Tag Archives: 1930’s

Baccano!: You Just Have to Watch it.

I’m going to say as little as I possibly can about this show while trying to talk about this show and how interesting it was for me. Also, in this review, I’m going to attempt to talk about characters in such a vague way that I don’t reveal anything about the plot and just encourage you to watch the show. Impossible task? Challenge accepted.

This is an anime set in the Prohibition Era of America in the early 1900’s. There is an element of magic and mystery that intertwines itself in this show so that you have to accept what’s possible with the impossible. There are gangsters, and, orignally, magicians (of  a sort). The characters range from the mentally unstable to the kind and thoughtful. With inspiration from the film, The Untouchables, the gangster and his New York accent come to life in the world of the speakeasies.

There are a lot of characters...

When you first begin to watch this show, you may become frustrated. A lot of characters and events are thrown at you all at once. Told from so many perspectives, it can become overwhelming in the first couple of episodes. But have patience. In a nonlinear plotline that comes together in pieces, this show was ingeniously crafted to have the characters drive the story until the plot becomes clear. Just remember when watching that the Flying Pussyfoot (really don’t like the name though) is the central event of the series. Things occurring on the train, for the most part, are happening in the real time (I think…) while all other events of the early 1930s are flashbacks, or maybe even flashforwards. Still not entirely sure. It’s a show worth watching through more than once.

 

What's going on?

With all the gangster families, it can become hard to determine just exactly who is who and who did what and who is wanted for what purpose. With all the accents and the strange character names, (Jacuzzi Splot. Enough said.) with three different gangster mafioso families going on at once (the Gandors, the Genoards, and the Martillos) including Jacuzzi’s gang and the Russo family, toss in Isaac and Miria, and you have a lot of chaos all at once. Nothing is as it seems and nothing seems to make much sense in the Baccano! world. It’s all about the ending payoff.

A few noteworthy voice actors in the dubbed version to speak of. You have to start with Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent. J. Michael Tatum and Caitlin Glass

Isaac and Miria. Best.

really branch their talents to their extremes with two ridiculous thieves with no care in the world and no idea what’s going on. John Burgmeier puts on an English accent as a character I can’t reveal (sorry). And R. Bruce Elliott places a mean old Russian bastard who is actually a terribly villainous magician. Joel McDonald in a surprisingly heartfelt performance gets his Brooklyn on as Jacuzzi and Nice, his eye-patched love interest and crime partner is nicely done by Colleen Clinkenbeard. Throw in a Frenchman in jail and you have the wide ranging and seductive talents of Eric Vale.  Throw in Todd Haberkorn and his always likeable goofy characters and you have a Baccano! cast.

I love this man so much.

But, I could never forget the big standout in the show. In a very underrated voice actor comes one of the best performances of his career. Ladd Russo, a highly skilled and highly delusional killer is voiced by Bryan Massey. His questioning and highly energetic character from My Bride is a Mermaid, Shark, returns as another kind of inhuman being. Ladd is vulgar, he is brutal, and he is one of the most likeable and sinister characters in the series. Any guy who can walk into a room and say, “I like you! F%*k you!” deserves respect.

Let's get to pokin'.

And for the rest, AKA the amazing plot, you have to watch it for yourself. In the same vein of shows as Durarara! (interesting, both are marked with exclamation points…) comes a character driven show with a great payoff. Watch it for the characters and voice acting. Watch it for the interesting non-linear plot. Watch it just to watch it. It’s well worth a shot. You just might find what you’re looking for in a show in this 16 episode anime, Baccano!

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The King’s Speech

What more is there to say about this academy award winning film that hasn’t already been said? It’s touching, it’s moving, it’s inspiring, and it’s also funny. I found it quite funny at the same time that it was moving. I didn’t get a chance to see this film in theaters, but after watching it on DVD, I wish I had. I did enjoy this movie, and, as much as I hate being part of the crowd in my opinions, I have to give this movie credit. Tom Hooper did a great job directing and every line was well crafted and delivered and gave The King’s Speech its comedy and intellectual gravity. (Thanks to David Seidler for that.) So let me just point a few things out and get this film out of the way.

First of all, scenes and costume. The 1920’s/30’s era is one of my favorites. I know a lot about it. And this movie holds true to

You got something to say?

how that era looked quite well. I’m not as familiar with the English aristocracy, but this film really seems to draw on the way in which British royalty functioned and looked. It was a nice touch, seeing as I have a great appreciation for the British, as well as my mom. (Whose appreciation is bigger.) I especially liked the scene in which King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) comes in to England via plane. That plane was niiiiiiice.

The actors. Top-notch. We got Colin Firth as Bertie (King George VI). I don’t have to say it, but I think he was great. And it shows in the fact that he won Best Leading Actor. Now Geoffrey Rush, he’s one of my favorite actors of all time. I fell in love with him as Captain Barbosa in Pirates and Peter Sellers in

You will always inspire me, Geoffrey Rush.

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. And as Lionel Logue, he is funny, inspiring, moving, and everything else this movie provides, embodied in a character. Helena Bonham Carter is quite good as Queen Elizabeth and brings her homely, sensitive, caring nature to the role. Guy Pearce, another of my favorite actors, was great in his small role as Bertie’s brother, King Edward VIII. Although he’s seen as quite the jerk in this film, I loved his character and sympathized with his pursuit of love over duty. Michael Gambon (the current Dumbledore) also makes a nice appearance as King George V, and Timothy Spall makes a nice little appearance as Winston Churchill, a perfect fit out of many who have portrayed Churchill in the past.

And that’s really about all I have to say. Yes, it was an amazing movie. It deserved the awards it got. And I will, this once, tend to agree with critics. 8.9 out of 10.

For the win, Colin Firth. The win.