AMV of the Day: Gravity (Princess Tutu)


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The latest AMV of the Day comes courtesy of one of my favorite amv creators. Vivifx created this particular video almost 5 years ago.

“Gravity” is a beautiful video and really does a great job pairing Sara Bereilles’ song of the same name with the more lovely and bittersweet emotions that brings up the relationship between Ahiru (Princess Tutu) and ballet dancer Mytho. It’s just one aspect of the the Princess Tutu anime, but one that show’s the animated series’ very mature storytelling.

I still find it amusing that when I mention anime to the uninitiated they look at me funny. They still think it’s just cutesy cartoons from Japan that only cater children or just cartoon porn (hentai). Producers of anime do make them for kids, but they also understand that kids have enough mental and emotional capacity within themselves to handle some of the mature themes and ideas being told through the very cutesy animation presented to them.

I wrote a couple years ago that one such anime that people should be watching is the series Princess Tutu and this video just reinforces that recommendation even more. When paired up with another AMV of the Day (Danse de Raven) that also uses the Princess Tutu series as a foundation it should more than make some curious to check out the anime.

I know Lisa will appreciate that it’s a video that doesn’t just have dancing, but ballet…

Anime: Princess Tutu

Song: “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles

Creator: Vivifx

Past AMVs of the Day

GODS OF THE HAMMER FILMS 2: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and HORROR OF DRACULA (1958)


Originally posted on crackedrearviewer:

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(second of a series)

Hammer Films Ltd. knew they were on to something with the release of 1957’s THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. The Gothic horror was box office gold on both sides of the Atlantic, and Hammer wasted no time finding a follow up. Reuniting CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN costars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee with director Terence Fisher, the company set its sights on giving the full Eastmancolor treatment to Bram Stoker’s immortal Count Dracula.

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What Lisa Watched Last Night #133: Patient Killer (dir by Casper Van Dien)


Last night, I watched another Lifetime premiere, Patient Killer!

Why Was I Watching It?

Well, the obvious answer is because it was on Lifetime and, like all good people, I’m kind of obsessed with the movies that they show on Lifetime.  However, I also watched it because it was directed by Casper Van Dien (who has already appeared in two of my favorite films of the year — Avengers Grimm and Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf) and it apparently featured Patrick Muldoon playing a stalker.  Patrick Muldoon is always a lot of fun whenever he’s bad.

(Derek Morris, my collaborator over at Primetime Preppie, has never quite forgiven Patrick for breaking up Kelly and Zack on Saved By The Bell.)

What Was It About?

Four years ago, therapist Victoria Wrightmar (Victoria Pratt) got too close to one of her patients and, as a result, Dylan McNalt (David Chokachi) committed suicide.  Despite the fact that Victoria has found success as a hypnotherapist, dream interpreter, and author, she is still haunted by Dylan’s death.

One day, a new patient enters her office.  Blaire Bennett (Barbie Castro) has been having nightmares and, when it turns out that she’s been suppressing memories that are similar to those that afflicted Dylan, Victoria once again starts to get too close to another patient.

However, it’s not just Blaire that Victoria has to deal with.  Her boyfriend, Jason (Casper Van Dien), has anger issues.  Another one of her patients, Derek (Patrick Muldoon), has become dangerously obsessed with her.  Both her mentor (Richard Burgi) and her administrative assistant (Stacey Dash) might have secrets of their own.  And, as strange things start to happen and those around her are threatened, a menacing police detective (Antoni Corone) enters her life as well.

Is Victoria being stalked or is she going crazy herself?  And is this movie called Patient Killer because the killer is a patient or because the killer likes to take his time?  To find out, you’ll have to watch the movie!

What Worked?

On twitter, Patrick Muldoon speculated that he would never get another date after people saw his performance as unstable Derek.  Personally, I think Muldoon was too hard on himself.  He did a really good job, finding the perfect balance between being threatening and being pathetic.  As a result, his character was both scary and sympathetic.  It looked like he had a lot of fun playing Derek and he was a lot of fun to watch.

And really, the same thing can be said about Patient Killer as a film.  It was an entertaining and enjoyably over-the-top thriller.

I loved both Victoria’s office and Blaire’s house.  Both locations were wonderfully decorated and a real delight to look at.  I’ve always said that one of the best thing about Lifetime films is getting to see where everyone works and lives and that was definitely the case with Patient Killer.

Actually, the entire film was a delight to look at.  Bernard Salzmann’s cinematography filled the frame with a combination of vibrant colors and menacing shadows.  This movie featured one of the best sunsets ever to appear on the Lifetime network.

While the film’s deliberate pace may not have been for everyone, I actually rather liked it and I felt it occasionally gave the film a surreal, almost dream-like feel.  In the end, Patient Killer felt like the Lifetime version of a classic David Lynch film noir.  (The score even sounded similar to Angelo Badalamenti’s classic Mulholland Drive score.)

What Did Not Work?

As far as I’m concerned, it all worked!

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

As someone has plenty of experience in the administrative assistance field, I totally related to the character played by Stacey Dash.

Lessons Learned

Never go to the office without a taser.  (Watch the movie and it’ll make sense.)

Val’s Movie Roundup #7: Hallmark Edition


Sorry, but there’s going to be a few of these in a row because I have a backlog of Hallmark movies on my DVR that really need to be cleared out. In other words, prepare for death by a thousand greeting cards.

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Three Weeks, Three Kids (2011) – Anyone my age remembers Anna Chlumsky from My Girl (1991). It’s nice to see her as an adult. This movie introduces us to Chlumsky’s character Jennifer who we are supposed to believe is a wee bit irresponsible, or at least hasn’t really grown up. Well, no fear because her sister is going to go on vacation and needs a babysitter quickly for her three kids. Of course the experience is going to give her a kick in the butt. It also gets her off the boyfriend that isn’t right for her and moves her onto the one that is. Oh, lord! This is a Hallmark movie. I know there was incest in For Better Or For Worse, but I didn’t intend that pun. Well, the movie isn’t all about her. Her sister just can’t relax on the vacation and the movie is about getting her to calm down and enjoy her life and marriage more too. There is a little corny twist at the end, but I’ll leave that for those who want to see this. The movie is decent.

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Your Love Never Fails (2011) – However, I can’t say they same for this one. This is just propaganda. Honestly, the pastor in this says almost word for word a speech given in a very blatant piece of propaganda called Every Young Woman’s Battle. When you boil off the attempt to couch it, the movie is about a woman who has a successful job in the city, but is dragged back to rural Texas by her husband and is legally coerced into spending time with him. The pastor gives a speech that says that no relationship is perfect, but that’s human nature. Just let God into your heart and that will fix the issue. Yeah, in other words, once you’re married, if the relationship isn’t working, then that just means you’re not a good Christian. He even talks to her and says she clearly still has feelings for him because she is choosing to stay even though we know she is required to stay because the court said so. There is no reason to watch this. It’s no wonder that Hallmark aired this last month under the title of A Valentine’s Date rather than the original title that is still displayed onscreen. If I want propaganda of this sort then I will watch Deception Of A Generation thank you very much. At least that’s hilarious rather than uncomfortable. They say Smurfs are homosexual zombies in that video.

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Kiss At Pine Lake (2012) – This one is much better. The only issue I picked up is a minor one. Mia Kirshner has put on a little weight. It’s only noticeable because she used to be particularly petite. This works to her advantage because it helps to make her character more believable as having aged from the younger version of herself in the movie. Also, the girl who plays her younger self bears a resemble to Kirshner. Barry Watson on the other hand doesn’t seem to change. I swear, he looks the same as he did in the first episode of 7th Heaven. It also doesn’t help that we are familiar with the way he looked on that show. On top of that, the guy who plays him as a kid doesn’t look like him at all. Luckily, the flashback scenes are short and there are very few of them so it doesn’t really harm the movie at all. As for the story, it’s about a boy and girl who liked each other at summer camp as kids, but never followed through. Their lives bring them back around to each other at the same camp many years later, but this time things work. Nice and simple. Of the four here, this is the one to watch.

Real-Murders

Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2015) – TV Movies should not have complex plots. Commercials ruin them. I wish I could describe the plot to you, but I quickly lost track of the investigation. Didn’t help that it seems to move at a breakneck pace. It actually starts off feeling like it’s going to parody these types of murder mysteries. The murder is committed, but even the person being killed doesn’t seem to care. Then the characters act in humorous ways once the murder is discovered. Teagarden (Candace Cameron Bure) dives in and moves very fast. She also talks about historical murders like you’re talking to Quentin Tarantino about movies. Quick and with a great deal of knowledge. If you are able to follow the plot better than I did, maybe catch it without commercials, then you will probably enjoy it more. Still, I just can’t recommend this one at this point. I wonder if the other Aurora Teagarden movie is better.

sound + vision: THE SEVENTH VICTIM (RKO 1943)


Originally posted on crackedrearviewer:

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Producer Val Lewton revitalized the horror film during his tenure at RKO Studios in the 1940s. Working with a miniscule budget, Lewton used the power of suggestion rather than monsters to create a body of work that’s still influential on filmmakers today. Studio execs came up with the sensationalistic titles (CAT PEOPLE, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE) and gave the producer free rein to tell the stories. Using shadows, light, and sound, Lewton’s quiet, intelligent approach to terror was miles ahead of the juvenile (but fun) stuff cranked out at Universal and Monogram.

THE SEVENTH VICTIM could be considered lesser Lewton. It’s  not seen as often some of his other classics, and that’s a pity, because it’s superior to many of the better known horror movies of the era. This quiet psychological thriller with its civilized satanic cult was a rarity for its time. Only Edgar G Ulmer’s 1934 THE BLACK CAT dared to tackle this kind of material…

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International Weirdness : “Plague”


Originally posted on Trash Film Guru:

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Having finished a re-read of Alan Moore and Gabriel Andrade’s six-issue run on Crossed + One Hundred (which I just reviewed, as well) earlier in the day, I was still in the mood for more “post-zombie-apocalypse” stuff, and what do you know? Right now the Netflix instant streaming queue is full to bursting with “living dead” flicks I’ve never even heard of , much less seen, so I did a bit of legwork, cross-referencing various titles against their IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes entries, and eventually settled on a 2015 (hey! that’s this year!) low-budget indie effort from Australia called Plague, featuring not a single name with which I was previously familiar.

That’s never a bad place to start in my book, and given that I was hoping for something that offered a bit of a new and unique take on the well-worn tropes involved, this one sounded like…

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