Scott Pilgrim VS. The World

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It’s a special episode this time around because we have our first guest host here on the podcast, long time listener Charlie! Our amazing threesome of epicness reviews the 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs the World.  Scott pilgrim is based on the comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley directed by Edgar Wright and starring Michael Cera.  The story follows twenty something hipster Scott and his quest to get with the girl of his dreams named Ramona.  Along the way, he will have to defeat her seven evil exes, win a battle of the bands, and grow up.  The film is a weird mish-mash of reality and video games.  Bad guys turn to coins after they die, amazon.com uses the inter dimensional highway located within people’s dreams to deliver packages, and Macaulay Culkin’s brother Kieran Kyle Culkin is the best actor in the film.  Yeah, the film is THAT weird.

Thanks again Charlie for recording this episode with us!

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The Hobbit (1977)

Hobbit DVD CoverThis time around we review the 1977 animated film The Hobbit.  The Hobbit was adapted from a 1937 Tolkien book of the same name by Rankin-Bass.  Rankin-Bass were the same production/creative team that also created The Last Unicorn, and all of the stop motion holiday classics that ABC Family shoves down Americans throats every winter.

This production was a made for TV movie for children and it shows in the final product.  The animation is stilted and the movie does its best to avoid showing violence while still oddly implying it.  The budget restraints of a made for TV movie are pretty apparent.  The animation is stilted and a large scale war between multiple armies is depicted like a giant dust cloud.  However, there was obvious love for the source material in the production.  The art design is quite nice.  Top Craft, the Japanese studio the animation was filmed at, created some really beautiful hand painted backgrounds.  They production company also respected the source material and didn’t try to add to or dramatically change the story.  Despite it’s short comings, they did the best they could with a TV movie’s budget and time.

Should you see this?  If you’ve read The Hobbit before by all means go for it.  It makes a fun diversion while waiting for the Peter Jackson version.  If you haven’t read the books give it a pass and wait for the live action movies.

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Tinman

Tinman Cast

Tinman is a 2007 Syfy Miniseries directed by Nick Willing.  It is loosley based on L. Frank Baum’s Oz book series.  Very loosely.

The miniseries has great production values, intriguing writing, and most of the cast are talented.  Zooey Deschanel gives an odd almost autistic portrayal of the main character D.J.  I’m not sure if she was directed that way or if it’s just Zooey Deschanel being Zooey Deschanel.  The rest of the cast is fantastic, particularly Neal McDonough and Kathleen Robertson.

The world building rivals a Hollywood film.  Everything in the world, from the steampunk technology to the rare glimpse of magic fits well into the world. The technology, politics, history, etc of the O.Z. is well thought out and has its own internal logic.  The world feels like it could really work.

The miniseries updates the world of the O.Z (pronounced ‘Oh Zee’) without disrespecting the original.  There are a lot of homages to the original books and films some obvious, some not.  You can tell there’s a real reverence to the source material.

The miniseries is easy to obtain.  It’s often on Netflix Instant Watch in the U.S. and readily available on blu ray and DVD in most countries.  Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.


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Stardust

Stardust is a 2007 fantasy film directed by Mathew Vaughn based on the book by Neil Gaiman.   It has a pretty star studded cast (ha ha ) of Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert Deniro, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Stardust Movie PosterPlot:   An awkward young man named Tristan Thorn crosses a wall into a fantasy realm in order to retrieve a falling star for his beloved Victoria.   Only when he gets there, the fallen star is actually a woman named Yvaine.   And unfortunately, he’s not the only one trying to retrieve the fallen star.

This episode came out okay.   I tried to edit out more of the pauses then I was previously taking out as Podcast Squared suggested.   Can anyone tell a difference?   I didn’t want it to be super snappy, because I wanted to preserve the feeling of just listening to regular people talk about movies.   I think it’s possible to become too polished and come off sounding fake and generic.

Stardust is a mixed bag.   It has some great visuals, fun character moments,  and a stellar cast.   But it also has some major plot problems, and the main couple are anything but star crossed.   However, overall it’s a fun movie that’s worth watching at least once.

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Coraline

Coraline Movie PosterThis week we’re discussing the 2009 stop motion movie Coraline.  The movie was directed by Henry Selick, the same amazing man that brought us The Nightmare Before Christmas. The original novel the movie is based on is by Neil Gaiman who is also awesome.  So it stands to reason that this episode is chocked full of awesome.

Plot Synopsis:  Coraline is a brave and inquisitive 11 year old that has moved from Michigan with her family to a run down apartment complex in the middle of nowhere.  While exploring her new home she comes across a door that takes her to a magical land where everything is better.  The house is better, the food is better, even her parents are better.  She has everything she’s ever wished for.  But this fantasy world isn’t as wonderful as it first seems…  And why does her other mother have buttons for eyes.

Is this the newest movie we’ve ever done? Maybe? Anyways, Coraline is a great movie.  It can be a little creepy though, so if you have kids you might want to watch it before hand.  Its got an old school eighties kid movie mentality that’s quite a bit scarier than kids movies of the past twenties years.  I think this episode turned out alright.  We used an outline.  Go us.

What did you think of the movie o’listeners/readers?


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The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn DVD CoverEpisode  18 is here and it’s infused with UNICORN POWER! We’re reviewing the 1982 animated classic The Last Unicorn. This film was produced by Rankin/Bass for and animated by Topcraft who would later become Studio Ghibli.   The film is beautiful to look at and really shows its pedigree, especially in the hand painted backgrounds.   There are some really beautiful pastoral scenes in this film.

The Last Unicorn is the story  of a unicorn who one day finds out that she may be the last unicorn in the world.   She goes on a quest to discover if this is true and if it is, to free the rest of the unicorns.   It’s a fairly simple setup but the characters are very well developed and bring a depth to this animated film that isn’t often seen in english produced productions.

Thanks  for requesting this  episode  Doe and Monica!

Links:
Buy a Signed Copy of The Last Unicorn novel by Peter S. Beagle!
History of Topcraft/Studio Ghibli
 

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Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving CastleThis episode we  discuss the Ghibli film Howl’s Moving Castle AND the book Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.   We had two requests from Tora-chan and Monica G for the Miyazaki directed Howl’s Moving Castle, but decided to also include the book in our discussion.   I read the book long before I saw the movie, and its far far superior to the lackluster Ghibli film.   Sophie is a much more fiery and proactive heroine in the book.   She was very much Howl’s equal.   Furthermore, most of the narrative problems with the movie stem from the nonsensical add ons that Ghibli stacked on that were not prescent in Diana Wynne’s book.   There was nothing about the enviroment in the original book, and the war was something that was only  mentioned briefly.

This episode is a little short.   Melanie’s connection was going out so we had to end the discussion about 10-15 minutes early.   The episode is still a half an hour long, though.

So what was your opinion on Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle? How do you think it holds up to the book? Were you even aware there was a book?   Got requests?   Please comment, we love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

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Hook

Hook! Hook! Where is the Hook?!

Hook Movie PosterArrrrgh mateys! Ye be listening to our review of the 1991 fantasy movie Hook!   In this movie there be the scallywags Robin Williams as Peter Panning and that scurvy dog Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook. Swab the poop deck and be ready to eat a parrot! Arrrrrgh!

Ok, enough of that.

Hook is the story of a grown up Peter Pan who has forgotten everything about Neverland.   One day Captain Hook shows up and kidnaps his kids and he must regain his former glory to save them.

The movie was directed by Steven Spielburg and seems to get ragged on a lot by the internet.   But you won’t see that from here!   We both have rather fond memories of the movie and Roofio’s mysteriously dyed hair. In fact, if I ever meet Dante Bosco in real life, I vow to say, “Roofio you’re alive!”  Then he’d be like, “What the %$#@&* is wrong with you?! That was decades ago!”  Yeah, it’d be so worth it.

Also, I have trouble counting whores in this episode for some reason.

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