Yellow Submarine, 1968 – ★★★★½

Docked half a star because the inventiveness peters out in the end, and how the “battle of Pepperland” is just not as headtrippy as the previous 3/4 of the film. Still, when you read up on the making of the film–seen as a risky investment, very little budget, no time, and an animators strike half-way through production–it’s stunning how timeless it all seems now.

On top of the Pushpin-style cel animation, we also get:
Pre-Gilliam cutout animation
Looped photo figures that both look backwards at Muybridge and forward to our love of animated gifs
Op Art
Flicker film (a la 1966’s Tony Conrad)
Abstract rotoscoping (in the Lucy sequence)
pre-Sesame Street Numbers animation

There’s no way today such an important intellectual property as “The Beatles” would be taken on by a company flying by the seat of its pants and just bunging everything in, mostly without a plot. Yet, here it is, a masterpiece.

(Seen on its 50th anniversary tour on the big screen, so crisp that I could see the shadows of the cel animation on the background)

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Yellow Submarine, 1968 – ★★★★½

Docked half a star because the inventiveness peters out in the end, and how the “battle of Pepperland” is just not as headtrippy as the previous 3/4 of the film. Still, when you read up on the making of the film–seen as a risky investment, very little budget, no time, and an animators strike half-way through production–it’s stunning how timeless it all seems now.

On top of the Pushpin-style cel animation, we also get:
Pre-Gilliam cutout animation
Looped photo figures that both look backwards at Muybridge and forward to our love of animated gifs
Op Art
Flicker film (a la 1966’s Tony Conrad)
Abstract rotoscoping (in the Lucy sequence)
pre-Sesame Street Numbers animation

There’s no way today such an important intellectual property as “The Beatles” would be taken on by a company flying by the seat of its pants and just bunging everything in, mostly without a plot. Yet, here it is, a masterpiece.

(Seen on its 50th anniversary tour on the big screen, so crisp that I could see the shadows of the cel animation on the background)

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Yellow Submarine, 1968 – ★★★★½

Docked half a star because the inventiveness peters out in the end, and how the “battle of Pepperland” is just not as headtrippy as the previous 3/4 of the film. Still, when you read up on the making of the film–seen as a risky investment, very little budget, no time, and an animators strike half-way through production–it’s stunning how timeless it all seems now.

On top of the Pushpin-style cel animation, we also get:
Pre-Gilliam cutout animation
Looped photo figures that both look backwards at Muybridge and forward to our love of animated gifs
Op Art
Flicker film (a la 1966’s Tony Conrad)
Abstract rotoscoping (in the Lucy sequence)
pre-Sesame Street Numbers animation

There’s no way today such an important intellectual property as “The Beatles” would be taken on by a company flying by the seat of its pants and just bunging everything in, mostly without a plot. Yet, here it is, a masterpiece.

(Seen on its 50th anniversary tour on the big screen, so crisp that I could see the shadows of the cel animation on the background)

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Yellow Submarine, 1968 – ★★★★½

Docked half a star because the inventiveness peters out in the end, and how the “battle of Pepperland” is just not as headtrippy as the previous 3/4 of the film. Still, when you read up on the making of the film–seen as a risky investment, very little budget, no time, and an animators strike half-way through production–it’s stunning how timeless it all seems now.

On top of the Pushpin-style cel animation, we also get:
Pre-Gilliam cutout animation
Looped photo figures that both look backwards at Muybridge and forward to our love of animated gifs
Op Art
Flicker film (a la 1966’s Tony Conrad)
Abstract rotoscoping (in the Lucy sequence)
pre-Sesame Street Numbers animation

There’s no way today such an important intellectual property as “The Beatles” would be taken on by a company flying by the seat of its pants and just bunging everything in, mostly without a plot. Yet, here it is, a masterpiece.

(Seen on its 50th anniversary tour on the big screen, so crisp that I could see the shadows of the cel animation on the background)

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, 2005 – ★★★★½

I *thought* I had seen this one, but delightfully not, as I discovered sitting down with friends for an outdoor screening here in S.B. Packed to the gills with puns, visual comedy, fantastic character animation (esp. Lady Tottington), and that grand British tradition of upturning Hollywood genres and plonking them down in the most provincial of settings. A lot of live action directors could take lessons from this film about how to convey complex information and ratchet up suspense without dialog.

Would make a great double bill with Edgar Wright’s “Hot Fuzz” because of the similiar genre/setting and directing style.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Thor: Ragnarok, 2017 – ★★★★

What got me reading Marvel comics as a kid over DC comics was the arch and self-deprecating tone. I enjoyed the quips of Spider-man and the Noo Yawwkishness of The Thing. Taika Waititi, coming from the world of comedy, totally gets this and makes this Marvel installment one of the most enjoyable. Superhero movies are meant to be fun, but unfortunately this once-obvious point has been erased by oh-so-serious fans who think this is major philosophical literature (Nolan Batman fans I’m looking at you) and not a romp.

Right from the start it’s a hoot and a hollar of a film, despite tackling the death of fathers, Death itself, sacrifice, betrayal, etc. The serious matters are taken seriously by the script and the cast, but humor is always there.

Of course, Jeff Goldblum is on his best behavior here, but everybody else is in cracking form. Cate Blanchett gets that delicate balance of camp and serious evil correct. Tessa Thompson rocks. And Chris Hemsworth is a justified leading man with a 1940s-style charisma.

Just a *little* bit too long for my tastes, but fun.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Doctor Strange, 2016 – ★★★

Boilerplate origin story/enlightenment tale, but hoo-boy! the special effects are just ace. I’ve been grizzling for years about the wasted potential of “The Architect” character in “Inception” and the kaleidoscopic showdown at near the end of act three (of four) as New York refracts upon itself was just masterful, as was the various trips into multiuniverse dimensions, bringing back the best of 1960s psychedelic Marvel (Kirby and Ditko, et al). Some nice light humorous touches as well in the dialogue, and some moments of physical comedy too. Cumberbatch is a great choice in the lead. Also: not horrifically long.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Doctor Strange, 2016 – ★★★

Boilerplate origin story/enlightenment tale, but hoo-boy! the special effects are just ace. I’ve been grizzling for years about the wasted potential of “The Architect” character in “Inception” and the kaleidoscopic showdown at near the end of act three (of four) as New York refracts upon itself was just masterful, as was the various trips into multiuniverse dimensions, bringing back the best of 1960s psychedelic Marvel (Kirby and Ditko, et al). Some nice light humorous touches as well in the dialogue, and some moments of physical comedy too. Cumberbatch is a great choice in the lead. Also: not horrifically long.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Doctor Strange, 2016 – ★★★

Boilerplate origin story/enlightenment tale, but hoo-boy! the special effects are just ace. I’ve been grizzling for years about the wasted potential of “The Architect” character in “Inception” and the kaleidoscopic showdown at near the end of act three (of four) as New York refracts upon itself was just masterful, as was the various trips into multiuniverse dimensions, bringing back the best of 1960s psychedelic Marvel (Kirby and Ditko, et al). Some nice light humorous touches as well in the dialogue, and some moments of physical comedy too. Cumberbatch is a great choice in the lead. Also: not horrifically long.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, 2018 – ★★★★½

You might be watching this at home, but let me tell you about the mass catharsis that awaited you at a live screening, if you’ve reading this years later. There was sort of a heavy sigh and letting go, a bit of baleful anger, and a sadness as we all worked through this requiem for our childhood friend, our childhood, and a large part of the nation’s heart and soul.

1) The animated sequences really work as you realize how deep that tiger connection goes.

2) The quick clip of FOX News was like being sprayed in the soul by vomit.

3) Like the first one, the Second Coming of Christ was missed by the majority of folks or taken for granted.

4) Who walked our vowing to be more like Fred?

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills