Sunday Morning Cartoon Cavalcade Vol. 6

This week’s Samurai Jack was so good on so many fronts, from the callbacks to old episodes (when meeting up with beings that had been saved by Jack) as well as the return of Jack to take arms, but my favorite sequence was the club/rave part — dance, baby, dance. Tangled was fine, and I watched another couple of Mickey Mouse shorts (“Flipperboobootosis” and “Trapped Out”) that were fine too, and I’m now coming close to the end of the first season of shorts. I capped it off with another classic Looney Tunes short, this time “Baseball Bugs” (pictured). Cartoons are awesome.

Lupin the Third: Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray of Blood

I watched this fantastic Lupin the Third film over the weekend, Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray of Blood (Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon) that tells the tale of how Lupin and his crew met up with Goemon. It’s a more adult take on the series, and features much tenser action than I’m used to seeing in Lupin stuff — think more along the lines of the animated sequence in Kill Bill — and I absolutely loved it. Great action, great character moments, and what made me even happier is that I later realized that it follows a Jigen movie from a few years ago, which itself is a follow-up to The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna) series that I remember hearing about when it came out, but never saw — I watched the first episode and it was killer.

Another

We binged the entirety of this series today (12 episodes), which is based on a book by Yukito Ayatsuji, who is my wife’s favorite author (and I read his mystery novel The Decagon House Murders not too long ago). Ayatsuji is better known for his mystery novels, but this story is horror, although there’s certainly a mystery surrounding the whole affaire, which is capped with an ending I didn’t guess (same as Decagon). It’s a fantastic series, beautifully animated (while quite gruesome at certain points), with an opening theme song that is just insanely weird (and kinda suits the series). Highly recommended.

Highlander

I loved this movie so much back in the day, and watched it countless times. Watching it again now, it’s still pretty great, and features some really nicely shot fighting sequences — like the showdown at the end in front of blue-lit windows, with shadowy figures in combat, sorta like what we see in that iconic Shanghai scene in Skyfall. Maybe I’m overthinking it though, but I did get confused by the rules of the immortals — which I guess they ended up completely dumping for the sequel, and then the TV series. Like, if there can be only one, then why is it that back in the highlands they didn’t all kill each other — wasn’t that a gathering? And why did Ramirez train Connor, since there can be only one? Whatever, it’s a fun 80s action movie.

The Transformers: The Movie

I can’t say that this is a really good movie, but I did enjoy watching it as a piece of nostalgia. I’d completely forgotten the story, and then I slowly remembered how disappointed I was when I saw it as a kid, that it introduced so many new characters, and quickly put aside the old favorites. I remembered the animation as being top notch, and although it’s definitely better than what we were getting on TV (I was an avid watcher of The Transformers cartoon, even though I never had any of the toys — I was a G.I. Joe kid), it’s not all that great. The worst though is the music, as it’s just stuffed in there with no care on how it works with the imagery — early in the film they use “The Touch” and it’s just ridiculously out of place. But like I said, as a nostalgic trip back, it was fun.

River’s Edge

I remember super liking this movie back in the day, and that it was dark and weird. Well, it’s still dark and weird, and I still quite enjoyed it. The acting is a bit off at times — young Keanu is, well, young, and Crispin Glover over-hams, but in a fun way — but it’s still an interesting take on the teen movie. The most interesting character I think is the little 11-year-old brother, who is so incredibly evil and a jerk, but yet is compelling to watch. I guess 1986 was really the year Dennis Hopper went weird, what with his role here and in Blue Velvet.

Seoul Station

I remember being quite interested in watching this Korean animated film when it got announced last year (even though I’m pretty tired of seeing zombies in whatever form of media), and then had sorta forgotten about it. I watched it the other night, and wow, this is a really good movie. The animation is really fantastic — super realistic, and I love the character designs, with sort of simple line work. It’s pretty dark a movie, with an ending that’s even more horrific than you’d expect. Highly recommended.

Better Call Saul (Season 3)

After binging season 2 recently (and loving it to bits), I just couldn’t help but check in on season 3 (even though these days I prefer to wait for a series to be done its season before watching it). The first episode was pretty good, but oh man, episode 2, with the return of Los Pollos Hermanos… I’m so fucking in.

Lucas Brothers: On Drugs

I saw this stand-up special pop up on Netflix, and since I’ve found these two to be pretty funny in the past — mostly in cameos — I decided to watch it, and really liked it. It doesn’t have huge laughs, but I found myself constantly giggling throughout — I mostly like their laidback vibe, and the kinda stupid jokes they make (like the “OJ Joke Trilogy” bit).

Sunday Morning Cartoon Cavalcade Vol. 5

I’ve realized that when it comes to my Sunday morning cartoon sessions, I much prefer to keep it to traditional 2D animation (or if it is CG, that it’s made to look like traditional animation). That’s why I stopped watching Star Wars Rebels on Sunday mornings (although I finished up season 3 a few days ago, really enjoying the last 3 episodes, especially the Obi Wan Kenobi one) and Trollhunters (which, to be honest, is also because I just don’t find myself particularly compelled to keep watching it). Yesterday’s session started as usual with the latest episode of Samurai Jack, which again featured some gorgeous visuals (see the image used for this post) — and it feels like we’re starting to head towards the end of the series (sadly). I then watched an episode of Tangled, which is still fun, followed by another couple of Mickey Mouse shorts — one of them was surprisingly long, at around 7-8 minutes (they tend to be 2-3 minutes long). I then decided to hop on another nostalgic trip, by starting to watch classic Looney Tunes shorts. I started off with the classic “Hare Tonic” — incredible to think it was released in 1945, as it still feels so dynamic.