AMV of the Day: Moves Like Jagger (NSFW)

This particular tune had stuck itself in my head all week and I finally figured out who sang the song. Maroon 5 is a band that I would consider as being part of this new generation of pop rock. That’s not to denigrate the band or anything. I like them well enough and when they release a new single it’s usually one that’s quite catchy which makes them big hits for the band. It’s the use of one of their songs that the latest “AMV of the Day” uses to some good effect.

“Moves Like Jagger (Anime Mix)” is the latest AMV and one produced by one xXxKrazyKookiexXx and one that uses scenes from a cornucopia of anime series. It’s a video that’s simple and straightforward in that the editor tries (and succeeds) in syncing the lyrics being sung to lip movements in the scenes chosen. Even the type of scenes picked fits the song well with all of them characters dancing, singing or doing both.

DxXxKrazyKookiexXx has other AMV’s, but this is one that I’ve latched onto as a favorite of this particular producer and just like the song used in the video this AMV is just as catchy and fun. It is also quite fan service heavy which means NSFW as a word of warning.

Anime: Macross Frontier, Nyan Koi, Needless, Baka to Test, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Princess Lover, Kampfer, Highscool of the Dead, Sekirei, Sora no Otoshimono, Asobi ni Ikuyo, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Ladies vs Butlers, Bakemonogatari, Naruto, Chaos Head, Uta no Prince Sama, Melancholy of Haruhi Suziyama, Rosario+Vampire, Teppo Tengen Gurren Lagann

Song: “Moves Like Jagger (Radio Edit)” by Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera

Creator: xXxKrazyKookiexXx

Past AMVs of the Day

Which Way Forward For The “Batman” Movie Franchise? Take Ten : Flashbacks And Origins


If you’ll recall, when we left things yesterday, the basic plot background for our hypothetical Batman I  was pretty well underway, and Bruce Wayne was hopping onto the back of a boxcar to make his way westward in preparation for catching a flight there that would mark his “official” return to Gotham City. Which probably, and quite naturally, makes you wonder why I would choose to kick this post off with the cover to the classic 1970s Batman origin story “There Is No Hope In Crime Alley!” by Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano (who was in full Neal Adams rip-off mode at the time, like a lot of the comics industry).

Well, friends, that’s because I figure that this type of scene would give us the best opportunity to give this flick the closest thing I really want it to have to an “origin of the Batman” sequence, which would consist largely of flashbacks running across Bruce’s bat-brain as he takes in scenic views of the vast American landscape. Ideally, I wouldn’t think this montage would need to last more than four or five minutes, but it should hit on all the following key points:

It should start with the by-now-ubiquitous murder of young Bruce Wayne’s parents, followed by a scene of him dropping out of a prestigious prep school, followed by several scenes of intense martial arts and physical stamina training in a wilderness environment where he’s seen side-by-side with numerous other black-clad “ninja-type” guys (spoiler alert! This will be revealed to be Ra’s Al Ghul and his “League Of Shadows” outfit in the second film of our imaginary series), finally wrapping up with some scenes showing the Batman’s earliest exploits rounding up the Gotham crime lords as we laid out in our last little installment here.

I was giving some serious thought as to whether this flashback montage should be in black and white or color, and finally decided on the simple answer of : frankly, it doesn’t really matter. I’m sure a skilled director can pull it off either way and maybe making the whole thing B&W would be a little bit too obvious. In any case, that’s about as “deep” into the origins as we really need this story to go for our purposes. As the scene concludes, we can show Bruce jumping off the train into the quiet, just-post-dawn West Coast morning, and when we next join him, it will be an in entirely different, complete-media-circus-type atmosphere.

I suppose, short and sweet as it is, that’s probably as good a spot as any to leave things for today, since slow, steady, and methodical is our MO here with this series, I’ll just “tease” tomorrow’s installment by saying this — we’ll be leaving Bruce Wayne for a short while and meeting our other principal players, namely Jim Gordon, Harvey Dent, and Selina Kyle before we get back to the star of the show, so their various methods of introduction will be what we take a look at a short 24 hours (or less) from now.

Until then, as always, I welcome any thoughts, criticisms, concerns, critiques, etc. that you, dear reader, may have about today’s (admittedly rather brief) addition to this little ongoing blogging opus-of-sorts I’m in the midst of here.

Artist Profile: Harold W. McCauley (1913–1977)

A Chicago native, Harold McCauley trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the American Academy of Art.  From 1939 until 1942, he worked at Haddon Sundbloom’s busy Chicago art studio and posed for the original painting of the Quaker Oats Man.  Starting in 1946, McCauley worked as a staff artist for the Ziff-Davis publishing house and painted over a hundred covers for magazines like Amazing, Fantastic Adventures, and Mammoth Detective.  Duringthe early 1960s, he also painted several covers for Nightstand Library.

Film Review: Dirty Harry (dir. by Don Siegel)

Dirty Harry is obviously just a genre film but this action genre has always had fascist potential and it has finally surfaced…Dirty Harry is a deeply immoral movie.” — Pauline Kael

“It’s not about a man who stands for violence.  It’s about a man who can’t understand society tolerating violence.” — Clint Eastwood

I decided that I wanted to review the Dirty Harry film franchise about two seconds after Clint Eastwood finished giving his speech at the Republican National Convention last month. 

It had nothing to do with the politics of Eastwood’s speech because, quite frankly, I think a good film is a work of art and art is always more important than politics.  Instead, as I watched Eastwood give his speech, I was reminded that Clint Eastwood is about as close to a living icon as we have in America.  There aren’t many actors who could get away with giving a speech to an empty chair and, despite the predictable outraged tweets from Roger Ebert, Eastwood is one of them.  And, if Eastwood is an icon, Harry Callahan is perhaps the most iconic role of his career.

Now, I have to admit that, as I started this project, I knew more about Harry Callahan as a character than I did about the films he had actually appeared in.  I had seen both Dirty Harry and The Dead Pool because, for whatever reason, they both seem to turn up on AMC every other week.  I knew that Harry Callahan was a police inspector who was based in San Francisco.  I knew that he was willing to go to extremes when it came to fighting criminals.  I knew that, in his first film appearance, Harry had a really impressive head of hair that had pretty much vanished by the time that he reached his final appearance in The Dead Pool.  And, finally, I knew that, at some point in the film series, Harry growled the line, “Go ahead, make my day.”

So, for me, reviewing every film in the Dirty Harry franchise gave me a chance to discover why Harry has become such an iconic character and why people still ask Eastwood to repeat that “make my day” line.  When I started watching the films, Jeff warned me that the Dirty Harry films got worse as you went along and I discovered that, in many ways, he was right.  But I still enjoyed the experience and I hope that you enjoy reading my reviews over the next few days.

But, first things first.  Let’s take a look at the film that started the entire series, 1971’s Dirty Harry.

I have to admit that it’s a bit intimidating to try to review Dirty Harry because, quite frankly, what’s left to be said about this film?  It’s one of the most influential movies of all time. Any time you see a cop in a TV show or a movie getting yelled at by his superiors for not going “by the book,” it means that you’re watching a movie or an episode that is directly descended from Dirty Harry.  And yet, despite all the imitations, it’s a movie that remains as exciting and visceral today as when it was first released. 

Dirty Harry tells the story of two outsiders, two men who seem to exist solely to reveal the dark impulses of conventional society.  Both of these men are killers and both of these men are motivated by a rage against what they perceive society as being. 

One of these men calls himself Scorpio.  As played by Andy Robinson (who gives one of the definitive cinematic psycho performances here), Scorpio is a jittery mass of nerves, an unkempt man who wears a peace sign as a belt buckle but who also writes letters to the Mayor of San Francisco (played by John Vernon) in which he threatens to kill one innocent person a day unless he’s paid off.  When he first appears, he’s on a rooftop, aiming a rifle at an unaware woman in a swimming pool. At one point, the phallic barrel of rifle seems to be pointed directly at the camera (and by extension, at us in the audience).  When he fires the rifle, we see the mortally wounded woman silently sink under the water.  It’s a scene that still disturbs me every time I see it, one that establishes early on that we’re all potentially vulnerable to the Scorpios of the world.

In the next scene, we see San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood, of course) investigating the crime scene.  The difference between Harry and Scorpio is striking.  Whereas Scorpio is only calm while killing, Callahan inspects the crime scene (and goes through almost the entire film) without showing a hint of emotion.  While Scorpio looks like a madman, Callahan looks like a professional.  And yet, when Callahan foils a bank robbery (and delivers his famous “Do you feel lucky?” monologue to wounded bank robber played by Albert Popwell), it becomes obvious that he does have something in common with Scorpio.  They’re both willing to shoot to kill.  The only difference is that, as a police officer, Callahan is ostracized for his willingness to kill while Scorpio, as an American citizen, is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

It would be foolish to pretend that Dirty Harry isn’t a political film.  One need only watch the scene where a law professor explains to Harry why his pursuit and arrest of Scorpio violated Scorpio’s constitutional rights.  (The way that Eastwood snarls during this scene is priceless.)  As one can tell from the quote from Pauline Kael at the beginning of this review, Dirty Harry was a film that upset a lot of liberals when it was first released (much as Clint Eastwood’s empty chair speech managed to upset Roger Ebert).  However, as the years have passed, Dirty Harry has come to be acknowledged as a classic by critics on both sides of the political divide.

The success of Dirty Harry goes beyond politics.  I think any film students who aspires to direct an action film should be required to watch Dirty Harry a few dozen times before he graduates.  What makes the film work is not just what director Don Siegel does but what he doesn’t do.  As opposed to some of the later films in the franchise, Dirty Harry is a fast-paced film that tells its story with a minimum amount of padding.  It’s hard to think of a single scene that isn’t necessary to tell the story that the film wants to tell.  Even the oft-criticized scene where Harry, on a stake out, spies on some naked lesbians, works as a parallel to Scorpio’s own voyeurism at the start of the film.

Much as in a classic western, Harry and Scorpio are presented as two sides of the same coin.  Both of them are outsiders who refuse to follow the rules of society and the film’s violent and mournful climax is powerful precisely because, by this point, the audience understands that the Scorpios of the world can not exist without the Harrys and vice versa.

Along with generated a lot of controversy, Dirty Harry was a huge box office success.  Not surprisingly, a sequel would follow.

We’ll look at Magnum Force tomorrow.