AMV of the Day: RadioAkshun (Neon Genesis Evangelion)


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The latest “AMV of the Day” pretty much was the hit of Sakura-Con 2013 a couple weeks back.

“RadioAkshun” by AMV creator IleaiAMVs won not just Best Technical, but won both Judges’ Best in Show and Audience Best in Show. It’s a rarity that an AMV in competition wins both Best in Show. AMV judges tend to vote on whats best in competition a little differently than the general public who watches the videos more as fans and not judging them on technical, artistic and creative merit. IleaiAMVs definitely earned her wins by creating one of the best AMVs I’ve seen.

Her work on this video uses scenes and sequences from the Rebuild of Evangelion anime films (three out with a fourth still forthcoming) and edits it around the Imagine Dragons song “Radioactive” and she does an excellent job. She doesn’t rely on flashy effects to make her video interesting and unique. She just does an impeccable job in timing the beats and tempo of the song with the appropriate scenes from the anime films. She also makes sure that she doesn’t just slapdash together the best scenes from the films. IleaiAMVs makes sure that each sequence fits not just the beats and tempo of the song but the lyrics as well. Best example of all three is early in the video when the character of Shinji takes a deep breath and then his Evangelion Unit exhales just as the singer in the song does the very same thing.

Enough talk…just go watch and enjoy.

Anime: Rebuild of Evangelion

Song: “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons

Creator: IleaiAMVs

Past AMVs of the Day

Scenes I Love: District 9


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With the release of the first trailer of Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to his District 9 I thought it was time to look back at one of my favorite scenes from that film. In fact, I rather think this scene was and, still is, one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history.

District 9 was such a great film with so many scenes and sequences that I consider favorites. Yet, it’s one particular scene that happened very quickly that it left many audiences staring at the big-screen (or small screen) wondering if they just saw what they just saw. I’m talking about a brief sequence during the climactic fight inside District 9 as Wikus tries to provide fire and cover for Chris Johnson and his young son to make it back to the alien shuttle and get back to the mothership.

Even now just watching the clip one really has to watch it more than once to truly appreciate the insanity that went into this action-packed final reel of the film. To put it simply, District 9 and Neill Blomkamp introduced the world not just to live-action mecha action but to the Spider Jerusalem-esque weapon I have simply dubbed: “The Pig Cannon”.

Watch and be amazed.

Review: Bates Motel Episode 1.4 “Trust Me”


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Last night’s episode of Bates Motel might as well have been called “Norman Bates Gets Laid.”

Oh sure, a few other things happened during the episode.  Norman hallucinated, Norma criticized, Deputy Shelby smiled blandly while thinking evil thoughts, a disembodied hand turned up, Dylan learned the truth about the man that Norman and Norma murdered way back in the first episode, and finally, during the show’s final moments, Norma got arrested for that very murder.

But, for the most part, this episode will mostly be remembered as the episode where Norman Bates got laid.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, Bates Motel’s main struggle has always been to find anything new to tell us about the character of Norman Bates.  The character is so iconic that even those poor souls who haven’t seen Psycho are aware that Norman Bates owned a motel, dressed up like his dead mother, and killed people.  On Bates Motel, Freddie Highmore has done a good job bringing the teenage Norman Bates to life but it can still be difficult to emotionally connect with him because you know that eventually he’s going to grow up to be a peeping tom serial killer cross-dresser.

However, after four episodes, I think that actually might be Bates Motel’s greatest strength.  Since we know what Norman’s eventually going to become, it’s oddly compelling to watch him do things that we usually wouldn’t give a second thought to if they were being done by any other character on television.  For instance, any character on television could have ended up having sex with the oddly-named Bradley (Nicola Peltz).  But, since the character here is Norman Bates, the viewers are now left wonder whether Bradley will survive the experience.

And that’s why, even if it’s occasionally a struggle to remain emotionally invested in the adolescence of Norman Bates, I’ll be back next week to see what happens.

Random Observations:

  • Of course, I’m assuming that Norman and Bradley actually had sex.  The scene itself was filmed in such an over-the-top, romanticized manner — with Norman and Bradley making love under those crisp blue sheets and Bradley smiling beatifically — that I actually found myself wondering whether it was meant to be one of Norman’s hallucinations.  With this show, it’s definitely possible.
  • In case you were wondering, last week’s cliffhanger was resolved by having Dylan distract Shelby long enough for Norman to sneak back out of the basement.  Norman told Norma about Shelby’s sex slave, which led to Norma checking for herself and finding no evidence of anyone being held prisoner in the basement.  Though I know it’s a long shot, what if the woman in the basement turns to be another Norman hallucination?  That would be a neat twist to the plot, no?
  • In fact, what if the entire show is just a hallucination!?  Okay, I need to stop before I blow my own mind…
  • If anyone was born to play a femme fatale in a film noir, it’s Vera Farmiga.  It’ll be a crime if she doesn’t, at the very least, receive an Emmy nomination for her performance here.
  • Emma’s father (played by veteran British actor Ian Hart) seemed to be a bit creepy, didn’t he?  I’m not sure if the character was actually supposed to be that menacing or if we were just supposed to be seeing him through Norman’s eyes.  If nothing else, his overprotectiveness of Emma nicely  parallels Norma’s attitude towards her youngest son.
  • When he was first introduced, I was a little bit uncertain about the character of Dylan.  I wasn’t sure whether or not his character was actually necessary.  However, I think the character has developed quite nicely and I actually enjoy the scenes where Dylan’s mask slips and you see that he actually does care about his half-brother.  Plus, it helps that Max Thierot couldn’t be unlikable if he tried.
  • Speaking of good performances, I’m continuing to love the subtle menace that Mike Vogel brings to the role of Deputy Shelby.  I loved the scene where he took Norman fishing.
  • The most frequent complaint that I’ve heard about Bates Motel is that, despite the fact that a lot is happening, the show’s main story tends to proceed at such a deliberate pace that it’s occasionally difficult to remember what that story was supposed to be in the first place.  Personally, I appreciate the fact that the show is taking its time.  For horror to work on television, it’s important that the show’s atmosphere be just right.  And a good atmosphere requires patience.
  • Bates Motel, incidentally, has been renewed for a second season so, for now, it can take as much time as it wants.

Trailer: Elysium (Official)


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It’s not often that a filmmaker makes such a major splash in the industry with their initial full-length film becoming not just a commercial success but one which gained widespread critical-acclaim. South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp is one such filmmaker. Initially tapped by Peter Jackson to direct the planned HALO film adaptation Blomkamp ended up doing District 9 (based off of his own short film Alive in Joburg).

The film became the sensation of San Diego Comic-Con 2009 which raised the hype for it’s inevitable release a month later. It’s now been 4 years since District 9 and we finally get a chance to see the first official trailer (a 10-minute film reel was shown to invited industry and press which showed a bit more of what the film will be about) for Blomkamp’s much awaited follow-up to his hit first film.

Elysium looks to continue Blomkamp’s attempt to bring social awareness to the scifi genre and do so with a mixture of real-world gritty realism and scifi fantasy. just looking at the trailer the space station Elysium where all the rich and privilege live in a paradise-setting look like an amalgam of the HALO ringworlds and the Citadel Station from Mass Effect.

It’s still months away, but just this teaser of a trailer has just raised Elysium to the top of my list for most awaited films of 2013. If it’s as good or better than District 9 then Blomkamp will cement himself as one of his generation’s best instead of a flash in the pan like so many of his contemporaries.

Elysium is set for a wide release date of August 9, 2013.