Big Money Rustlas (2010)

Sometimes a movie comes out that just makes you say “What. The fuck. Is that?”. This is one of those movies. A western comedy from a Detroit-based rap group. I know from the ridiculous cover art that this is gonna be bad. Really bad. A cinaphile’s diet, however, can not consist of healthy award winning films alone. One needs some junk food ever now and then. Big Money Rustlas is the cinematic equivalent of a bowl of Crunch Berries. Sugary sweet, colorful, kinda rough going down and it will turn your shit green.

If you’re somehow unfamiliar with Insane Clown Posse, known as Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope, they are a rap group with a gimmick. A successful one, too. They have managed to maintain their fan base through 20+ years of face painting, dirty lyrics & Faygo-spraying. They started gaining national notoriety thanks to Disney (of all companies), who signed them during the late 90’s under Hollywood Records. Disney really didn’t like what these guys were doing, and they pulled the album The Great Milenko from stores hours after it’s release. A slew of publicity was thrown on the album and the demented duo. After Disney cut them, Island records picked them up and Milenko went platinum. These guys have been content to stick to their act, occasionally appearing on wrestling shows, but always in character. Why these guys decided to make a western movie is beyond me.

Sugar Wolf (Shaggy 2 Dope) returns to his home town of Mud Bug to avenge the death of his father, Grizzly Wolf (Ron Jeremy). A gangster named Big Baby Chips (Violent J) and his thugs have taken over the town since the demise of Sheriff Grizzly Wolf and Sugar Wolf is dead set on taking out Big Baby Chips, who has a small army of assassins at his disposal. The acting from the the two leads is not as horrible as you would think. Violent J actually plays a pretty good cheesy villain, he’s just surrounded by a bunch of idiots that take the retard level of this movie up to Simple Jack proportions. Think of the whitest, most annoying wannabe gangsters you’ve ever come across. Got it? OK, multiply that by 50 and you’ve scratched the surface of Raw Stank (Jamie Madrox) and Dusty Poot (Monoxide). This movie is filled with absurd fight scenes and shootouts. Sugar Wolf spend a solid 2 minutes (continuous single shot, mind you) beating up a midget who has obviously been replaced by a dummy.

There is absolutely no reason to watch this trash unless you can enjoy garbage cinema and get a good laugh out of it. I definitely would consider this a spoof movie, but it’s 100 times more entertaining than those Date/Epic/Whatever movies that thankfully have stopped coming out. There are a shocking number of cameos by hard-up, has-been and/or porn star actors including Vanilla Ice, Todd Bridges, Ron Jeremy, Jason Mewes, Dustin Diamond, Jimmy Walker, Brigitte Nielsen & legit Hollywood actor Tom Sizemore who cameos as himself…….in the old west……OK, well they kinda have fun with the anachronisms. Phones have not been invented, yet everyone has semi-automatic firearms.

Like their music, if you take this seriously, it’s very easy to dismiss these guys for the clowns that they are. But they are dedicated to their schtick. The face paint never comes off, which is more than you can say for that other musical clown act, Kiss. They could have made this movie way more violent, but they went with comedy which was the right call. You might like this movie, more likely you’ll hate it, but ICP doesn’t really give a fuck about you or your fat ass momma. Bitch.

-Wes

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Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

I hadn’t originally planned on posting this week for the following reasons:

  1. This past weekend I was at a bachelor party in Myrtle Beach, AKA the redneck Las Vegas. It was a fun weekend but at the same time, not the type of weekend you return home from with your creative juices flowing, ready to bang out several posts on film.
  2. Today is my birthday and I don’t do anything I don’t want to on my birthday. There are no deadlines–external or self-imposed. It should be about cake, presents, and wanting to throw your cell phone out of your car as you drive down the beltline because your email and text alert noise won’t stop going off due to people posting their well wishes on your Facebook page. You know, the simple pleasures in life.
  3. I’m on vacation all week for the first time since all the way back in October. I was burnt out and needed a week where I just sleep, watch movies, meet up with friends, and bum around in the most general of fashions. I’m only on day 2 as I write this and things are going swimmingly. In fact, I’m going to pause in writing this post and take a nap—just because I can.

But then a terrible thing happened. I started to feel obligated to make at least one post and then I got the idea to do this entry and tie it into what is going on with me this week in the most extemporaneous of fashions. So with that, here we go.

I haven’t had a full blow-out for my birthday since I turned 22 and had a full open bar in my apartment. From what I have been told, it was a fun night until one of my idiot friends decided to try and rappel down the stairs located in the exterior hallway; an act in which he failed miserably, as he fell two stories and through my roommate’s prized folding chair. He was OK but the folding chair, which had been with us since our freshman year of college, flat-lined in the breezeway sometime in the early morning hours of April 26th. Taps quickly followed as well as the locking out of the remaining guests due to my roommates fit of booze-enhanced grief. I tell you this because, to my knowledge, this is the only time I have had a party thrown in my honor where a person in attendance could have died in a weird, horrific fashion—much like what happens to most of the partygoers in the slasher film Happy Birthday to Me. See, I told you this would be an effortless segue!

In the early 1980s, horror was experiencing a renaissance. John Carpenter’s Halloween showed horror could be both profitable and scary at the same time, which of course led Hollywood down that well-worn path of copycats and retreads. No stone was to be left unturned in those days as producers would look for any angle to help them put teenage butts in movie theater seats, and one of the most popular ways to do it was to take holidays and special events that are commonplace on everyone’s calendar and then turn them into splatter fests of the highest order. From Silent Night, Deadly Night to Prom Night, power tool-welding maniacs made sure they were there to ruin it, ripping out any positive significance of the date like they did their victim’s entrails. Having scored a minor success in My Bloody Valentine, a small Canadian production company decided to go to the well once more, only this time, they promised the audience “6 of the most bizarre murders you will ever see” and the lurid and super twisted poster art (and a fun trailer with an awesome, cheesy, datedness factor) seemed to back the filmmaker’s boisterous claims. J. Lee Thompson (Cape Fear, Guns of the Navarone, and numerous Bronson films) was on board as director, giving the small slasher film a little bit more pedigree; you know, kind of like when Bob Clark directed Black Christmas.

Virginia “Ginny” Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson) is a high school senior and member of the prestigious “Top Ten” click that managed to survive a near-fatal car accident and return to school where she mixes it up with your typical student types that show up in movies of this nature. Virginia has a boyfriend, a stalker, and likes to go to the local bars and mix it up. The only problem—and it’s a big one—is that her friends keep getting knocked off by someone who loves to wear black gloves. This, of course, is no help to those in the audience trying to figure out who the killer is; everyone loves black gloves in this movie and they tend to all wear the same brand, especially after a murder occurs. Well played you murdering psycho, you. Well played. Ginny, with the help of her psychiatrist (always on call) are up against the clock, hoping to be able to get to the bottom of this “matter” before her 18th birthday. After all, one of the members of the “Top Ten” click deserves a well-attended birthday party, and all these inconvenient murders could fuck with her privileged standing when trying to navigate the cool, calculated world of high school popularity. Oh, and girls take showers. NUDE.

The plot is light and not worth spending a lot of time on, and let’s face it, slasher films aren’t popular due to their intricate character development and labyrinthine plot. People like to be “scared” or see characters meet their maker in interesting ways. In both of these arenas, Happy Birthday to Me comes up short. Maybe it’s just me, but when a film promises me 6 bizarre murders and then uses garden sheers to kill someone, I’m more than a little underwhelmed, even by the standards in force in the early ’80s. In fact, for most of its runtime, Happy Birthday to Me strikes me as a infinitely more demented Giallo version of Clue, employing who-dunnit-style trappings and pacing normally seen in that genre of film. Keeping that in mind, the acting is decent and it’s always a blast to see a legendary actor like Glen Ford show up in a movie like this, slumming it near the end of a lengthy career. Still, if horror films are your cup of tea, the nostalgia factor is ramped up pretty high in this offering, and the dead high school kid clichés are fun to keep tabs on, but it ultimately lacks in comparison to the nasty verve on display in genre classics like The Burning or Sleepaway Camp.

-David

Kooky (2010)

Though most of the films from the Czech Republic that I’ve seen are those of the surrealist Jan Švankmajer, I had, prior to watching Kooky, never seen a Jan Svěrák film. The son of actor and director Zdenek Sverák, Jan Svěrák is apparently known for his comedy and drama work, and this is his first foray into a children’s film of this nature. Kooky is apparently a family effort of sorts, with Jan’s father and son playing key roles. Given the strange character design and fairy-tale feel, this unique tale about growing up made its way to the top of my watch list pretty quickly.

An asthmatic child named Ondra (Ondrej Sverák) is forced to throw away his childhood toy by his mother, who insists that the stuffed bear name Kooky (voiced by Ondrej Sverák) is aggravating his condition due to his stuffing, and the fact that he isn’t machine-washable. Ondra sneaks out later and retrieves Kooky, only to discover him missing come morning. Assuming the worst, Ondra prays for the safety of Kooky. In the city dump, Kooky comes to life just in time to escape being crushed by a garbage machine. After being pursued by a pair of garbage creatures made of plastic bottles and plastic bags who insist he must stay in the dump, Kooky arrives in a vast forest.

Here he meets the forest “gods,” strange beings who seemed to be composed of various bits of forest debris and garbage. They are led by the cranky Goddamn (voiced by Zdenek Sverák)(named Hergot in the Czech version, which, from what I’ve gathered, is apparently still an expletive), who is considered the guardian of the forest. Goddamn is at odds with Nuschka (Jirí Machácek), the son of the previous guardian who is attempting to wrestle control from Goddamn, declaring him senile and unfit to lead. Though Kooky simply wants to return home to Ondra, he ends up accompanying Goddamn on an adventure to rescue a distressed animal, in order to keep his position as forest guardian. Nuschka and the aforementioned garbage creatures attempt to thwart them at every turn, and Kooky must step up to the plate to help his new friend.

Using what appears to be mostly practical effects, the denizens of the forest move via live action puppetry, as well some digital and some stop motion, and though often not especially convincing, it’s enough to not be a major point of distraction. I was initially drawn to this film because of the art direction, led by the game company Amanita Design’s Jakub Dvorský. Like many of his character designs, the creatures of Kooky look like they come out of a storybook, which fits the tone of the film like a glove. Many of them look like a mismatched assortment of shells, twigs, leaves, and the occasional bit of garbage, and though most of time their range of movement is fairly limited, the voice acting imbues them with enough character to make them acceptable. The human characters don’t get very much screen time, but the brief performances given are perfectly adequate.

Oddly enough, Kooky, though ostensibly a children’s movie, has plenty of cursing from the character Goddamn (I mean, even his name is curse word), and a few other characters as well. This is presumably not that big of a deal in the Czech Republic, especially given Goddamn’s role as a “crotchety old man” who is likely expected to swear. When it’s all said and done, the conversations between Goddamn and Kooky are pretty humorous, consisting mostly of the “get off my lawn” variety.

Overall, Kooky was an enjoyable watch, punctuated with plenty of weird bits that livened up what would have been a slightly lackluster storyline that drags on occasion. I would imagine children would find it fairly entertaining as well, if not sometimes frightening during a scene or two. Lacking the higher budget and technical wizardry of a Jim Henson film, Kooky still manages to entertain along the same vein of family films.

I’m not really into making sales pitches, but as of this writing, Kooky is still available with an English dub for just over a week from the Humble Botanicula bundle, as long as you pay over the average purchase price. The Humble Bundle program offers indie games at a price determined by the purchaser, and this particular bundle contains most of Amanita Designs games which are all excellent, visually amazing games. You also have the option to give some or all of your purchase money towards charity, if you so choose. The sale is over, but the film is still available on iTunes.

-Adam

Captain Kidd (1945)

Thanks to Mr. Johnny Depp, pirate films have soared in popularity again. I am still waiting for someone else besides Disney to make a good pirate flick now, preferably rated R. No, I really want it to be rated R, I’m not just saying that because that’s what pirates say or are supposed to say. I’m saying it because pirates are supposed to cut throats or shoot people in the face at point blank range or gut someone and let their innards spill out on the deck, thus instilling the proper level of fear for said pirate. This seems to be the only path anyone making a pirate film now can take and not have it seem like they are just copying Disney’s blockbuster franchise. There was a time when Hollywood was flooded with pirate adventure films. All of them full of handsome leading men, most famously Errol Flynn. But pirates disappeared from cinemas, becoming a rarity by the 1960’s. Westerns went through a similar downturn but never really disappeared thanks to Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Gary Cooper & Randolph Scott.

Growing up I didn’t know of any kid who at one time or another didn’t play pirates. Any tree in your backyard became the main mast of the meanest pirate ship to sail the seven seas. Looking back that seems kind of odd given the lack of pirate-infused programming for kids in the 1980’s compared to that of the 1930’s & 40’s where matinee idols frequently swash-buckled across the screen every Saturday afternoon. The few exceptions that did come out in the 1980’s were amazing, imaginative films that hooked kids like me on the thought of high seas adventure. The Goonies, The Princess Bride & Hook. All of these were great fun, it seemed like I must have watched the Goonies 100 times. I’m surprised the VHS tape held up through the constant playback and rewinds. As limited as that selection was, today’s youth have even less variety. Nothing but Captain Jack Sparrow and a couple of high budget porno ripoffs, which depending on your mood may or may not be better than their real film counterparts.

I stumbled upon Captain Kidd while I was browsing online one night. It stars Charles Laughton as the titular character and Randolph Scott (who was taking a rare break from westerns). Captain Kidd is absolutely not historically accurate, the fact of whether or not Kidd was actually a pirate is still up for debate. Just ignore the history books if you want to fully enjoy it, just like you should if you watch an Oliver Stone movie. Laughton certainly doesn’t look the part of dashing leading man for an adventure film. Think bloated Orson Welles in Touch Of Evil, only clean shaven and not sweating profusely from having to strain for the energy to stand up. What Laughton lacks in physical prowess, he makes up for in spades with his silver tongue. Shorty into the film its clear he’s perfect to play the double crossing pirate. Check out the short clip above with Laughton opposite John Carradine for a perfect example of this. Randolph Scott, who happens to have been a Charlotte, NC native, really has the chiseled leading man look and does a pretty good job here as the hero, despite a lack of English accent even though he’s surrounded by them. The plot involves (what else) buried treasure and multiple plots and backstabs to retrieve it. There’s not many high flying action scenes in this as its clearly a low budget affair, but that doesn’t keep this from being a solid flick. When Kidd is called upon to show his skill with a blade, he disarms his attacker with a couple flicks of his sword while scarcely moving. Good thing too, I don’t think Laughton was much of an action star, almost all of the fighting sequences involve other characters. This did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Score, but in those days that didn’t mean much. I think if you made a movie that didn’t get nominated for anything else they threw you a nod for music or song, and thankfully Kevin Kline doesn’t show up singing here. This film is in no way a spoof or send up of pirate films, but Laughton took this character there when he agreed to do Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd 7 years later, a film that I will now probably try and track down.

The film has fallen into public domain so you can watch it free online at any one of 100 sites, though the quality of the print will vary. It’s great that there are films like this out there for free. Movie fans on a budget will never have to worry about legally finding free movies thanks to the Internet Archive, Youtube and IMDB. Happy hunting.

– Wes

Tokyo Drifter (1966)

During my college years, the film universe fully opened up to me, allowing me to take in cult and foreign films that up until that time, I either had no idea existed or had only read about in books or on some antiquated Geocities webpage during the primitive days of the Internet. While IMDB was launched in 1990, the invaluable resource for all movie geeks—and bet settler extraordinaire–didn’t gain a ton of traction until around 1998 after Amazon purchased it and helped form the site into what I now use on a daily basis. My family had purchased a Packard Bell computer around 1996 but I had not once heard of this site until I spent time on a college campus; specifically, by hearing it mentioned in the first in a long(ish) line of  film courses I would take during my tenure at Appalachian State. At that time, the college was in the midst of birthing a film degree, something that I would ultimately miss out on (queue the chorus of boos here) by the slightest of margins. They had just brought in their first, honest-to-God film professor, Craig Fisher, and the film courses went from two basic offerings, Intro and Advanced, and expanded out into surveys in world cinema, history of, and classes that would focus on one specific genre or auteur. I learned quickly to take only the classes that Craig was teaching; all the other professors were primarily English teachers and weren’t able to offer the stunning amount of insight that he was. They also lacked his boundless enthusiasm on the subject; it was always a treat to see him work a classroom, expounding on topic after topic, with arms flailing in an excited manner as he shuffled around the room in a manner that was surprisingly fleet of foot, given his girth at the time.

I was able to take 4 classes with Craig and all were enlightening and led me down paths that I might not have found by myself until much later in life; as such, my development in all things related to cinema hit warp speed from 1998 to 2002. While I relished each of these courses, the one that I gleaned the most from and “hit the sweet spot” in terms of my personal movie geekery, was his 3-hours-a-week master class on the history of Asian film. In addition to actual lecture time, I was given a minimum of 2 films to watch each week and for the first time was exposed to the genius and legend of Ozu, Kurosawa, Itami, Suzuki, Takeshi, and Mizoguchi. Directors that I was only partially introduced to before, like John Woo for example, began to take on a larger role in forming my tastes as a growing cinephile.

Yes, my head was about to explode with all this newfound information.

Geekasms were had.

If you have spent any time around me discussing film, it becomes rather obvious within a brief amount of time that I have a predilection for cinema that emerges from this corner of the world. This class wasn’t necessarily the origin of this love affair, but it’s inescapably what elevated it, allowing it to bloom into a life-long obsession within a larger life-long obsession. Out of all the masters I would come to learn about and love during those 5 months, the one director who would make the greatest impact was a renegade by the name of Seijun Suzuki; a director that carries with him a plethora of characteristics that I love most in the medium of film—the yakuza film, a free jazz soundtrack, retina-burning colors effects, and visual gags—plus, add in the fact that he created numerous masterworks in the ’50s and ’60s—my favorite decades not just for cinema but for overall ambience, clothing, women, its political upheaval, music, pop art and so on—and it was a match made in heaven. Over a career that would span 6 decades and 54 titles, none would match the considerable impact of his masterpiece, Tokyo Drifter.

Tokyo Drifter’s relatively uncomplicated story goes something like this:

Tetsu Hondo, who goes by the alias of “The Phoenix” (Tetsuya Watari), is a loyal foot soldier to his crime boss Kurata (Ryuji Kita), an extraordinarily altruistic man considering he plies his trade in enterprises exclusively related to criminal activities. Kurata, a father figure for Tetsu, even approves of his relationship with a stunning lounge singer named Chiharu (Chieko Matsubara), who will obviously need protecting at some point. Near the beginning of the film, Kurata makes the decision to disband his organization and go legit, leaving him open to rival mobsters looking to take advantage of his new station in life. Tetsu remains faithful to his former boss, getting badly beaten in the process. After healing, he is forced out of Tokyo and gets wrapped up in the doings of another shady character and Kurata alley that swiftly places Tetsu’s life in danger. Tetsu, saved yet again, this time by Kenji Aizawa (Hideaki Nitani), a wise, well-traveled ex-Yakuza, who warns Tetsu that his loyalty is misplaced and that soon Kurata, his beloved boss, will turn on him. Meanwhile, back in Tokyo, Kurata caves under threats of blackmail and gives up Tetsu to his rivals as they demand nothing short of our hero’s death. Word that he has been targeted reaches Tetsu by way of a thug nicknamed “The Viper” (Tamio Kawaji), and going against Kenji’s advice, Tetsu returns to a city where every thug lays in wait to right the wrongs levied against him and to protect his one true love, Chiharu.

What was supposed to be a typical Yakuza genre film and the debut of Nikkatsu Studio’s newest young discovery, Tetsuya Watari, wildly veered from its aim under the direction of an outlaw like Suzuki. Originally, Nikkatsu wanted to provide its audience with a feel-good acting showcase and love story set in the backdrop of the criminal underworld. Instead they got a movie that featured only a handful of scenes focusing on the relationship between the two lovebirds, in other words, nothing that would serve to set up Watari as a future matinee heartthrob. While the actor is shot lovingly and still looks cool, he nevertheless comes across as a wimp when compared to Hideaki Nitani’s Kenji, who evokes the cool, calm, and collected attitude of Hollywood legends Robert Michum and Humphrey Bogart. With an advertising plan already in the can, Nikkatsu suddenly had a vastly different film on it’s hands, with absurd action sequences, a theme song that when combined with the on-screen action–whether it be sung or whistled–clashes in a sublime manner with the visuals, and a color scheme fit more of a MGM musical of yesteryear all of which only serves to undercut the dour Yakuza themes associated with the genre.

While the studio hated what they received from the fiercely unique director, there is no doubt that Suzuki was fantastically successful in bringing his vision of the material to the screen. Always anachronistic, Suzuki’s style blends the best that Pop Art has to offer with the vivid artwork contained in Japanese Manga; characters are routinely set against flat backgrounds reminiscent of the panel work utilized in their comics. Further confusing the studio, the director chose color palettes that are constantly askew for no reason other than to mess with the audiences expectations. When weapons are fired, background colors change in time with the sound of the shot making it next to impossible for the viewer to take his or her eyes off the screen. In the most flagrant offering of this nature, a scene that is set in a snow covered landscape turns blue for no reason when a filter wipes across the screen. In regards to set design, most are beautiful representations of images existing only in the director’s mind prior to bringing Tokyo Drifter to life; in particular, the nightclub set at the end of the movie are legendary examples of thinking outside the box and minimalism.

As is often the case with a true auteur, Suzuki, and by extension Tokyo Drifter, remained largely misunderstood by most for a lengthy period of time. What Nikkatsu failed to notice in this now, rightfully recognized classic was how it playfully deconstructed the themes and genre trappings Yakuza films employ, all the while doing so with a marvelously self-conscious tone. It also works well as a reaction to all the goofy spy movies that flooded the marketplace in the wake of the James Bond craze of the 1960s, taking the style of those efforts (think Modesty Blaise, or the In like Flint and Matt Helm series) but replacing the juvenile tone with something a little more cynical, especially when the movie focuses on the director’s thoughts on honor and loyalty. Suzuki’s shift in tone in relation to these themes would soon be imported to other countries, most notably seen in the works of Sergio Leone’s Man with no Name series, and in America, Robert Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen. It would also serve to revitalize a flagging genre in its own country as young, like-minded directors saw in Tokyo Drifter what the studio could not. Not bad for a movie intended to be a piece of fluff.

-David

Redline (2009)

Raise your hand if you’ve played Nintendo’s racing game F-Zero in any of its incarnations. Those of you familiar with this video games series will have some idea of what awaits you in Redline.

When my brother first showed me some clips from this film insisting that I watch it, I have to admit I was somewhat doubtful that it would be anything but a nonsensical display of fancy animation, because, hey, does a flashy racing anime really need anything beyond the simplest of plots? While I’m not going to tell you that Redline has a profoundly moving storyline that stirs the depths of the human soul, it’s not without some substance to go along with its overflowing abundance of style.

Like F-Zero, Redline takes place in a futuristic setting known as the M3 Nebula where a race that is broadcast galaxy-wide called “Redline” is about to take place. Also like F-Zero, this universe is populated by a veritable freakshow of aliens, cyborgs, and other assorted lifeforms. You’ve got dog-people, blue gorillas, multi-armed car mechanics, a bevy of people that dress like insane superheroes and villains, and people that are half-man, half-machine (one of which who has his own theme song). Our protagonist, “Sweet” JP, is a fresh-out-of prison racecar driver who’s been throwing races with the help of his partner, Frisbee, despite his apparent desire to simply win. After losing a qualifying race for Redline (known as Yellowline), he is suddenly allowed in due to several other racers dropping out. The reason? This year’s race is being held on the planet Roboworld, run by militaristic cyborgs who are rather upset that there’s a race being held on their planet without their permission, and have declared open war on any racers attempting to compete on Roboworld.

Of course, Sweet JP and the rest of the participating racers have no qualms about putting their lives at risk for the glory of winning the competition, and spend time prepping on the nearby world of Europass. It’s here that most of the character development occurs, as JP discusses the troubles resulting from Frisbee’s mafia dealings with an old friend, and also meets several of the racers, including the qualifying race’s winner Sonoshee. She appears to have a shared past with JP, further revealed as they discuss what drives them to compete. It’s not an in-depth character study, but it definitely gives them real motivations and explanations for their actions. It’s easy to forget all this though, in the final act of the film that takes place on Roboworld and is a high-energy, action-heavy blur of speed and explosions, taken to bizarre extremes as is only fitting for such an over-the-top sci-fi setting.

I would be remiss to neglect the film’s visuals, and if the characters are too weird and the storyline too weak for you, you can at least be in awe of the masterful animation at work here. The entirety of the animation is done in a hard light and shadow style, and though it’s been said many times before about many different films, Redline really does look like a graphic novel that’s in motion in front of you. Do yourself a favor and be sure to see this thing in HD, because it would be a crime to lessen the look of the film in any way, and the sharp, crisp style really pops in hi-def.

If nothing else, Redline should be seen for the sights and sounds, but hang around for a while and enjoy the colorful characters and rich setting, and please, don’t take it too seriously. This is a space-race on crack, and it’s a hell of a ride.

And now I’m going to go play some F-Zero GX.

-Adam