Sunday, March 21, 2010


I recently watched all 13 episodes of Mezzo, the anime series from Madman Entertainment and ADV Films (RIP).

It's a great, slick, diverse little series, running the gamut from Gunsmith Cats-esque humor and action to dabbling in deeper issues (say, child abuse) and some really clever dialog (with episode 12 taking the cake there).

Streaming on Netflix, I only had access to the English dubbed version, which is solid, and not all distracting, with Jason Douglas (Harada Tomohisa) the unsung star.

As an aside, maybe it's the US edit, but the series is not at all lecherous, contrary to what its intro sequence might infer.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Alice in Wonderland (3D)

I saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin today. If you haven't seen the film, and want to avoid spoilers, you may want to wait to read this until after you've seen the film the first time, and before you see it the second.

I was impressed with the film's visual style, acting, and -- most of all -- characterization. There are "people" in this film in the most unexpected places. Be sure to watch the dormouse (Barbara Windsor), and listen to the bloodhound, Bayard (Timothy Spall) for some of the more important statements in the film. They are not throw-away.

Of course, it's a Tim Burton film, so of course is it has acting from Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and music from Danny Elfman. And of course they are brilliant (if you like each of them -- which I do -- and I seem to have blessedly moved past my "I'm done with owning everything Danny Elfman phase"), but the film has a panache, an inpretentious importance, and a kind of fantasy fun.

And the film is fun, and strikes a weird balance between importance and diversion. The denouement is soulful, Anne Hathaway's meta-commentary performance on being royalty is subtle brilliance (and not heavy handed), the climax is rallying, and the fallout feels "right".

It's a movie that could be about fighting fatalism, more than a bit about accountability, and a great take on "what could have been", and "what is".

Your mileage may vary.