Monday, August 17, 2015

Japanese Science Fiction TV Series Opening Sequences


A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook a trailer for a live action Ultraman movie coming to theaters in Japan. It was the classic Japanese hero with his classic TV theme music yet appearing in brand new state of the arts special effects.

Seeing this trailer inspired me to track down several opening themes to some Japanese science fiction shows of the past. Although I could have gone with the English versions, I thought it would be more fun to use the original Japanese versions (in most instances). Enjoy!

Ultraman



Mazinger Z



Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot



Spectreman



Gatchaman



Space Battleship Yamato

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bugs Bunny, "The Wild Hare" (1940)


Today is the 75th anniversary of the release of the first official Bugs Bunny cartoon, "The Wild Hare." The rest is history. In honor of this event, here is the cartoon in its entirety. Enjoy!


Bugs Bunny - The Wild Hare by bugs-bunny1

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The 2014-2015 TV Season



I'm a bit late on this, but as I did last year, I'd like to use the Tuesday's Overlooked feature to discuss what I thought of the past television season.

And like last year, I had a very satisfying one.

I don't watch as much TV as I'd like, or at least not as much as I would if I had time to channel surf like I did when I was younger. With my time being limited, I have to be choosy with what I watch. I know I'm missing out on some good stuff, but I'm very happy with the programs I do watch.

Unlike the majority of folks I know, I still get most of my enjoyment from the broadcast networks. That's probably because there is so much superhero programming on these days. The best of all is The Flash on The CW. Everything about the series works for me brilliantly; the cast, the writing, the effects, you name it. It has great action, strong character development, and a surprising amount of heart (it's almost impossible not to get emotional during the scenes between Barry Allen and his father). It was, without question, my favorite series on television this season.


Another comic-based series I enjoyed in its second season is Marvel's Agents of S.H,I.E.L.D. Last year I complained about what I found to be unfair treatment by my fellow comic fans, which still continued a bit this season, but not as much, thanks to improved pacing and better scheduling. This was due to the inclusion of the concept of Marvel Comics' Inhumans into the mix, and their link to the former Skye, who we now know to be comic character Daisy Johnson. Unfortunately, the show doesn't seem to have improved in the ratings (the second season finale was the lowest rated episode of the series to date), which is a shame. If these ratings continue, I doubt highly we'll see a season 4; I don't see Disney/ABC/Marvel synergy helping it much further than this season. Still, I'll hold onto the series as long as the network allows me.


Also from Marvel is Agent Carter, featuring the great Haley Atwell as Carter, first seen in Captain America: The First Avenger. Her series was a great way to give Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a breather and give Marvel fans yet another expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


On the Fox network, there was the Batman prequel Gotham. To be honest, the show isn't what I'm looking for in a Batman series, even a prequel. It's far too outrageous, bombastic, and Schumacher-esque.

That is not a compliment.

Still, it's a Batman show, so good or not, I'll probably continue to watch.

Gotham was paired with the second season of Sleepy Hollow. Although fans of the first season believed the show declined in its second season, I enjoyed it as much as the first. I'm curious to see where they go in season three, especially with the apparent absence of Katrina Crane (turned to the dark side) and Henry Parish from the series, and the definite departure of Orlando Jones from the cast (his contract was not renewed).

The biggest live action surprise of the year was iZombie. I didn't know what to expect from this series, but I gave it a try and I'm thrilled that I did! It's another show that is well cast, with a lot of charm and thrills at the same time. It was only on for half a season, so if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do so. It should be easy to catch up.


Speaking of zombies, longtime readers of the blog know I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead (to the point where I even have a Twitter parody account based on one of the characters), and this season, with the exception of the dreadful hospital storyline, was one of its strongest seasons to date. I'm very much looking forward to both its next season and the August debut of its spin-off, Fear The Walking Dead.


HBO's Game of Thrones continued to enthrall in its fifth season. It saved its main character deaths for the end of the season, a nice change of pace from constant death after death. Silicon Valley continued to be a great palette cleanser after Thrones, with its wacky cranked-to-11 sense of obscene humor and gripping cliffhangers.

Finally, there were my favorite animated series. Adventure Time seemed to be weirder than ever (even if it did seem to have an erratic schedule), Regular Show continued to do its thing, and Steven Universe, while I only caught a small handful of episodes, was a big surprise, with equal parts silly fun and heartwarming charm--and oh, that Garnet reveal! Teen Titans GO! made me laugh as hard, if not harder, than any live action comedy. Outside of the Flash series, Teen Titans GO! is the best product DC Entertainment is creating.  I'd love to say more about the Marvel animated series, but I let them pile up on my DVR, and I haven't been diligent in watching them. Not the series' fault, I'm just a busy guy.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, so suffice it to say, I'm really enjoying TV right now. What have been your favorites? Please let me know in the comments section.

See you soon..Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!

Friday, July 10, 2015

List O' Links for Friday, July 10, 2015


I haven't done a List O' Links in awhile, so it's high time I did so. Click away!

I love Sesame Street, and I love learning more about the series and seeing things about it I haven't seen before. This takes the cake: Sesame Street characters playing hockey against the Chicago Blackhawks! This soundless home movie reel is dated circa 1970, but I think it may actually be from much later in the decade. Either way, it's fun to watch!

This being the 40th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite movies, Jaws, here is a collection of fantastic Jaws fan art! You can also find a few other pieces at my Tumblr site!

While I type away right now, San Diego Comic Con 2015 is in full swing! It's practically always Comic Con here at the blog, but in honor of SDCC, here is a defense of the existence of the awesome Cartoon Network series Teen Titans GO! The article describes it as a "necessary evil," but I think the show is wonderful. It's my favorite product DC Entertainment is making--with the exception of The Flash TV series.

Summer is most famous for its hot, sunshine-filled days, but there are plenty of people who enjoy the rain. If you're one of them--and I do appreciate a good rainy day here and there--this site is for you: Rainy Mood. For those days you're feeling serene and introspective, this site provides the sounds of a soothing storm. Rain--it's not just for sadness!

Here's a chance to step back in time to October 1978 and see what was on the tube back then according to TV Guide magazine! 

Finally, artist extraordinaire Alex Ross has unveiled a set of work featuring the Beatles as they appeared in the animated movie Yellow Submarine. I loved Ross's work and the Beatles, so to see the two together is a real treat!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Bait



This week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film is the Australian thriller Bait.

Bait features a simple story: a tsunami hits a coastal Australian town, flooding a supermarket and inundating the store with two large great white sharks in the market's murky waters. A mixed bag of survivors do their best to escape the water and its toothy guests, working out their personal issues along the way.

Bait is by no means the next Jaws, but for a shark story fan like me, it fits the bill; especially when you record it off of SyFy in November and keep it in your DVR until June like I have.

Here is the film's red band trailer if you so inclined. Thanks!


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