Tag Archives: cartoon

Bowling For Columbine

In one of the only documentaries that I respect of Michael Moore’s, Moore investigates the gun culture that takes America by storm. Looking at it from the angle of the Columbine High School Shooting, Moore suggests that the gun nuts of America and the way in which we perceive the 2nd Amendment is basically bonkers. Anyone can get a gun and they’re not always used for self defense or hunting. From the get go, you know where Michael Moore is coming from, and pretty much this whole documentary ain’t pretty.

Named after the fact that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went out bowling the morning before they tragically went wrong, Bowling for Columbine takes us to the ten pins. After some frightening images here and there, Michael Moore can never seem to help

A frightening image of a man.

attacking the administrations in power (more often Republican than Democrat) and the wrong things they always do (never the right). With a documentary such as this that tackles everything related to and around guns, Michael Moore correctly attempts to narrow down the cause for all the gun violence in America.

He compares the U.S. to other countries, examines what other people have blamed for gun violence, and brings it all crashing down on Charlton Heston, head of the NRA. In what I thought was his best

Let me just scare Charlton Heston into saying he’s sorry. Will that help?

segment of the documentary, Michael Moore allowed Marilyn Manson to defend himself with a wider audience than he may get otherwise. (Not to say he doesn’t, he’s an amazingly talented and magnetic performer.) Manson proves himself to be an intelligent and understanding person (contrary to the images and rants against him) and shows that compassion and listening may have helped the shooting and others around the world.

But I stop here for a moment to acknowledge information that has come to my attention. Thanks Wikipedia, although you may be wrong some of the times, you bring things to light I never knew. In the

Marilyn Manson, a wonderfully talented man and artist.

criticisms of Michael Moore’s documentary, he is annihilated. Some of it may have been by conservatives who believe in the right to bear arms, but a lot of it is coming from those he wronged in the film and otherwise. He was wrong about Lockheed and the particular plant he went to. He was wrong about the violence rates and some of the causes. And he ambushed Charlton Heston (as I felt he did) and inaccurately portrayed Trey Parker by associating him with the cartoon he showed minutes after.

Here’s where most people should come up against a brick wall with Michael Moore. He’s fat. He’s gross. These two aspects of his outer appearance would frighten most people he would talk to or try to approach. (I can understand that police officer wandering off when Michael Moore complained about the Hollywood sign. He had better things to do.) When listening to him talk and seeing the way he presents himself, it almost appears that he has a mental disorder. No joke. The way he holds himself in his documentaries gives a lot of people pissed off impressions of him. And sometimes rightly so.

One of the more well done parts with Moore helping out victims of Columbine.

Because it didn’t just stop here. He goes on to make 4 MORE DOCUMENTARIES ATTACKING THE REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION. At this point, he has turned into a huge gargantuan baby who is fed up with the system. He whines and puts up his yellow police tape and carries his bag around crying for money for the people. His head got bigger than it should have after the success of his first few documentaries and he thought that was a green light for as much more as he wanted to make. For shame.

So although I liked the idea and parts of this documentary, when Michale Moore puts his name on something, expect the huge range of bias he’s bringing to the table. Don’t take everything at face value. Because although in this very documentary, Michael Moore says that America has a state of fear going on, he is

Well deserved? You be the judge.

perpetuating it and stirring things up more by showing us why we should be afraid and not other things like invigorated to fight or do something. Damn it, Michael Moore, show some class. And that’s my rant. Bowling for Columbine, 6.1 out of 10. Michael Moore as of today, a whiny baby 0 out of 10.

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Black Lagoon: Viewers, Meet Your Maker

Oh, the wonderful women of Black Lagoon.

In a bust out and mind expanding experience, this show kicked my ass and said, “We won’t apologize for that.” Black Lagoon, in its entirety and breadth, covers Western cowboy shootouts, Piracy and the high seas, and in-your-face American splendour violence with guns and swords. There’s nowhere this show won’t go, and all of the women have big boobs, just how male viewers want it. I don’t care that the show jumps from arc to arc like a pogo-ing hoodlum. This show delivers heaps of entertainment and doesn’t give a single damn for it. With anime like this that can take a modern action movie

Sexy Lara Croft anyone? Thank God for you, Two Hands.

and slap it with their Desert Eagles, I get behind that anime 100%.

With this dazzling introduction, I had better “WOW” my readers, right? Well strap into your El Camino there, Wild Bill. This show will clash cars in the air, and unleash more shells than the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans combined. More carnage, more elite killings than anything I’ve seen since Christian Bale unlocked the gates of Hell in Equilibrium. And its done more graphically. As I’ve always said, what a cartoon can depict, when done maturely, can be more gruesome than any movie can depict. And you don’t need stunt actors or movie make-up special effects. This show depicts mass carnage on a monumental scale, and the main character has the mouth to back up the high content rating.

The crew of Black Lagoon (minus Benny).

Who is the main character, you may ask this post? Well, Revy (Maryke Hendrikse) provides the tomboyish, action star who looks quite similar to Lara Croft in this rollercoaster ride. Hendrikse provides an unlikeable, demeaning voice to Revy that let’s you know she wasn’t brought up by any Chinese American tycoons. She was backstreet, cat alley, chopshop material from day one. And she has the backstory and sailor’s mouth to prove it. She has a soft spot like any action star needs for the audience to connect with her, but it’s a small one at that. For her character in particular though, you may wanna check out the subbed version, her dubbed is a little bit harsh.

But be sure to check out the dub in general for everyone else! This Canadian dubbing team has worked on Gundams, Death Note, and various other anime worth checking in on. Hell, Ocean even did

The wonderfully frightening and sexy Roberta.

the original Dragonball dubbing! For a lot of the lines and attitudes to come across as cool, I was happy to see that the dub shows that. Even a lot of the lines in the original and in the manga were written in Japanese/English, showing that it was always meant to be transferred into an English context. And with all its praise for spaghetti Westerns and American action films with its references, it was only a matter of time.

As gritty as it gets for Rock.

So, yes! The dubbed version. You have Brad Swaile as Rock, the male lead of the show. Used in contrast to the rest of the characters in the novel, Rock is dropped in to a world he would never survive in. As chronicler of this tale, Rock acts as a moral compass in this show that has no meaning or need for direction. His white collar lifestyle and good guy attitude should’ve gotten him killed at this point, but the port town of Roanapur is amused with what he has to offer. He’s determined to change things, and this is an interesting role for a main character whom you’d expect to be pissing himself 90% of the show (the other 10%, would involve the other end).

 

Look familiar?

There’s Dutch (Dean Redman) and Benny (Brian Drummond), respectively, the leader and muscle of the squad with his big black attitude, and the brains behind the operations with his American ideals and his Jewishness (which I didn’t get at all in this show). Dutch is a fantastic leader and motivator for the team, staying neutral at all times so as not to jeopardize his crew and endeavors. Benny lays low like Rock does, leaving the crew to 50/50 on manpower and gun control. With the rest of the cast of Roanapur’s finest, there’s bound to be bloodshed, booze, and boobs galore.

The tag says “She’s back.” Perfect.

What this show follows is an erratic plot of gigs and tradings that the Lagoon Company gets themselves into. At first, it was just Dutch, Revy, and Benny. But after a botched job that lands Rock in their laps, the Japanese get involved and that’s where the show turns into a Japanese man’s perspective on the seedy underbelly of the Southeastern area of Asia. There are heists, Nazis, shipments of drugs and guns, and fights between the clans. I don’t want to give too much away, but every clan becomes involved at some point in the show, with one of Black Lagoon’s dealings or another. There’s a great secondary cast of mercenaries who always populate Roanopur, but there’s one character you have to look out for.

That character is Roberta, the maid. This Columbian maid has come to find her charge in one of the arcs. After that, she becomes one of the most badass characters in the show. She’s calm, cool, and collected, and never leaves anything to chance. She won’t die, and there’s so much more I could be telling you that I’m leaving out. Let’s just say she’s so amazing that they made an OVA storyline about her. Get some of that Columbian underground.

One of the great secondary characters!

I can’t talk highly enough of this show. It has everything an adrenaline junky is looking for, and then some. Action fans of the world unite and check out this anime, especially if you have no idea what an anime is. The plot and dialogue is insightful enough for a gun toting anime, and there are some unbelievable things that will surprise you. Entertaining to the end, Black Lagoon is one of those few shows that I watched everything related to it. Even those cute and funny little omake episodes they made that’re on Youtube. Everything about this show screams badass. And it should make you scream too. So check out this pumped up gun ride on the high seas. It was never more f#$%ing cool to be a pirate. A 9.5 out of 10. 


Paprika: The Inception Anime

So based on my new obsession with anime, my mom picked this little anime film up for me from the library. I had not expectations and I was delightfully surprised. This anime film, which got positive reviews across the board in 2006, is an anime about dreams. In my opinion, anime is one of the few mediums that can accurately depict dreams. (Nice attempt Christopher Nolan, but this film came 4 years earlier than your Inception.) If I had seen this before I had seen Inception, I would’ve considered Inception a rip-off (sort of is). But it’s comparing apples to oranges. And that’s the way in which this anime stands out.

Paprika is a story that appears to take place in modern day. A Japanese technology company has created a piece of technology known as the DC Mini. These apparatus is used by psychologists to analyze the dreams of patients firsthand in order to diagnose and treat their patients. The one problem? The machine hasn’t been finished. And then it’s stolen. So the members of the company must go on what appears to be a wild goose chase in order to find who stole them before dreams become fused with reality.

That’s what makes this film unique. At any moment, the characters in the film could be dreaming, awake or asleep, and the

What's going on here? Probably why it's rated R...

mind-bending elements that present themselves in this film as the characters navigate the dreams is done beautifully. The film incorporates a love of parades, movies, and the thrill of flight all in one. Although I myself do not dream in terms of surreality, I could appreciate the elements of dreaming used that most people experience. The vivid colors and feeling of a warped reality and drawn beautifully and the movements of the characters are animated fluently and gracefully, something I’ve found that some anime have trouble with. (I guess it all depends on the budget and skill of the artists…)

Yuri Lowenthal. Fat, but good.

The voice actors are decent, most notably is Yuri Lowenthal. I didn’t pick up on his voice immediately, but he is one of those A-list voice actors that get a lot of work today. I think now would be a good time to explain voice acting in terms of skill. In the past (1970’s to 1990’s I believe) voice actors were picked more often for the sound of their voice rather than their acting skills. (It’s like choosing a sports announcer.) But in recent decades, voice actors are being chosen for their versatility and their acting skills. It’s this change that has given a lot of credit to an industry that is not seen as all that credible in America. In a more dramatic sense, in comparison to cartoon voice actors, these actors can perform dramatic as well as comedic and everything in between. And this gives us a better viewing experience because sound is half the battle in anime. Big league hitter companies in anime dubbing are ones like Funimation and Aniplex.

Paprika. Worth the jump.

Other than that, there is a certain cute element to Paprika. If you watch the ending romance you’ll understand. Characters are thrown into each other’s dreams and the underlying feelings that are discovered help bring a happy ending. I do enjoy those snapshot films where a problem arises and returned to normal through understanding and conflict resolution. A “slice of life” if you will. And that’s what Paprika is. A little slice of dreams. 8.1 out of 10.