Top of my list this time around has to be Gulliver’s Travels. While I didn’t care at all for the performance turned in by the flabby guy playing Gulliver, the entire rest of the cast did a truly wonderful job of bringing this Johnathon Swift masterpiece to the screen. I think this may be the first time I have ever seen Chris O’Dowd playing a bad guy (although to be fair it was a very comedic bad guy). Another movie of note is Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster, continuing the story of the legendary martial arts grand master who trained Bruce Lee. And if you are in the mood for epic fantasy’s this week Goemon was the Robin Hood of Japan, except he was an actual historical figure. This film is visually amazing and, as near as I can tell, fairly true to the legend. I am including a clip at the bottom of this entry to give you a feel for the production.
In TV, a blast from the past: The Ernie Kovacs Collection. Ernie was Televsion’s Original Genius in every sense of the word. He invented visual gags that are still in use today and intuitively grasped a media format that would forever change the way we interacted with the world. Programs which acknowledged him as a major part of their inspiration include Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Laugh-In, and Saturday Night Live, to give you an idea of just how pivotal his work was. This collection includes a number of things that haven’t been seen since their original broadcast in the 1950s.
For western animation, Shaun the Sheep: The Big Chase is the optimal choice. Another fine set of mostly non-verbal comedy from the folks who bring you Wallace and Gromit from the UK. I should mention that the Wallace & Gromit: A World Of Cracking Ideas exhibition just kicked off this past Friday, the 16th, at the Newcastle Life Science Centre, and will be running through October 30th. They built a version of 62 West Wallaby Street (the home of Wallace & Gromit) and filled it full of all kinds of interactive exhibits and activities to teach the history of invention and innovation, and show how you can protect your own inventions. Visit the Official Cracking Ideas page for a lot more, including games and competitions.
In Anime, Darker Than Black: Complete Season 1 sets the pace. An impenetrable force field called Hell’s Gate has appeared in Tokyo, along with a class of psychics out to unlock its mysteries. As you would expect, the powers the psychics suddenly received came at a price none of them actually agreed to. Also out this week, One Piece Season 3: Fifth Voyage.