Friday, April 8, 2011

Missed Movies number 5


So I finally saw Tangled, on the request of a...female friend (ahem) and believe it or not it was actually pretty good. I was a little apprehensive because everyone kept telling me that The Princess and the Frog was really good and it was a giant piece of shit. It wasn't anywhere near as good as some of Disney's better movie (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King etc.) but all in all it's probably the best thing they've done since Mulan. And it does without saying it was better than Toy Story 3.

So anyway, that inspired me to name some forgotten animated films for my readership to take advantage of. NOTE: All of these are Western animated films, but if you haven't seen some of the works of Miyazaki like Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke, you're missing out on some of the best animated films ever made.

A Scanner Darkly

This movie really blew my mind when I first saw it, so I bring it up a lot. It's certainly unique and there's gonna be a lot of people who resent me after seeing this, so if you don't like psychadelic things, best to skip this one. 7 years in the future (a nice vague number) the war on drugs is completely hopeless as this highly addictive Substance D is wandering the streets and getting hundreds of people addicted. The government has responded by putting up high tech surveilence systems and putting dozens of agents undercover.

Right up front, yeah it's mostly devoted to the hallucinations of the main character (undercover agent Bob Arctor played by Keanu Reeves) so yeah it gets really weird really fast. It takes full advantage of it's medium to make it's hallucinations terrifying and believable. On a scale of Reefer Madness (not the musical) to Requiem For A Dream of creepy drug movies with anti-drug messages, it's firmly on the level of Trainspotting: Pretty damn great, interesting, well made and worthy of your time and worthy of your time and attention.

Titan AE

This one is kinda notorious among people in the know, as it's massive box office failure heralded the end of Fox Animation Studios, and with good reason: They had no fucking clue how to market it. But ignore the problems with Fox not knowing they had an adult oriented animated film on their hands, and accept it on it's merits and it's a good film.

In...fuck I can't remember the year, 3000 something, the earth is attacked and destroyed by an energy based alien race called the Drej, and humanities only hope, a ship called the Titan is sent out to hide. 15 years later, the son of the man who built the Titan is drafted into finding the Titan so they can activate it and save the rapidly dwindling human race.

It's not a perfect movie, featuring many of the problems of Joss Whedon(!) written films: It has too many big ideas to sustain in it's short time frame, it tends to hit you over the head with it's message and it's villains motivations are a little too vague, but it's an enjoyable sci-fi actioner when you're in the mood for it.

The Triplets of Belleville

Made by the same guys who made 2010's absolutely incredible The Illusionist, this offering could not be any more different. Where The Illusionist was quiet and contemplative, The Triplets of Belleville reads like something that Miyazaki would make if he spent 2 weeks taking acid.

In a world a little to psychedelic to be considered the real world, a young man named Champion who is a professional cyclist. He is kidnapped while on the Tour De France and brought to America for the purposes of racing on a mini Tour De France for gambling. His grandmother Souza goes looking for him and encounters the titular Triplets of Belleville, once musical hall singers now elderly improvisational musicians.

If that sounds weird, it is, and trust me it only gets weirder as the movie progresses. But it's sweet, unique and endearing even while it's being extremely odd, and the soundtrack is surprisingly catchy. So give it a look.

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