Disenchanted – Film Review

Enchanted was a delightful, charming film in Disney’s live-action library, poking fun at all the tropes that the brand has cemented in its familiarity, while also having the magic of a Disney film. Its sequel, Disenchanted, may not have much of the cleverness of its predecessor, but it definitely injects more of whatever Disney magic is left, with more musical numbers and fairy-tale pizzazz that kids and fans of the original will definitely enjoy. Yet if there is anything that Enchanted taught me, it’s that less is more. As with most sequels of today, Disenchanted‘s sole reason of existence is because of how many people love the original. It doesn’t particularly rely on nostalgia or fan-service, and has potential for a continuation. In fact, Disenchanted has a bit of delight going for it, but I cannot help reminiscing how truly special Enchanted was.

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Weird: The Al Yankovic Story – Film Review

No other musical artist has changed the game of the industry quite like Weird Al Yankovic. Known for his ridiculous parodies of popular songs, Weird Al has been around since the 70s and is showing no sign of slowing down. Musical biopics have been in demand as of late, with successes like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. Now it’s Weird Al’s turn to get the biopic treatment. Yet Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is more in line with Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story than it is with all the rest of the music biopics. It seeks to make fun of all the inaccuracies and hard-partying lifestyles prevalent in those films by being an inaccurate exaggeration of a real musician in only the way Weird Al Yankovic himself could tell it. The story of Weird is not new, as it started off as a Funny or Die sketch starring Aaron Paul as Weird Al, only a decade ago. Now comes a perfect time for Weird to be an actual movie, but with Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al.

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Wendell & Wild – Film Review

When it comes to stop-motion animation, no one does it like Henry Selick. If that name sounds familiar, it is because he has worked on films such as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline to name a few. Yet with his style of stop-motion and dark fantasy storytelling, it would be hard to mistake him with Tim Burton. If one were to pay attention, you could easily see that Selick has a particular style that is easy to separate from Burton, from the thin design of the characters to the lanky way they move. While he does not have as much of a filmography, Selick has left his mark in the animation industry as a visual artist. Wendell & Wild comes from a story written by Selick and it just may be his most colorfully clean.

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Love Live! Sunshine!! – Chasing the Past

Decidedly Fine

If you read my previous article on Love Live! School Idol Project, then you may be expecting another overly long love letter to its follow up series, Love Live! Sunshine!! If you were, unfortunately, I must disappoint. While Sunshine is fine in a vacuum, unfortunately I have something to compare it to, and as a result, there’s not much to say. Ironically, Sunshine is a cautionary tale about the importance of being yourself. Just too bad it didn’t seem to learn that lesson itself nearly fast enough. A shadow of greatness is still just that, a shadow. Continue reading “Love Live! Sunshine!! – Chasing the Past”

Hocus Pocus 2 – Film Review

After 29 years, we finally get a sequel to Hocus Pocus, Disney’s little movie that could. While the original film wasn’t a huge success at the box-office (a major factor being that it was released in the Summer of 1993), it managed to become a staple of Halloween movie nights, thanks to being shown on the Disney Channel and ABC, where it has achieved a cult following, eventually being a juggernaut for the month of October. With all the nostalgia for Hocus Pocus, a sequel was indeed inevitable, with Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy returning to reprise their roles as the devilish Sanderson Sisters, as they wreak havoc in the sleepy town of Salem, Massachusetts, yet again.

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‘Pearl’ Film Review

Pearl may be the most unique villain origin story ever put to screen. We only got to know the character of Pearl as the creepy old lady from X, which was released earlier this year. She doesn’t have the same iconic status as the Joker, or a Disney villain, yet her backstory serves as an intense, if not, compelling feature. Written by director Ti West and star Mia Goth (who both collaborated on X) during the pandemic, Pearl was given the green light and shot in secret, back-to-back, with X; an unusual move for sure, but a welcome one at that. While X had the grainy feel of a 70s horror movie in the vein of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pearl was made with the technicolor CinemaScope style of a 50s or 60s movie in mind. Beneath Eliot Rockett’s dreamy cinematography lies an unsettling nature that could only come from a slasher film. The character of Pearl (Once again played by Goth) is a young woman with hopes and dreams, yet hiding within the farm getup, innocent Southern drawl, and schoolgirl smile is a sense that something is not right. All we can do is just wait for a firecracker to go off.

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‘Man Vs. Bee’ Series Review

Rowan Atkinson has returned to his slapstick roots in Man Vs. Bee, a nine-episode comedy series on Netflix that premiered on June 24, yet I finally just watched. In Man Vs. Bee, Atkinson plays a house sitter for a couple (Jing Lusi and Julian Rhind-Tutt) as they go on vacation. Yet what seems like a quiet week of house-sitting immediately turns into a battle against an unwanted guest: That being a bee. As the battle of man vs. bee ensues over the course of nine episodes, we are treated to a mixture of funny slapstick and uncomfortable gags that you would expect from the guy who gave us Mr. Bean.

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Big Finale! – Saying Goodbye to #AnitTwitWatches (Featuring Big Order)

It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Over the past three years I’ve run a group watch called AniTwitWatches over on Twitter. In that time we watched 20 different shows, had wonderful discussions, and had a pretty good time (well, mostly) along the way too! Today’s article, however, marks the end of this program after season 20, Big Order. I’d like to take this time to explain why we stopped, how Big Order represented the spirit of the program (even if it might seem like a strange note to end on), and whatever related thoughts I may have along the way. This isn’t a typical review, but I will talk about my thoughts on Big Order here so if you want that I’ll section it in a way so you can easily find it. With that, let’s get right to it. Continue reading “Big Finale! – Saying Goodbye to #AnitTwitWatches (Featuring Big Order)”

‘Pinocchio’ (2022) Film Review

Pinocchio is one of the most beloved movies in Disney history, and the latest to get a live-action remake. Brought to us by director Robert Zemeckis (who gave us his version of The Witches two years back), and starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto. Zemeckis’ Pinocchio tries to be the same as the original 1940 animated film, from the look and feel of the characters, yet falls short in terms of heart and soul. From the start, it seemed like a live-action remake of such a beloved classic like Pinocchio was a bad idea. What with all the different versions of Carlo Collodi’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio out there (plus Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion feature set to be released on Netflix sometime this year). Disney also wants a piece of the wooden pie as the studio has been known to keep churning out those remakes. Yet this version looked to be the Disney-est of them all. For some reason, however, I do not hear people clamoring to check out the latest in Disney’s live-action remake roster, despite being dumped on Disney+, where families can check it out for free if they have the service.

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What’s Wrong with Onii-chan? – A Look at Tsukasa Fushimi’s Work

I Finally Watched Them!

While author Tsukasa Fushimi has done other, smaller works, he’s mostly known for Oreimo and Eromanga Sensei. I’d go as far as to say that, at least in Oreimo’s case, that the series carries the same kind of cultural weight to the medium that other titles such as Cowboy Bebop or Code Geass have, albeit for those deeper into the medium. This is a bold claim, but the notoriety that his works have is the whole reason I’ve threatened to watch these two titles for some time now. It’s not like Tsukasa Fushimi’s work was positively received in the same way that those other titles were, much less so today, but it would also be completely incorrect to say that they didn’t leave a lasting impact. Now having watched both his flagship works, I couldn’t help but wonder just what’s wrong with onii-chan? Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Onii-chan? – A Look at Tsukasa Fushimi’s Work”