Cool Summer (2020)

It’s not often I get an independent animated film for the blog and that’s probably for a good reason. Animation is long, and demanding, even if it’s essentially cheaper as a filmmaking medium. “Cool Summer” has its heart in the right place, and also has a good idea in its corner, it just needs so much work to be done from top to bottom, and much of the pitfalls narratively and production wise keep it from being great.

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The Bootleg Files: Inside Magoo

BOOTLEG FILES 738: “Inside Magoo” (1960 public service film for the American Cancer Society featuring Mister Magoo).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Not to my knowledge.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The status of the copyright is uncertain.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Either in a Mister Magoo anthology or in a collection of classic public service films.

Public service films run the risk of either being too solemn and preachy or trying too hard to sell their message in an emotional manner. Health-related public service films are particularly problematic, as the sponsoring organizations don’t want to scare the audience but also don’t want to trivialize diseases with inappropriate humor.
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Promare (2020) [Blu-Ray/DVD]

There’s nothing I hate more than a movie that has so much going for it, but has no idea how to deliver a great narrative. “Promare” is a movie that, by all accounts, should have blown me out of my seat. But by the middle of it, I was counting down the minutes, and waiting for it to get to the point. It’s so sad that a movie that looks so amazing could be so lacking in originality with government corruption, clandestine organizations, and an evil politician who has plans for the world, yadda, yadda. It’s all so old hat for such an epic looking animated movie.

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TV On DVD: Legion of Superheroes: The Complete Series [Blu-Ray]/FLCL: Progressive/Alternative: Two – Series Collection [Blu-Ray/Digital]

“Legion of Superheroes” arrived during that darker time where “Teen Titans” and “Justice League” had ended their excellent runs and DC was embroiled in a lawsuit over the Superman name. Around this time DC and Warner were attempting to create series less about critical acclaim and more about making merchandise money. Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series (now on Blu-Ray with all 26 episodes) isn’t a bad series per se, it’s just as grand as “Justice League” or as entertaining as “Teen Titans” was. Even during its entire run, the best episodes were just okay.

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The Ten Worst Bugs Bunny Cartoons of All Time

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the arrival of Bugs Bunny on the big screen. And while Cinema Crazed has already celebrated the 10 best Bugs Bunny cartoons of all time, this admittedly subjective article goes in the opposite direction to consider the 10 worst cartoons from the iconic character’s output.

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In Action (2019)

How do you deliver an action comedy filled with gun fights and car chases on a 30K budget? You be as clever as humanly possible, and add in a bit of suspension of disbelief. “In Action” is a shockingly clever action comedy that takes a unique premise and puts it on film, come hell or high water. Working simultaneously as a proof of concept, directors Eric Silvera, Sean Kenealy, and Jon Warren’s bring to life a premise with potential to be pretty damn good, and they do whatever they can to bring their concepts to life.

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The Case of Hana & Alice (2015) [Blu-Ray]

I vividly remember watching “The Case of Hana & Alice” for the Fantasia Film Festival in 2015, and it was a movie that managed to stick with me for a while. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but like a lot of its ilk, it’s a movie you have to go in with some knowledge acquired. “The Cast of Hana & Alice” is primarily a prequel, and a loose one at that, but it’s at least charming in its way, and allows a mystery to become the catalyst for an adventure with two best friends one fateful day.

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Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados) (2015) [Blu-Ray/DVD]

I freely admit that I didn’t quite enjoy “Birdboy” when it was titled “Psychonauts, The Forgotten Children” back in 2016 for the Fantasia Film Festival. While typically I’m a big fan of animation of most kinds, “Birdboy” failed to click with me. I just could not find any real reason to recommend it when I’d finished it, and struggled to even finish it, when all was said and done.

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