Thursday, August 19, 2010

Consorting with the enemy - a chat with Jessie from Team Rocket!

Image downloaded from www.pokemon.com

Hello all! Saturday counts as the end of the week, right? So sit back and enjoy my interview with Michele Knotz, a voice actress whose best known for the voice of Jessie from Team Rocket, the (semi) villains of Pokemon!

Many thanks to the staff at Connecticon for letting us use their staff room as interview space, to Dylan Ferrara for holding the camera steady, and of course, to Michele for agreeing to do the interview in the first place!

Also, thanks to Laura Robida, member of She Eats Planets, for letting me use their song "No Time At All" as part of my ending credits. You can find more about the band here.

The music used under the video, "Amanda" by Aisha Duo, was a free download that came with my Dell laptop. More information can be found about the group here.


video

Monday, August 16, 2010

A new banner and a guest reviewer!

I would like all of you to just take a gander at the top of this site. Even the short guy in the corner over there. This is the shiny new banner that the amazingly talented Tina Pratt, the mastermind behind one of the funniest webcomics out there, made for me. Tell me - is it not EPIC???

No, you can't tell me it's not because the unabashed awesomeness of it denys - nay - wipes the very thought from your mind.

And there's more fun stuff coming - by the end of this week, I will have one of the video interviews I have promised you with voice actors of Pokemon talking about their favorite anime series and movies.

But for now, I must share this thought-provoking review of Eat Pray Love, the recent film starring Julia Roberts. It is written by a brilliant woman named Amanda who runs this gem of a blog. I'll leave you with the first part, and if interested the rest you can read on her site, which is well worth looking at. You may not agree with everything she writes but I appreciate her honest writing and reactions. This has been linked and copied by permission from the author. (P.S. Thanks Ro for linking me to this site!)

Movie Review - Eat Pray Love

My brother won tickets to an advance screening of a new movie, and he was kind enough to offer them to his mother and little sister. Awwww. What a nice guy.

Except the movie being previewed was Eat Pray Love.

Oh. Well, he’s still a pretty nice guy, I guess.

So now that I’ve watched Julia-Roberts-as-Elizabeth-Gilbert prance self-centeredly through crowds of foreigners trying to find herself, what do I think? Here’s my brief summary of Eat, Pray Love, as reported on my Twitter feed:

Hi! I’m an upper middle class white woman who doesn’t like her husband. I’m going to let a bunch of cute people with accents change my life. Fix me, brown people! Your poverty & inability to escape your problems centers me. Me. Meeeee. MEEEEEEEEEEE! Now I’m centered. I’m going to go marry Javier Bardem.

Read the rest of the review here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gettin' our freak on

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

So I am patiently awaiting the DVD arrival of the best cult classic animated series of the 1990s and perhaps the best cartoon of my youth.

FREAKAZOID!

Thank goodness for the Amazon gift certificate.

To those of you not in the know, it was a series that permanently warped me in the best possible way. It took the idea of a superhero and turned it completely upside down. In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, the series was "Too weird to live, and too rare to die."

Sprung from the minds behind Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, Freakazoid ran for two seasons from 1995 to 1997. While I enjoyed all three series, Freakazoid had an acerbic wit that was a little sharper and more bitter than its contemporaries. It was the kind of comic genius that couldn't quite capture the minds of the kiddies and not fully engage the attention of adults. EDIT: my Dad actually remembers more of this show than I did now that I have the DVDS in my clutches. For some reason I remember him not liking it very much, but apparently he did...huzzah!

The plot (on the occasion it had one) revolves around Dexter Douglas, who gets sucked into the Internet and is given all of the information from the worldwide Web (which was even back in its earliest days was a pretty weird place), which in turn, makes a wise-cracking, fast-talking superhero out of him.

The episodes pulled punches, making fun of nineties pop culture and politics with a kind of wild abandon. If Animaniacs pushed the envelope in that regard, Freakazoid tore right through it. One memorable episode shows Freakazoid hunting down a fellow driver just to tell him his tail light is out. When Freakazoid tells him he has to give him a ticket, the man takes it and it reads "One free admission to the Jerry Springer Show" which causes the man to be rather traumatized. Executive producer Steven Spielberg even makes an appearance at the start of one episode (in his animated form) when the group of writers can't figure out what the hell they should make the episode about.

I look at today's Adult Swim shows, particularly Venture Bros., and I realize the creators must have all watched Freakazoid a million times over. This show made random weirdness in cartoons hip long before Adult Swim even existed, and unlike many shows or movies, it can actually make me laugh right out loud. In its fun, likeable way, it held the world of the mid-90s accountable for all its crazy, silly actions. It's as if Freakazoid exists to say "Hey guys, I'm acting really strange and weird over here, but look at what YOU guys are doing!"

It's a shame the show was cancelled, but perhaps if it had kept going it would've been too hot to handle. Can you imagine a show's cartoon theme song today ending with "He's here to save the nation, so stay tuned to this station. If not we'll be unemployed, Freakazoid!"

Being cut a little close to the quick is not for everyone, and I understand that. But for those who can appreciate the artful balance between genius and insanity, this is the show for you.

I can't wait until Friday when I blitz myself into a papaya-induced hallucination.