by D.W. Lundberg

Monday, May 27, 2013


Been on an animation kick as of late, what with ABC Family and The Disney Channel showing Peter Pan, Tarzan and Lilo & Stitch at all hours of the day, plus the kids' incessant playing of Wreck-It Ralph on DVD. It always impresses me how the best cartoon features still have the power to entrance us, even after all these years, with animation every bit as supple as their storytelling.

Even so, we skipped seeing Ralph in theaters - sometimes, it's hard to tell what will and what won't be worth the $40 family trip to the movies - but I imagine it plays just as well at home as it did on the big screen. Disney's 52nd Animated Classic basically does for video games what Toy Story did for toys, with clever cameos and in-jokes for old-school and hardcore gamers alike, and a sugar-sweet story at its center. What I like most about it, though, are the vocal performances - namely from its two main stars, whom you wouldn't normally associate with kid-friendly fare.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


So we spoke about continuity errors last week, and how they permeate even the biggest blockbuster behemoths - including, but not exclusive to, Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park. My point, of course, was not to poke fun at Jurassic Park, or sway your opinion of it in any way (for the record, I still think it's a slam-bang piece of commercial entertainment, with special effects that continue to impress to this day). I simply wanted to spotlight one of the more common types of film flubs we so often take for granted, and maybe open your minds to the filmmaking process as a whole.

Some call this nitpicking. I respectfully disagree. I think becoming more acutely aware of what you're watching only enhances the movie-going experience, enriches it, makes you an active part of it. Plot holes, camera angles, lighting styles, musical compositions, mise-en-scène - all these are part of the cinematic language as we know it, and understanding what they are and how they apply to specific films only helps our appreciation to grow.