Get Confident, Stupid!, Lead Paint: Delicious But Deadly, Firecrackers: The Silent Killer… so much classic material here. (Here’s a complete list of Mr. McClure’s appearances.)
Thank you, Internets. (Listen to the original.)
Garden of Words is a triumph of visual style over substance. It can be very predictable, can be very cheesy when two people are hugging and crying at the end. But the movie creates honest and fresh emotions, accompanied by an impressive visual expression.
Yeah, that sounds about right for a Makoto Shinkai film. And I still can’t wait to watch it.
It’s pretty easy to break Project Blue Earth SOS down into its individual similarities and influences, were one so inclined. On paper, the series blends together themes, ideas, and visuals from Plan 9 From Outer Space, Independence Day, Star Wars, War of the Worlds (moreso the 1953 Byron Haskin film then other versions), The Hardy Boys, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and even other anime titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Giant Robo. But the series is easily far more than the sum of its parts, a rollicking retro-futuristic tale of alien invaders, boy geniuses, and cool gizmos that revels in its vintage style and flair.
Ghost in the Shell has to be one of the most fruitful anime series out there. I’ve yet to see any version or adaptation of Ghost in the Shell that wasn’t both well-made and fascinating, plot-wise. And Arise, a prequel that explains how Motoko Kusanagi becomes a member of Public Security Section 9, looks to be no different.
Funimation will be releasing Arise in four 50-minute episodes here in the States, with a planned theatrical release for the first two episodes.
Note: The video comes with English subtitles, just make sure to click the “Captions” button to activate them. Via io9.
When I first saw the trailer for Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel — an upcoming crossover between Phineas and Ferb and the Marvel Comics universe — you might think my response would’ve been something appropriately nerdy that dismissed the title as an obvious and blatant cash-grab. Or that I exclaimed something like “Really, Disney and Marvel?! This is going to be your first animated crossover following Disney’s 2009 acquisition of Marvel?” Or that I snarked about the plausibility of the title’s premise. (Did Doofenshmirtz really just de-power Thor and Iron Man using the same energy beam? What is he, the Beyonder or something?!)
You might think all of those… and you’d be right. I did, indeed, have reactions like them. However, above them all, was this single thought: “My boys are going to think this is awesome!”
This might mean I lose some nerd cred and/or that I’ve been suckered by Disney’s marketing machine. However, I think the thought of my boys realizing that some of their favorite characters are going to be appearing together on the same show, and looking forward to the excitement that’ll give them, might mean I’m maturing as a geek dad. I’m just a little less interested in some notion of continuity purity (especially since continuity has never been one of Marvel’s strong suits), and more interested in my kids having a blast with some of their favorite characters. In other words, I’m more concerned with my kids having some fun than trying to “enforce” some “proper” nerd standards.
I look at this way: If it had been announced, when I was a kid, that there was going to be a G.I. Joe/SilverHawks cross-over, the thought of such awesome-ness would’ve dominated every waking thought. The purists and “true” nerds might’ve scoffed at such a notion, but I would’ve been too busy imagining a smackdown between Snake Eyes and Mo-Lec-U-Lar to care. (On a sidenote: I know ThunderCats recently got some remake love, but I’ve always thought SilverHawks was the cooler show — it was set in space, after all — and would like to see a modern remake attempt.)
Yes, this upcoming Disney/Marvel crossover is going to be silly — this is Phineas and Ferb we’re talking about here — but it’s the kind of silly I think I can get behind. (Phineas and Ferb has built up quite a lot of good karma since we’ve started watching it, it’s that enjoyable.) If nothing else, I can’t wait to see the looks on my boys’ faces when they realize that Agent P is going to be saving Iron Man.
The first time I listened to Lustmord, I made sure it was in the middle of the day and that all of the lights in the room were turned on. That might seem melodramatic, but if you’ve ever listened to Brian Williams’ form of ambient music, then you know my precautions were understandable. Williams’ ominous, harrowing atmospherics and subterranean textures can bring forth a miasma of gloom and terror during even the brightest of days; I shudder to think of what prolonged exposure to his music during the pitch black of night might do.
That first Lustmord release I listened to was 1992’s The Monstrous Soul, which made heavy use of a dialog sample from the horror movie Night of the Demon. Jump ahead to 2013, and Williams is now preparing to release The Word As Power (Blackest Ever Black), which finds Williams making heavy use of actual vocals for the first time. However, as you can hear from the album teaser below, the vocals don't necessarily add a comforting human element.
The various vocalists — which include Jarboe, Soriah, and Tool’s Maynard James Keenan — sing wordlessly, their chants adding a primal element to Williams’ inimitably dark and — frankly — scary soundscapes. Interestingly, The Word As Power sounds like it might be some of the most “accessible” music in Williams’ discography. At times, the music has an almost Dead Can Dance-like feel… if Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard wrote their music in abandoned factories and deep, forgotten caverns rather than converted churches, that is.
More samples from the album can be heard on Lustmord’s blog.
Such a great album. Here’s my review, from way back in 2003.
A very insightful piece in light of the recent “controversy” regarding the design of iOS 7.
[W]ith major user interface changes such as Aqua or iOS 7, Apple has another tendency: they overshoot the mark. Their incremental approach then becomes one where unnecessary items are removed (such as Aqua’s stripes) or improved (excessive shadows and transparency are toned down.)
There’s a good reason for this: it’s much easier to take away elements from a design than it is to add them. Simplicity is achieved by removing that which is not really needed.