Archive for August, 2011

26
Aug

Surrealism!

   Posted by: Ami noMiko    in Anime, Music Video

Surrealism!

Welcome to Friday!  It’s time for a new music video!  This week, I’ve decided to post a video that just blew me away at this year’s Fanime AMV contest: A Prelude to Dreams by Techninjarox.

Why is this video awesome?

I just love surrealism.  This video blends several different animes together to a dance remix of one of my favorite songs – Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek.  The song doesn’t make any sense, so the very odd shots chosen actually work very well.  And the cutting speeds up and slows down with the music, which is something that a lot of editors miss when they do videos to dance remixes.  But most of all, this video wonderfully showcases ALL of the animes it uses.  The animation and colors and themes of all of them were so beautiful, I plan on tracking down and watching every one of the titles used here.

What could have been done better?

I’ve got nothing.  It’s easy to see how this won so many awards.

I hope you enjoyed the music video!  Download it at AMVNews (torrent only).

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19
Aug

God’s Away on Business

   Posted by: Ami noMiko    in Music Video

God's Away on Business

This week’s video was brought to my attention by Nuriko.  It is “Tom Waits/Cookie Monster Mashup – God’s Away on Business” by Cookiewaits.  The name is somewhat misleading, as it’s just a music video, not actually a mashup.  But anyways…

Why is this video awesome?

I have no idea why no one thought of doing a Cookie Monster video to Tom Waits before now, because the guy really sounds like Cookie Monster.  Plus, look at the editing on this thing!  The lipsynching is absolutely perfect.  Now, Muppets aren’t the hardest thing to lipsynch; they’re like anime characters.  Either the mouth is open or it’s closed.  You don’t have to do pro-level fine editing in order to get their mouths to match the words.  But even so, this lipsynching couldn’t get more perfect if it was actually Frank Oz singing.

What could have been done better?

It’s pretty obvious that the scenes were chosen for Cookie Monster’s mouth movements, rather than to illustrate the lyrics of the song.  But that’s okay, because you can’t understand a damn word that Tom Waits is saying.  For song choice, I think I would have gone with “Chocolate Jesus”, instead.  The food motif would have worked better with Cookie Monster.

I hope you enjoyed the music video!

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12
Aug

Music Video Friday!

   Posted by: Ami noMiko    in Anime, Music Video

Music Video Friday!

This week’s music video is “This is Halloween” by Hagaren Viper.

Why is this video awesome?

Nightmare Before Christmas has become a little cliché in the music video world, but this amv pulls it off perfectly.  This version of the song has a pretty heavy-handed beat and the scene cutting follows it, rather than just changing with the lyrics.  But, the scenes chosen also fits the lyrics, even the most difficult to match ones, such as “Pumpkins scream in the dead of night.”  And finally, music videos, in my opinion, should function like three-minute-long musical advertisements for the video source.  I’ve always avoided Soul Eater, as it looked too juvenile for me on first impression.  However, “This is Halloween” makes the anime look awesome and perhaps freaky enough that I would enjoy it.  After seeing this, I’ll be adding Soul Eater to my watch list.

What could have been done better?

There are a couple of moments (most notably at 0:51 and 1:50) where the lyrics match the scene immediately following the one chosen.  However, it’s off by less than a second, so we’re nitpicking here.

Hope you enjoy the music video!  Download it at AnimeMusicVideos.Org.

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6
Aug

Cowboys & Aliens

   Posted by: Ami noMiko    in Movies

Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens

I’m a big B-Movie fan, so whenever a movie of the modern equivalent hits, I go to see it with hope in my little heart.  Since no one makes movies on a shoe-string budget anymore, I classify the modern equivalent as any movie that has a premise that makes you wonder, “What were the writers/director/actors thinking when they did this movie?!”

Unfortunately, I have not read the graphic novel, but my man classified it as:  a brawl between cowboys and aliens throughout the whole book, with little to no discernible plot.  Well, perhaps the comic format was not the best for this particular match-up, because the movie was AWESOME.

There is still only the most simplistic of plots.  Aliens have landed in the Old West and are stealing people… for some reason.  While the reason the aliens are there at all is explained, albeit a bit feebly, the reason for the abductions comes off as a kind of afterthought – they’re learning about us.  However, later in the movie, it’s established that they view humans as nothing greater than insects, so the extensive capturing of people seems out of place.  If that was the view, they would have caught and dissected a few of us before going, “Damn, these things are easy to kill!” and flying back to their planet to report of easy-pickings.

But plot has never been the selling point of the B-movie.  This genre leaps past gigantic plot holes and captivates the audience with an aura of “this makes no sense, but it’s AWESOME.”  And that’s just what Cowboys & Aliens does.

The movie starts out like a typical western, with a little twist.  The main character wakes up in the middle of the desert with no memory, no shoes, and some kind of metal device attached to his wrist.  Except for that little incongruity, everything progresses down stereotypical cowboy lines, right down to the bar fight.  However, right in the middle of the stare-down between the town sheriff and the rich cattle-owner (played brilliantly by Harrison Ford), alien ships fly in, lasso a bunch of people (seriously!) and fly off.  But not before our nameless protagonist’s metal wrist device seemingly turns on by itself and shoots down one of the ships.  And so, as the townspeople form a posse to go after their captured people, the main character is established as the only one who can really do any damage to the aliens.

Seems legit...

While the movie boasts great acting all around (I know, not that hard in a western, where all that is required is acting badass), the true gem is Harrison Ford.  Perhaps he realized that he needed to make up for the last Indiana Jones movie.  But he takes a reprehensible character and, so gradually that you don’t even notice it, turns it into not only a sympathetic one, but one that you’re rooting for by the end of the film.  While Daniel Craig does a great job with the main character, he’s definitely overshadowed by his co-star.

So, to wrap this up, if you’re looking for the next great piece of cinema, then skip this one.  But then, you shouldn’t be expecting such a thing from something named Cowboys & Aliens.  However, if you’re looking for a well-done, entertaining sci-fi western, this is definitely the movie for you.  I’ll be waiting for the day it’s released on DVD, so I can go right out and buy it, so that it can sit proudly with my copy of Snakes on a Plane and Doomsday.

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5
Aug

Can you read my mind?

   Posted by: Ami noMiko    in Music Video, Sherlock Holmes

Can you read my mind?

Iiiiiit’s…

 

 

 

No, not Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  It’s Friday, so it’s time for my first music video post!  To start off, I’m going to recommend one of my favorites in the Sherlock Holmes fandom:  Read My Mind by Di.

Why is this video awesome?

This is a very well-cut music video.  Although the scenes are mostly random shots of the funnier moments of the Granada series, they’re timed so well to the music that they don’t seem random at all.  And the scenes that were obviously chosen to match the lyrics (for example, the green light at 0:52)are references that would be very difficult to synch with Victorian source material, but matched they are.

Plus, it’s the Granada series.  People who only know the Robert Downey Jr. movie or the new BBC Sherlock would do very well to look this series up.   Jeremy Brett is the best video Sherlock Holmes, even later in the series when the medications for his bipolar disorder caused him to lose his Holmesian gauntness.  And he is backed by not one, but TWO fantastic Watsons.

What could have been done better?

It doesn’t happen often, but in this case, supremely well-done video cutting saved a less-than-optimal song choice.  I happen to love “Read My Mind”, but nothing about it really says “Holmes” to me.  I have no idea what caused the vid author to even think of it.  But she did AND she pulled it off, which turns this particular minus into a really big PLUS.

Hope you enjoy the video!

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