Archive for April, 2010


True Blood – Season 1

A long time ago, vampires used to kick ass. Spanning centuries of folklore and leading to modern times, vampire stories have always picqued my interest. Old classics like Dracula and Nosferatu as well as newer fare like Blade and Hellsing have given me countless hours of entertainment. Sadly, though, the street rep of the vampire has really been dragged through the mud in recent years. It has become so bad that I have almost completely given up on the vampire genre as a whole.

One trend that pissed me off in particular is the one that showed the vampire looking normal until they reveal their fangs, and then their faces get all scrunched up and evil looking. Probably the worst offender of this was the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series and its spin-off Angel. Vampires are 10,000% more terrifying when they look like everybody else. I think that is kind of the point of why vampires are scary. The vampire could be anyone. When that aspect is taken away, then part of the fascinating vampire mythos is lost. Continue reading ‘True Blood – Season 1’


Reviewing All of Oshii’s Movies Simultaneously

Oh look, a Basset Hound, now there's something I've never seen in an Oshii movie before.

I recently decided that I must be a masochist. Not a masochist in the traditional sense, but a masochist in subjecting myself to mental anguish time and time again. What I am referring to are the films of Mamoru Oshii. It seems like I am constantly tricking myself into thinking, “OK, now this Oshii movie is going to be good.” No matter how many times I do it, I always walk away feeling ripped-off and dejected, having wasted away 90+ minutes that could have been spent constructively on projects, studying, or masturbating.

Having watched so many Oshii movies, I have come to realize that essentially they are all the same. There is no need to review them separately, because they all have the same themes, animation style, acting, music, and basset hounds. Essentially, all Oshii movies are interchangeable. If you replaced the music from Ghost in the Shell with the music from Patlabor would anyone really notice? Perhaps only the most hardcore Oshii fan. If you were to watch The Sky Crawlers side by side with Jin Roh, you would see that they both sort of meander around and the plot is only advanced when two people start talking at one another for significant(ly boring) amounts of time. After years of in-depth analysis, I have made a shocking discovery…

Way to dress up for The Sky Crawlers premiere, Oshii

…There seems to be something amiss whenever Oshii helms another movie. And that thing is the fact that Oshii continues to make THE SAME movie over and over again. He changes the setting and updates the animation style, and no one else seems to notice. Naturally, the Oshii fanboys are quick to disagree, stating that each film is entirely different and extremely complex. (And that I didn’t “get it.”) The thing about Oshii fanboys, however, is that they are a rabid cult. To them, Oshii can do no wrong. He could film himself taking a shit and they would declare it to be a cinematic masterpiece.

However, filming himself taking a shit would show too much direct action for Oshii. He would need to show himself talking about needing to take a shit, discuss the philosophical implications of doing so, wander the streets of Tokyo sullenly to a minimalist Kenji Kawai soundtrack, show a Basset Hound sniffing around another dog’s ass (because that’s what dogs do), and then finally the next day Oshii would return to the screen to discuss more philosophical implications now that he has taken the shit (albeit off-camera). Let’s face it, every single Oshii movie has scenes exactly like those described above. In fact, I imagine Oshii during pre-production would sound something like this:

Oshii: I have found a novel I would like to base my next movie on.

Executive: Oh really, which novel?

Oshii: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Executive: Well, the books made a lot of money, and the live action movies did, too, so I guess we can’t go wrong!

Oshii: I would like to change a few things.

Executive: Like what?

Oshii: First of all, I’m not sure about the setting. It would probably be better taking place in the near future, in Tokyo.

Executive: Oh…well, as long as you keep all the stuff people like about it, like the magic, I’m sure it will be great.

Oshii: Well, those magic scenes are so dreadful. I would rather have the characters discuss the morality of using sorcery instead of showing it. Or perhaps the magic could be a metaphor for the angst and turmoil of adolescence. Before Harry uses any magic he could silently wander the streets of Tokyo. You know what might be better than magic? The characters piloting realistic robots.

Executive: …

Oshii: And Harry’s owl would have to be changed to a Basset Hound.

To further illustrate my point, I have compiled this handy-dandy chart. What you’ll notice is that all Oshii movies, past, present, and future are identical. There is now no longer any need to watch new Oshii movies. Instead, consult the chart, and you will realize that you have already watched every new Oshii film! Incredible! When it comes to Oshii movies, the old adage is true, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.

Oshii Movie Comparison Chart

Verdict: Shitty

April 2010
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