Archive for October, 2010

31
Oct
10

The NeverEnding Story, Part IV: The Review of The NeverEnding Story, Part I

NOTE: The short title of this post is “The NeverEnding Story, Part IV” as in the sequel to the three movies.  Hence “The NeverEnding Story, Part IV” subtitled “The Review of  The NeverEnding Story, Part I” is a review of the original “The NeverEnding Story” movie.  However, due to licensing whatnots, you can, at best, consider this as a parody of a parody of a review of a parody of the movie that was not conceptualized as a parody when first viewed but was reviewed with the movie as a parody in mind.   Thank you.

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Prior to Transformers The Movie and G. I. Joe The Movie (1986 and 1987, respectively,) I was very much influenced by another movie called  The NeverEnding Story (1984) during the course of  my childhood.  Despite the fact that I was not aware of the movie’s existence until 10 years or so after it was initially screened in the theatres, the movie was and will always be timeless for me.  I recently rented a DVD version of the movie from the local library due to closures of all video/DVD rental establishments in the lower 48 states.  (I have yet to succumb to subscribing to anything with the word “net” in it.)

First of all, before popping in the DVD, I wanted to make sure that I was to prepared for a huge disappointment at how the movie has aged.  It was an 80’s movie after all.  If The NeverEnding Story had been a non-special-effects movie like The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I might have thought differently.  However, there was the case of Back to the Future series which somehow endured the test of time even in this age of computer graphics and robot actors/actresses, i.e. R. Megan Fox.

So, my pathetic adventure started with the title screen with the ever grandiose and magnificent prelude of a theme song appropriately titled The Never Ending Story.  The NeverEnding Story, from my memory, had been one of few movies that actually have the theme song played at the beginning of the movie where the actual title of the movie is sung in the lyrics.  Forget what I just wrote, I just remembered Flash Gordon.  You remember that one?  The one that sounds like Queen’s Bicycle.  Anyhow, back to the subject at hand.

Engorged with a feminine voice drowning in a sea of synthesized staccato of acid gumdrops, the movie opens and displays its title over a thick flow of twilight haze, obviously left over from the writers and editors trying to figure out how to best enjoy the drugs still left over from the 70s.

Speaking of engorged, this is Morla.  Morla is a character in the movie that takes the form of a turtle that is more or less a large hill.  The screenshot here shows Morla speaking to the main character Atreyu holding unto a tree branch directly in front of Morla.  He is hardly visible but that’s not important.

Did I mention that this movie is actually rated PG?

That’s nothing to be excited about, I guess.  Above shows Atreyu and a random gnome checking something out with the “telescope” of some sort.

Nothing to be excited about, right?!?!?!

If you click on the image and you can see that those are 2 pairs of exposed nipples and breateses.  Yes, this movie was still rated PG!

After watching this scene, I felt rage bigger than the Statue of Liberty.  At least, HERS was covered.

After doing some research, I realized that this movie was actually based on a German novel from GERMANY written in GERMAN with the title of Die unendliche Geschichte. BUT!!! BUT!!! This is a review of a movie and not the next segment of my ongoing series of “What is Wrong with These Foreigners!?”

Going back to possible disappointments, I was utterly shocked at how well the special effects held out.  I expected Styrofoam rocks and badly sync’d puppetry but instead I was greeted with Styrofoam rocks that sounded like real rocks and puppets that far surpass Jar Jar Binks.  For an 80s movie, the special effects and especially sound effects were superb.  The NeverEnding Story is a classic example of solid cohesion between classic puppetry, green-screen, painted scenery, and forced perspective.  I’m surprised that I didn’t notice a single instance of stop motion animation.

Aside from mere visual and aural aspects, the movie did contain a very important moral message.  Without really spoiling a 25 year old movie and to put it as succinctly as possible, the movie sums up what is still true to this day, that one must always keep imagination and hope alive.

29
Oct
10

Random Sketches 2010-10

Before the month is over, here are some drawings left over from the month of October.

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Source: Code Geass

Character: Nunnaly Lamperouge

Scene: From the final episode of season 2.  This is my most favorite scene from the anime because of my hatred for Ledouche.

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Source: Bakemonogatari

Character: Hitagi Senjougahara

Scene: She is sitting on the right rear passenger seat of a moving sedan in the middle of the night.  From episode 12.

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Source: Strike Witches

Character: Hanna-Justina Marseille

Scene: She has just arrived and is introduced to the Strike Witches squadron.  The scene is supposed to exude her sense of superiority and self importance.  From episode 10 of season 2.

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Source: Spice and Wolf

Character: Horo (or Holo, the official spelling)

Scene: From a random wallpaper that I believe was based on an official artwork.

05
Oct
10

Obscure Anime Series That You Haven’t Seen (and Won’t See): Part III

Have you ever heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion? FLCL? Nadia: Secret of Blue Water? Gurren Lagann?  (Note: All 27 episodes of Gurren Lagann is currrently available on Hulu)

I’m sure you haven’t.  The above mentioned anime series are some of the MOST obscure anime EVER created.

And who in the world of anime is behind this obscurity?  None other than Gainax!

Have you ever heard of them?!  I haven’t… that is until now.  Turns out back when Gainax people were still amateurs (quite literally so,) they did this.  When this animation short was played in Daicon IV, I’m guessing many eyes were aghast with shame and embarrassment at the poor quality of such amateurish project.  Can you believe it?  This was before they started getting paid for doing so.  Such shameless candor these guys showed.  Such blasphemous and heinous act of doodling if it can even be called that.

Folks, it turns out Gainax was not finished with their meddlesome act of desecrating the anime culture.

Their newest release comes in a Pandora’s box ready to unleash its wrath at unsuspecting audience and non-audience alike.

Of course, I am acting as the opener of the box but I shall take no blame.

Panty & Stockings with Garterbelt is a new anime series produced by Gainax.

As the name implies this show is about Panty & Stockings with Garterbelt.

Since I will not be spoiling any plot I will get to the point.

Panty and Stockings are two angels who were rejected from heaven and thus must gather (I’m not making this up) H-coins to re-enter the celestial bastion.  Garterbelt, as far as I could gather, is a priest of some sort.  I am guessing that since he lives in a church and we all know only priests live in churches.

Here is what I think Panty and Stockings look like, respectively.

Left: Panty, Right: Stockings

Garterbelt has a dark complexion and sports a giant afro.

You are probably wondering what this show is about.  Aside from what I have mentioned (about coins and such.)  I cannot tell you what this show is about.  I can, however, tell you that this show is a cross between Powerpuff Girls and one of those avant-garde cartoons from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim segment.

As the title implies, it contains some “graphic elements” as shown below.

From Panty's "transformation" scene

Since this show is available on Crunchyroll, an anime streaming site, you should all check it out.

Despite me poking fun at Gainax, this one’s another looker as expected.

Up next, I draw an actual human figure. . . depicted as a 4 sided polygon.