Anime Week: A Silent Voice and The Night is Short, Walk On Girl

I may never get used to the fact that I can see anime films in movie theaters in the modern day, thanks primarily to Fathom Events (although Dragon Ball Super: Broly is an actual release in theaters right now, day after day, rather than a limited event, which is huge I think). It is because of this bold new era we live in that I was able to see A Silent Voice (Japanese title translating to The Shape of Voice) this week at my local theater in Dayton, Ohio. Directed by Naoko Yamada, it is an adaptation of Yoshitoki Ōima’s manga of the same name.

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The opening moments of Bumblebee nearly took my breath away. As God as my witness, my eyes watered a little, seeing all my childhood favorite Autobots rendered, mostly true to their original looks, on the big-screen. This, I was sure, was the Transformers film I’d been waiting on since Michael Bay’s first fugly steel wool Transformer images first started to trickle out in the lead-up to Transformers 2007. They had Soundwave! Shockwave had his old-fashioned, pompous voice, spot-on! Watch:

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Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’18: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I didn’t see National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation until only a few years ago, perhaps 2013 or 2014. For how popular it is, one might have guessed I’d avoided it intentionally, but I mostly just didn’t realize it existed. When I finally decided to pick it up on someone’s recommendation, I recognized the poster art on the Blu-Ray box: indeed, I had avoided this film…but as a child.

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Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’18: White Christmas

I’ll admit it. I could have paid closer attention to White Christmas. My attention was so divided, in fact, that I don’t remember what I was doing besides watching it. I may have been playing Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and in my defense, you would too.

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Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’18: The Christmas Chronicles

The Christmas Chronicles, one of Netflix’s barrage of original Christmas flicks for 2018, is not good. Directed by Clay Kaytis of The Angry Birds Movie, it is a mostly joyless, sometimes crass, often formulaic, persistently ugly movie with nearly no redeeming qualities. Its creators seemed to have had a hard time deciding between whether it was a kids’ film or something edgier–and it has none of the charm or personality to pull off either.

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Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’18: A Christmas Prince: Royal Wedding!!-:strip_icc-!!-/2018/11/30/826/n/1922283/1d34c0e5927b6a30_CPRW_Unit_11034/i/whole-family-has-big-showdown-Lord-Leopold-ends.jpg

I reviewed A Christmas Prince when it first came out, and while I thought it was just the worst, I could have imagined things still worse and let it pass mostly on its good looks. A Christmas Prince, if you don’t remember, is the schmaltzy ABC Family-style nothing-movie that 53 people watched every day for a while.

The film was vapid, trite, predictably-scripted, poorly-acted, and unsurprisingly, precisely what the average Netflix viewer was looking for. Given that this must have been made on a shoestring budget, it’s hard to deny Netflix their well-deserved win. They gambled on a sure-thing and it paid off.

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Ralph Breaks The Internet

I loved Wreck-It Ralph. It was original, funny, and most importantly very sweet and genuine. It held up on repeat viewings back then, and I watched it again after watching Ralph Breaks The Internet to check that my memories weren’t wrong. They weren’t.

But the fact I had to check at all isn’t a great indicator of Ralph Breaks The Internet‘s quality. And before we go any further, I have to get out ahead of myself and say this is not going to be a negative review.

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