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"Beowulf" Presents Beautiful Solutions to Non-Existent Problems

by Ed Liuon November 19, 2007
I must confess that I walked into Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf with several pre-conceptions and biases. On the one hand, I have never been too impressed with Zemeckis’ baby technology of motion-captured animation. The Polar Express plummeted straight down the “Uncanny Valley” with its creepy mannequins, and Monster House was solid entertainment with animation that was […]

"Ratatoing": How Low Can You Go? A Lot Lower Than You Want to Know

by Ed Liuon November 18, 2007
You’ll see them in supermarkets and toy stores everywhere: the inexpensive DVDs that are clear ripoffs of whatever animated movie has just hit the theaters. You may have even wondered to yourself, “How bad can they really be?” Unsurprisingly, the answer is “pretty damn bad.” With nothing better to do with $8.00, I decided to […]

Sniffing Out the Rat Patootie in "Ratatouille"

by on November 18, 2007
It seems churlish to criticize a movie like Ratatouille, which is so ardent for the culinary arts and so tremblingly tender over the creative ones. It and its creators speak so feelingly of the joy of creating and consuming fine things—which, in this age of McDonalds and rap music, is a rare thing. The movie […]

"Pixar Short Films Collection" Vol. 1: Fun, But Worth the Price?

by Ed Liuon November 15, 2007
They’re the appetizers before the main course or the desserts for the home-video audience. They’re trials for new techniques, new technology, and new filmmakers to stretch their muscles. They’re the often-imitated but never quite duplicated short films of Pixar Animation Studios, and now Walt Disney Home Entertainment has released their first collection of all of […]

"Galaxy Angel Rune" Vol. 4: A Dizzying Mix of Highs and Lows

by SB20xxon November 14, 2007
In any comedy series there will occasionally be lulls when the writing staff either wasn’t at the top of their game or the execution wasn’t fine-tuned to perfection. Galaxy Angel Rune, the sequel to the four previous Galaxy Angel series with an entirely new cast of characters (Apricot, Lily, Anise, Nano-Nano Pudding, and Kahula/Tequila), is […]

"Witchblade" Vol. 2: Titillation and… Character Development?

by SB20xxon November 13, 2007
Don’t let the promo art fool you. Witchblade is more than just a show about a scantily clad babe ripping enemies to shreds with her sharp weaponry. Yes, it does include that, but the appeal of the show also comes from the human drama of Masane and her daughter, Rihoko, trying to make it in […]

"Fullmetal Alchemist" Season 1 Part 1: A Solid Chemistry

by SB20xxon November 7, 2007
Good things come to those who wait. A much overused quote, but perfectly appropriate for Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 1, Part 1. While it essentially just repackages the first four DVD volumes, it’s a great package with lots of content and takes up far less space than the volume 1 w/artbox. Plus, FMA just happens to […]

"Bee Movie": "A" For Visuals, "C" For Writing, Averages to a "B"

by SB20xxon November 5, 2007
Bee Movie comes out during a time when recent events cloud the ability for the audience to truly enjoy themselves. The events in the film are so real, yet the solution therein so simple, that audiences may squirm in their seats a little. Much like movies related to terrorism were delayed after 9/11, Bee Movie […]

"Chowder" is Satisfying Comfort Food

by Ed Liuon November 2, 2007
2007 will be remembered as a vintage year for animation that centered on food. Ratatouille brought a French restaurant kitchen to vibrant life, celebrating the joys of great cuisine along with the usual mix of laughs and heart we’ve come to expect from Disney/Pixar. Now, Cartoon Network brings us C.H. Greenblatt’s Chowder, a charming new […]

"Samurai Horror Tales: Yotsuya Ghost Story": Better Scares if You Do Your Homework

by Ed Liuon October 28, 2007
One of the stories that shows up in nearly every human culture is the revenge ghost story. It may be a bit depressing to think that stories rooted in hatred or anger deep enough to last beyond death are a unifying human trait, but that shared concept may be why the revenge ghost story has […]