Draggin’ Balls Zzz…

Every single aspect of “Dragonball: Evolution is a giant turdtacular crapgasm. The only reason this movie is even on my radar is the fact that Spike James Marsters Spike is playing the boss fight, Lord Piccolo. I’m all for Buffy alums getting work, but seeing him in this (or rather knowing he’s in this while making sure I NEVER actually see it) makes me a little sad.

Despite how low rent the trailers and other advertising make “Dragonball” seem, I bet if they had managed to release this in 2002 it would have done astoundingly well. At that time the Dragonball property was what analysts refer to as a “CASHterfuck.” Meaning that it was a seemingly worthless concept that, against all reason, generated cash that could only be measured with comically large scales.

The DBZ fad is over and kids have moved on to more Pokemons or Narutos or knife fights or whatever kids care about now. I saw a few episodes of “Dragonball Z” when it first started to air in the states. I was mezmerized by the fact that entire episodes would pass while nothing had actually happened on screen. It was a lot like “Heroes” in that respect. More grunting, less Grunberg though. True story: my first flirtation with voice acting was auditioning for “Dragonball Z.” It was dubbed for the US by FUNimation here in Ft. Worth. I read for several parts and at one point I was in the running for some sort of cat or something, but in the end I didn’t make the cut. I knew the cartoon was shit, but I certainly would have liked to add “voice for weird space cat on national cartoon show” to my creative resume.

Do you want to see “DB: Evolution” just to witness the trainwreck? Or do you think it might actually hold some genuine intertainment value? I plan to stear clear, but leave your thoughts in the comments.

Brutal

Josh and I saw Dethklok live on Saturday night.

It’s hard to explain the series of mental hoops one has to jump through upon realization that you’ve just paid $50 to see a cartoon heavy metal band play live.  I’ve said this before on the HE Podcast, but I enjoy Dethklok in a completely un-ironic way. I know the band members are technically animated characters on an Adult Swim show, but I listen to their music just like any other band. Actually, I think I enjoy them more than most bands because there’s a built in mechanism where they CAN’T take themselves too seriously… because they don’t exist.

Dethklok manages to perfectly blend my interests in rock & roll, comedy and satire. Their music instantly transcends being a “joke” because Brendon Small, the show’s co-creator and composer, is a fantastic metal musician. Josh and I were talking after the show about how amazing this guy’s life seems (on paper). He got to make a fairly popular cartoon (Home Movies), then somehow he got to make an extremely popular cartoon (Metalocalypse), then through some series of witchcraft and enchantment he parlays that cartoon success into becomming an actual rock star. And make no mistake, he was a FUCKING ROCK STAR.

The first panel of this comic actually happened. We wondered aloud if the audience would consist more of Adult Swim fans or Metal fans. It was almost entirely the latter. The legitimacy the crowd granted this intentional farce was a site to behold. The opening bands (Chimaira and Soilent Green) were ACTUAL metal bands. They have paid their dues (or were still paying them), toured the country, scraped by and earned the respect of the people in the audience. They were both very well received. Dethklok, on the other hand, A) doesn’t even exist, and B) has only played a grand total of 30 or 40 shows to date and they were greeted like the second coming of Lemmy.

The show itself consisted of the band playing live while synced up animation plaid on the screen behind them. It was a good mix of scenes from the show and all new clips.  Every 3 or 4 songs, the human band would exit the stage and we’d get 2 or 3 minutes of bonus animation, such as an orientation from “Face Bones,” and vinette about Murderface pissing sitting down.

Show Highlights were:

  • Extended Skwisgar sex scene in “Thunderhorse”
  • The “Duncan Hills Jingle” live
  • The fact the Brendon Small can sing live as Nathan Explosion with no effects
  • Brendon Small carrying on a live conversation between Nathan, Skwisgar and Pickles
  • Pickles and Nathan’s dueling vocals on “Hatredcopter” despite being voiced by the same dude
  • MURMAIDER MURMAIDER MURMAIDER MURMAIDER!!!
  • Seeing “Go Into the Water” live (it’s my favorite Dethklok song)

Check out some full reviews from Saturday’s show at Dethklok.org.

He’s Very LONEL-E

Spoiler Alert! WALL-E’s a Cylon.

I saw the movie last night. Not my favorite Pixar product, but certainly worth the money.  I thought it was odd for Pixar to include video of REAL humans (assuming Fred Willard isn’t a cartoon of some kind) along with the CG ones. That kind of broke the illusion for me. You know, the illusion that I was actually witnessing a distopian future earth populated by exactly one miniature trash compactor with tank treads and binocular eyes.

I guess they decided to ditch the side story where Johnny 5 knocks up WALL-E‘s mom then spilts, leaving her to raise 200,000 identical robot kids alone.

Bonus WALL-E Links:

The Bit Goes on for Like 6 Minutes

Much like the first installment, I expect Hellboy 2 to be fun, but not great (or even great fun). It will be visually pleasing and keep me pretty entertained for 2 hours. I’m not really asking for anything more. I just don’t anticipate LOVING it.

That could change with the addition of Seth MacFarlane to the cast, as Johann Kraus, a disembodied psychic entity who lives in a containment suit.

His voice is like baritone molasses. I would pay him to read stories to me at night. If you haven’t seen him speak in person or on video, his real voice is basically that of Brian the Griffin’s dog. Almost exactly. I would murder people for a voice like that. Much like Maurice LaMarche, I have a voice-crush on Seth MacFarlane.

I’ve always had a weird thing about voices in general. I pay very close attention to a person’s vocal cadence, use of words, speech patterns, etc when they talk. Sometime to the point that I don’t hear what they are saying.

Typically this allows me to impersonate people (usually real people, rather than famous people) with relative ease. If I can’t SOUND like them, I can usually TALK like them. It’s a blessing and a curse. I was watching a rerun of Deep Space 9 late at night. It was a final season episode with Ezri Dax. I hadn’t seen any of these in at least 4 or 5 years, but I immediately noticed that the actress, Nicle DeBoer, had a speech impediment. It was slight. She can’t say an “S” without mashing her tongue against her teeth. Once I noticed it, the episode was shot from there. It didn’t offend me, but I couldn’t help but notice it EVERY time she spoke.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m grateful for this…talent(?) because I think it allows me to enjoy a particular actor in a way most people don’t notice.

I think I started doing this as a child when I realized that the same 4 or 5 voice actors were on EVERY cartoon in the 80’s. I didn’t know who they were because there was no internet. Later in life I looked them up and started researching their careers and others.

Other than Maurice, some personal favorites are  Rob Paulsen, Billy West, David Warner, Kevin Conroy, Phil LaMar, Keith David, Tres MacNeille and Pamela Segall Adlon. You’ll notice at least half of these people ended up on “Futurama”, making the best best voice acted series in the history or time and space.

Any favorite voice actors? Any weird minutia that you pick up on that most people seem to miss?