Pathway & Juxtaposed

In my never-ending quest for inspiration, I found these two short animated films (via animationblog.org) by students at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Both seniors and both films as thesis projects, Sandy Hong and Alex Myung (Wagner) are on their way towards bright careers. I appreciate their creativity and I love both stories that they tell. I won’t go in depth or do any analysis of their films just yet. We are all starting out, and sometimes all that needs to be done, is just watch and be inspired… Enjoy!

Pathway/ Dir. Sandy Hong/ 2009

Juxtaposed/ Dir. Alex Myung (Wagner)/ 2009 

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Punch-Out Documentary…

At first I thought this was a clever spoof, but I think this is officially Nintendo. If it’s official then it’s brilliant. If not, it’s still pretty funny! Oh and I am super stoked for the new Punch-Out thats coming out for the Wii.

Piston Hondo! LOL! Hey he’s just doing his jab…

EDIT: Just checked out the official punchout.com site, the dude’s name is ACTUALLY Piston Hondo!

Review: Tales of the Black Freighter

Tales of the Black Freighter/ dir. Mike Smith, Daniel DelPurgatorio/ 2009

tales_of_the_black_freighter_dvdHere’s a quote from my review of the Watchmen live-action movie on March 6:

The side stories, “Under the Hood,” “Tales of the Black Freighter,” “New Frontiersman” articles, psychological reports, etc. that were in the comic that seemed like filler, became more appreciated after I saw the movie. These “fillers” served as pillow moments to help you, the reader, understand not only the characters in this world, but also give you an analogy of the choices many of the “heroes” had to make. Their omission from the film was necessary for time (who wants to see a 4 hour movie?), but came at the expense of the flow and rhythm of the narrative.

The “story within the  story” Tales of the Black Freighter was released on DVD on March 24, but it wasn’t until yesterday after watching an episode of Lost (not one of my favorite episodes of the season last night, but still eventful…) that I was able to watch it. Thanks Brett for bringing the DVD. 

Tales of the Black Freighter is a good companion piece to the Watchmen movie. Admittedly it does lose some of its analogous edge since it is a stand alone piece, but unlike the Watchmen movie, which I felt was more of  a supplement to the comic book, Tales of the Black Freighter can actually stand on its own as an animated  short. 

Hit the jump to read the rest of the review (btw, the Under the Hood Documentary is also included in the Tales of Black Freighter DVD, however, I will stick to the animation for this review). Continue reading

Set the VCR: Let’s burn the house down, there’s no turning back

Tomorrow, or today, err soon ,(April 5 in Japan) a brand new Fullmetal Alchemist series will be launching in Japan. From what I read, it will NOT be a continuation of the series, but a re-boot of the series in order to be more faithful to the manga.

Will it be as successful as the first anime series? We’ll see, but first I wanted to go over one of the many Set the VCR moments from the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. 

Fullmetal Alchemist (anime) “Mother” 2003

full-metal-alchemist1

Many of us can think of an event, an occurrence, a decision, or maybe a series of these in our past that drastically changed our lives. A change so dramatic, that we can safely think: “after that, there was no turning back.”  Do you remember any those times? Do you remember the feeling you had when you realized that everything had changed?  Were you confident and sure of your new paradigm? Or were you hesitant, worried, and a bit scared of what would happen next? Remember those feelings and emotions now?

Expressing these feelings and emotions through art is a daunting task for any form of art or media. Get it wrong and your audience will lose interest with the quickness. Get it right, and the skies the limit. 

This is where this next Set the VCR moment comes in: (Hit the jump) Continue reading

Iron Man: Armored Adventures

It took them a while to capitalize on the huge movie success of Iron Man. Here’s the trailer for the new upcoming animated series on NickToons.

Let’s be real, I’m not sure I’m sold on the Tony Stark as a teenager premise. It didn’t work for me when X-Men: Evolution turned most of the X-Men into teenagers attending a regular high school. If done right, like Batman Beyond or Next Avengers, where the original heroes were homaged and played a vital role, maybe it could’ve worked. But Tony Stark just doesn’t work as a 16 year old kid for me. Tony Stark needs to be Robert Downey Jr. 

I’ll actually watch some of this before I pass more judgement. I will say this though, it already seems better than the last Iron Man animated series.

Actually, based on that catchy theme song, I’m not too sure anymore.

“I…I….AM…IROOOON MAAA-A-AAAAN!” Don’t tell me that’s not catchy.

More research required definitely!

Review: Watchmen (Film)

Watchmen/ dir. Zack Snyder/ 2009

watchmenposterfinalWell it was a fun week of blogging. Watchmen week comes to its conclusion with this review of the live-action Watchmen film. 

Many thanks to those who came to dinner at Sea Garden to celebrate the birthday of a certain Art of the Cartoon blogger. Many more thanks to the 10 folks who also came out, waited in line in the freezing cold for about 3 hours, just to indulge my geek ego and watch the midnight showing of Watchmen

Now for the main event.

The Review

Ever since the end movie credits started to roll I have been trying to think of what to put in this review. At the very end, I just sat there trying to process what just happened on the big screen and in my head doing a quick comparison to the legendary comic book. Here are some of the questions that raced through my mind when Watchmen was over:

“Was it complete? Were the characters okay? Did this capture the essence of the graphic novel? Were the changes significant or were they easily overlooked? Did the film feel right? Was the original messages from the comic book also on the big screen? Should I take into account those who have not read the book? Do I compare this to the book? etc….”

For those who want the bottom line, here it is:

Go see this movie.

Be forewarned. You should read on though, because the reasons why you should see this movie is different from what you would expect. (I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but there may be some minor spoilers ahead… hit the jump!) Continue reading

Watchmen: The End is Nigh (Video Game)

Below is the opening cinematic and some gameplay footage of Watchmen: The End is Nigh video game. It’s a prequel of sorts, taking place before masked vigilantism was outlawed in the graphic novels. It follows the adventures of Rorschach and Nite Owl as they fight crime.

I hate to say this, but this game looks like it’s going to SUCK! Don’t get me wrong, the animation looks cool (moreso on the actual gameplay than the opening flash animation), but they always screw up these movie tie-in games.

And I hate that they’re doing this shit to Watchmen

I hope I’m wrong…

UPDATE: The reviews are in, its official, this game SUCKS!

(shakes head in disappointment)…

Sultan the Warrior…

Check out this trailer for the upcoming Indian Animation (as in the Country India) Sultan the Warrior…

WHAT ….THE FU@K…WAS THAT!?

I can’t hate on the animation though (I sooo want to though…..). These are folks I might be working with in the future, I don’t want them saying, “why  you hating on our animation?”

You have to admit, it’s hilarious that the main dude’s facial expression never changes (I can watch this trailer over and over for the unintentional comedy that is the dude’s face). 

Oh and one last note, A.R. Rahman, the same dude who did the music to Slumdog Millionaire, did the music to this piece of…wonderful animation (grits teeth). Interesting….

This could all be just me though. Have a good laugh!

The NEW Devastator

Devastator was the first “combiner” transformer. It took six constructicons combined to make the dreaded Devastator. I was excited when I heard they were bringing the combiner Devastator (as opposed to the stupid tank from the first live-action Transformers) to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Here is comparison of the original Devastator and the movie version (thanks to Gizmodo).

devastator2009

My first reaction…eh….

We’ll have to see if this NEW Devastator is going to rock. My nostalgia for the original overbears my critical judgment on this matter. I will always treasure the original G1 designs. But lest I point out, many folks were critical of the first live-action Transformers designs, and I have to say they turned out pretty well. I’m going to have to trust the animators on this Devastator thing, so I’ll hold off judgment.

What do you think?