Released in January by Tokyo Shock, Tokyo Gore Police is an unrated 109 minute ultra violent nihilistic revenge movie starring Eihi Shiina as hunter-cop Ruka of the near future’s purrivitized & fascist police department. It was directed, edited & co-written by Machine Girl’ FX Supervisor Yoshihiro Nishimura who was also the creature designer and director of make-up & special FX The DVD is purrsented in 1.78:1 anamorphic wide screen with optional English subtitles , in dolby digital sound with audio choices of English 2.0 or 5.1, Japanese 2.0 or 5.1. It’s a no-frills packaging, with no inserts and only DVD extras are a few trailers. The first 5 minutes of the film is all you need to see to understand the nature & extent of the splatterfest that follows the main titles.
Warning: descriptions of this action / horror
movie’s graphic violence, bloody gore scenes
and plot spoiling details now commence
Ruka is the Police Department s mini-skirted, katana-wielding, self-cutting top enforcer, leading the Samurai-ish armor clad cops that make Judge Dredd seem like the kindly San Angelas PD of Demolition Man. The movie is so over the top violent it makes Robocop seem tame, with bizarre S&M fetish clubs that Alex & his Droogs from A Clockwork Orange would cringe at. Similar to Bladerunner, our main character is hunting dangerous super human criminals – instead of Replicants or Bumas they are here ‘Engineers’, genetically engineered psycho killing machines whose wounds can morph into bio-mechanical weapons. Of course our lady cop has a connection with the Engineer’s mysterious big boss, and yes she winds up an engineer herself.
Like the director’s purrior film Machine Girl, this movie is loaded with arterial blood spray that paints the lens red with fire-hose force, severed limbs fly all over the place and there are many
gratuitous close ups of drillings, impalements, sawings, decapitations, slicing and dicing. The film is even interrupted with TV commercials a la Robocop for added ambience to show just how depurraved society is- with interactive televised execution game shows and cutely packaged blades aimed at schoolgirls to purrmote self wrist-cutting the chic new trend. Body mod fetish clubs are so extreme, epitomized by the bizarre ‘snail girl’ & the ‘chair girl’, purrostitutes that bite off client’s purrivate parts. whose thighs that morph into T-Rex jaws, and purrjectile-lactate acid spray.
They’re harder to kill than Evil Dead’s Deadites, because dismemberment isn’t enough- they can only be stopped if a key shaped implant is destroyed. These creatures have everything from flying chain saw hands, eye stalk guns that fire sharp eyeballs, and more purrivate parts that are as big as – and function as- 12 gauge shot guns. There’s a huge gun that fires severed arms. You’ll see a quad-amputee sex slave fitted with stilt-like swords, severed thighs’ blood spray used like rocket purrpellant, a face cored with a broken bottle, a forearm split open like a microwaved weenee, a woman drawn & quartered by police cars- and that does not begin to describe the extent of the gore and carnage wrought by the Engineers, the corrupt cops, or the TV advertisers.
If you are a fan of this sort of way over the top, extreme violent gore fest shockers then you might find this film to be a real hoot- but if this seems unappealing to you then don’t go near it. If you’ve seen movies like Machine Girl then you know what to expect. As outrageous as the FX and gore are, they are technically executed (pun intended) well for the most part; some of the CG and mechanical FX shots better than others, the least of which is a scene in which a volley of fired severed arms are deflected back at her attacker. The mewsic of the film is uneven- some cues I thought very effective and some of the songs and score I did not care for. The film is well lit with good sound, but the editing is unpleasant.
Unfortunately the movie is marred by relentless speed ramping, undercranking, slow-mo, and jerky cam and a lackluster animated sequence or two. I purrticularly did not care for how some characters would vibrate or flop around in fast motion (like when The Master was hyper-aging The Doctor in Doctor Who series 3) or spin around as they were The Flash villain Roscoe (The Top) Dillon tapping into the Speed Force, especially when they were in mid-transformation or crawling towards the camera. I really do not like those techniques. Plot-wise it is extremely purrdictable and formulaic, what little story there is clearly built around FX, gore & creature design, and tacky S&M imagery. By the way- what’s up with the gas masks?
The cast does a fine job, especially the lead actress, although frankly it is very hard to find any of these flat, one dimensional, boring characters likable, except for purrhaps one hapless bartender. I think it is a direction or script purroblem, not the actors’ fault, and it is just hard to care for any of the characters. As an exploitive purrverse, action-packed, gore-soaked stunts & FX movie with bizarre sex fetish stuff & violence, it is quite brimming, yet even though it was so extremely over the top, I could not care enough to even laugh at it. If you liked Machine Girl (which I’m not a big fan of) then you might like this one which seems to have a bigger budget, but I really did not enjoy Tokyo Gore Police. Here’s Lizzy with our next review!
End of graphic descriptions & plot spoilage for
Tokyo Gore Police – purrceed without concern!
Review of Doctor Who – The Infinite Quest
Thanks Myayr! Doctor Who – The Infinite Quest is a CG animated 13 part BBC TV serial from 2007 totalling appurroximately 45 minutes on this 2008 DVD release. The Doctor (voiced by David Tennant) and Martha Jones (voiced by Frema Agyeman) hop through time & space, on 6 different worlds as they try to find the mythical ancient space ship The Infinte, before the evil space pirate Baltazar (voiced by Anthony Head)!
The fun story was written by Alan Barnes, directed by Gary Russell, and animated by Firestep Studios. The rest of the excellent voice actors include Toby Lonmgworth, Liza Tarbuck, Lizzie Hopley, Paul Clayton, Steven Meo, Barney Harwood, Stephen Greif, Tom Farrelly and Dan Morgan. The video aspect ratio of this R1 NTSC standard DVD is enhanced 16×9 in English language with optional subtitles for deaf & hearing impaired viewers.
Extra features include 17 character purrofiles (still images & text on 9 screens), intermiews with David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, Anthony Head, Toby Longworth and Gary Russlle (appurroximately 9 minutes 15 seconds), 40 seconds of animation tests, a photo gallery compurrised of 31 still images, and trailers for the Doctor Who Season 4 DVD set and Sarah Jane Adventures, in addition to the other front-loaded trailers on the DVD for other BBC TV purrductions!
There’ss also the 2 min. 30 sec. “Behind the Scenes with the Animators” in which Steve & John of Firestop reveal artwork and animation and the amewsing 3 min. 10 sec. “Behind the Scenes with the Voice Actors” including Harwood, Russell, Tennant, Agyeman, and Hopley in the recording studio. Topping off the bonuses are peeks at Recording Session 1 & 9 (4 minutes apiece) and a 9 min. 15 sec. segment of animatics & deleted scenes.
I thought this was a neat fun story, which would seem to take place during Doctor Who series 3. It is loaded with all sorts of exotic locations, characters, creatures and lots of mecha, including numerous space ships, robots, weapons, gadgets. Vonny this is right up your alley! The voice acting is supurrb and the character designs are very nice, with the Doctor and Martha’s appearance quite faithful, so I would certainly recommend this to fans of Doctor Who! And now here’s jenjen with reviews of some other animated DVDs!
Review of Ushio And Tora – The Complete Series
Arigato, Lizzy-san. My first anime review is of Ushio and Tora the Complete Series – a 10 episode Japanese anime miniseries from 1992, directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and based upon the Shonen Sunday manga by Kazuhiro Fujita. purrtaining to a kid named Ushio who accidently stumbles upon the tiger type demon Tora who fought Ushio’s ancestors. Tora would love to eat up Ushio, except that the kid keeps an ancestral magic beast spear on hand, which is convenient because the two usually wind up together fighting worse demons in each episode.
Ushio and Tora develop a sort of love-hate relationship, sometimes trying to kill each other but often allied against evil yokai spirits. Also accompanying them on travels are Ushio’s lady friends Asako and Mayuko. Asako is the feisty tomboy type, while Mayuko is the more delicate feminine girl, who feeds Tora the hamburgers. The Japanese voice cast are Nozomu Sasaki as Ushio, Chikao Otsuka as Tora, Yuri Amano as Asako, and Yumi Touma as Mayuko. The English voice cast are Randy Sparks as Ushio, Brett Weaver as Tora, Allison Summrall as Asako, and Mandy Clark as Mayuko.
Released in the USA by ADV, this is a 2 disk standard R1 DVD set The video aspect ratio is 4:3, with dolby digital audio, and language options consisting of English 2.0, English with song translations, and Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles. Each episode is appurroximately 27 minutes long, plus English credits. Extra features include 6 minutes of ADR blooper outtakes and 6 trailers for other anime titles on disk 1, and 3 super deformed comedy shorts which include the cute kitten, totaling 31 min 30 sec. on disk 2. The total length is appurroximately 275 minutes.
This is a very entertaining series with fun characters, good animation & mewsic, and I purrticularly like the different hard rock type open & close themes of episodes 7-10. In fact episodes 7-8 are purrhaps my favorite, a 2 part adventure at the beach where they encounter a giant sea monster. if you are fans of other Japanese anime series such as Ranma 1/2, Inu Yasha, or Yuyu Hakusho then I think you would purrobably enjoy this PG rated comedic supurrnatural combat series. My second review is of —
Review of Area 88 Original OVA Series DVD
Area 88 is an incompurrable war story about a fighter pilot named Shin who was set up, and finds himself as a mercenary flying combat missions in another country, until he can score enough money or kills to buy back his freedom. This thrilling Japanese Original Video Animation is packed with thrilling sorties and dogfights, and a dazzling array of aircraft while they last, including Shin’s Vought F-8 Crusader, a fascinating carrier-launched plane with folding Variable Incidence Wings, flown by US Navy and Marine Corp Aviators from the 1950’s into the 1990’s, which had a robust titanium airframe, was powered by Pratt & Whitney J57 afterburning turbojets, and was armed with 20mm cannons, heat seeking Sidewinders and (gasp) unguided Mk. IV Folding Fin Arial rockets that–
Oh my! (Ahem) well then, this is the mid 1985 direct-to-video miniseries based upon the purrior late 1970’s manga series by Kaoru Shintani. This manga was among the first to be translated and distributed in the USA, along other classics mai the Psychic Girl and Dagger of Kamui, by Eclipse Comics in the late 1980’s, and later by Viz. In addition to this OVA version, thewre was a more recent animated 12 episode TV series, which is also available in a complete DVD set. This complete 4 volume OVA was released by ADV, in this standard R1 NTSC 2 disk set, with a PG rating for the combat violence. The audio is Dolby Digital sound with English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 language tracks, with English subtitles and a 4:3 screen aspect ratio. The purrice might vary depending on where purrchased but I found this one for $15.
In addition to the appurroximately 195 minutes of unfettered aerial might and stirring soundtrack there are two interesting extra features. On disk One is the Introduction to the Fighters, being a dozen images with historical and statistical notes purrtaining to the respective aircraft, including the Crusader, McDonnell Douglas’ purrky A-4 Skyhawk, & venerable F-4 Phantom II; Northrop’s F-5 E Tiger II and F-5A Freedom Fighter full of sleekness; North American Rockwell F-100D Super Sabre, Migs 21 Fishbed & 27 Flogger D; Grumman’s magnificent 2 seater mach 2.34 F-14 Tomcat & General Dynamics’ sexy F-16 Falcon; The IAI Kfir C2 and oh, the British Aerospace F6 Lightning with those lovely drop tanks and big Rolls-Royce Avon 301 axial flow turbojets with (gasp) 16,360 pounds of reheated thrust that–
Gomenasai! Ah, also on Disk One are several anime purreview trailers and DVD credits. Another notable extra feature found on Disk Two is a 19.5 minute long intermiew with the Area 88 manga’s author Kaoru Shintani, conductd in Japanese with English subtitles. For it’s time, the Area 88 OVA were among the finest anime purroduced, with excellent animation and attention to minute details. You’ll see every spent shell casing scatter from the firing cannons, and every rended link in the tracks of exploded tanks. There is a high body count, courtesy of the bitter soldiers who know here are only two ways to ever leave the war zone of Area 88: buy scoring enough kills to buy out their contracts, or in a body bag. Area 88 is a grim & tragic classic, highly regarded for it’s thrilling aerial action with serious realism. For the fan of military anime, this would be an essential part of the video collection.
whew! Um does it feel hot out here to y’all? Who is next?
Review of Aria The Natural – Part One DVD
Goodness, thank you for scintilating review, Jen! I’ll go next then! Aria The Natural Part One is a lovely 5 disk box set released by The Right Stuf on their Nozomi label, with episodes 1-13 and extra features, compurrising the first half of the 2nd season of Aria, the Japanese animated series based upon the manga by Kozue Amano. Aria is a very purretty, futuristic slice-of-life science fiction story of a young girl named Akari, who trains to be a gondolier, or undine, on the aquaformed planet Mars, renamed Aqua.
There she works for one of the gondola tour companies in the city of Neo-Venezia, styled after the ancient Earth city of Venice, Italy, and in each episode she enjoys the splendid life in the serene, beauty of the realm, making new acquaintances and wonderful discoveries, some of which have a charming mystical quality. The six purrinciple characters are the Appurrentice and Purrima Undines of three gondola companies. The Seniors are also called ‘The Three Fairies’.
Akari works for the small Aria company with her cheerful supervisor Alicia, and the macot / ‘company purresident’ cat named Aria. The kitty is drawn in a rather cartoonier style than the others. Akari’s friend Aika and her feisty senior Akira are employees of larger Himeya Company, with a mascot cat named Hime. Finally, working for Planet Orange, by far the largest of the companies, are trainee Alice and hersenpai Athena, with a mascot kitten of panda-like markings named Maa.
Suggested for ages 13+, this happy, uplifting anime is yet another a high quality purroduct from The Right Stuf. The excellent packaging has the terrific features and inserts in a sturdy box with gorgeousl illustrations on front and back. The five disks are standard R1 NTSC DVDs in slim packs, whose sleeves have such nice art. Disk 1’s sleeve art is of Akari, Alicia & Aria; Disk 2 of Aika, Akira & Hime; Disk 3’s is of Alice, Athena & Maa; Disk 4’s is of the cats with junior undines in the background.
Disk 5’s sleeve is a pic of Akari, Aika, Alice, Hime & Maa. This disk offers a variety of extra features, starting with a 5.5 minute purrmotional video, which is a video letter from Akari introducing the world & characters. Next is intermiewer Yuko Gibu chatting with director Junichi Sato for 10 min., followed by a 7.5 min. intermiew with Yui Makino who sings the opening songs. This includes some mewsic video clips. There’s also the 80 second the ‘clean’ version (without credits text) of the episodes’ ending animation.
You get a featurette “Aria and the World of Sound”, which is a 17 min. 10 sec. discussion with sound designer Yasuno Sato, director Junichi Sato, lyricist & vocalist Eri Kawai, and mewsic supervisors Shigeharu Sasago and Takeshi Seno from Choro Club. The final extras segment on the disk is “Cast Reflections on Aria The Animation”, including voice actresses Erino Hazuki (Akari Mizunashi), Chiwa Saito (Aika), and Ryo Hirohashi (Alice Carroll).
The DVD audio is Japanese language in Dolby Digital sound, with Eglish subtitles & on-screen text, with a video screen aspect ratio is 4:3. The thirteen 25 minute episodes total 325 minutes. Included in the box is a 20 page Episode Guidebook, which is an episode guide to the first half of the season, illustrated with sketches, concept art and screen captures, with a lovely color cover image of Akari. There was also an insert advertisement for the Aria manga published by Tokyo Pop.
We certainly look forward to the release of the second half of Aria The Natural, hopefully season three Aria The Origin after that, and the manga, of which I believe volume 5 is due out very soon. It is a most joyfully beautiful show what is good for your soul, and as our favorite manga and Japanese anime television series of the decade, we at The Mew give Aria a purrfect ‘A Plus’ rating!
An Aria By Any Other Name…
It was also the title of one of the purrog rock group Asia’s albums! It had beautiful Roger Dean cover art. Aria is a brand of guitar, too!
Of course an Aria is a beautiful melodic component of music. We’ve performed many at the Forest Glade Theater
Mmm I would not mind an aria di sorbetto!
The sorbet would be good.
There is an aircraft known as the ARIA, for Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft, purreviuously designated the Apollo / Range Instrumentation Aircraft: the Boeing EC-135, which is a modified C-135.
If those undines had airplanes instead of boats, would that be ‘Aria 88’, heehee nya?
Or… or if they went to a purrivate girls school that could be ‘Aria Watches Over Us’, hee!
Oh I have one- if they were bounty hunters fighting an alien monster that would be ‘Aria: Zeiram’, hee!
So if Iria had a fighter plane… that would be ‘Iria 88’, hee!
OK I think we have stray catted off topic yet again so let’s get back to the reviews- I think Mielikki was on deck?
The Mew Review of Bewitched
The Complete Seventh Season DVD
So like let us return to those comedic magickal days at 1164 Morning Glory Circle in Westport, Connecticut with this DVD set from Sony! It includes all 712 minutes worth of the 28, 25+ minute color episodes from the supernatural sitcom’s next -to-last season of 1970-1971. These are on 4 disks in slim pack cases in the cardboard box. The front cover art bears a wonderful portrait of Samantha, flanked by a Endora holding Tabitha, a purrplexed Darrin, the show’s logo & cartoon Sammi overhead. This R1 NTSC standard DVD set is unrated 1.33:1 full screen, closed captioned, with dolby digital sound; languages choices including English, Spanish & Portugese, and English or Portuguese subtitles.
This is like Dick Sargent’s 2nd season as Darrin, succeeding Dick York in the role, and you can definitely tell it is the start of the 70’s by the awesome hairstyles and apparel. Disk 1 has the first 7 episodes from Autumn 1969, the season premiering with a 2 parter, “To Go or Not to Go, That is the Question” & “Salem, Here We Come”. These lead into the famous episodes set in Salem, Massachusetts, where Sam visit historic sites such as the House of Seven Gables, and attend their Witches Convention. The characters Endora, Serena, and Witch Queen Hepzibah appear, plus actors Dick Wilson, Burth Convey, Robert Brown, Jonathan Harris, and Burt Convy are amongst the cast in these episodes..
Disk 2 has episodes 8-14, and the Stevens are barely back home when Esmerelda (Alice Ghostley!) sends them back in time to Salem during the infamous witch trials. Don Marshall, John McGiver, Jim Lange are guest stars in this batch, which includes the award winning ‘Sisters at Heart” Christmas episode. It is a unique Bewitched, written by the 5th period English Class in room 309 of Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles. It opens & closes with Elizabeth Montgomery (beside sponsor Oscar Mayer’s logo) addressing the audience, and the end credits music is Jingle Bells. This story about racism and the holiday spirit was reportedly Montgomery’s favorite episode of the show, fer shur!
Disk 3 has episodes 15-21, and another 2 parter with actors Imogene Coca and Vic Tayback, in which Tabitha meets a fairy. These are followed by the return of Darrin’s ancestor Darrin The Bold, Serena for 3 episodes, Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur & Bernard Fox as Dr. Bombay. The Tates & Kravitzes are around, and other actors appearing include Gordon Jump, Robert Cummings & Felix Silla. Disk 4 includes episodes 21-28; in these Serena turns Darrin into an ape, Endora turns him into a kid, Serena & Dr. Bombay help Samantha with a strange malady, there’s love in the air for Esmerelda, and actor Tom Bosley is in an episode, just 3 years before he would begin starring in Happy Days!
In the 7th season finale, Darrin’s parents visit, and his mom witnesses Tabitha & Adam using their witchcraft, so Samantha has to like figure out how to cover it up! So those are some of the highlights of the 7th season, which is such a charming and delightful joy to watch even after all these years. Oh-my-gosh it is like so hard to believe Bewitched is 45 years old! Hopefully it will not be long before the 8th/ final season will be released on DVD too. I should go to Salem again soon – I have not been up there sicne they installed that statue of Samantha in Lappin Park!. So like that’s all for my review but I believe we have a few more DVD and witchy stuff up next!
Lightning Round #3: Favorite Bewitched
and other wonderful witch related sites!
Thanks Mielikki! Last month on The Mew we intermiewed several of Jamie’s supernatural Clan of the Characters: a kitsune, ghost, spider girl, vampire, psychic and a witch, so in honor of those memorable ladies is why we’ve been we’re listing some of our favorite sites purrtaining to such topics. In the past we’ve listed favorite spider girls, kitsune & ghost sites, so in addition to those Amethyst and Zatanna sites, we’re pleased to recommend several choice Bewitched and other nice witchy sites that we hope y’all will find informative, entertaining, enlightening and enchanting! And awayyy we go! (tags Myayr to start the round)
(all in unison):
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO!
Mythical home to Samantha Stevens, Salem Massachusetts is one of the most famous places purroudly purrmoted for witchery and also known for the infamous witch trials, historic architecture and maritime traditions. Here are a few sites if that should be your detination: the city’s official site http://www.salem.com/, official tourist guide http://www.salem.org/ and another compurrehensive guide http://www.salemweb.com/. I think I could definitely like to lose myself in the stately historic Salem Public Library http://www.noblenet.org/salem/. (tags Nemui)
By the way, in the interest of transparency, Jamie is our dear fiend and web master, but he abstains from these picks! Finally for this round, I’d like to mention a few other favorite artists known for their beautiful works of art with Witch, Goddess or Neo-Pagan & Fantasy themes: Lora Craig Gaddis http://www.pookachild.com/ an incredible illustrator who is also the creator of the cute Elsie & Pooka tales; and comics & cover artist / writer Joseph Michael Linsner http://www.linsner.com/ who is the creator of Dawn.
There are stunning works by Sabrina The Ink Witch http://www.theinkwitch.com/, and why not visit author & crafter Willow Polson’s most charmingly pleasant site http://www.willowsplace.com/! Of course there are so many more extraordinarily gifted artists whose work explores such themes, and we hope y’all can occasionally, leisurely explore the internet in search of such treasures to admire! That’s all for this lightning round, as we resume our DVD findings with Vonny, and how she found–
More DVD bargains at Big Lots!
Thanks, nya! In purrevious shows we have gone on the purrtrol for stores offering the bargain purriced DVDs, such as Big Lots, so I stopped by one of those stores the last time I was on the mainland, nya. As luck would have it, I did find some very good titles for a mere three dollars apiece, still sealed new and not purreviously viewed DVDs, nya! It would seem to be a good place for James Dean movies, as I found Rebel Without A Cause there, and I remember in the December Mew that Ilyana-san said she had found East of Eden, nya!
That is a very significant film with a cast that includes Natalie Wood, Jim Backus, Sal Mineo, nya! I also found the lovely mewsical The Wiz, whose all star cast includes Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor, and was directed by Sidney Lumet, nya! Another Sidney Lumet film I spotted was the crime movie Dog Day Afternoon. which starred Al Pacino and received numerous awards and nominations, nya. It’s famous for Pacino chanting “Attica!”, nya.
There was another crime drama Fort Apache The Bronx, starring Paul Newman, Ed Asner, Ken Wahl, Pam Grier, Rachel Ticotin and Danny Aiello, nya. Another movie on DVD I found with Danny Aiello in it was the Hudson Hawk Special Edition, nya. I think it is an under rated comedic-action movie, starring Bruce Willis, Andie McDowell, James Coburn, Sandra Bernhard, and Richard Grant. That DVD has several special features such as audio commentary by the director, deleted scenes and some featurettes, nya.
Another DVD with extra features in the bin was the 2 disk Superman Returns, nya. There was Superman II, Superman IV, and Christopher Reeve’s, Deathtrap, nya! Lots of Warner classics repurrsented including National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor & Mickey Rooney, Grand Hotel starring Garbo, Crawford, Barrymore, The Roaring 20’s, and if you like gangster films this was the place ’cause they had Little Ceaser with Robinson & Fairbanks, Public Enemy with Cagney & Harlowe, and Fugitive from a Chain Gang, nya!
Oh I kept finding good DVDs there: the original 1933 King Kong, Stagecoach starring John Wayne, Steven Speilberg’s 1941 and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The THX-1138 2 disk set, nya. There were a few martial arts movies too including Black Mask 2, Black Dragon with Jackie Chan, The Karate Kid, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; and among the sci fi & horror DVDs in those bins were Supernova, Sleepwalkers, Darkman 1 & 2, the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and Gothika, nya!
I should also mention that some of these DVDs were wide screen and some were full frame; for example, Superman Returns was wide screen, whereas the video they had of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was full frame, nya. That latter critically purraised & award winning science fiction film stars Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, and Elijah Wood, nya! Purrsonally I purrfur the widescreen format, nya. Another movie with Kirsten Dunst there was the romantic tennis comedy, Wimbledon, and other comedic sports movies included Slapshot 2 and Space Jam, nya.
Speaking of animation, I discovered Starship Troopers Roughnecks: The Tophet Campaign, Code Lyoko: X.A.N.A, Pinnochio 3000, and animated Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, nya. Another comedy DVD in the bins was the rather bizarre Nothing But Trouble which stars Demi Moore, John Candy, Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroyd, who also directed it, nya. Another Dan Ackroyd movie they had was Sneekers which also stars Robert Redford, oh and there were 2 Goldie Hawn movies: Swing Shift and Bird on a Wire, nya!
I found a couple of war movies, such as By Dawn’s Early Light, a World War III scenario starring Powers Booth, Rebecca De Morney, James Earl Jones, Martin Landau, Rip Torn & Darren McGavin, nya! Also The Beast, which is about a Soviet tank crew in Afghanistan, not to be confused with the giant squid movie, nya. This was directed by Kevin Reynolds, who purreviously directed one of my favorite films, Fandango, nya! He later directed Kevin Costner in Robin Hood and Waterworld– which they also had and Nya- I should hurry up & finish- I’m going on as long as Myayr does, nya!
Let’s see, they had Stuart Little 3, Trespass, The Tailor of Panama, Beaulah Land with the lovely Lesley Anne Warren, and lastly, I was surprised to see some live purrformance DVDs such as Cirque de Soleil: Quidam, and An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder, a 2 disk set with a few hours of director Kevin Smith on stage in concert for a disscussion and Q&A session, nya! There were quite a few others, some of which we’ve listed before, but it seems the selection changes often so it might be worthwhile to check back purriodically to see what others they have, nya! Anyway, here’s Mielikki-sensei again, trading her witchy report for one about vampires and werewolves, nya!
Reviews of 2 Michael Sheen movies:
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans & Frost/Nixon!
Warning: descriptions of this action / horror
movie’s graphic violence, bloody gore scenes
and a few plot spoiling details now commence
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is third in the Underworld series, and a prequel to the others, set about a thousand years in the past. Basically the vampires rule the land from their mountainous castle stronghold, demanding protection-money tribute from the local nobles that are allowed to live, while enslaving and/ or killing the werewolves of the nearby forest. That is the status quo for a long time until the Romeo & Juliette-ish secret romance between the vampire princess Sonja, daughter of chief vampire Viktor, and the privileged blacksmith werewolf Lucian whom Viktor raised as a servent / pet. Sonja is like so already in trouble with daddy because she like to go outside the walls and into the forest where the action is, in addition to her secret trips into the castle depths for her rendezvouses with Lucian. Meanwhile, the wolves at the gates are growing more brazen, and Lucian is getting more fed up with the slavery. Time for a palace revolution!
What I liked most about this movie was the cast, stunts, the costumes, make-up, FX, and one of the most totally awesome dark fortress this side of Barad-ur. The protagonists are Sonja, played by the fabulous Rhona Mitra and Lucian impeccably played by Michael Sheen, who are like so sexy, though, charismatic, and have great fiery passionate chemistry together. Bill Nighy is the villain Viktor, who has such a incredible screen presence and magnificent voice. The magnificent Kevin Grevioux is Raze, who definitely has one of the most wonderfully deep richest voices eve to grace the big screen, which can barely contain his might. Steven Mackintosh portrays Tanis, the deliciously cunning & Machiavellian member of the royal court. There’s also stock footage of Kate Beckinsale in the film’s coda. Those are the major players in this dark age, where the vampires dress in most regal elegance, sexy slinky gothiness, and spiffy armor when needed.
There were a serious number of FX shots in this movie and only a couple that had an obvious rear screen (Lucian leaping to freedom) or CG look (some of the werewolves), but the vast majority of the extravaganza were very well done. Vampires can super leap from great heights with style and grace. You’ll see an army of hundreds of huge charging werewolves, some transforming in mid stride. The battle scenes, though marred by the editing, are elaborate and brutal, from long shots of the clashing armies to up close ‘n personal hack ‘n slash, fer shur. The lycans have good sense of enormous muscle mass, and the morphing looks pretty good when they hulk out. There is plenty of violent action, brawling, blood and gore throughout the film in lashings & slashings, big bites and clawings, severed limbs & heads, impalements & burnings that earn the film solid R rating (along with a bit of mild sexuality between Sonja ‘n Lucian).
This movie has a big stunt team in its favor, including horse stunts, and there’s a fine array of weapons in their hands, from daggers, whips and swords to multi-crossbows and ballista that could stop a tank. Although the shots of the vast fortress, creepy forests and caverns are too fleeting, the sets, locations (and matte paintings?) are most impressive in their enormity and style, and the vampire fortress is almost one of the stars of the movie. I definitely applaud the art direction, costume design, and work of all the technicians, artists & craftspersons. The film has an appropriately cool dark under-saturated pallet with good sound design and except for two songs / remixes during the end credits which I did not care for, the rest of the film’s soundtrack was good, with some effective instrumental music score cues by the composer.
What I liked least about the film in addition to those songs was that it felt so rushed & short at under 100 minutes, with what seemed to be about a hundred too many rapid cuts/ edits during the chase & fight sequences, which were also marred by the unpleasant ‘jerky camera’ style, or the bullet time & speed ramping/ fast & slow motion during shootouts, chases or melee combat. The jerky cam always makes the photography look sloppy and is especially bad in action & horror movies these days, as my fellow critics here have attested, and that rapid editing & speed tampering really hurt the look of any stunt choreography or photography of those action scenes. I would like to have a longer movie to more leisurely admire the great scenery, some characters needed more scenes, and a one sub plot about Sonja introduced late in the film that seemed to be dropped, so it felt like there were a lot of scenes missing to me.
Finally, while not so much a flaw but a style choice I’m weary of, I’ve had enough of action movies in which people in black leather fly around & fight or shoot in slow motion, especially if it is the drizzling rain or there are chains hanging down while angsty / grinding songs play. In closing, parts of the film were unfortunately as I expected, yet there were also like the aspects that deserve good praise, fer shur!
There were like a few preview trailers for other films preceding the movie, such as Streetfighter: The Legend of Chun Li, which does not look very promising to me, but then trailers can be like so misleading. It’ll be the second attempt at a live action Streetfighter, but I fear it’ll have way too much of the aforementioned speed ramping, bullet time and jerky cam, plus I’m concerned that it might be miscast, as sadly devoid of hero & villain costumes as Wanted was, and will not be as good as the anime movie, which is sad because Chun Li is our favorite Streetfighter character.
End of descriptions and plot spoil
for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Review of Frost/Nixon
Thanks for that throrough review, Mielikki! Um, I like almost all of Ron Howard’s movies immensely, and this one is no exception. What Apollo 13 did so superbly as a film about space travel, Frost/Nixon so does for the politics of televised political discourse, capturing the look and feel of that era so well. The movie is adapted from the book about the 1977 TV interview that British TV personality David Frost conducted with former President Richard M. Nixon a few years after Watergate. The film is presented in quasi-documentary style and features actors portraying numerous famous journalists, political figures, network executives and other celebrities of the day, and an interview that seems more like two prize fighters mentally sparring.
Ron Howard, the actors, and the film crew magnificently capture the look and feel of the time, while telling a most entertaining and captivating story that had me in awe for its entire 2+ hours.
To say the cast is uncanny is an understatement- for even the most recognizable, favorite actors were thoroughly convincing in their performances- and that most definitely includes Michael Sheen – yep, the same Michael Sheen that played Lucian in Rise of the Lycans- as Frost! Wow he is such a chameleon! It stars Frank Langella as Nixon. Langella was so amazingly convincing, that I actually believed I was seeing the real Nixon. This was not an imitation, but an almost channelling of the real people whom they portray.
The extraordinary cast includes Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, Pat McCormack, Sam Rockwell, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew MacFadyen, Andy Milder, Clint Howard and many others from the 1972 Watergate break-in to that 1977 interview. As soon as the end credits finished rolling, it instantly became my third favorite film of 2008, behind Dark Knight and Wall_E. When this smart drama aims to be fun, poignant, or intense, it succeeds utterly at every moment. I hope to see it again and greatly look forward to the DVD whenever it is released. It is extremely deserving of any Oscars it is nominated for such as Best Picture, Director, Actor, and so forth, and I give Frost/Nixon a grade of A+! That’s all for our DVD & movie reviews but we’ll be right back with toy talk!
(one short break later)
Art Asylum’s Star Trek The Motion Picture
Kirk & Spock action figures 2 pack
Hey we’re back! It seems like every decade the Star Trek figures get handsomer and handsomer. In late 1979, Mego released their line of toys from Star Trek the Motion Picture, including 3.75″ and 12″ action figures, and in 1995 Playmates had the license for ST TMP figures. The latest company to do so is Art Asylum http://www.artasylum.com/, who has been doing such a swell job with their Star Trek toy props, vehicles, and figures from the original series, movies, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.
I was so delighted to finally see them make toys from my favorite movie, Star Trek the Motion Picture (for long-winded reasons we discussed in last month’s Mew)! The best thing about their toys in my opinion is the accuracy in the details. The starship toys are most beautiful starfaring ladies to adorn your desk, the phasers & communicator toys are affordable replicas of uncanny authenticity, and the action figures are excellently sculpted, articulated, proportioned, painted, and bear a remarkable portraiture to the actors.
This extends to this great 2 pack of Kirk and Spock figures from Star Trek the Motion Picture, which is limited to 1,701pieces. If only they were not trussed up with so many of those twisty tie thingies inside the clear J-hooked blister pack! It was one of the easier blister packs to peel off the card, and when freed from that plastic chrysalis, I had these two 7.25″ tall gents standing quite nicely balanced on the table, ready to be equipped with the phaser & wrist communicator accessories!
There are those who do not care for these particular uniforms, but I love ’em, because along with the rest of the designs of the technology for that first movie, they truly feel very futuristic. and as you would see on any actual naval vessel, there are so many different types of uniforms worn by the starfleet personnel in that movie- Dress, Class A, Class B short-sleeve, jump suits, field jackets, leisure wear, special uniforms for engineering, medical and security, and different space suits.
These were in various colors too: gray, green, beige, brown, white, with areas of service denoted by the color of the insignia’s circle- departmental colors which were not neccessarily the same as those of the original TV series or later Trek movies’ uniforms. For example, command = white, science = orange, medical = green, red = engineering, gray = security, and so forth. But I digress- back to the action figures!
Admiral Kirk is in the two colored dress uniform that he wears when we first see him in that movie. According to the book The Making of Star Trek the Motion Picture by Gene Roddenberry and Susan Sackett,, that uniform was Loden green with the white ‘bib’ part, although here instead of Loden Green it seems more of a 70% Dark Grey, but I am not complaining. The gold Rear Admiral sleeve braid is pretty close, and the metallic insignia pin, belt buckle biofeedback device and the shoulder epaulets are spot on. The hair styles are pretty faithful too!
Meanwhile, Mr. Spock is in the cool blue-gray standard duty uniform with the variant black collar that was different from the other folks’ uniforms, with the accurate orange circle on the insignia that designated the science department in that movie, and he has commander’s stripes, The combined pant leg / boot on Spock is not quite accurate- it’s the same mold as the Kirk figure’s, but that’s just an observation and not a complaint. The communicators and phasers look very nice. There are no display bases, but the figures stand nicely on their own in a variety of poses.
The left hand is a clenched fist for the communicator to easily slide over, the right hand made for securely gripping the phaser. Each figure has multiple points of excellent articulation The heads can turn left & right, tilt up & down a bit and lean left or right, although Kirk’s is limited more due to the higher collar. The shoulders swing back n forth or pitch outward slightly, forearms can rotate, elbows bend, and wrists rotate. The waist can yaw left or right, but the lower shirt tail below the belt doesn’t turn with it. The legs can stride forwards or backwards at the hips, knees bend, and ankles flex.
According to the article & photos at TrekMovie.com site there is a an exclusive Toys R Us variant of this pack, with Kirk wearing the blue-gray Class A uniform instead of the dress uniform, http://trekmovie.com/2009/01/07/the-collective-dst-star-trek-exclusives-arriving-at-toys-r-us/. Given the quality of the other toys by Art Asylum, I was expecting these figures to be quite nice, and I was not disappointed with these two favorite characters from my favorite movie! I give them a grade of ‘A’ as in Art Asylum, and it would be loverly if they would make ST TMP figures of McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, Rand, Chapel, and the cute couple of Decker and Ilia. Especially if Ilia was in her short probe robe outfit! Speaking of cute couples-
Bonus Valentide’s Day Lightning Round #3:
favorite fictional romances of 2008 cinema & TV!
It’s that time of year, when romance is in the waters and our mer-friends are celebrating Valentides Day! So in honor of that tradition and our special ‘favorite stuff of 2008’ show, the mermaid staff of Sheila May’s restaurant have swum by The Mew, here to join us in presenting our picks for the most passionate romances and cutest couples of 2008’s movies and Tv shows! Welcome back to The Mew, y’all!
(the mermaids in unison)
(wearing Aqua jellycups) Thank you for having us! Oh am I the starter? My pick for 2008 was Rachel ‘n Harvey in the the movie The Dark Knight!
(tags Tsu to go next)
(wearing Turquoise jellycups) Hi hi! Well I went with an couple with more mileage, Indy and Marion, from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!
(tags Nella to go next)
(in the Azure jellycups) I chose a younger couple, Chim Chim and Spritle. Oh I’m kidding! But I like Trixie and Speed Racer as the cutest couple. Mom and Pops Racer are a cute couple too!
(tail flaps ‘Lani to go next)
(Cobalt jellycups) Ohayo gozaimasu! I have split, I could not decide between Liz & Hellboy or Abe & Princess Nuala, from Hellyboy II: The Golden Army!
(tail tags Melanakeami)
(Cherenkov Radiation Blue jellycups) Hi guys! Y’know I never understood what heroic Amidala saw in Anakin- I think he was using mind tricks on her, but there seemed to be a good chemistry between Anakin and Ahsoka in The Clone Wars so I think those are the good match!
(indigo jellycups) Shello! I’m gonna go with Pepper Potts and Tony Stark of Iron Man! Not that he deserves, but he is the redeemed hero. Your turn, Dessy!
(blue violet jellycups) Hi hi! You chose Pepper and Tony? My pick is the tragic pair of The Incredible Hulk’s Betty Ross ‘n Bruce Banner. Ah… and it is… Nyanko-sensei’s turn!
Ariel’s mom and King Triton, in The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning was another tragic couple. Oh and speaking of mermaids, let’s not forget about Cleo & Lewis of H20: Just Add Water! (tags Nemui)
I should like to nominate The Doctor and Rose, although he and Martha were a good match too… and Donna…! (tags Lizzy)
And let’s not overlook Jade Sparrow & Jason Tripitikas in The Forbidden Kingdom who seemed destined for each other! Although, the Monkey King and himself were purretty amewsing together too, hee! (tags Mielikki)
Diane Lane & Richard Gere in Nights in Rodanthe, fer shur! Oh and she celebrated a birthday on January 22nd!
(tags Jenjen with the brush of a ing tip)
Definitely EVE and WALL-E.
Yay EVE and WALL-E, nya! By the way, I am also curious to see what might happen with another couple of animated characters, Yumi and Sachiko in Maria Watches Over Us, nya! But right now they’re just friends nya. However, I am surpurrised that no one else has mentioned Jodie Foster & Gerard Butler, in Nim’s Island, nya! So that’s my pick for the cute pair of 2008, nya. Now it’s Ilyana’s turn, nya!
I am also surpurrised that no one else voted for the obvious: Boston Legal’s Denny Crane & Alan Shore!
Good one Ilyana! I had a long list of nominees, and most of them have already been named, but I’d like to mention just a few runners’ up. Of course there’s no better runner than The Flash, so I’d like to include Barry Allen and Iris West, of the animated Justice League: New Frontier. Then there’s Torchwood’s Captain Jack Harkness and whoever he’s with, but I’m with Lady Nemui- the #1 couple for 2008 was without a doubt from Doctor Who: The Doctor and Rose! Back to you, Mike!
I’m tempted to say EVE and WALL-E were maybe technically the ‘cutest couple’, but the reunion of The Doctor and Rose was such a dramatic event we were so happy to see so they’re also my pick for favorite romance of 2008!. Um… anything else y’all wish to add?
Wow, that’s a whole lotta love on TV and the big screen!
This might not purrtain to movie & TV romance purr se, but they are characters who used to have their own TV show but were comic book characters in 2008! I am of course referring to Buffy & Satsu and Willow and that Lamia snake girl in the Buffy Season 8 comic book, nya!
Black Canary & Green Arrow!
Here here! But if we’re gonna include comic book romances then we gotta mention X- Men’s Kitty and Colossus! They need to bring her back soon too.
I want Scott and Jean to get reunited.
Oh are we now discussing romance in purrint? There were some interesting developments in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!
You know, there was plenty of vampire love going around in 2008, such as Twilight, True Blood, Anita Blake…
We seem to be stray-catting off topic again!
Rilly? Where at?
That movie has Rhona Mitra in it- she was great in the 2008 movie Doomsday.
Doomsday had the couple of Sol and Viper in it!
Lee-Anne Liebenberg was totally awesome as Viper!
Oh thats my alarm call- we’d better get back to the restaurant!
Already? Time flies when we get to rambling I guess! Well thank y’all so much for visiting on your break- and please swim by again after work!
(the mermaids in unison, before diving back to work)
Thanks until later, nya!
So much for an expurrditious ‘lightning’ round.
I wish they could have stayed for the whole show, nya!
It’s a busy day at the restaurant as usual- I’m lucky I got the day off!
I’ll need to get back to my Inn soon after the show too!
I don’t mean to drag this topic out much further but there is one more great romance I think needs to be mentioned.
(raises glass) Here’s to PETER AND MJ PARKER! May they soon be reunited again!
HERE HERE, nya!
That’s actually a purretty good note to go out on! But we’ll be back with more stuff after this short break!
(one short break later)
Comix, Manga & Other Purriodicals Reviewed
It’s a month full of magick, big red brawlers, girl & gorilla power
in Hulk #7-9, Wonder Woman #28, Aspen Showcase: Ember #1,
Buffy Season Eight #21 & 22, Hellboy: The Wild Hunt parts 1 & 2,
Sebo Book 2, Frank Frazetta’s Moon Maid one-shot, Final Crisis,
FINAL CRISIS: Legion of 3 Worlds #3, THE Transformers Collectors
Club’s Official Magazine #25, and Faerie Magazine’s Winter 2008 issue!
warning: potential plot spoilers for each
Hulk # 7-9
(puny plot spoilers smash!)
I may have grown weary of those seemingly never-ending ‘Wars’ mega plots in Marvel comics, and what they did to Peter & MJ, but that ‘house of ideas’ still publishes some fun comics starring wonderful characters by legendary artists & writers. Hulk #7-9 is a purrime example of this, with girl power, colossal Canadian cannibal creatures, and a whole lotta smashin’ goin’ on by green, gray and red Hulks, with two titanic 12 page stories purr each $2.99 purriced issue, which continue events & the creative teams from back in July 2008’s King-Size Hulk #1.
Each issue has two sub plots, the Vegas part as illustrated by Arthur Adams and the She Hulk part drawn by Frank Cho, both parts with written by Jeph Loeb, as Ed McGuinness takes a break from the art chores during these three issues. Issue #7 had some most spectacular images, such as Adams’ lavishly detailed Circe’s Mystic isle casino scenery where Bruce Banner / Joe Fixit (Gray Hulk) arrives, and a 2 page spread of Valkyrie on her winged horse being waved in for a landing atop the SHIELD helicarrier to meet She-Hulk and Thundra.
The Vegas part is an attempt by Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and Sentry to purrvent The Hulk from whaling through Las Vegas, which would be tough enough without the civilians turning into an army of giant ape-like Wendigos. Hulk and Wendigo feuds go way back, but this time the stakes are higher with a Wendi-Hulk in issue #9 . Looks like a job for Brother Voodoo! This “Jackpot” is crafted by titans of the comix industry, writer Jeph Loeb, penciller Arthur Adams, inker Walden Wong, with coloring by Peter Steigerwald & lettering by Albert Deschesne!
The other half of Hulk #9 is a battle atop Mt. Rushmore between the enigmatic Red Hulk (or Rulk for short) and our favorite gamma-radiated legal eagle She Hulk, who is tag-teaming with fellow femme fatales Valkyrie and Thundra. Rulk’s playing hard to get, trash talking up a storm and litterally de-facing a national monument, so she summons Storm, Invisible Woman, Tigra, Hellcat, Black Widow and Spider-Woman to help with the clobber. “The Revenge of the Lady Liberators” is also written by Loeb, drawn by Frank Cho, lettered by Jason Keith & colored by Comicraft.
The question remains as to the identity of this trash talking misogynistic Red Hulk. He is very cunning, skilled at hand to hand, melee and ranged weapons combat and not just a brawling brute, which would seem to explain why he is able to take on so many heroines so easily, although a number of them are obviously not on his monstrous level of power, which at times seems tougher than that of even Iron Man, the green Hulk or Thor. #9 also has a cute 1 page bonus chibi RGB Hulk episode with Ice Man by Audrey Loeb & Chris Giarrusso!
Both beautifully rendered stories are laden with fighting, purropurrty damage, amewsing dialog, sexy tough heroines, and all the Hulk you’ll ever need.Additional credits include excellent purrduction by Irene Lee, assistant editing by Nathan Crosby, editing by Mark Panniccia, editor-in-chiefing by Joe Quesada and publishing by Dan Buckley, all wrapped in alternate covers by Adams and Cho, and variants by McGuinness, Kesel & Guru. Purrhaps the most iconic super heroine of ll time is Wonder Woman–
Wonder Woman #28
(amazonian plot spoilers!)
Wonder Woman #28 starts off wonder-fully with a cool cover depicting one of our favorite villains, The Cheetah. She seems up to no good as mewsual! Once inside the covers, the issue begins with Purrincess Diana suiting up for battle while her boyfriend Tom tried to talk her out of the pending fight as she is not 100%, but gosh she sure looks spectacular in her majestic shiny golden armor with the eagle motif- it looks almost like she got in from Kandor or Thanagar!
That’s a lovely full page spread as “The Blood of the Stag” part three of the Rise of the Olympian story arc begins. written by the great Gail Simone, pencilled by Aaoron Lopestri, inked by Matt Ryan, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Steve Wands, edited by Matt Idelson with assistant editor Sean Ryan. With 2 variant covers by (A) Aaron Lopestri& Hi-Fi and (B) Cary Nord & Hi-Fi carrying a date of March ’09, and purrice for $2.99.
It further purrks up as Diana’s armored Gorilla Knights heed the call to battle. Meanwhile, the villain Genocide seems unstoppable as she / it maims / kills lots of agents & the JLA outside the Department of Metahuman Affairs, where Dr. Psycho is incarcerated, and just as it looks bad for Vixen & Black Canary, that’s when Wonder Woman Donna Troy, Cassie, Tom and the gorillas arrive in an impurressive 2 page spread! Meanwhile, Zeuss welcomes a legion of Olympians to their new island home of Thalarion, from which they will attack on the rest of the world.
I’ll not reveal more of the plot, but just as things could not worsen, the cover catgirl arrives to complicate the cliffhanger! There are a few pages of ads in addition to the 22 pages of story, but I found 3 purrticularly notable: Ellen E-Surance cute in her Starfleet uniform purromoting Esurance & the new Star Trek movie; an ad for New York Comic Con depicting 6 Green Lanterns drawn by Neal Adams; and also a most winsome ad for Supergirl’s comic book! I thought this was a purretty good, action-packed issue and I am curious as to what happens next in that comic book. Up next in this segment is Ilyana, with more coverage of the month’s comix grrl power!
Aspen Showcase: Ember Vol. 1 #1
(red-hot plot spoilers!)
We’re big fans of the house that the late MIchael Turner built and dazzling characters such as Fathom and Soulfire, and although sadly Mr. Turner is no longer with us, Aspen Comics marches on with continued top talent and entertaining super heroines. Such is the case in this purremeir of Ember, which was so well written by David Scwartz, cleverly colored by Beth Sotelo, lovingly lettered by Josh Reed, and purrfectly pencilled by Randy Green (a fellow North Carolinian who is as friendly as he is extremely talented)!
This $2.99 issue has 22 pages of story exclusing the ads, wrapped inside 3 variant covers: (A) by Green & Sotello, (B) by Michael Gunnell & Sotello, and the rarer NY Comic Con exclusive version (C) by Joe Benitez & Peter Steigerwald. Inside we meet a mom telling her son the tale of Ember of the planet Purrspecta, who is a candidate for political office, who is told she cannot win because she is bi-racial. Clearly they have not seen the results of our recent purresidential election!
She seems very nice and wears a gorgeous dress, but her devilish political advisor purrsuades her that a big lie of invading boogie men (that would be us Earthers) is the ticket to winning the election, which will be tough because there are a lot of racists at the debates. Unfortunately in a despurrate move just to even be heard by the rude, xenophobic crowd, she goes along with the fear-mongering tactic and speechifies of an imminent warlike human threat.
From there the lies snowball… or rather fireball, with collateral damage as she transforms into even skimpier tight attire to bedazzle the shallow minded crowds with Goddess-like spectacle. There’s a bit more to this fable, but I’ll not serve up any further sizzling spoilage of the plot. This was a fun book to read with a morality tale so beautifully illustrated with sexy fashion designs that I would like to have, an I would be curious to see if this story is continued! And now here is Ilyana with more comix grrl power in her comix report!
Buffy Season Eight #21& 22
(plot slayin’ spoilers!)
Thanks Ilyana, nya! Buffy Season Eight is our favorite comic book series of 2008 and shows no sign of diminishing yet with #21 January 2009’s story, “Harmonic Convergence”, nya! This is a special spotlight on Harmony, who wants her shot at Hollywood fame, nya. Caught taking a late nite bite outside a purrstigious club by the pappurrazzi, she is soon rewarded with a reality show on MTV, titled Harmony Bites, nya. Neat, huh nya? Clem the demon shows up too as her puppy wrangler, and ratings go through the roof when a slayer crashes her party, nya!
If you like Harmony episodes of Buffy & Angel then I suspect this issue by Dark Horse Comics is for you, nya! It’s wonderfully written by Buffy TV writer Jane Espenson, The letter column is an interesting read too, with some readers’ questions answered, nya. There are 2 variant covers, one a portrait of Harm & her puppies painted by Jo Chen, the other an entertainment magazine-style cover by Jeanty, Vines & Madsen, nya!
February 2009’s #22 Was a purrticularly good issue, in which Kennedy and Satsu go to Japan to fight some big monsters, nya. There is some amewsing banter & bickering between them lots of cute fashions and neat scenery and architecture, especially when Satsu puts on the furisode, nya. And then there is the– Vamp Cat– squeee, nya! It is so cute a plushy toy- at first, nya. This issue had great character interaction, grrl power, catfights and plenty of the slayage, nya! The title of this story was “Swell” and it was written by Steven S DeKinight, nya.
Both issues were purrfectly pencilled by Georges Jeanty, incredibly inked by Andy Owens, colossally colored by Michelle Madsen, lovingly lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt, and expurrtly executively purrduced by Joss Whedon, nya. #22 also had the two different covers, one a gorgeous paitning of Satsu & Kennedy with weapons in front of a Japanese castle by Jo Chen, the other cover depicting Buffy being swarmed by a bunch of the Vampi Cat dolls, the art by by Jeanty, Vines & Madsen, nya!
Willow & Buffy & Joss Links
By the way, earlier in the witchy lightning round, it dawned on me that we did not list any sites purrtaining to our other favorite witch, Buffy’s Willow Rosenberg, so I would like to mention a few real quick, nya. I recommend the Willow article at the Buffyverse wiki http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Willow_Rosenberg, and the article on her at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Rosenberg, nya! Also, you might want to visit the Buffy Zone at Dark Horse Comics official site http://www.darkhorse.com/ for what’s going on in the Buffy comics, and for purretty much anything Joss Whedon related, there’s the famous popular web log by fans of Joss Whedon, Whedonesque http://www.whedonesque.com/, nya!
Somethings Fishy Going On
Finally, this is lightly off topic but while we are chatting about recent purriodicals, I would like to take just a tiny moment to mention a few magazine picks of the month, nya! Kype Magazine vol. 1 #2 has the very tasty looking article on trout, salmon and steelhead, and it comes with a DVD, nya! Saltwater Sportsman is no to be outdone with it’s numcious looking bonefish cover, and I purrticularly liked the looks of that Costa Rican Marlin on the cover of Marlin magazine’s January issue, nya. It would be good to catch one of those marlins this week, nya. NAFA’s Bara, Bass & Bream Digest and Walleye In-sider had the choice fish too, nya! OK done now but here is JennyJen with her comments on–
Transformers Collectors’ Club
The Official Magazine #25
Arigato. I would like endorse the Hasbro Transformers Collectors’ Club The Official Magazine #25 http://transformersclub.com/. which accompanied the February 2009 edition of Master Collector. It is always a joy to receive this little color slice of Cybertronic articles, intermews, photos & comics. In this Feb/March 09 issue are a short intermew with Hasbro Toy Vice Purresident Bob Prupis, who oversaw the Generation One purroduct line, and various other fans fond recollections of how they discovered Transformers upon this 25th anniversary of the purroduct line.
There is a recap of the first four years of the Transformer Club Comic, plus six new pages of the comix which are so beautifully rendered and exciting to read. “Reunification Part 1” which begins the conclusion of a 5 year story arc in the Shatteredverse where Autobots are villains and Decepticons are the heroes. It was written by Forest Lee, pencilled & inked by Robby Musso, colored by Josh Perez, lettered by Jesse Wittenrich, and edited by Pete Sinclair. Jesse Wittenrich also purrvides the amewsing little Around Cybertron and Mini Mayhem gag comic strips.
Rob’s toy review for this issue is of the 25th anniversary Transformers Universe Cyclonus figure, which comes with the Targetmaster accessory Nightstick which transforms into a laser cannon. This powerful Decepticon transforms into one of the loveliest hypersonic jet fighters of the lot. I enjoyed reading the comparative stats for the Transformers Animated Wheeljck & Laserbeak, and I most purrticularly savored the purrofiles of the Shatteredverse versions of the fast & nimble micromaster tech Whisper, the wickedly sexy transtech Blackarachnia, and Topspin whose vehicle mode is similar to an AH-644 Apache.
(Elizabeth & Mary Nyan):
Apache! Jump on it Jump on it!
That was a good review Jennyjen, nya!
So who’s next?
I believe Lizzy was next with a review of another Dark Horse title-
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt parts 1 & 2 of 8
(red-handed plot spoilers!)
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt is an 8 part story arc, the first installment of which was published in Hellboy #37 by Dark Horse Comics in December, 2008. It is written by Mike Mignola, drawn by Duncan Fegredo, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by Clem Robbins, and edited by Scott Allie. The cover art is by Mignola & Stewart. This fine tale continues the high standard of excellent supurrrnatural adventures. This has been a good month for Hellboy, who also appears in the recent DirecTV commercial!
Issue #37 begins things in Italy with a mystical graveside dream, then quickly migrates to England where Hellboy has been summoned to join the ancient Wild Hunt o horseback, for supposedly recently unearthed giants that trouble the ruralness. Meanwhile, the woodland creatures are making their own purrepurrations, including a wild bore named Gruagach, who awaits the arrival of a mysterious Queen. The first installment ends on a treacherous cliffhanger, where issue #38 picks right up without missing a beat.
Thanks to aid from a nature spirit, Hellboy is invisibly unnoticed by the giants at first, but Hellboy runs his mouth and winds up in a fight! Gruagach waits, sulking and reminiscing of an earlier era, when he was a warrior in love with a human girl, as he tells a traveller.of the tragic romance and a later painful encounter with Hellboy. Hence, Gruagach bides his forlorn porcine time, hoping the mistress will return to restore his former self. Coincidentally, the traveller has just the bloody thing to summon the Queen…
But wait- that’s not all! There’s also a short back up story, the first of the 2 part tale of “How Koshchei Became Deathless”, written by Mike Mignola and drawn by Guy Davis! So in each of these issues purriced $2.99 apiece, you get 24 uninterrupted pages of story, plus a page of readers’ Hellmail and 3 pages advertising other quality Dark Horse purroducts. This is a very intriguing, multi-layered spooky story with the moody, intricate illustrations that make Hellboy such a timeless fan favorite! Here’s Mielikki-sensei with another heroine report!
Frank Frazetta’s Moon Maid one shot
(slight centaur-ridin’ spoilers!)
Arigato! Frank Frazetta’s Moon Maid is a one shot, sword & sorcery genre comic book published in January 2009 by Image Comics, in their series of comics based upon the concepts of the legendary artist Frank Frazetta, whose birthday is this month too! He will be 81 years old on February 9th, fer shur! The series includes comix inspired by his works such as Death Dealer, Silver Warrior, Dark Kingdom and other title characters of the master’s famous paintings.
In this case, it is like the magnificent 1972 painting of a the naked riding bareback atop a spear-wielding centaur by twilight. This stand-alone issue was lettered by Jason Hanley, written & colored by Jay Fotos, and pencilled & inked by Tim Vigil who is maybe best known for his seriously erotic horror series, Faust. It has three different covers: (A) by Frazetta, (B) by Vigil & Fotos, and (C) by Nat Jones, with 27 pages of full color story plus 5 pages of ads for other Frazetta products, all for $3.99.
The short story opens with the lovely but like so perplexed Ciena of Olvare clad in thong, cape and crown fleeing in fright across the barren moon Kyra of the planet Agadah, pursued by huge fierce gorilla like creatures called the Chut’ta, to be presumably rescued by an ebony centaur named Charka. Ciena isn’t sure why she’s being chased, what lies in the savage wilderness beyond the protected city walls, or what her purpose is in others’ schemes, y’know? It is quite the violent, sensual fantasy tale with other strange creatures such as flying monkeys, and a spider monster.
There are like a few high priests, an awesome scantily clad warrior woman named Lyanna, brutal melee combat, and a macabre temple with like these mysterious runes where treachery and revealtions await upon the Equinox! It is richly rendered with some full & 2 page spreads of eerie scenery, with a primordial ambience that might please Frazetta’s and Vigil’s fans, or those who like comix with the sort of exotic barbaric flavor akin to like Robert E. Howard or Edgar Rice Burroughs and stuff! And now here’s Nemui to chat about-
Sebo Book 2 by Jamie Robertson
As many of you know, our friend & web master Jamie is not only the creator of the web comic Clan of the Cats, but also various spin-off series including Sebo http://clanofthecats.com/sebo/. Whereas COTC tends to be a very serious occult drama, Sebo is the comedic comic strip about a cat and his little girl, set several years after the evnts of COTC. The cat is Sebastian, or Sebo for short, the powerful, ancient magickal familiar of Chelsea, the witchy were-panther star of COTC. The girl is Chelsea & Jubal’s cute 9 year old daughter Charlotte, who is starting to exhibit magickal powers of her own, often with amewsing results. This tends to annoy her guardian Sebo, but then most things do. He is the sarcastic cat.
This book is the 2nd collection of the B&W online Sebo comic strips which are typically of the 4 panel gag format. This book is 7 x 9″ in size with 60 B&W pages within the color covers, written & drawn by Jamie, and edited by Alex Byrne & Miranda Purrince, and dedicated to his late kitty, Fidget. The book is organized into 5 story arcs, each with an introduction. The first is “Bride of the Return of the Curse of the Daughter of the Cat Creatures” in which Charlotte watches an old horror movie and then dreams herself into a 1940’s plot, as an agent rescuing her Mom from Nazis.
The 2nd story is “The Earrings”, in which Charlotte wants to get her ears pierced. Thirdly is “Eon”, who is the polar opposite fun-loving hip cat brother to Sebo who hangs out at the Chattan house for a while. This is followed by a variety of incidents titled “Poetry, Rain and cat Pills: Misc Strips”, some of which were based upon real feline events. Concluding the merriment is “The Trip”, purrtaining to the family’s expurrdition to Washington, DC in their VW Microbus. The delightful book also includes 4 cute pics and a photo of Fidget. If you are a fan of Clan of the Cats, Sebo, or
magickal girl + cat antics, this $10 book would highly suit your entertainment needs!
(The Mew Crew in unison)
CONGRATULATIONS JAMIE, NYA!
Who will go next?
Ah… I think it’s just Myayr and I remaining for this segment! All you’re Myayr!
You will believe a tiger can fly:
A Critique of DC’s Final Crisis
(with possible spoilers)
Arigato! Final Crisis #7 arrived in late January and so ends a rather significant miniseries event, and appurrently what everything since DC’s Countdown to Identity Crisis in 2004 has built up to. Writer Grant Morrison is clearly an extremely smart guy that writes stuff that could entertain a Brainiac, and leaves few stones unturned as the heroes & villains function on so many levels, as they explore biological, extraterrestrial, mystic, medical quantum physics, metaphysical, temporal, political, military, financial etc threats / solutions in this Crisis with a few ironic twists as to helps or who betrays whom. His insights into so many areas of expertise amaze me, and he clearly intricately knows his DC history too.
However, I thought there was very uneven pacing. The first 3 issues dragged a bit but then things moved along in issues 4-6, but issue 7 felt rushed. I think the series should probably have been 2-3 issues longer in the 2nd half; issue 7’s events at least expanded for 1 more issue. At times it felt a bit too cold & sterile without enough ‘heart’, but on the other hand there were some triumphant r moments that made me cheer- one such example is Mr. Tawny’s finest hour in issue #7. In addition to the pacing & continuity concerns I had, in my opinion the ‘deus ex machina’ finale felt confusing, esoteric, hurried, and anticlimactic.
The artistic dream team of Jones, Pacheco, Mahnke and the other pencillers, inkers, letterers, colorists are all top talent and the work of any one of these guys would be worth the purrice of admission. However- I wish the art team had been consistent- all the different artists were individually great, but I’d prefer more visual style continuity that you’d get with one consistent penciller / inker, especially if it is only a 7 issue miniseries, and if the excellent, extremely detailed art depicting so many characters was slipping behind schedule, then I wish that the editors or executives at DC would have waited to publish this until after most of the issues were already drawn. Speaking of the creative team-
Cover dated January 2009 and purriced $3.99, DC Comics’ Final Crisis #6 “How to Murder the Earth” was scripted by Grant Morrison. The art team consists of JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Doug Mahnke, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy & Jesus Merino, with lettering by Rob Clark Jr. and coloring by Alex Sinclair & Pete Pantazis. here are two variant covers, one by JG Jones, the other by Pacheco, Merino & Sinclair, wrapped around 34 color pages of story, plus the DC Nation bulletin and several ads.
The series concludes in Final Crisis #7 “New Heaven, New Earth”, scripted by Grant Morrison & pencilled by Doug Mahnke. The inking team included Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Christian Alamy, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Walden Wong & Mahnke. Lettering was by Travis Lanham, coloring was by Alex Sinclair with Tony Avina & Pete Pantazis. One cover was illustrated by JG Jones, the ‘sliver’ variant by Marco Rudy & Sinclair. The editor was Eddie Berganza and the assistant editor was Adam Schlagman. There are 37 pages of story, excluding the ads. Um… Vonny, you might wanna get comfy because I’m only halfway done with this review!
OK, yawn nya!
There were so many characters including some new ones, from all throughout time and space, from prehistory to the Legion’s era, other worlds and dimensions, so its a huge cast befitting such a so-called Final Crisis to follow the purrevious 2 Crises. Yet so many major players were missing and I kept wondering where’s ______ (fill in the blank). I could list a bunch of major heroes & villains, stuff going on outside Gotham and the rest of The USA, or alien civilizations that could / should’ve been involved either to help earth or contribute to the trouble but where were they? Nary a peep from Vertigo characters who’d definitely be affected & should be included in these 7 issues. It felt like important scenes were missing in the final issue too.
Purrhaps those were explored in the various Final Crisis tie-in issues. but too many were not mentioned/ referenced in this miniseries. I think Morrison maybe also focused a bit too much an his new characters and Monitors greatly at the expense of DC’s greatest heroes & villains. On the notion of of continuity concerns , I still want know when this occurs in DC’s timeline compared to all other DC titles, which Final Crisis seems inconsistent or incongruent with at times. I’m glad this ‘middle crisis’ had such a build up and after- shocks, on the other hand at this point I am weary of the huge annual crossover story arcs like Countdown, 52, Secret War, Secret Invasion, World War Hulk, etc. (even if I liked the post-Zero Hour state of the DCU).
It used to be this fangrrl’s dream, to see epic crossovers such as the Avengers- Defenders War and the meetings of the JLA & JSA, ad gosh I like the idea that the comics are all in a shared universe that interact with each other, but ever since Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars I think the big earth-shaking annual story arcs have been done to death Compared to DC’s other such events including Infinite Crisis, or other huge crisis type events such as Zero Hour, Invasion, Justice, JLA / Avengers, Identity Crisis, Millennium, Earthwar, Super Powers, and so forth, Final Crisis was not the best, nor was it the worst. Nor was it the best nor worst tale of Darkseid, who figures purrominently as the main villain.
For me the ultimate Darkseid story remains 1982’s The Great Darkness Saga chronicled in Legion of Super Heroes, although I really liked 2003’s Superman vs. Darkseid: Apokalypse Now! by Mark Schultz wrote, and the “Destroyer’ episode of Justice league Unlimited. Regarding the other majoe characters of this Crisis, I thought the 1981 Tales of the Green Lantern Corps miniseries in which the Corps battled Krona was a grander threat than what the GLC faced here. Unfortunately Wonder Woman seems to have such a small role in Final Crisis. As far as Superman stories go, Final Crisis did not pack the emotional awe of 1986’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow”, but I thought it was much better than say The Death of Superman.
I should wind his critique up- I think Vonny has already dozed off during my ramble! So, I’ll refrain from comparing Final Crisis to what I consider the most significant Flash or Batman tales, but I suppose ultimately the benchmarks I would compare Final Crisis to were also 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths and what is in my opinion the most powerfully purrofound of such events: a little 1996 miniseries by Mark Waid & Alex Ross called Kingdom Come. I just don’t think Final Crisis is as epically satisfying or as emotionally wrenching as those other maxi / mini series were, but I suppose comparing anything to Kingdom Come or Crisis on Infinite Earths is a tall order.
There were certainly plenty of individual astonishing, poignant, cerebral, heroic moments & geek points in Final Crisis, but the whole is just not greater than the sum of it’s better parts, and maybe no miniseries could live up to the magnitude expectations & hype that preceded it. Nevertheless, I think it’s weaknesses far outweighed it’s few shining moments and I give it a grade of C minus.
WAKE UP VONNY!!!
End of those plot spoilers- purrceed without risk!
(cat tail stretch) NyyyaaaI’mawake nya! Is it snack break time yet?
Not yet- we still have a bit more! So what was next- Myayr didn’t you also have–
Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #3
(with possible spoilers)
There’s ample cause for Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds to be our favorite mini-series of the year; George Perez and Geoff Johns may have outdone themselves with this magnificent 5 issue mini-series. Adding to the astounding grandeur are inker Scott Koblish, colors by Hi-Fi, lettering by Nick Napolitano; and it was edited by Eddie Berganza with assistant Adam Schlagman. Issue 3 has 30 pages of story plus ads for the purrice of $3.99. There are 2 variant covers, the Cosmic Boy cover by Perez & McCaig, and the ‘sliver’ cover by Perez & Hi-Fi.
Issue 3’s lavish grandeur includes what might be the final fate of the Green Lantern Corp, one of the most spectacular battles ever depicted as the Legion of Super heroes clashes with the Legion of Super Villains and The Fatal Five above the gleaming futuristic sprawl of Metropolis, and Superman in painful combat with Superboy Purrime. There are plenty of gut wrenching casualties and purropurrty damage, the transcendent arrival of several dozen more Legions from throughout the multiverse, and several wonderful character bonding moments.
Johns writes great dialog & plot, and Perez’ trademark of exquisitely richly detailed renderings are supurrb. There’s coherent & sensible use of time travel, and a glorious cliffhanger of a final page that makes us cheer. Unlike Final Crisis, thus far, Legion of 3 Worlds is not only absolutely brilliant, it exceeds the highest of expectations, truly feeling like the epic conclusion to so many events from several years of DC Comics. Although there are still 2 issues to go, thus far I give Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds a purrfect “10”! And now here’s Mike to discuss–
Faerie Magazine Winter 2008 issue
Thanks Myayr! I am pleased to have Winter 2008 issue of Faerie Magazine! With art, essays, articles, photos, interviews, and schedules for events of a Faerie theme, this full color quarterly magazine has a US SRP of $7.95 and is always such a wonderful delight to read! Even the advertisements for the various arts, crafts, decor, books, and other items are neat to look at. The beautiful front cover is graced by photographer Dorothy Wallace’s image “Winter’s Dream”, and the back cover is a gorgeous display of Charlotte Bird’s fine art photography.
Inside these are 96 pages beginning with the cordial greeting by editor Kim Gross, a calendar of 2009 events, an obituary for the late artist Tom Cross, the recurring World of Froud words & images by Brian Froud. This is followed by an insightful essay on Hansel and Gretel by fairy tail authority Heidi Anne Heiner, and a stunning 6 page photo essay Bemasked, of lasses modeling exquisite masks as photographed by Michael Cary.
Next is a peek at the enchanting sculptures of Gossamer Glen’s Marchella, a look at various artists’ fairy shoe creations, how to knit some cute elven socks, the cover feature article on Dorothy Wallace, and a feature on the splendid artistry of wife & husband Pat Ann Lewis & Larry MacDougall. After yet more ads for wonderful collectibles, clubs, costumes, & music begins the back half of the issue, and 5 Questions with illustrator Matt Hawk, and this issue’s Uniting the Kingdom’s look at charming British post & pillar boxes and Scottish Gardens in winter.
There’s poetry by Katherine Lacy, a contest to win cool swag, and an 8 page article on the magnificent miniature costume creations of Vinilla Burnham! Following those are latest installment of the serialized Faerie Journals, herbalist Brigitte Mars’ discussion of Oak trees with some stunning photos of stately trees, an an article on the multimedia music/ performance artistry of the group Telsama, and more of those ads for neat books, magazines, videos, prints, galleries, festivals and so forth.
Were that not enough, as the pages wane the charm continues with Kate Monkman’s little tutorial on adorable mixed-media ‘Free Range fabric Faeries’; a variety of book reviews, and three pages of Faerie Queen paper doll with a fancy outfit fit for the carnivale by Charlotte Krause, and finally the classified ads & advertisers’ index. This magazine was picked as our overall favorite magazine of the year, and you can find out more about this publication at their web site http://faeriemagazine.com/! That’s all for this part of the show, but we’ll be back after this short break!
(one short break later)
Now it’s time for our monthly “13 Lucky Kitty
Web Comic Picks of the Litter” (plus a few
more as there are a bunch of us this month)!
I have selected
Nyanko- whatchoo got?
– and you, Meilieeki-sensei?
I’ve chosen the totally awesome web comics
– your turn Lizzy-chan!
nya! Ok now Myayr gets to go, nya!
Last but certainly not least, let’s hear it for
– and that’ll do it for this month’s Web Comic Picks of the Litter!
We’ll be back with our special guest after this short break!
(one short break later)
Ladies & gentlemen, The Ladies of The Mew present
The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings
Awards for Favorite Stuff of 2008!
Here to start the ceremony is Lizzy with the category of —
Favorite Mewsic of 2008!
Aloha! Our Favorite Live Mewsic Purrformace of 2008 was Yes, and our Favorite Album was Asia’s Phoenix! That CD also had our Favorite Album Cover of 2008 by Roger Dean! Our Favorite Song of 2008: Peter Gabriel’s “Down to the Earth!” from the movie WALL-E, with Asia’s song “Never Again” a close second. Peter Gabriel’s birthday is February 13th! Our Favorite Guitarist of 2008: Steve Howe, Bass Player: Chris Squire, and keyboardist: Geoff Downes! The Mew nod for Favorite Female Vocalist goes to Enya, and Favorite Male Vocalist: John Wetton! We have a tie vote for Favorite Purrcussionist shared by Carl Palmer and Alan White. Our Favorite Motion Picture Soundtrack of 2008 was The Little Mermaid- Ariel’s Beginning.
Favorite TV Series Mewsic is another tie between Aria and Maria Watches Over Us. and our Favorite Video Game Soundtrack of 2008 is from Super Swing Golf 2, Our Favorite Dancer of 2008 was Cheryl Burke; Dance Purrformance was Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas’ victory on Dancing with the Stars Season Six, and Favorite Dance Choreographer is Peggy Holmes! Our Favorite Purriodical Purrtaining to Mewsic is Belly Dance A Raqs Sharqi Magazine, and Favorite Web Site Purrtaining to Mewsic was Pink Lady America http://www.pinkladyamerica.com/, By the way we would have nominated the wonderful “Dote Up A Cat” song from Neko KawaiGari, but they told me that was before 2008, darn it. Up next is Vonny to reveal our-
Favorite Toys & Games of 2008!
In the category of favorite toys & games, we have a few sub-categories, nya. For Favorite Toy Vehicle we have a tie between the Hot Wheels 1966 1:16 Batmobile and Art Asylum’s Star Trek II USS Enterpurrise, nya! In the category of Favorite Action Figure, our pick is the Transformer Animated Blackarachnia, nya! I hope they make one of Arcee this year, nya! For Favorite Non-posable Figurines or Statues of 2008, it is Happinet’s PVC figure of cute Yurei from the anime Kami-Chu nya! Tamuura “the Blue Ox, Babe” figure from World of Warcraft got some votes too, nya.
Mike lobbied for the ST TMP Kirk & Spock figures, but we did not find those until this year, nya. Our pick for Favorite Electronic Game of the year is Super Swing Golf 2 for the Wii, and our Favorite Video Game Character of 2008 was Arin from that game, with Kooh a close second, nya! Our Favorite Game Designer of 2008 is Jamie Davenport for her World of Ai graphics http://www.theworldofai.net/. Our Favorite Card or Board Game was Whack a Catgirl, and Favorite Role-Playing Game of 2008 was Dungeons & Dragons! That’s our toy ‘n game picks, but here is our next purrsenter Lady Nemui for the category of-
Favorite Books of 2008!
Our pick for Favorite Novel of 2008 is the thrilling James Bond: Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, and Favorite Short Story Collection is JK Rowling’s most charming Tales of Beedle the Bard! Our Favorite Children’s Book of 2008 is the delightful Nurk written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon, and choice for Favorite Illustrated Novel is the Anniversary Edition of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstien, so lavishly illustrated by Berni Wrightson! Our unanimous Favorite Photographic Collection of 2008 is Surf Girl Roxy!
Our choice for Favorite Biography is the poignant Brush With Passion: The Art & Life of Dave Stevens, which also wins for Favorite Art or Design Book of 2008. By the way I should mention that
the most pleasant book Matt Jeffires: Above the Clouds was a runner up to the biography category, while Roger Dean’s extraordinary book Dragon’s Dream was a close second for Art Book. Of course the Dave Stevens book was more biographical with comics and glamor art, whereas the Dean book was mostly of environments, media covers and stage design.
In other purrinted media, there was no one winner for our Favorite Calendar of 2008, with contenders including The World’s Most Difficult Golf Courses by Tom Berren, Spice & Wolf anime calendar, the Lazaris-Gilbert Williams 2009 Calendar, Hello Kitty datebook, Gardens of the Spirit, Star Trek: Ships of the Line, Under the Tuscan Sun, and calendars by Lonely Planet, Sierra Club, We have favorite magazines in various categories to be named, but our Favorite Overall Magazine of 2008 is Faerie Magazine! That will conclude this category, but here is Ilyana-san with-
Favorite Comix & Manga of 2008, nya!
Arigato! There were no easy consensus this time, and away tie in the category of Favorite Comic book Repurrint Collection between Fathom: The Definitive Edition and Katy Keene Model Behavior. Our Favorite Web Comic of 2008 was Clan of the Cats, and by the way we should point out that Jamie did abstain from the vote. Meanwhile, our Favorite Purrint Edition of a Web Comic is volume one of Wendy Pini’s gorgeous futuristic adaptation of Poe’s Masque of the Red Death!
Our Favorite Japanese Manga Series of 2008 was Aria published by Tokyo Pop, the Catgirl Critics Pick for Best New Manga was KonKon Kokon published by Broccoli, and Favorite Manga Anthology Magazine of 2008 was Yen! Yen published a lot of wonderful manga last year! For newspaper comic strips, we chose Doonesbury as our favorite of the year, for it’s long running character development and quality art, and The Complete Peanuts series for Favorite newspaper Strip Collection!
Our unanimous pick for Favorite Book About a Comix Creator in 2008 was the purrofound Brush With Passion: the Art & Life of Dave Stevens, with honorable mention nods to the massive Kirby book by Mark Evanier, and the always delightful Modern Masters series published by TwoMorrows! Speaking of TwoMorrows, The Mew’s pick for Favorite Magazine Purrtaining to Comics in 2008 was a tie between their publications Back Issue and Alter Ego!
Newsarama http://www.newsarama.com/ was our Favorite Web Site About Comics, and the How To Draw Manga series by Graphic-Sha was our Favorite Comics / Manga Instructional of 2008.
“The Real Power of the DC Universe” by Adam Hughes got a special commendation for our favorite comix related poster of the year. Our pick for Favorite Ongoing Comic Book Series of 2008 was Buffy Season 8, and Favorite Comics Mini-series of 2008 was Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds! Oh by the way, that book’s writer Geoff Johns just had a birthday on January 22nd! That is all for this category, but next to purrsent the animation category, herrrrre’s Jeannie!
Favorite Animation of 2008
Our Favorite Domestic Theatrical Animated Feature Film of 2008: WALL-E, Favorite Domestic Theatrical Animated Short of 2008: Purresto. Our Favorite 2008 release Foreign Animated Feature Film : The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Favorite Domestic Direct to Video Animated Feature of 2008: The Little Mermaid- Ariel’s Beginning, Favorite Domestic Direct to Video Animated Short of 2008: BURN-E. Favorite Domestic Animated Television Series of 2008: Star Wars- The Clone Wars, and Favorite 2008 DVD Release Foreign Animated Television Series: Aria The Animation, which is as we noted also our favorite Japanese anime TV series of the decade, and we thank the folks at Right Stuf for the quality purroduct and cordial service.
Right Stuff also distributes Maria Watches Over Us which was our runner-up for Favorite Foreign Animated Television Series. Honorable Mentions also went to Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Transformers Animated for Domestic Animated Television Series, and to Justice League: New Frontier for Domestic Direct to Video Animated Feature. Purrducer Bruce Timm’s birthday is Febraury 9th, by the way. Our pick for Favorite Purrformance by an Animated Leading Female of 2008 was an eight-way tie compurrised of Ahsoka Tano, Akari Mizunashi, Ariel, EVE, Kazuko Yoshiyama, Martha Jones, Yumi Fuzukawa, and Wonder Woman. Whereas, our Favorite Purrformance by an Animated Leading Male of 2008 was Wreck-Gar.
And now here is Nyanko-sensei with the results for our-
Favorite Sporting Events, Purrograms
& Purrsonalities of 2008!
And now for the sport! Our Favorite Televised Collegiate Event of 2008 was The UNC Lady Tarheels Winning the NCAA Soccer College Cup! Of course the UNC basketball, baseball, field hockey and volleyball teams’ figured purrominently on our 2008 highlights list. Our Favorite 2008 Olympic Event was Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh winning the Gold in Womens’ Beach Volleyball! We were also quite enthused for the Olympic purrowess of martial artist Diana Lopez and swimmers Katie Hoff, Dara Torres & Michael Phelps!
Our choice for Favorite Individual Purrfessional Victory of 2008 was Tiger Woods winning the US Open, and our pick for Most Purrecious Ring (get it- “ring”- “purrecious”?) Purrsonality of 2008 is Sports Entertainer Gail Kim (born on February 20th)! For mech sports, our pick for 2008 Queen of the Road is Danica Patrick, whose birthday is March 25th! We would like to see her race against Trixie, Speed and Racer X- that would be a good race.
Our Favorite Weekly Sports TV Show is Inside Carolina Basketball with coach Roy Williams hosted by the great Woody Durham (our favorite Radio Sports Announcer), and Favorite TV Sports Commentators of 2008 were a tie between Beth Mowins, Pam Ward, Kara Lawson (born on Valentine’s Day) and Doris Burke. GAFF Magazine caught our purrize for Favorite Sports Magazine, with close competition from The Surfers Journal and Tarheel Monthly, but it had an advantage with the photos of big tasty fish.
Carolina Outdoor Journal was our Favorite Fishing Show on TV, and Surf Girl Roxy rides again as our Favorite Book About a Sport. The Big Break: Ka’anapali tied for Favorite Reality Show, and our Favorite Sport with Animal Athletes was Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl! To finish out this category, our Favorite Sports Exhibit of 2008 was the newly opened Carolina Basketball Mewseum in Chapel Hill, NC! That’s all for the sport, but I’ll turn the microphone back to Mike to purrsent the category of-
Favorite Radio Purrogramming of 2008
Thank you, Nyanko-sensei! By the way, speaking of sports, Woody Durham was again our Favorite Radio Sportscaster! For Favorite Music Show the pick was Back Porch Music, and for Favorite Variety Show we chose A Praire Home Companion, whose special Joke Show also wins for Favorite Comedic Radio Show.
Our Favorite Financial Topic Show of 2008 was The Clark Howard Show, Favorite Scientific Show was Science Friday, our pick for Morning Talk show with Amewsing Purragmatic Banter was Brad and Britt, and our Favorite Show for Regional Cultural Topics of 2008 was The State of Things, whose Frank Stasio tied with Terri Gross of Fresh Air for our Favorite Interviewer! The Allan Handelman Show won our pick for best variety of fun discussion topics, from monster movies & rock star guests to conspiracy theories, the paranormal and good places to eat.
Car Talk got our nod as favorite Radio Call in Show for its humorous banter and for discussions of automotive technology that Jenjen so craves. For charming, insightful stories & essays This American Life was our choice for Best Overall Radio Show of the Year, and finally Sarah Vowell was The Catgirls’ Pick for Radio Purrsonality They Would Like To hear More Of in 2009. That’s it for the radio topic, but let’s welcome Mielikki-sensei for-
Favorite Live-Action TV Purrogramming
& Purrsonalities of 2008!
Arigato! Our Favorite Live-Action Dramatic Television Series of 2008 was Doctor Who, you know? Our Favorite Purrformance by a Leading Female was so Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, although Rose, Martha and Donna got votes too. Elizabeth Sladen’s birthday is February 1st and Freema Agyeman has a birthday next month on March 20th! Our Favorite Purrformance by a Leading Male was David Tennant as The Doctor, and Our Favorite Purrformance by a Leading Droid was K-9.
There were like several tie votes: between Sarah Jane Adventures and H20: Just Add Water for Kids Show. There was a tie between H20, Doctor Who and Star Trek The Re-Mastered Original Series for FX, and a 3 way tie between Doctor Who, H20, Power Rangers Jungle Fury, and for Costumes, and like our Favorite Stunt Choreography was that of Power Rangers Jungle Fury, and we chose a Special Cat Fight Grrl Power Award to Lily the Yellow Cheetah Ranger!
The Big Break: Ka’anapali tied with Gene $immon$ Family Jewels for Favorite Reality Show, there was like was a toss up between El Gordo y La Flaca and Despierta America for favorite talk Show, Favorite Variety Show was Sabado Gigante. Meredith Viera was our Favorite Game Show Host, tied with Lili Estefan for Favorite Talk Show Host. Lili’s birthday is March 20th! Our Favorite Overall Non-Fiction TV Show personality for 2008 was once again Samantha Brown, fer shur! Her birthday is next month on March 31st!
We have a tie between Shimmy and Namaste for Favorite Fitness Show, and with her captivating voice, Namaste’s Kate Potter was our pick for Favorite TV Narrator / Fitness Guru. Other favorites of ’08 were Travel Show: Globetrekker, Home Show: This Old House, Garden Show: Victory Garden, Crafts Show: The Woodwright’s Shop, and Food Show: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations! Favorite Law Show was The People’s Court with Judge Marilyn Milian; Mythbusters got picked for Favorite Show About Science & Stuff!
Our Favorite Nature Show was Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, and Turner Classic Movies was so our choice for Favorite Channel for Movies, because they are like commercial free, letterboxed, uncut and have a great selection. Our Favorite TV Comedic Actress and Actor of 2008 were seriously Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert! Nyanko-sensei already covered the TV sports picks, and Jenjen covered TV animation, so that’s all for this category but here’s Myayr with our —
Favorite Cinema & Stuff of 2008!
Konnitiwa! I am purroud to purrsent our favorite picks for various aspects of the motion pictures of 2008. Vonny, dontchoo fall asleep! Favorite Make Up goes to Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, and our award for Best Body Art & Mods goes to Viper (Lee-Ann Lliebenberg) of Doomsday and Tat Girl (Chelsea Richards) in Feast 2! The Award for Best looking Guy in a Tux goes to James Bond (Daniel Craig, whose birthday is March 2nd) in Quantum of Solace, and Best Bikini on a Girl goes to Scully in X-Files; I Want to Believe! While we really liked Scully’s purretty hair, The Best Hair Award goes to The Forbidden Kingdom’s Li BingBing (whose birthday is February 27th), and our choice for Cutest Overall Look goes to Ahsoka Tano of Clone Wars!
Favorite Mecha FX goes to Iron Man, and our Favorite CG / Optical FX are of The Chronicles of Narnia: Purrince Caspian. The Forbidden Kingdom wins our pick for best Fight Choreography, Rambo scores Best Shootout, Scariest Scares to send shivers up a catgirl’s tail were snatched by Quarantine, and Funniest goes to any scene of Brad Pitt chewing gum or JK Simmons behind a desk in Burn After Reading, although Tony Stark’s first attempt at using rocket boots was purretty funny. The Award for Best Magic Trick goes to The Joker’s disappearing pencil, Favorite Dance Choreography goers to Sol in Doomsday, and Speed Racer wins for Favorite Car Chase(s).
The Award For Most Impurressive Drug use goes to Blonski on the Super Soldier Serum as he sprinted toward The Hulk. Although those guys were quite monstrous, our Favorite Giant Monster of 2008 is Clover! In addition to Best Song and Animated Feature, we also voted WALL-E for Best Sound Design- although that hurricane in Nights in Rodanthe sounded all too real. Nights in Rodanthe does win our pick for Loveliest Beach House- made even more lovely by Diane Lane who is our choice for Favorite Actress of 2008, while Nim’s island wins for neatest Tree House. Our most Favorite Title Graphics & Animation of 2008 goes to Nim’s island, too!
On that note, we determined that a Winning Formula for a Charming Movie in 2008 was to put delightful Abigail Breslin in a treehouse, because we were rather fond of Kitt Kittredge too. She and Jodie Foster were strong contenders for favorite actress too. But for overall Favorite Set Design, as well as Costume Design, The Forbidden Kingdom wins again! Of course, if you really want to guarantee an Oscar Worthy Blockbuster, then just let Pixar make the movie, as their track record is supurrb purrfection. The Coolest Computer of 2008 belongs to MI-6 in Quantum of Solace, and it didn’t hurt that Judi Dench was using it.
Our choice for Best Viral Marketing Campaign is that of Cloverfield, and the Best Reason to Sit Through The End Credits was the cameo Nick Fury in Iron Man! As much as we loved Iron Man, Speed Racer and Hellboy, our unanimous verdict on Best Movie Based on Comics / Manga was The Dark Knight- and that’s just the tip of the purraise we have for it. The Dark Knight is our pick for Best Editing, Cinematography, Screenplay, Director, and our choice for Greatest Climactic Scene of 2008- the final confrontation between Dent, Batman & Gordon with his family at gunpoint. Thus, The Dark Knight is our pick for Favorite Live-Action Film of 2008, with Frost/Nixon in 2nd place.
We can’t decide who should win for Best Actor Supporting Actor, between Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, and the late Heath Ledger as the purrinces of Gotham City, or Michael Sheen or Frank Langella as misters Frost and Nixon. Frank Langell’s birthday was January 30th and Michael Sheen OBE has a birthday this month on February 5th! Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Sir Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Michael Jai White, and Eric Roberts might have a little something to do with the brilliance of Dark Knight too! By the way,Christian Bale’s birthday was January 1st; Aaron Eckhart, Sir MIchael Caine & Gary Oldman have birthdays on March 12th, 14th and 21st, and of course it was January 22nd of last year when the world lost Heath.
That’s it for our 2008 cinematic awards, but –
(Everyone looks at Vonny)
Whatchall lookin’ at – I’m awake, nya!
Mewsing about Films of 2009 We’re Interested in
Turning our attention back to 2009, what forthcoming films interest you the most?
(All in unison)
Besides Star Trek, I would say Terminator: Salvation, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Purrince! I sure hope Trick r Treat is finally released!
Coraline come out this month that looks good nya! And I wanna see Pixar’s Up, and Disney’s Princess & Frog, nya!
Watchmen, and the new GI Joe and Transformers live action films.
Oh and I think Johnny Depp has a gangster movie, Public Enemies! Mee-yow!
I hope Ponyo On A Cliff gets a big US theatrical release & DVD release!
Definitely Watchmen, and other movies based on comics & manga, such as Wolverine, Dragonball, and Astroboy!
Some others I that am curious about are Fanboys, The Wolfman, and James Cameron’s Avatar!
There is a page at Wikipedia, 2009 in Film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_in_film which has a chronological chart of US releases and lots of links to articles on those films, studios, cast & crew members. I think there are similar Wikipedia pages for other countries’ film releases too!
The Cat Lady Sings…
Ok here’s another sushi plate- who wants the eel meat, nya?
mmm thanks! (chomp)
It will be so much fun to swim with our mer friends, especially when the water is
illuminated with their jellycup tops and those cute glowing whatever they ares!
You mean the nonvenomous bioluminescent Cnidaria or the Dinoflagellates.
Well it might just be those organisms or the boat lights in the water, because my
co-workers will purrobably swim out-of-uniform after closing the restaurant!
You mean top-free mermaids.
Well, mermaids have been known to do that.
Ooh we should do that too, woohoo!
Like Lizzy was with her Halloween night wardrobe malf-
Ahh- it was not my fault- it was that spooky tree that grabbed my top!
Only because you climbed in that tree to pounce on Vonny!
That tree had my back, nya.
Now, be nice!
Even though Lizzy-san was the purrankster, purrhaps she has learned her lesson and we should stop teasing her about that incident!
Should we save some of this delicious Anago for the mermaids?
That’s Ok when we run out of eel meat then we have tuna rolls. nya. I brought the
mermaids the extra special baked yams & cran apple nummy berry cocktail, nya!
(munch) They might bring some treats from the restaurant too!
Thank you again for hosting us, Vonny!
(all in unison to Vonny)
My pleasure, nya!
Goodness look at the time!
I am sorry but I should be getting back to my Inn, so that the others can clock out!
Oh you should so let me fly you there! It’s like such a lovely night for a flight,
I can get you there in a jiffy, and Captain Vonny won’t have to weigh anchor!
Arigato! Please tell the mermaids to please swim upriver to visit the inn soon!
Hai! Thanks Lady Nemui- please take these swordfish steaks with you, nya!
Mielikki-sensei hurry back we’re gonna go swimmin’ when they get off work, nya!
Totally! Ok, like all ashore…!
it seems as if we are done with this month’s show.
Thanks for having me back!
Hai- it was an honor!
We also wish to thank Mielikki-sensei, Lady Nemui, our friends from
Sheila May’s restaurant, and web master Jamie!
If y’all have polite, sincere responses to our discussion, feel free to post
them, purrvided that such brief remarks are spam-free and stay on-topic!
Everybody out there remember that during a movie in a theater, you need to turn
off your cell phone and not to talk, text message or light it up like a flashlight! It’s
a movie people paid money to see- not your own purrivate living room, y’know!
Finally, we thank our lovely audience for watching The Mew, and–
(all in unison)
Happy tails to mew, until we eat again! BaiBai, nya!