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#19 Operation: Daybreak

Operation: Daybreak 1975 How much is one life worth?  Is it a one-for-one proposition or can one life be worth the death of thousands?  This is the moral issue behind the assassination of SS General Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.  Heydrich was one of Adolf Hitler’s closest and most trusted advisors and at the Wannsee Conference … Continue reading

#18 Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue 1998 Animation in film is a hit-and-miss proposition.  There are more ways in which the film can fail than ways to succeed.  The animation can be shoddy or too unrealistic, the voice acting flat, the music can be annoying or mismatched to the action, the plot and dialogue can be ham-fisted. Perfect Blue … Continue reading

#17 March Or Die

March or Die- 1977 This is what come from running out of good films to watch.  A quick perusal of a list of films that came out in 1977 yeilds SF/fantasy films Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the war movie A Bridge Too Far, and David Lynch’s first mindbending film Eraserhead … Continue reading

#16 Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence was produced in 2004 uses a combination of traditional hand-drawn cell animation, as was seen in the predecessor Ghost in the Shell, as well as computer animation.  This combination proves distracting at times.  Part of what makes any film work is the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief.  We ignore that we … Continue reading

#15 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Back in 1993, Batman had undergone something of a resurgence.  Following two Tim Burton directed films–Batman and Batman Returns–and the first season of an animated Batman TV series, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm hit the big screen.  The plot is a mix of flashbacks to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman and falling in love combined with his present struggles … Continue reading

#14 Akira

I first saw Akira when I was in college.  I’d heard about this animated movie, no one called it anime in those days, that I “just had to see.”  Now in the early to mid-1990’s the only animated films widely available were Disney or Disney-esque films like 1981’s The Fox and the Hound or 1989’s … Continue reading

#13 Ghost in the Shell

On the surface Ghost in the Shell appears to be an animated science fiction action movie.  Light fare.  Even the trailer represents it as “non-stop action.”  However, is it?  Or is it is a transhumanist meditation on the nature of humanity, of memory and dreams, and of the nature of reality itself wrapped up in … Continue reading

#12 The Longest Day

“Your assignment tonight is strategic. You can’t give the enemy a break.  Send ‘em to hell.”  John Wayne. In 1962’s The Longest Day the invasion of Normandy on D-Day was a bloodless affair.  Certainly men die in war–and one does in the first minute of the film–but in 1962 (and in a John Wayne film) … Continue reading

#11 Lincoln

I went through a phase, as nearly all boys do, of being engrossed by war movies.  I watched every war movie I could find.  Old John Wayne classics like The Sands of Iwo Jima, hidden gems like Van Johnson in Go For Broke! about the Japanese-American soldiers of 442nd Regimental Combat Team, foreign war films like Anzacs and … Continue reading

#10 Der Tunnel

I love reading, and I love movies.  So watching a foreign film is the best of both; it’s like reading a movie.  For some people subtitles are a hindrance.  They feel distracted by constantly refocusing their attention from the action to the bottom of screen to read the dialogue.  But if you can read fast … Continue reading

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