Friday, December 24, 2010

Anime in Focus: FLCL episode 4

<- As it stands, this man puffing up his eyebrows is on the level of a teenage girl stuffing her bra

After the almost comprehensible third episode, I am given the proper head trip I was hoping for in the fourth episode. I’m not really sure if I had more questions answered or if more new ones were spawned. Frankly, I’m not even quite sure what was a delusion or what was really happening in this episode.

Anyway, this happens to be FLCL’s baseball episode. This one seems to use swinging the bat as its theme, where Naota can’t seem to find it within himself to swing a baseball bat like his brother did. Meanwhile, he’s feeling jealousy issues as Haruko is paying much more attention to his dad than to him.

Furthermore, Naota is being watched by some guy with pieces of seaweed for eyebrows that seems to want him to stay away from Haruko. During the episode, we see Naota hitting things with a baseball bat, presumably in order to vent his frustration about Haruko paying less attention to him. Throughout this ep, I’m not sure if his father is dead, alive, or what. I’m sure most of it’s metaphorical. Furthermore, while watching this episode, I’ve come to the conclusion everybody has super-advanced teleportation abilities, based on the places they wind up at throughout the episode. This is especially likely, since in a previous episode it was established that the medical building has no doors.

While this episode is filled with weirdness and hitting things with guitairs, I’m not sure whether to treat this as an actual anime about growing up and stuff, or a big music video by the Pillows. While it is thoroughly confusing (well, it manages to make more sense if you don’t look at everything at face value) it manages to tell a story, in a very abstract manner. This it to say this show reminds me of the weird sculptures outside the college art building.

Well, I’m more than halfway through the show now, there’s no turning back at this point!


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tron: Legacy Review

Watch the trailer here:
Released a while ago. If that doesn't sell you on the movie, nothing will.

I was incredibly exited for this movie. I was there at the recreation of Flynn’s arcade back in Comic Con 2009, and was exited ever since I saw the stuff there. I even dug up the shirt that I got from the arcade, proudly displaying the slogan “FLYNN LIVES.”

To whet my appetite even more, this movie combines just about everything I love into one nice package. This movie has motorcycles, people dressed up like ravers, video games, flashy lights, techno, and this:

I believe this counts as fan service

I hope this becomes a new fashion statement at this year’s Comic Con ANYWAY…

The original Tron came out back in the year 1982, and apparently making a sequel was entirely necessary. This is not to say that this is a bad thing, since it gives Disney a chance to take one of the pioneers of modern CGI and update it using the fancy techniques we’ve developed to make films look shiny. The overall imagery was like taking Ecstasy through your eyesockets.

THE PLOT: About 7 years after the original Tron, we see Kevin Flynn telling his son Sam about his adventures in the digital world known as “The Grid,” and tells us a bit of exposition about what happened between the previous Tron and this movie. A few days later, Flynn vanishes and is never seen again, with the video game company he founded left in chaos due to his disappearance.

Twenty years later, we see Sam pulling a prank on the now corrupt, thinly veiled Microsoft that old man Flynn’s company has become. This goes on to establish that Sam has become a 177t haxor in the time without his father, and that this company is totally against open source software. Thank god that this movie did not become a drama about digital rights. After this we get to see Sam’s place, where he learns that his father may be alive, and there is a clue hidden in his arcade.

Finally, this leads to Sam getting sucked into The Grid, where the real movie begins. He finds that this world inside of the computer in his dad’s arcade has been turned into a digital dystopia, run by a rogue program known as Clu, a clone of Sam’s dad. This causes him to be placed in “The game” where we are treated to the greatest sport ever invented, LIGHTCYCLE BATTLING!

After breaking out of the world of EXTREME combat motorcycling, Sam goes on a journey where he meets, Quarra (pictured above) and where he meets his old man, leading him on spiritual and physical journey transcending the digital world. With lots of fights and pretty explosions.

The story is acceptable for the type of movie, although there are a few nitpicks that I found that I’m not going to dabble in here. While there is nothing particularly deep about the plot, the trip through the digital world is quite the feast for the senses. I did not find this lack of plot to be a fault for the movie, since the scenery is so lovingly crafted that I cannot convince myself to not love it.

PREREQUISITES: I don’t really think you need to have seen the Tron movie from the 80’s to understand this movie. It will help you swallow the entire concept of The Grid, but even then, the titular character, Tron only makes a minor appearance in this movie. Almost no plot elements make a comeback in this movie, aside from people wearing glowing red suits being pure evil.

SHOULD YOU WATCH IT? I would definitely recommend this movie to anybody who is not a total technophobe. The plot may not be the best, but I certainly was not bored with the movie at any point. Not the best movie of the year, but definitely quality entertainment. 

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm back

Yes, I'm not dead. I've managed to survive this semsester, and managed to get the creative fires of Prometheus back inside of me. unfortunately I'm going out to see Tron: Legacy right now, so I can't write much... but I'll be back tomorrow

Oh yeah, and the windows version  of Shira Oka is out now. Buy it HERE

Mac version should be out around January 6 via the App store.