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  • Project A-Ko

    Project A-Ko

    ★★★★★

    A-Ko's very near and dear to my heart. It was the first anime I saw with explicit knowledge of it BEING ANIME. I'd seen some of those localized shows from the early 80s (Voltron being my favorite), but that was no different from Muppet Babies or Superfriends in my mind-- it was all goofy stuff I absorbed at an impressionable age. But THIS was the first thing I rented knowing full well that I was getting into that weird shit…

  • California Crisis: Gun Salvo

    California Crisis: Gun Salvo

    ★★★★★

    Just realized I never posted a link to my review of this thing over on my blog.

    I will champion this strange, apparently unfinished (yet still commercially released in Japan) OVA oddity until the day I die. If anything, it works better NOW than it likely did then, because it's playing with a whole bunch of filtering of nostalgia and foreign pop cultures in ways that feel very much in the vein of more recent trends. It does for 50s…

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  • The Corpse Vanishes

    The Corpse Vanishes

    ★½

    It's one of those things that actually sounds kinda cool on paper.

    A put-upon reporter woman who actually kinda knows what she's doing catches onto the real clues in a series of brides being murdered on their wedding days. Her co-workers laugh her off because she's just a social page reporter. She follows her instincts, tracks down the motley crew of murdering misfits, and with a little help solves the case. Along the way we get to see Bela Lugosi…

  • The Giant Gila Monster

    The Giant Gila Monster

    ★½

    The dad wanted to watch a monster movie.

    I wanted to watch MST3K.

    The Giant Gila Monster happened again.

    I think these kids get squarer every time I watch it, like the very act of watching them be so unhip makes them even more so with every view.

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  • Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

    Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

    ★★★★

    As far as long-running cartoon franchises that take old, apocryphal entries and loosely work them back into the "canon" go, I dug this more than Dragon Ball Super: Broly.

    It's a far more herculean effort to take a character like Flim Flam and make him bearable than it is to do something similar with a character like Broly.

    Also, there's some genuinely fascinating stuff going on in here with the character dynamics of Fred and Daphne, given that Fred was…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    Gosling's character makes a big huff about jazz-- a dynamic art that has changed and morphed many times over the years-- and how it's dying. Never mind that the notion that jazz being on the verge of dying is fatalistic bullshit, despite this supposedly lingering fact, his character is also staunchly bound by tradition, despite the people he holds up as idols NOT sharing that sort of attitude. He cares more about who sat on a stool than he does…