• One Piece: Dream Soccer King!

    One Piece: Dream Soccer King!

    ★★★

    I'd call the CG effects in this "period-specific" more than I'd call them "dodgy," lol.

    Hello, Eiichiro Oda.

    Rare Cheerleaders Vivi and Nami in this!

  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★★★

    What's the distance between critiquing a thing and being a thing? I think KSI is colonialist. They roll directly into a land with native people and trample all over it. They converse almost exclusively amongst white people.

    On top of that, the Chinese character may as well have not been there, although I understand the Chinese studio shenanigans there. They could/should have made a part for a Chinese person who speaks English well among the main cast. "Instead of her?"…

  • One Piece: Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals

    One Piece: Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals

    ★½

    Well, they can't all be winners. Didn't feel the villains' gimmicks at all. Didn't care about Mogambi's obvious arc. I like Chopper, but I've never been In Love with the stories he ends up leading.

    I really liked the ED in this, though. The montage of original footage from all the characters' backstories was beyond cute. And the cut of them running to the cliff as kids? Chef's kiss.

  • One Piece: Take Aim! The Pirate Baseball King

    One Piece: Take Aim! The Pirate Baseball King

    ★★★

    Solid physical comedy throughout. Complete story in 5 minutes. Baseball episode. I dig it.

  • One Piece: Jango's Dance Carnival

    One Piece: Jango's Dance Carnival

    ★★★

    Dodgy CG, but the Django's dancing was great. Obviously rotoscoping famous moves by Michael Jackson.

    The song attached to this isn't my favorite, but I like the vibe all throughout and the muscley Marine guy is funny.

  • The Wind Rises

    The Wind Rises

    ★★★½

    Definitely a movie for insufferable "creatives," made by an insufferable "creative." They just can't stop at "this is fun for me." It's gotta be "I experience the world in a completely different way, man. Totallllyyyy." Barf.

    But I did like this when it wasn't going off into propaganda territory regarding authors or Imperial Japan—the implications of which were largely ignored.

    I found it most interesting when it was considering impediments to the process of making things. For example, the best…

  • One Piece: The Movie

    One Piece: The Movie

    ★★★★

    ARITAKE NO YUME WO KAKIATSUME~~~
    SAGASHIMONO WO SAGASHI NI YUKU NO SA~~~

    I'm sorry, someone tripped and said "One Piece THE Movie". This is a distillation of everything the series is about into a (kinda) tight 60 minutes. It's very funny. There's action (that, tbh, doesn't deliver much even in the end). There's meditation on the meaning of life. There's emotionally wrought backstory told through flashback. There's spiritual victory clutched from the jaws of material victory.

    I mean, seriously, Woonan…

  • One Piece: Clockwork Island Adventure

    One Piece: Clockwork Island Adventure

    ★★½

    If I'm taking the Naruto movies as a baseline, which is my wont to do, this is more shaped like a movie than those were. It even has a few set-ups and pay-offs beyond the movie-original character's "secret" backstory, or whatever.

    I'm also a fan of the slimmed-down, back-to-basics feel of anything from the East Blue era. (You can extend that to Chopper, too.) One Piece unfolds like a grand strategy over hundreds of chapters with a hundred characters, but…

  • Bound

    Bound

    ★★★★★

    INCREDIBLE. Starts off with the supremely sexual meet cute. Everything about them getting together was perfect, matching their coy words with trust-building action.

    And then when they do, it becomes a no-bullshit stylistic thriller with AMAZING camerawork. Who thinks like this?? Using the thin walls of the apartment to show one following the other around and build the scene's scope. Showing Ceasar's escalating madness through his reflection in other objects, like the liquor glass. And all of this, at its…

  • South Park Vaccination Special

    South Park Vaccination Special

    ★★★½

    Hat trick. I'm surprised that I thought "Post-COVID" was the least funny of these three so far. All good and goofy. I actually would recommend watching "Post-COVID" first because the way these ones fill out details "introduced" in the Future feels a lot more natural than coming back to normal South Park and they're talking about "the broship" a bunch now.

    But, also: whew, what a reset for Mr. Garrison this was.

  • South Park: The Pandemic Special

    South Park: The Pandemic Special

    ★★★½

    "Post-COVID" seemed like it had a lot of specific continuity, so I thought to check out any other "South Park" COVID episodes there were and... this one was great. Lots of relatable and unrelatable drama, and the seeds of things that will go so wrong. Stan just wanting things to go back to normal at any cost. Randy desperately trying to cover up the horrible things he did and making it worse. The Mr. Slave callback...

    The police force becoming…

  • South Park: Post Covid

    South Park: Post Covid

    ★★★

    Pretty nice! The updates to the characters were note perfect and there were some really funny lines. I wouldn't write home about it, but I liked it. I hope they follow through with a sequel.