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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…

Review: “Oscar” (1991)

July 1, 2013 10 comments
Oscar (1991)Directed by: John Landis
Produced by: Leslie Belzberg
Written by: Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Claude Magnier (original play)
Edited by: Dale Beldin
Cinematography by: Mac Ahlberg
Music by: Elmer Bernstein
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Marisa Tomei, Vincent Spano, Ornella Muti, Tim Curry, Chazz Palminteri, Peter Riegert, Elizabeth Barondes, Linda Gray, Joycelyn O’Brien, Martin Ferrero, Harry Shearer, Kurtwood Smith, Eddie Bracken, Richard Romanus, Kirk Douglas, Don Ameche, Jim Mulholland, Yvonne De Carlo
Based on the play by Claude Magnier
Year: 1991

 

Sometimes it’s nice to rely on friends to make suggestions for you when you’re in the mood for something different that you might have overlooked previously. The last time I did a review at the suggestion of a friend, his out of left field suggestion (after Macross, which, he had forgotten, wasn’t just a single movie but a whole series) was K-PAX, a movie I had always been somewhat curious about but never really interested enough to ever actually pursue – or even remember, for that matter. I ultimately didn’t end up liking it that much, but I enjoyed the suggestion, nonetheless. So, as Guy Movie Month was coming to a close, I asked another friend of mine what movie I should review next that I hadn’t seen. He came up with the answer pretty quickly: Oscar. Read more…

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