Clint: 4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Did I mention this was written by Joss Whedon?

Very interesting animation… It looks like it’s going to be motion-comic-style with hardly any real movement and no lip-moving, but then it turns out to be almost fully animated. Still more “comic-book-y” than any “real” animation… But I think this really meets the halfway point between the two, in a way that I’ve never seen done better in my life. However, the strange warping they did to simulate 3D-ness kind of wigged me out. But I get it: This is a motion comic, they take shortcuts, lower budget means higher ability for more releases. Works for me. You just gotta accept it.

My one problem with this was that there was no steadfast conclusion to all the various stories spinning up (and down). In that respect, yes, it was very comic-book-y. Almost too much! Though… If something like this came out once a month for the rest of my life, it’d be frickin’ awesome.

Also, the voices weren’t top-notch… Beast’s voice especially threw me off as being so different from what I’m accustomed to that it was actually distracting. But again, that’s kind of something you have to accept when doing with motion-comic type releases (Even though this is the most motion-y motion comic I’ve ever seen.)

But other than that? That was pretty fucking awesome. It took place in the current chronology: The Legacy Virus is long gone… Beast had his secondary cat mutation… Colossus is dead…Jean is long dead [again, but this time for real]… Cyclops is dating Emma Frost The White Queen now….  [Which, if you read the wiki on Jean… Her spirit actually basically rose from her grave to tell Scott it was okay to hook up with Emma…]

WAIT WAIT WAIT.. THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST OF FOUR “MOVIES” (some call them seasons, but they are analagous to Whedon’s graphic novels)?!?! WTF!!! WELP.. I’M OFF TO GET THE REST! CYA!


VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (both parts) (2012, 2013)

Clint/Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10 (part 1), 10/10 (part 2/both parts together).
Native ratings: 3.9/5 stars Netflix (only part 1 available), 7.9/10 and 8.1/10 IMDB.

Frank Miller’s Batman adaptation is concluded with this, which really should be the 4th movie in the current live-action Batman movies, but whatever.

The live-action Batman movies have been frickin’ amazing, but they have been less true to the comics than almost every other Batman adaptation out there. (They do kill people in the live-action movies a lot more, though.)

Set in the future, Batman had been retired for 10 years, and Commissioner Gordon is set to retire in a few days. (A cop should never say he is 3 days from retirement because bad things happen!)

This ties together Twoface, The Joker, Batman being old, Superman, and futuristic mutant gangs (that part definitely reminded us of Batman Beyond at times–except without the new Batman. But we get a new Robin). There is a lot going on, and it really takes both movies to conclude it all. (Though the total runtime is only about 2.5 hours for both movies combined, we watched one-per-night.)

This was really, really, really good.  Bruce Timm’s Batman productions have been top-tier for well over 20 years now. Nobody has such a consistent longstanding record of producing quality superhero animation.

Peter Weller (Robocop) as Batman was pretty interesting too. He sounded older (which he was, he has grey hair in this).
And this Batman is more hardcore. There is blood, beatings, murder. It’s rated PG-13 but it would probably be R back in the 80’s. THIS IS THE SHIT. This is maybe my favorite Batman animation ever.


VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. (2009) [Marvel Knights]

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 5.9/10 IMDB (not available on Netflix).

Only 51 minutes; a compilation of 5 motion comics that were about 10 minutes each.

Carolyn thought the dialog was a bit stilted and annoying, but this is really meant to be in the same vein as a comic book, not a movie… So I don’t hold it against it as much.

The artwork was good — Spider-Woman was modeled after Jolynn Carpenter. Did a google image search on her afterward. Yup! Spider-Woman!

The voice acting wasn’t as good.

A motion comic is a really low budget thing… I celebrate additional low-grade stuff vs having nothing.

I could see this as being done as an animated series akin to the Men In Black animated series. I’d watch it.

The conclusion seemed kind of rushed. Like, “Whoa, it’s suddenly over?” I thought more was going to happen but then it suddenly felt like The End.


VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Frankenweenie (2012)

Clint: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 4/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

All Tim Burton is good (except for his Planet Of The Apes sequel), but some Tim Burton is better than other Tim Burton. For example, Nightmare Before Christmas is better than Corpse Bride.  This one was good, but not his top-notch work. It was good to finally see his 1984 short developed into a full length Frankestein homage feature.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen 1080p black-and-white stop-motion-animation before, it was certainly an interesting look, though I will always prefer the world of color to the world of black-and-white. It did help make the Frankenstein homage more accurate.

Carolyn: Yeah, I thought it would have been better in color, but I guess the black and white was a throwback to black and white horror movies…  I thought this was better than Corpse Bride, but not as good as Nightmare Before Christmas.  I was sad they didn’t find a way to save Mr. Whiskers.  Poor Mr. Whiskers.




VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: ParaNorman (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Stop-motion animation, but sometimes augmented by cgi. Definitely had a distinct look, which is a rarer thing with American animated movies these days.
Visual wise this was probably 8-9/10.

Story-wise, it wasn’t super, but at least it was dark. Kid can talk to ghosts. Everyone makes fun of him. But then a curse hits the town, and his skill becomes relevant.

This felt like something along the lines of Coraline, but not quite as creepy. Definitely a good halloween movie to see. Stop-motion isn’t dead!


VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOONS: ANIME: REVIEW: Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) (Japan)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. “Good. No Howl’s Castle or Princess Mononoke, but still.” And that’s about how I feel.
Native ratings: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.8/10.

Hayao Miyazaki. Great animator. Great director. Good writer. Huge body of work.

The plot wasn’t super exciting and full of jam-packed action, as it was more character-driven than plot-driven. There was no “bad guy” for example. Just a 13 year old girl trying to live independently for a year, as is the custom with witches.

And if you can fly on a broomstick, why not start a delivery service?

I do feel like it puttered out at the end a bit, which is a trope among anime. Anime is often more about the voyage than the destination, and that remains true here. But less frustratingly so than usual.

This was so lighthearted!



Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native: 4.2/5 stars, 7.4/10.

Good–but not as good as the other Pixar/etc current-day animated movies.

We don’t face huge evil threats like in How I Trained My Dragon, we don’t face anything as ridiculously creative as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and we don’t face anything as emotionally poingnant as Up.

But it’s still good. Just not great. It was perhaps a tad cliche.