Category Archives: Crossposted

Ratchet & Clank

Rachet&ClankNeither of the adult children (ages 20 and 18) I took to this film had ever actually played the Ratchet & Clank games. Both of them loved the film.

I was pleasantly surprised by it. In particular I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud.

After the third time it happened I began paying attention. I’ve concluded that the team responsible for this film has a really solid understanding of comedic timing. A great many of the jokes were dumb, or were very simple physical humor, but they were so well delivered, and included enough fresh components, that I laughed out loud in spite of having anticipated the punchline.

If you’re a student of humor, I think this film bears scrutiny.

If you’re not a student of humor, and that’s probably most of you, the film is a lot of fun. The voices are spot on, the designs are wonderful, and the animation is quite good. It shows off the finesse we’ve come to expect from Pixar and Dreamworks, but it comes from a studio without that sort of pedigree. (Looking at Ratchet & Clank‘s company credits on IMDB it’s hard to say just which studio handled most of the animation. If it’s CNHK then it’s their debut effort, which is doubly impressive.)

Parents of young children should consider this one. I think little kids will love it, and I almost (read: not at all) wish I had little kids to take to the movies.

Of the movie adaptations of video games I’ve seen, I can’t recall any of them being this enjoyable. Thanks to the great time I had with my big kids, Ratchet and Clank clears my Threshold of Awesome, and enters my list at #4 for the year.

Looking Pretty Good…

A package arrived from our printer. It was full of pieces of paper for us to look at before committing to the print run for Force Multiplication.

FM-ProofForCover

It’s looking pretty good. The painstaking hours (and hours and hours) of tweaks and adjustments appear to have paid off.

We’re not taking pre-orders for this book yet, but that’ll probably start within a month. I’ll post more when Sandra picks a date.

I’ve been Powerpuffed by Lar DeSouza

I love this caricature a lot.

Howard-PPG-Full-Lar

Lar DeSouza has been doing these in conjunction with his MS Walk charity drive, which ends at the end of April. Oh, and he’s been doing the art live on his twitch.tv stream. If you want to watch him draw this one, he began at the 1:20:30-ish mark.

I don’t know whether he’s full up on ’em right now, but if you follow @Lartist on Twitter he’ll probably make some noise about it.

The Jungle Book

TheJungleBookThere’s no way to film the Mowgli stories from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book absent the influence of the 1967 Disney classic, which casts a long shadow. Several such films have been made, and most of them didn’t work very well at all. 2016’s The Jungle Book does work, however, and it does so with surprising grace and beauty.

And joy.

I really loved this film. It took a while to win me over, but Bill Murray’s Baloo the Bear was the perfect re-imagining of the character, and King Louie’s remake as a gigantopithecus (an extinct genus of giant orangutan) was made complete when Richard Sherman, who co-wrote “I Wan’na Be Like You” with his brother Robert, returned to the 40-year-old piece to add lyrics.

Which were performed by Christopher Walken.

Murray and Walken had their work cut out for them, however, because newcomer Neel Sethi very nearly ran off with the whole show. Barefoot. And mostly naked. At age 12.

(Note: I could continue to gush about skills on display here, including those of Idris Elba and Lupita Nyong’o, who were terrifying and inspiring, respectively, but it’s a long list.)

Jon Favreau directed, and I have to say, I’m impressed. He managed to reconcile Kipling’s 19th-century morality-play view of the jungle with more modern sensibilities, including the St. Louis Jazz feel introduced to the Kipling mythos by Disney in 1967, and he did all this with a cast of characters that was almost entirely computer-animated in a way meant to fool us into thinking they were actual animals.

2016’s The Jungle Book enters my list at #3, clearing my Threshold of Awesome. I bought the soundtrack, and will probably pick up the Blu-Ray when it drops.