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Rabbit of Seville (1950)
Possibly one of the greatest cartoon shorts ever created
Okay, I am not a big fan of Charles Jones later work. I preferred him when he was "Charles M" instead of "Chuck." But this cartoon has persisted to be one of my two favourite episodes of the Looney Tunes characters. There really is nothing poorly done about the entire episode. The script is wonderful and witty, the music subject matter is perfect, and the singing is spot-on (especially for voiced characters). While I feel that "What's Opera, Doc?" is a bit heavy handed, and was never one of my favourites, I will stop what I am doing just to watch the Rabbit of Seville whenever I see that it is on the TV.
If you value culture, or classic cartoons, this one has both. Many people in the West feel that cartoons cannot contain a cultural valuability that allows them to be either serious or even good. Well, I can honestly say that this one, while not serious, is actually a good piece of art, and stands alone well, proving to itself and other cartoons that even without seriousness, a cartoon can be more than kiddy jokes.
The Aviator (2004)
Not his best, but the best of 2004
There have been few movies that have really "moved" me enough to really want to go. However, I have still gone to see many. This one intrigued me, but mostly because it was Scorsese, rather than the subject of Howard Hughes.
I left the theater feeling enlightened, not by moral or plot or any such nonsense. Instead, Scorsese had created an almost perfect visual experience. Through pseudo-colorization, well-integrated computer sequences, and a perfect balance between fast- and slower-paced scenes, he had achieved what many movies attempted at this year, but had still failed to create - style. Instead of a simple retelling of a story, which is what many directors do to "true story" movies, Scorsese creates out of it a work of art. Instead of simply creating a platform for a story to spring from, the director conveys the art, the sound, and the story all simultaneously. This is something I greatly appreciate from movies. A story can be told through a book, but a truly good movie should be able to portray itself through beauty of sights and sounds in addition to the story itself.
The acting was superb on all accounts. There was no actor that I would have replaced. It was nice that when I was watching the movie, I was able to make DiCaprio not be "DiCaprio playing Hughes." In other words, actors were not themselves, but really did seem to become the characters themselves. It was easy to get lost in the who's who of secondary characters, and though he tried to overcome this drawback to the subject itself, Scorsese could not completely remedy the situation. So if you have trouble remembering someone's name in the film, just try to remember at least what their purpose is.
The movie was long, and I realize that will turn away many people. A lot of reviewers and critics have complained that the movie feels even longer than it is. But to me, it passed by quite briskly. Nothing felt dragged out, and it seemed to end as soon as it began.
Overall, I feel like The Aviator deserves more credit than it seems to be deserving. I would definitely go see it again, just to immerse myself in the sense-exciting experience once- again
Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999)
A brilliant and surprisingly original modern cartoon.
I have been watching "The Eds" since they first came to Cartoon Network. After recently reading a review of this show, I decided to make a comment. Many people complain about the animation quality of the show. However, I would like to point out that this is a CARTOON. This isn't real life, nor does it claim to portray real life. Therefore, it may be forgiven that the art isn't up to the quality of classic cartoons (Loony Tunes, Tom and Jerry, etc.). In truth, I really appreciate the animation of this show. It adds to the energy that the show has. A constant liveliness runs in every episode, just as kids are in real life.
The characters seem so familiar to me (after all, I'm 19, and childhood wasn't too long ago). Each one is exaggerated, but they each seem more realistic the more that they are pushed to extremes. The girly guy (Jimmy), the tomboy girl (Sarah) - reminiscent of some of my friends. The hot girl everyone wants (Naz), the jerk who of course has the best "chance" with her (Kevin) - who hasn't known those two? The guy who lives outside of reality (Johnny), and the guy who works too hard (Rolf) - yep, been there too. Of course, those are gross simplifications, as there is quite a bit to everyone in the show.
Creativity - the show is full of it. The show's premise - three guys whose life lives around making money - is surprisingly fresh. Generally, characters in a kids' show deal just with growing up (As Told By Ginger and Hey Arnold come to mind). Those shows tend to bog down sometimes. I personally found Hey Arnold to be too serious for me. The Eds, though? Comedy in its truest form. It never bogs down, becomes sentimental, depressing, or anything of the sort. Instead, it gives us constant humour and action. The characters live in a constant summer, so to speak. It is never schooltime, it is never winter. There are no parents, no responsibilities. Only desire. Perhaps even, if one was to truly be devoted to the show, one could argue that The Eds could be a study on the psychological aspects of each character type. But I'm not going to go that far.
Stock episodes tend to be the worst ones for shows. By stock episodes, I mean Christmas, Halloween, etc. The standard episodes that every show does to show its diversity and have something to be played at a certain time of year. There have been few to do these well (Rugrats, sorry but your Passover special is much better than your Christmas). The Eds treat it differently - they all get the Christmas spirit in July. How wonderful is that? As I said, perpetual summer. Halloween is done in a unique way - it's not really Halloween. Instead they do a sort of "scary" mystery episode. Very nice, with a great ending.
But what about the lack of parents or any other adults? Adults would detract from the cartoon. While adults worked for a show like Rugrats, bringing adult humour to an otherwise children's cartoon, the humour in the Eds is already mature enough to be enjoyed by adults as well as kids. Ed's slapstick humour is purely in fun, reminding one of Harpo Marx, though slightly exaggerated and dumbed down, of course. But his slapstick is so oustandingly unrealistic that adults can appreciate it. Edd provides the verbal wit that allows for humour that can be a bit more mature. And let's face it, the older you get, the more you appreciate verbal humour over "kick in the groin" style of humour. So why would you need adults in this show? It would only detract from that fantasy "perpetual summer" that I mentioned earlier.
Before judging the show to be a piece of rubbish passed off as a show (as I have heard all-too often from people who've just seen the drawing), you should try watching a few episodes. Don't Rain On My Ed is my favorite, showing off the classic Murphy's Law and how everyone reacts to it. Another is their delving into the cartoon world, One + One = Ed. It even ends with a slightly religious connotation (which makes that ending so much better if you think of it like that). If you watch these two episodes and find yourself disliking it still, then don't watch it. However, you should find the humour quite appealing.