It’s Love, Part 3


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is the day that people across the world celebrate love and…

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What?  How can anyone be afraid of love?

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Sure, we all do.  But they’re not that bad!  Maybe looking at these vintage romance covers will help.

By Stanley Zuckerberg

By Stanley Zuckerberg

By Harry Schaare

By Harry Schaare

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

By George Gregg

By George Gregg

How are you feeling now?

get-out-of-my-heart

Maybe these will help:

By Saul Levine

By Saul Levine

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

By Harold W. McCauley

By Harold W. McCauley

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

By Robert Bonfils

By Robert Bonfils

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

How about now?

sad-girl

Maybe this one will help.

z-a-wee-bit-lower-lassy

I think that one might actually be a fake cover but still.

almost

I’m glad that worked!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

z-last

4 Shots From 4 Films: The Thin Man, Bonnie and Clyde, The Notebook, Like Crazy


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

Love love love

4 Shots From 4 Films

 The Thin Man (1934, dir by W.S. Van Dyke)

The Thin Man (1934, dir by W.S. Van Dyke)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967, dir by Arthur Penn)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967, dir by Arthur Penn)

The Notebook (2004, dir by Nick Cassavetes)

The Notebook (2004, dir by Nick Cassavetes)

Like Crazy (2011, dir by Drake Doremus)

Like Crazy (2011, dir by Drake Doremus)

It’s Love, Part 2


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Last year, at this time, we shared some classic romance comic book covers.  Starting in the late 1940s, many comic book companies tried to broaden their audience by publishing romance comic books.  These comics told dramatic love stories in which young women had to deal with issues of cheating, divorce, jealousy, heartache, and the search for the one.

By Gene Colan

By Gene Colan

Because it’s Valentine’s Day, here’s more love and romance.

By Bob Oskner

By Bob Oskner

By Bob Oskner

By Bob Oskner

By Jay Scott Pike

By Jay Scott Pike

4 -- Teenage Love

By Nick Cardy

By Nick Cardy

6 -- Young Love

7 -- Haunted Love

8 -- His Hair Is Long And I Love Him

By Nick Cardy

By Nick Cardy

10 -- How

And remember, while you’re searching for love, be careful and don’t accept a ride from the first guy who offers.  Or you could end up with a bad reputation like Toni!

pickup1

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

By Gene Colan

By Gene Colan

AMV of the Day: Otaku Paradise


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It’s the 4th of July Weekend and one of the things I’ve gotten used to these past couple years is that it means Anime Expo has come around once more. While I don’t have the anime convention experience as pantsukudasai56 it is still a event that I’ve gotten used to attending once a year when possible.

The latest “AMV of the Day” arrives just in time for the largest North American anime convention held every 4th of July weekend in Los Angeles. Not to say that the other anime conventions around the country are nothing to sneeze at, but Anime Expo is a whole different animal that every otaku in North America needs to experience at least once in their life. It’s a video that comes courtesy by the very talented video editor who goes by the handle of BecauseImBored1.

A video that combines scenes from anime and real-life footage of cosplayers and anime con-goers into one timely video that celebrates the positive nature of the word “otaku”. It’s a word that has a negative reputation in Japan, but one that’s seen as a celebration of anime and Japanese pop-culture fandom worldwide. It’s a label taken on proudly.

“Otaku Paradise” has such a huge number of anime referenced yet barely scratches the surface of what “otaku” watches and follows year in and year out. I love the fact that the video intersperses these anime scenes with real-life people in cosplay of those very same anime characters. Not everyone cosplays, but every otaku appreciates and admires those who do. Yet, cosplayers and non-cosplayer otaku both have one thing in common and that is their acceptance of the label of “otaku”.

One thing this video made me do while I watched it for the first time and the many times since was put such a huge, happy smile on my face. It’s small consolation for having to miss this weekend’s Anime Expo 2014.

Anime: Another, Attack On Titan, Baccano!, Baka And Test – Summon The Beasts, Bakuman, Black Lagoon, CANAAN, Clannad, Code Geass – Lelouch Of The Rebellion, D.Gray-Man, DragonBall Z, Durarara!!, Fate/Stay Night, Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Genshiken, Genshiken Nidaime, Haikyuu, Hellsing Ultimate, Howl’s Moving Castle, Idolmaster, K, K-ON!, Kampfer, Kanon, Kara No Kyoukai – The Garden Of Sinners, Kill La Kill, Kuroko’s Basketball, Kyoukai No Kanata, Kyousougiga, Little Witch Academia, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Lucky Star, Macross Frontier MUSIC CLIP Collection – Nyankuri, Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, MM!, Munto, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Ookami-San To Shichinin No Nakama-Tachi, Ore No Kanojo To Osananajimi Ga Shuraba Sugiru, Ouran High School Host Club, Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt, Persona 4: The Animation, Pokemon : White, Pokémon: Movie 2, Pokemon 2000, The Power Of One, Princess Jellyfish, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Romeo × Juliet, Sailor Moon, Sakura Trick, School Rumble, School Rumble 2, Shugo Chara!, Soul Eater, Soul Eater Not, Summer Wars, Super Smash Bros, Sword Art Online, Tales Of Xillia, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Toradora!, Trigun, Uta No Prince Sama, Welcome To The NHK, Yu Yu Hakusho

Song: “Raging Fire” by Phillip Phillips

Creator: BecauseImBored1

Past AMVs of the Day

Quick Review: “Her” (dir. by Spike Jonze)


her-movie-poster

Before you read this, leonth3duke has a great review for “Her” up as well. Please check it out. It’s a great take on a sweet film.

Technology changes the way we communicate with each other. In a city like New York – well, everywhere, I’d imagine – there are individuals walking around with phones and pads, caught up more in their devices than in the people around them. At dinner tables, you may catch whole groups of people seated that are “checking in”, rather than directly communicating. I myself have done that quite a bit. All of these gadgets give us the ability to connect to tons of people, but at the same time there’s this potential for isolation and/or distance. Are we really connecting deeply with anyone or are people just fitting the bill just to kill off the loneliness?

Spike Jonze’s “Her” doesn’t argue whether or not we should be so digitally social, but it does present the audience with examples of the ways we may reach for connections these days. It’s both beautiful, weird and somewhat eerily familiar.

“Her” focuses on Theodore Twombley (Joaquin Phoenix), who works as a letter writer. Though at his job, he creates heartfelt letters for others, in his interactions outside of that he’s somewhat withdrawn (or he’s simply reserved with his words). He’s in the middle of a divorce with his wife (Rooney Mara), and more or less keeps to himself. One day, he decides to pick up a new OS for his computer with an advanced AI. This is how Samantha (Scarlett Johannson) comes into the picture. She helps to organize his day to day tasks and as she’s curious about the world, Theodore explains what he can. As crazy as it sounds, it grows into something more.

The movie was originally done with Samantha Morton (Cosmopolis) as Samantha, but supposedly Jonze felt something was off during the editing and post production. They talked it over and Morton stepped down. There’s nothing at all wrong with Scarlett’s take – it’s sad that she can’t be acknowledged for her performance because of rules – but there’s a part of me that hopes that in the video version there’s a behind the scenes showing what Samantha Morton’s version of the role turned out. I think it would be pretty interesting to see.

Johannson does a wonderful job considering that it’s just her voice. From a bright “hello” to a whispered “Hey.”, as Samantha grows, you can catch subtle changes in her demeanor. Granted, one can say it’s easy to do a voice over, but one only has to look at Julia Roberts’ performance in Charlotte’s Web to know the difference between talking out your lines, and actually conveying them with feeling.

For someone who has to work with a character they can’t see or interact with directly, Phoenix is great here. Coming off of The Master, the role is a complete turn around. He’s the anchor of the film and through him we see all the joys and pains. He conveys this weird sense of curiosity about the world that masks a deeper pain. I rubbed my chin a number of times during this, amazed at how much of myself I saw in the character of Theodore. It was a little jarring, actually. Also coming off The Master is Amy Adams, whose role here reminded me of a guest starring role she had on the tv show “Charmed”.  Playing Theodore’s friend Amy, she acts as a sounding board for Theodore. I have yet to see American Hustle, but I liked her here and personally thought she did far better in this film than she did in Man of Steel.

Overall the casting for “Her” is good. Matt Lescher (The Mask of Zorro) has a humorous part as Amy’s husband. Even Rooney Mara comes across well as Theodore’s wife. Other casting choices include Kristen Wiig (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Portia Doubleday (Carrie), and Olivia Wilde (Rush).

Cinematographer Hoyt Van Hoytema (The Fighter, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jonze created a near future that isn’t terribly distant from where we are now. It’s bright, sunny, extremely clean in the daytime scenes. The nights are so well lit that it first reminded me of Roger Deakin’s Shanghai sequences in Skyfall. It’s almost a cozy future.  Interfaces with computers are more direct and even funny at times. This is something you’ll notice right from the start. Everyone’s appearance, however, seems a bit frumpy. It’s like everyone just grabbed the first thing in their closet and said “You know what, I’ll go with it.” It caused a bit of a laughter from the audience mostly, which could pull from the story, but it’s hardly unlikely.

The theme of “Her” is loneliness, or at least that’s what I took from it. It was of people looking to connect. Some succeed on different levels, some don’t but there’s a longing there. It comes through as clearly in “Her” as it can, and it’s one of the elements I really enjoyed about the movie. Some of the conversations in the film are deep, those ones you have after you move past all of the small talk about the weather. Sometimes harsh, painful truths come out. At other times, it’s just subtle realizations being voiced.

After the film, I’ve found I’ve spent a little more time interacting with others face to face – something I don’t normally do. I normally don’t feel lonely because there things I can do. Ride my motorcycle, go to the movies, write something. With this, however, it was like someone filmed me, cleaned up the story and presented it better. Though I am somewhat introverted, I also suffer from abandonment issues, and tend not to form too many close friendships of a fear of losing them. I recognized that I do have more moments of loneliness than I ever really noticed before. For me, “Her” is one the best films I’ve seen this year simply because (like “12 Years a Slave”) it felt like it spoke to me directly. It’s humorous in many places, sad in others, but at the end of it all, I left the theatre thinking about the movie and experiencing emotions I hadn’t expected to.

And sometimes, that’s enough to consider a film great. I’m eager to see this again.

Cannes 2012: The Winners


Earlier today, the winners of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival were announced:

Palme d’Or — Amour by Michael Haneke

Grand Prix — Reality by Matteo Garrone

Best Director — Carlos Reygadas for Post Tenabras Lux

Best Screenplay — Beyond the Hills by Christian Mungiu

Best Actress — Cristina Fluter and Cosmina Stratan in Beyond the Hills

Best Actor — Mads Mikkelson in The Hunt

Jury Prize — The Angels’ Share by Ken Loach

Interestingly enough, considering that a whole lot of the coverage of this year’s festival centered on the large number of American films in competition, not a single American film won any of the competitive awards.  Even the widely acclaimed Moonrise Kingdom was shut out.  It’s also interesting to note that this is 2nd of Haneke’s film to win the Palme d’Or in less than a decade and that all Ken Loach has to do to win an award in Europe is show up.

Personally, just from the reports coming out of the festival, Beyond the Hills is the Cannes winner that I am most enthusiastic about seeing in the future.

 

Poll: Which Films Are You Most Looking Forward To Seeing June?


On the last day of each month, we ask you which films you’re most looking forward to seeing in the months ahead.  According to our last poll, for most of you, the month of May will be all about seeing The Avengers and Moonrise Kingdom.  Thank you to everyone who voted.

So, which films are you most excited about seeing in June?  As usual, you can vote for up to four films.