Thursday, June 25, 2009

Subway Map of the Movies, or How does animation get the shaft?

[via /Film]

This is an amazing "Subway Map" of the Top 250 films according to IMDB (or ... its users, at least). And it's quite the feat - you should take a look at it in full.

My only qualm?

That according to this list, animation before 1988 doesn't make an appearance: just to give you an idea, and just focusing on the Disney filmography, this doesn't include Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937), Pinnocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959)... all classic in their own right.

Also it doesn't even include the only animated feature film ever nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award: Beauty and the Beast (1991). That the list also is restricted to Disney, Pixar and Miyazaki would be disturbing if it didn't quite accurately showcase where quality, rather than quantity and/or star-powered voice actors, lies in the realm of animation.

Monday, June 22, 2009

BEST.MASHUP.EVER. or How yes Buffy > Twilight

I don't know what's more impressive: the strength (and wit! and craft! and humour!) of this mashup video between Buffy and Twilight, or the fact that I know exactly from which Buffy episodes every frame was taken?


So what did we learn from this? That...
a) Manuel is a crazy Buffy-junkie who needn't tell his readers that the "are you 12?" line is from the last episode or that the dismissive lines at the Bronze are directed at Spike or that... [keeps going on and on for hours]
b) Robert Pattison's limp brooding is no match for Joss's crisp dialogue and SMG's acting chops.
c) Slayers > Vampires (except when they're peroxided and/or have a soul)
d) Buffy attracts vampires that can be described as "tall, dark and forehead" but only reciprocates when their name rhyme with Trangel.
d) All of the above.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Emperor's New Groove, or How Everything I Know I Learnt From Animation

The Emperor's New Groove might be one the wackiest, craziest and most post-modern animated films ever churned out by Disney Animation and for that (and for a certain Ms Kitt) I heart it, so I figured I'd give it the 'EIKILFA' treatment (I should work on a better acronym, no?).

So here goes:
The Yzma/Krunk & co Edition

1. Siblings are annoying. Yah-haaah. Nah-haah. Yah-haaah.

2. Evening-wear + Swamp = Not a Pretty Sight.

3. Only in animation can you successfully stage a 'Just Shoot Me' reunion. Seriously, that show only makes me want to just shoot myself, but here, I love David Spade (so perfectly cast) and well, you can never go wrong with Ms Malick, right?
4. Irony. Yes, you heard me. Yzma taught me irony:

Krunk: Hey, that's kinda like what he said to you when you got fired.
Yzma: I know. It's called a "cruel irony", like my dependence on you.

Not Alanis, sadly, despite what she may think.

5. Puss in Boots did not invent nor does he hold the ™ on Googly-cutey-eyes. I mean: don't they look cute?

6. Getting past crowds is hard, people! [See also: Gaston in Beauty and the Beast]. I cannot stress enough how this has helped me in my NYC-subway-addled days!

7. When dealing with a tough situation, imagine yourself in tight red pants and/or in a white flowy robe. Okay, so maybe it's not the greatest advice to take, especially from Krunk but seriously: have you never wondered what your angel/demon persona looks like?

8. Singing your own tune may sound good in your head, but makes you look like... well, Krunk. I have to stop myself so many times on the street (and on the subway, on the train, around campus, at restaurants, etc.) from doing this same thing it's crazy. Thanks Krunk!

9. Eartha Kitt is da shit. Yep, I said it. (Oh, wait I've said it before, no? It's okay, I'll say it again: she's great!)

What did you learn from Yzma & Krunk? (... wait, the movie is not about them? It's about some Pacha and a llama? Well, I must have a special print of it where it skips to every single scene with Ms Kitt in it... we call it the 'The Emperor's New Groove: Awesome Edition")

Sunday, June 14, 2009

High Skins Musical, or How I'm Seeing Double

He's blond.

He's musically inclined.

He's fashion-forward.

He's the token 'gay' character in a series about High School.

Yet, of course the Brit version is racier and more upfront (read: more shirtless) about all this.

And, yes Maxxie (from Skins) and Ryan (from High School Musical) are my favorite characters from their respective shows.

Friday, June 12, 2009

(500) Days of Summer, or How I love this "story about love"

(500) Days of Summer
Written by: Michael H. Weber & Scott Neustadter
Directed by: Marc Webb
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Zooey Deschanel. 

First rule of fiction-making: the telling of the story affects the story itself.

This, it seemed to me, was the main lesson to be learnt after hearing Tom & Summer's story. Sure, the film centers around a romantic relationship, but its emphasis on (re)playing, (re)visiting, revising and repeating anecdotes, images and little moments throughout make this one of the most accomplished (post)modern "stories about love" (not a "love story") since Kauffman's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. For someone who is obsessed with Clementine and Joel's story, this is no empty praise. To attempt a plot synopsis would be to undermine the feel and intelligence of the script but, just as the trailer lets you know: this is a story about boy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Tom, a hopeless romantic waiting for the "one") meets girl (Zooey Deschanel's Summer, a free spirit realist), but this isn't your traditional "boy meets girl, happily ever after" film. The initial credits tell you this: "The following is a work of fiction and is not based on any real people. [next:] Especially you [insert name I can't remember]. [next:] Bitch." 

That its plot seems at once fresh yet rooted in cliches shifts the emphasis from a simple "what's going to happen?" (cause you already know - especially if you've seen as many rom-coms and seen as much hopeless romantic TV as Tom has) to a "how is it going to be told?" That is not to say there are no surprising plot-twists (arguably the third act works because it throws a wrench in the works that's hard to surmise from our/Tom's perspective) but the film wows and wonders because it manages to tell an ordinary story in an extraordinary way, with impromptu dance sequences, hysterical karaoke sequences, wondrous split-screen scenes ("Expectations" vs "Reality"), inventive formal framing (that lovely sketched landscape) and a final line that will leave you utterly convinced that this is the must-watch Summer 2009 (date) film. A+

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Miss Moss, or How Bette's Gypsy had Peggy pre-Mad Men

Before she was Ms Peggy Olson,
Ms Elisabeth Moss was Li'l Louise opposite Bette Midler in the 1993 TV version of Gypsy.

Isn't she adorable?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Joe Jonas dances Single Ladies? or How this is the ONLY Jonas post you'll see here, I promise

First off: WTF?

Second of all: Why is dancing 'Single Ladies' tantamount to dancing uncoordinatedly while wearing a leotard? Andy Samberg had more skill at this when the SNL skit hit, no?

Thirdly: Is it just me or are Joe's thighs cah-razy?

Fourth: Watch for yourselves,