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REVIEW: Wizards

August 5, 2016 Leave a comment
WizardsDirected by: Ralph Bakshi
Produced by: Ralph Bakshi
Written by: Ralph Bakshi
Edited by: Donald W. Ernst
Music by: Andrew Belling
Starring: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, Steve Gravers, James Connell, Susan Tyrrell, Mark Hamill
Year: 1977

 

I’ve only seen a few films of Ralph Bakshi – Cool World, Fritz the Cat, and now this movie – but there was a time when his works were always in the back of my mind whenever the subject of animation history came up. Ever since I was a kid, in fact, which is funny since almost none of his work is remotely child-friendly, except for perhaps his adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. As a nerdy kid who studied almost anything that piqued my interest (but especially movies and video games), reading about Bakshi’s subversive, gritty, adult, and oftentimes controversial works always fascinated me. Revered as, if anything, noteworthy departures from the traditionally family fluff that, even today, is usually thought of as the default mode for animation in America, his stuff always stood out as almost mythical or even forbidden to my adolescent mind. I’d see references to it in stuff like The Simpsons and recognize the reference for what it was, but apart from maybe a few clips here and there, Bakshi’s animated films seemed to be spoken of in terms normally reserved for “banned” films like Song of the South and the infamous Censored Eleven – eleven Warner Bros. animated shorts that have been withheld from distribution due to their controversial, racially insensitive material. (I wasn’t far off in that regard, in retrospect, either.) Read more…

Special Review: “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” — A Surprising Lack of Inexperience

June 4, 2013 1 comment
The 40-Year-Old VirginDirected by: Judd Apatow
Produced by: Judd Apatow, Clayton Townsend, Shauna Robertson
Written by: Judd Apatow, Steve Carell
Edited by: Brent White
Cinematography by: Jack Green
Music by: Lyle Workman
Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings, Jane Lynch
Year: 2005

 

If you’re among my friends, you probably know the story about how I saw this movie soon after it came out on DVD during my first year of college. It wasn’t the sort of movie that I would have sought out myself at the time, but my best friend’s roommate put it on one night while I was hanging out at their dorm, as I was wont to do in those days, and, yeah, I watched it. It was pretty much the first hard R-rated comedy film I had ever sat down and watched at the time on my own. Being 19, living relatively on my own, I felt pretty grown up about the whole situation. And, you know what? I actually quite liked it. (Spoiler alert if you’re worried about those kinds of things with a review.) Read more…

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