(Warning: most of this was written while drunk.) January got off to an unparalleled start in terms of media—I was handing three-plus scores out the wazoo. This more or less came to an abrupt stop when I started dedicating every waking hour to pony videos (not necessarily on purpose, it just sorta overtook my brain). I keep feeling like I’ve left something off the list, because it felt like I took in more media at the end of the month than I have listed, but it’s likely that I was just so busy with ponies and working on my upcoming Top 100 songs list and watching Game Grumps and shit that I just didn’t see that much new stuff.
Toy Story 3
My friends and I watched this on New Year’s Eve and played a drinking game along with it, which got us pretty drunk, but not enough to stop paying attention. Probably because the movie is so tightly paced and exciting all the way through. I got nostalgic as fuck, because it’s been like seven years since I’ve seen either of the other Toy Story movies, which I know I saw countless times as a kid. I nearly cried in the final scene, which could not have better reflected the kind of relationship that I have with my old toys.
Ordinarily I’d probably ++ this, but it’s just so well done.
Wasn’t expecting to get so caught up in this, but it’s so fucking good. A brilliant decision was made in applying an arc over the episodic structure of the show, which made the episodes continually build on one-another and grow ever more awesome. Season two in particular was the best; season three suffered a little bit of repetition, which might not have been as much of a problem if I hadn’t marathoned the whole show at once. I think there’s a fourth season airing now actually, which I need to catch up on.
Archer is really driven by the brilliant cast of characters and their star vocal performances. Obviously if Bob’s Burgers didn’t already make H. Jon Benjamin my favorite voice actor, Archer sealed the deal. What the supporting cast adds to the show can’t be understated, and I’ll make that point again further down this list. Altogether, this was a show that I enjoyed enough to get a little depressed when it was over.
Hellboy volumes 1 and 2
I’ve been interested in the Hellboy comics for a while, since Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is one of my favorite movies. Back in December, when I started trying to get into comics, I decided it would be good to take on Hellboy, and I got the first volume in January. It was very cool—nothing like the movie, much older and more stoic. It had a really noir-pulp feel to it, a little too much exposition, but a lot of character. Then I got volume two.
Leaps and bounds an improvement on volume one. The dialog was more streamlined, pacing tightened, and I was surprised to see that there was not only a continuous plotline, but one in which awesome things occurred (and not with the too-blinding pace that many of the other graphic novels I’ve read have used). I was fascinated enough to splurge on the Library Edition containing volumes 3 and 4 (haven’t had time to read yet though), as well as get started on B.P.R.D.
I’d heard this was good, but in no way was I prepared for how much I would like it. Right now, I’m considering this my favorite movie, although in fairness it’s been a long time since I’ve watched any of the other movies I call favorites.
Nonetheless… just wow. What an achievement on every level. Every technical aspect of the movie is absolutely perfect, the best that Disney has ever done, and it’s backed with an engaging story and characters that I cared about from start to finish. It fills out the dictionary definition of a perfect movie, and still finds time to appeal to me personally with its perfect stance in the middle of femininity and masculinity to form that “ultimate girls cartoon zone” with the likes of MLP.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
I started this in November and I’m still not done with it, but I’ve seen enough at least to give it a rating. This is a simple platformer and a joy. It’s strange, because outside of the unique presentation, the game doesn’t innovate in any really significant ways, but it does what it does extraordinarily well, with tons of care and polish put into execution. Add to that a fascinating history and a lot of charm and personality, and you’ve got one of my favorite games to come out in 2012.
B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs 1 (library edition)
In some ways, BPRD is better than Hellboy. It lacks Hellboy’s definitive style (though echoes it well) and its centered plot, but it makes up for that with loads of great characterization, covering the themes of friendship and togetherness with way more subtlety than you’d expect from comics. It’s dark and pulpy in that way that’s still sort of optimistic and upbeat, I guess? My only complaint about this volume is that some of the side-stories aren’t very interesting. I’ve already got the second library edition, but haven’t had time to read it yet.
Electric Dragon 80,000V
I saw and loved this movie years ago, and I spent a few months looking for it all over town before I settled for buying it on Amazon. (Been a long time since I actually had to pay 25 bucks for a DVD, but it came with the soundtrack, which is BAD. ASS.) ED80kV is a badass movie which embodies noise rock music at its very core. That’s the best way to describe it: noise rock in movie form. It’s got one of my favorite scenes in any movie, in the form of the Franken-guitar scene. Also, long and by far my favorite movie OST.
Went and saw this at a little dinner-and-a-movie joint. It’s a fun movie, with a really memorable character in Vanelope. Even though her story is excellent, it was imminently going to be disappointing that they established such a broad world to play around in, only to focus almost entirely on one game and its story. I do think that the way it took two would-be unrelated stories and tied them into one-another was great, though. It’s got pacing issues, but altogether it’s likable. It was never going to stand up to having watched Tangled just two days prior, though.
Aquaman volume 1
The launching point by which I got pretty heavily into DC’s New 52 comic line. Aquaman is really solid, which is how I’d describe Geoff Johns stuff in general. There’s something vaguely impersonal that disconnects me from really loving it, but my brother Victor just adores his stuff, and started collecting Aquaman by the issue as a result of this series. I enjoyed the concepts that the story is formed around, and the art is gorgeous, but ultimately it wasn’t that memorable.
Animal Man volume 1
So far my favorite of the New 52 comics (though Batwoman may be making a move on this title). Animal Man has an energy and liveliness to it that makes it a lot of fun to read, even when it isn’t particularly deep. The art is strange, because the normal humans and houses and shit are kinda awkward, but all of the monsters and grotesque stuff is fucking AMAZING. Not often can an artist make me think, “this is something which I’ve never seen before,” when drawing creatures. Animal Man is full of weird looking things and big crazy moments that make it stand out.
Along with ED80kV, this is another Japanese film that I saw years ago and had a hard time hunting down. It’s a really strange film with no immediately evident point, but it’s enchanting and intriguing all the same. The Red Jellyfish *make* the movie, along with the song that always plays when they’re on-screen. I can’t imagine the movie without them.
Someone asked in a comment on one of the Disneycasts, something about the magic of Disney. If anyone understands that magic and can capture it, that person is Pogo. I don’t necessarily adore his music, but I admire the spark of magic that comes from it.
Dark Souls: Everything Possible Before Gargoyles
A video game playthrough? I probably watched a few things like this that I’m not including, but this one’s pretty important because it was like three and a half hours that Dang-san and I watched all at once. Dark Souls is the most fascinating video game ever, and Vegeta311 brings that out beautifully with his videos. He also has some of the best editing and commentary I’ve seen on a gameplay video, so two thumbs way up.
Tales of Mere Existence
These things remind me a lot of the short tumblr posts that I write, except they’re more together and make more of a point. They are also pretty depressing a lot of the time. I watched all of them in like a day, and got pretty inspired by it as a writer. I think the whole catalog is worth giving a watch.
Byronic Hero Headphones
This is Brandon Tolentino’s recently-reopened tumblr. He’s got this romantic streak to him that reminds me a lot of 2DTeleidoscope, but with a little less cheese and a little more sleep deprivation driving him. He also has a knack for the “fictual,” which is a bit of intrigue I might get from being his friend that a casual observer won’t as naturally pick up on. I intend to use some of his posts in my next magazine.
Batwoman volume 1 (New 52)
Much more easily understandable than Batwoman Elegy (below), and made me glad to have read it. This is possibly the most exciting of the New 52 comics for me, and I definitely will be checking out volume 2 soon. More so than Elegy, this book made me care about Batwoman as a character, and brings more mystery and intrigue to the story.
Rainbow Dash Presents: My Little Dashie
Not the best RDP, but still a lot of fun. FiMFlamFilosophy has a truly unique style of comedy that is always interesting to behold.
How To Archer
I bought this book because I was sad after the show was over, and I wanted more. The book is not really good or bad. I could write a whole post on it, but the long and short is that it’s all Archer the character, in purest form. Yes, Archer is probably the best character in the show, but we also get a lot of him in the show, and the book doesn’t add a whole lot to his character. It speaks for how great he is that this is still + material, but altogether it comes off as a little lazy, and just makes me miss the rest of the show.
Alice In Wonderland
I feel like Disney came a long way with facial expressions and general expressiveness of their human characters with Alice. She felt more alive and memorable than any of the human characters in Dinsey films up to this point. Unfortunately, the wacky cast of kooks didn’t grab me on the whole, and I kind of stopped paying attention at a lot of parts. I still think it’s a good movie altogether, but maybe not my cup of tea.
Swamp Thing volume 1
This book is too similar to Animal Man not to invite comparison, since they’re in the same universe, and that’s probably why it fell flat for me. The characters and story are just completely stale, and the plot has way too much exposition compared to how much of interest actually happens. Only at the end does shit finally pick up and get a little crazy, but it’s still hard for me to think this would make it worth buying another volume. The artwork is pretty great, but it’s a matter of what there is to work with.
This is kind of high-brow in a good way, and there’s definitely a lot to chew on. The things which make this dense and interesting, however, are the same things that make it a hard read. The dialog is written in a way that isn’t direct or dramatic like most fiction, but that also makes it confusing. Batwoman’s fights are meant to be a wild, disorienting spectacle, and they are. Altogether, this is kind of an “art comic,” which I like, but it’s hard for me to like it a lot. It’s a lot better than Swamp Thing, mind.
This movie. It pretty much embodies irony as perfectly as can be done. Is it awesomely bad? Some critics think it’s not got enough heart, or enough to set it apart, or enough charm. And it doesn’t. And that’s the point. It’s just straight-up bad, in a way that is awesome. Not awesome because it’s so bad, but so bad in a way that is awesome, does that make sense? There’s no black people in this movie, yet I feel like it existed to create a heartfelt meaning for the word “nigga,” and it felt like a thirteen year-old black kid wrote it. I can’t not love this movie for that, even if it’s a total piece of garbage.
I haven’t watched all of these, and I can’t say they’re totally my thing, but some of them get pretty big laughs out of me (especially the one linked above). The Hellbenders series is going well so far and could be pretty interesting if it holds to a decent release schedule with a decent number of videos.
The Adventured of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
We talked about this in Disneycast 3, and the general consensus is simply that it wasn’t very good or interesting.
My brother Victor has a deep, deep, deep hatedom of Nicholas Cage, which is even more of an obsession for him than my hatedom of Bee Train. He’s bought most of Cage’s filmography, cosplayed Cameron Poe, and painted some wonderful paintings of him, all while hating him, and all while swearing that he’ll do a movie starring him one day. So anyways, he was rewatching Con Air and I ended up watching it with him somehow, and god damn. That movie is pretentious as FUCK. I actually had fun watching mostly for that.
Others I Tried:
These are mostly things which I played/watched anywhere from ten minutes to several hours of and couldn’t get into them. I probably won’t pick any of them back up.
SheZow (1 ep): Came because I heard it was a cross-dressing hero in a kids’ show. Left because it was poorly animated and written garbage.
Jon Benjamin Has A Van (1 ep): This is more dry than I can possibly handle. I love Jon Benjamin, but I can’t do this show.
Supergirl (1 issue): Tried New 52 Supergirl, because I really want to like Supergirl for some reason (probably because she’s blonde). It was pretty generic though.
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. (1 issue): Introduced more crazy shit than the average Index episode, and generally didn’t seem good. It got cancelled recently, so I don’t see any reason to give it another shot.
Not Yet Qualified: These are all the media that I’ve consumed to some degree and am not yet done with. They might fall into any of the lists above on my next journal post. Any media from last month’s post which aren’t in any above category still apply to this list.
gdgd Fairies s2 (most likely +, but I only watched 1 ep)
Tamako Market (really enjoyed ep 1, but haven’t continued)
Sasami-san@ganbaranai (ep 1 was okay, will continue)