actually carry or use any blades, opting instead for guns, dynamite, and magical soldiers from beyond the grave. The title seems to identify a supporting character who gets about a dozen lines and is little more than a plot device, deus ex machina, or fan […]

Pixar Cancels "Newt"

Pixar has cancelled its Newt, one of its previously announced upcoming films, The Pixar Blog reports, citing an email from a Walt Disney Company representative. The CG-animated feature, to be directed by Gary Rydstrom, director of the short film “Lifted,” was about a forced romance between the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts. The […]

Top 5 Martial Arts Fights of Animation

Hit with emotional content! Below, we’ve selected our picks for the Top 5 Animated Martial Arts Fights. Our main standard for judgment was that these fights had to work as both “Animation” and “Martial Arts.” It wasn’t enough for a bout to be well-choreographed and well-animated if it could have been done as well or […]

"Shaolin Hand Lock": The Joyless Lock Club

The Shaolin Hand Lock is a fearsome attack that can effectively kill an opponent in seconds. It has only one weakness, and that’s an attack to the sides, which can easily be deflected by a metal vest. Only one family knows of this attack, and most of them have been taken out by the murderous […]

"The 14 Amazons:" When Effort Trumps Skill

I am a child of the 70′s who grew up in the New York metro area, which means I have many fond memories of misspent Saturday afternoons watching Hong Kong kung-fu action movies on Channel 5. I didn’t realize it at the time, but most of those vintage chop-socky films were the work of the […]

"Hong Kong Godfather" Offers Entertainment You Can't Refuse

I have never seen a Shaw Brothers movie before. Come to that, I don’t think I have ever seen an honest-to-goodness, 1970s-style chop-sockey movie before. I know their reputation, of course, so I had an idea of what I was in for with Hong Kong Godfather. But I wasn’t expecting this kind of entertainment from […]

"Opium and the Kung Fu Master": You Don't Need Drugs to Enjoy This

For reasons known only to its marketing staff, FUNimation recently provided toonzone with copies of four of its Shaw Brothers movie releases. In a similar spirit of devil-may-care fecklessness, we have actually decided to review them—even though their cartooniness is at best only metaphorical. Starting today, then, we will be bringing you “Kung Fu Week.” […]

"Batman: Under the Red Hood" Coming to DVD and Blu-ray on July 27, 2010

Warner Home Video has officially announced that the Batman: Under the Red Hood DVD and Blu-ray discs will be released on July 27, 2010. The latest direct-to-video movie from Warner Brothers Animation is based on the DC Comics graphic novel by Judd Winick, who also wrote the screenplay to the movie. The movie stars Bruce […]

"G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero - The Movie" on DVD and Blu-ray July 27, 2010

Shout! Factory has announced that G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – The Movie will be released on DVD and a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on July 27, 2010. The 1987 animated movie (separate from the 2009 live-action movie) follows the animated highly-trained special missions force against the ruthless forces of Cobra and their new allies: […]

"The Great Mouse Detective": Of Mice and Mysteries

I suppose I’m confessing to a form of thought crime when I say so, but there it is: I was never much of a fan of Disney’s Katzenberg-era animated features. I liked The Little Mermaid well enough. But I thought the admittedly lavish Beauty and the Beast an odious perversion of the original fairy tale; […]

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