Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name (1935)

Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name ReviewMr. and Mrs. Is the Name Review

Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name is a 1935 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a good, fun film.

This is the only appearance of Buddy and Cookie in Technicolor if these two are really Buddy and Cookie, but I think they are despite their mermaid look. It was weird seeing them in color and in a Merry Melody, but I don’t mind as the film is so good. It definitely has its flaws such as the structure which is typical for its time in that the conflict and the villain arrive only very late in the game and the hero must save his damsel in distress.

But at least Cookie managed to put a fight and punch the octopus once. That was refreshing to see. Of course the final scene where he batter rams the octopus was just hilarious in its physical comedy. Very good, inventive stuff. I also liked its first half where they explore the sunken ship with the Charlie Chaplin imitation being so funny as Chaplin’s weird walk perfectly lends itself to the merman’s fins. Hilarious. The short is also very well animated with nice color and the titular song is solid and catchy.

Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name is a fun and funny Buddy color outing which was a great way to open the year of 1935 for Warner Brothers cartoons.

My Rating – 3.9

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Buddy the Dentist (1934)

Buddy the Dentist ReviewBuddy the Dentist Review

Buddy the Dentist is a 1934 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a charming Buddy entry.

Buddy makes a pie for Cookie, but Bozo the dog eats it and has a toothache which is up to Buddy to fix. This short is not original at all and Cookie only has one good scene and I wanted more from her. It is too long with a more forgettable beginning as well.

But it is still a solid short because, no matter how ridiculous its dentistry and Bozo getting sick immediately is, it certainly provided for some quite amusing moments. But the reason why it works for the most part lies in the relationship between Buddy and his dog which is great and whenever we got Buddy entries such as this one (the same goes with Bosko too), I am bound to like it much more than the usual adventures.

Buddy the Dentist is not the greatest short, but it is sweet and charming with some very good moments between Buddy and Bozo.

My Rating – 3.5

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Viva Buddy (1934)

Viva Buddy ReviewViva Buddy Review

Viva Buddy is a 1934 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a very solid entry.

Having in mind that Viva Buddy happens in Mexico, it isn’t nearly as stereotypical as I thought it would be in portraying Mexican people. It is not great, but not terrible either. The entire short features a very unpromising first half and it is rarely truly memorable, but the second half more than makes up for the slower start as it features quite a lot of memorable moments.

The ending where the two hug was different, unexpected and sweet. The action is mostly well executed and a lot of fun. I liked that brute character and he is the reason to see this film. To me the finest moment of the cartoon came when they were shooting from pistols and from a bed folded into the wall came the Marx Brothers. That was absolutely hilarious and perfectly delivered.

Viva Buddy has a weaker first half, but the second one is very good with a couple of standout, funny moments.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Dot and the Line (1965)

The Dot and the Line ReviewThe Dot and the Line Review

The Dot and the Line is a 1965 Oscar-winning animated short film which was directed by legendary Chuck Jones.

I really liked this film despite its obvious problems, but more on that later. The animation is very good and the Metrocolor is surprisingly good here. So basically we follow a line as he gets dumped by his dot sympathy. You see, she finds him boring and goes for the wilder line, but eventually returns to our line as he learns some new geometrical moves.

Yes, the film is a very funny take on relationships. I loved how perfectly it adapted its story into the geometrical form. The designs are great in its simplicity and the overall animation is phenomenal. I loved the narration by Robert Morley quite a bit too. The film is consistently inventive and amusing throughout its ten-minute runtime. The only problem is the sexist portrayal of the dot who is such a bitchy, awful female character and I wished that the line turned her down in the end. An obvious product of its time, their relationship is certainly nothing to be admired.

The Dot and the Line is an imaginative, very amusing animated short that rightfully won an Oscar despite its sexist approach.

My Rating – 4.3

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2010 (1984)

2010 Movie Review

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2010 Movie Review

2010 is a 1984 science fiction film directed by Peter Hyams and starring Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren and John Lithgow. It is a pretty good sequel.

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All these worlds are yours, except Europa.

Attempt no landing there.

Use them together. Use them in peace

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2010 Movie Review

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2010 is a sequel to Kubrick’s ‘2001’ and is based on Clarke’s (this time) previously published sequel. So let’s compare the novel to the film and the film to its predecessor. First, let me say that it is of course hugely inferior to its classic movie predecessor, but I am not going to take a grudge towards this film for that as ‘2001’ is one of the best films ever written and almost no movie could ever compare to it so any comparisons are ultimately unwarranted.

Yes, it is certainly much less poetic, ambiguous and artistic in quality and I thought the film’s special effects were infinitely weaker this time around. But this is still a very good, albeit not great movie that does most of the things clearly right and is a very satisfactory cinematic experience.

It is actually very faithful to its source material which I just loved. I was nervous as I do not like changes in movie adaptations, but thankfully they did not change any major thing and they mostly followed the book very closely. Some scenes were even fully recreated from the page both in imagery and in dialogue.

The only gripe I have with it is that they took a Cold War approach with the film whereas in the book that aspect was certainly absent. The book is great for having Russians and Americans for once work together and although here we have that collaboration too, the political climate on Earth is at the brink of a war which was annoying.

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2010 Movie Review

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I would have liked to have seen the Chinese and their failed mission on Europa as they were excluded here, but that was a good choice as it eliminated the poor portrayal of Chinese and made the story much more coherent for the film. But the epilogue was sorely missing here as it was the most fascinating part of the novel and here they just did not film it which was unfortunate.

But the storyline is mostly very well adapted in 2010 and I loved its beginning, ending and especially the Jupiter mission sequences. The action is great here. The special effects are great for the most part, but the explosions and light are poorly done and felt dated. The score is very good and the movie is well paced and actually somewhat more emotional in tone than its source material.

The character development is also a bit better than in the book. I still don’t love these characters, but they are more memorable and I loved the ship dynamic and that the two nations worked well together. Heywood Floyd is very good as the protagonist and so well portrayed here. I loved those Dave Bowman sequences, very eerie in atmosphere and so well done. The same goes with HAL.

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2010 Movie Review

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Chandra is well portrayed and Walter Curnow is much more memorable here thanks in large part to John Litgow’s presence. It is great seeing him and Helen Mirren so early in their careers and their huge talent was obvious back then as well. Her Caroline is actually one of the more interesting characters here and her relationship with Floyd is very well established.

2010 cannot be compared to ‘2001’ as its special effects are a far cry from its predecessor and it is much less poetic, artistic and ambiguous in nature, but that comparison is not fair as the original is one of the best films ever made and rare are those who can rival it. As it stands, this is a good sequel that, despite an annoying Cold War addition to the story, actually adapts the novel really well. I wished that they filmed the book’s fascinating epilogue, but the plot is otherwise faithfully adapted, the characters are actually better developed here, the performances are excellent and some scenes are fantastic leading to a satisfactory cinematic experience.

My Rating – 4

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Mega Man 3 (1990)

Mega Man 3 Review

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Mega Man 3 Review

Mega Man 3 is a 1990 platform video game by Capcom for Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a pretty good, but still inferior sequel.

I thought that Mega Man 3 was a very good, certainly competent game and I did give it a 4.45 rating. However, it still disappointed me a bit as it definitely was significantly weaker in comparison to the previous two games.

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Mega Man 3 Review

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First of all, the gameplay. It basically consists of different stages which are again playable by choice meaning that you could play stages in whichever order you like. That certainly made the game feel much more accessible and much better organized.

But this time, the boss parts of the levels are different in that you need to beat them by choosing their weaknesses. For example, if you play Needle Man and get to the boss, you can beat him best by using Gemini Laser which you previously got from Gemini Man. I liked that to an extent.

That definitely made the game more interesting, complex and diverse. However, it meant that you have to cheat as how else would you know what is the exact weakness for each and every opponent. That was honestly a bit frustrating and I wish that they did it differently, by leaving visual clues in a way. You can beat the boss with another weapon, but that way it becomes so extremely difficult that it is not worth it.

Mega Man 3 is difficult and sometimes even more difficult than its predecessors, but mostly it was easier to beat and quite shorter in terms of longevity. That means that it isn’t particularly replayable and although the game is very well made, it wasn’t as memorable as the previous entries were.

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Mega Man 3 Review

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But the graphics and especially the character designs and animation are excellent. The level design is mostly pretty terrific as most of the stages are so well conceived and imagined. The bosses are especially difficult to beat and rewarding when you actually manage to do it. The score and the sound design are once again excellent and the entire product is technically stupendous.

So in the end, Mega Man 3 is a very good game, but just not as great as the first two were. Its boss system was interesting, but still troublesome. But the level designs, the graphics and sound are all terrific leading to a satisfactory gaming experience, though a bit short one.

My Rating – 4.5

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Hunter x Hunter (Heavens Arena arc) Season 2 (2012)

Hunter x Hunter Season 2 Review

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Hunter x Hunter (Heavens Arena arc) Season 2 Review

The second season of Hunter x Hunter is Heavens Arena arc and it is another truly great saga in a fantastic anime that for now is almost perfect.

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When I say it doesn’t hurt me,

that means I can bear it

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Hunter x Hunter Season 2 Review

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So Killua and Gon visit Heavens Arena which is basically one giant tournament which is very strictly and meticulously imagined unlike the one in Dragon Ball, but this saga is still pretty much like the aforementioned show’s sagas and I loved those so I loved this one as well. Gon eventually fights Hisoka and goes back to Whale Island to see his mom. The two friends open the box and listen to his father’s message and set out in search for Greed Island game.

Certainly the next saga looks promising if this finale is any indication of it. And I hope to see Kurapika and Leorio again. They have been absent here and yes, this arc is certainly very narrow in its characters. But that was still great as it led to much more development for Killua and Gon whose friendship is building up pretty well as they share some wonderful moments together.

I liked Killua a lot here, but this is mostly Gon’s season and it was truly satisfying following his quest to fight Hisoka. Zushi and sensei are two memorable characters and I hope to see more from them. I thought that the introduction of various techniques and styles of fighting and the Nen element was very well established and explored. Hunter x Hunter has been throwing many details at you rapidly, but they are essential for further arcs and episodes. A truly epic anime this is.

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Hunter x Hunter Season 2 Review

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Kastro and Hisoka’s fight was truly excellent as it was very rich in detail and all the more rewarding to follow all the rules and twists and turns. I loved how it ended and how they examined afterwards how Hisoka won. The attention to detail is overwhelming and thus the action is all the more engaging.

But Hisoka and Gon’s fight is excellent, it was worth all the build-up and I loved how short, yet sweet it was. Hisoka’s feminine mannerisms and manner of speech continue to amuse me and it is crazy how over-the-top and campy his character is, but still oh so menacing and sinister. He truly is a great, unforgettable villain.

Heavens Arena arc benefits from an excellent teaching part to it and great fights, but I also adored the final two episodes on Whale Island as they were wonderfully familial and emotional. I loved the dialogue there and how cozy and warm those episodes felt. I am certainly looking forward to meeting Gon’s father Ging as he is built up as a really intriguing character.

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Hunter x Hunter Season 2 Review

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The animation is great as ever and although the opening song was changed a bit in lyrics, it is still the same in its tune and I love it all the same as it continues to be incredibly catchy. The overall score and sound effects are excellent. I loved the attention to detail in not only character design, but also fight choreography and imagery. I found the action to be excellent and though sometimes a bit too short, it was mostly very satisfactory and exhilarating. I also loved its brutality and mature tone at times while also being childlike and quite wonderful in its humor.

Overall, Heavens Arena arc is mostly of the same quality as Hunter Exam arc. Yes, it is shorter and more narrow, but still character-driven, emotional, funny and filled with excellent fights and a superb attention to detail which is present both in script and in animation. It was a truly great arc and I am so looking forward to Phantom Troupe arc.

 

Worst Episodes: Fierce and Ferocious and An Empty Threat.

Best Episodes: A Surprising Win, The True Pass and Reply from Dad.

My Rating – 4.9

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul Movie Review

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul Movie Review

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is a 1974 German film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Brigitte Mira and El Hedi ben Salem. It is one of the finest movies from German cinema.

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But when we’re together,

we must be nice to each other.

Otherwise, life’s not worth living

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul Movie Review

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Yes, this film is absolutely great and one of the best films I’ve seen recently. I adored it. The relationship that develops between an elderly German woman and a much younger Moroccan migrant is so incredibly moving to witness while also being surprisingly grounded in reality. The film’s subject matter of racism and xenophobia along with forbidden love makes it a timeless work which is going to be relevant as long as there is prejudice in this world.

It starts somewhat out of the blue, but I loved how they met and how the relationship established and grew was subtle and so well executed with only the marriage seeming somewhat abrupt and unrealistic. As I said, the film is realistic for showing us that love knows no boundaries but still portraying such a relationship as it would be in real life – very difficult and seemingly insurmountable as the two are much too different.

And certainly he starts cheating on her and surprisingly she accepts it as she’s well aware of her age. That conversation and that dance and the whole final scene is beyond beautiful to witness. I thought it was a perfect happy ending which still wasn’t as happy as to be unrealistic.

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul Movie Review

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The two are wonderful. He is very likable and she is one of the most wonderful and sympathetic female protagonists ever in a film. Yes, you just have to love Emmi Kurowski. And that stems for the most part from Brigitte Mira’s absolutely amazing performance. She carries the entire film on her shoulders and she delivered one of the best ever female performances in a film. El Hedi ben Salem is good, but much inferior in comparison to her.

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is a drama, but a beautiful romance above all with quite a lot of romantic scenes. Sometimes I wish the two were closer and the film was more sensual, but I guess the lack of that was to be expected given the age gap. As for its dramatic aspects such as the prejudice, I really liked it but with some reservations.

To me the film excelled at portraying how hateful and prejudiced people can be and how they are good to you only when they use you. The most intelligent part of this script is the portrayal of her neighbors as the most hateful. The film showcases how out of jealousy and unhappy life stems the biggest hatred of them all which is definitely true and well realized here. But the problem is that sometimes the film wanted too much to portray each and every man or woman in her surroundings reacting to her relationship and eventual marriage. That led to a couple of very forced scenes in terms of their execution.

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul Movie Review

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The movie is so well directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and no matter how problematic he was in his personal life, he was a great director. He is such a great director that I know I want to check out some of his other films as well. I loved this film and it is one of Germany’s best movies ever.

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul features such a great direction from Fassbinder and such a fantastic performance from Brigitte Mira who here gave one of the finest female performances ever in a film and created one of the most wonderful protagonists in the process. The film is sweet and touching but also very realistic in its third act and it explores hatred and prejudice really well and is timeless in its subject matter. It is one of the best films from the seventies and one of the biggest classics to come from Germany.

My Rating – 4.5

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Birds of a Feather (1931)

Birds of a Feather ReviewBirds of a Feather Review

Birds of a Feather is a 1931 Disney Silly Symphony film. It’s a solid and entertaining entry.

Birds of a Feather is one of those Silly Symphonies which consist of two parts – one is witnessing the behavior of different animals and the other is when the action starts and the protagonist’s baby animal is chased by a predator. That structure is obviously familiar, but is still put to some good use here. The first part is weaker naturally and only that peacock was interesting and so well animated whereas the other animals were forgettable.

Obviously the chase and action scenes were typical in their execution and there are a lot of these scenes in early Silly Symphonies, but they are still fun. The choice of hawk as a predator is also interesting. The animation here is better than in most early entries in the series and the score is solid. The running time is longer by two minutes from the usual seven minutes which was interesting, but not fully warranted.

Birds of a Feather is typical and never really original, but at least it’s well executed with good action and animation.

My Rating – 3.5

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Winter (1930)

Winter ReviewWinter Review

Winter is a 1930 Disney short film in the Silly Symphony series. It is a solid seasonal short.

After ‘Springtime’, ‘Summer’ and ‘Autumn’, this is the last seasonal short in the Silly Symphony series and in my opinion it just might be the best one. But that is still not saying a lot as the action and movements are again very repetitive and the character designs continue to be repulsive. Those reindeers were just painful to watch and very ridiculous and ugly in their looks.

But apart from those problems and a weaker middle, the film has a pretty good beginning and a stellar ending which actually has some plot in it as the animals visit Mr. Beaver who is a weather broadcaster. That was a very interesting development that made the film a lot more memorable than it could have been without it. I liked the score and the short is well animated discounting those terrible designs.

Winter still has all of the problems of the other three seasonal shorts in the series, but at least it is more fun and with a much more memorable storyline.

My Rating – 3.4

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