Amelia Jarvinen's Blog

An Oberlin course blog

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Archer

April 19th, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

Archer, Sterling Archer. The new (cartoon) face of espionage/action flicks has a name other than James Bond. The recent brain child of  Adam Reed, Archer is a tv series that caters to the entertainment aficionados who enjoy a great spy show every once in a while. It can be characterized as a spoof on James Bond, but that’s not all it is. It is an adult-themed cartoon, depicting beautiful people, doing dangerous things, in a world not unlike our own.

The voice acting is impeccable with H. Jon Benjamin starring in the lead role of Sterling Archer, Judy Greer as Malory Archer, among other talented actors. The dialogue keeps the audience engaged with humor and raunchy quips. All in all, i think this is my favorite cartoon that has come out in the last two years.

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An age-old classic…

April 18th, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

…The Simpsons, i’m referring to the Simpsons–the show that I watched continuously as a young child, through my awkward teen years, even now. it’s been a life-changing show, really. I hold all other cartoons up to the simpsons standard. crass humor, rudimentary drawings, bright colors, the list goes on. but really, i am hard-pressed to find a cartoon that is consistently better than the simpsons. and who can argue with how many seasons have been produced? No One? That’s what i thought.

here’s to you Homer, Santa’s Little Helper, Marge, Lisa, Snowball (I, II, and III), Maggie, and Bart for all the ways you’ve terrorized the boob tube with your jokes, yokes, yokels, puns, etc. you’ve made my life a little better. so thank you.

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RIO in 3-D

April 18th, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

My expectations for Rio were high after watching the colorful and somewhat humorous trailer for the film, and because of the fact that it was playing at the Apollo IN 3-D! Upon watching the film, however, I was not left in awe of the spectacular visuals, jumping out at me (the 3-D aspect kinda sucked), or the plot that was supposed to be kid-friendly, but also entertaining for adults. I think overall, it was just a mediocre film. nothing about it was that great, but nothing stuck out as inherently bad.

It was a typical kid-film plot, what with the Macaw not fitting in with the other birds because he couldn’t fly, running away from the evil Cacatoo (or however you spell it), and making friends with a variety of different animals and humans, and finally ending up living happily and breeding happily on a safe animal reservation. it didn’t strike me as all that unique. in fact, it reminded me of a lesser version of Disney’s Up!.

The aspect of this film that I really enjoyed was trying to determine the voice actors of the characters. They used an eclectic group of actors for this gig from Jesse Eisenberg (from the Social Network), Ann Hathaway, Tracy Morgan (one of my favorites), and Jemaine Clement (from Flight of the Conchords, another of my favorites), among others. I didn’t so much like Jesse Eisenberg’s voice acting for the lead bird, but I found Jemaine and Tracy to be great additions to the cast, giving the film some character and umph!

In any case, Rio was not really worth the $8 that I sacrificed to see it in 3-D, but the popcorn was totally worth it. Rio was a movie for children, and if you are not one, I wouldn’t waste the money.

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Sita Sings the blues

April 18th, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

Sita Sings the Blues

Follow the link to uncover the magic that is Sita Sings the Blues, based on the Hindu epic The Ramayana. The story chronicles the lives of Rama, a Hindu god-turned-avatar who is sent to earth by the gods to set the cosmos in order and to rid the world of the evil Ravana, and Sita, Rama’s beautiful wife who is captured by the evil Ravana.

Sita Sings the Blues is at once visually striking. It is a cartoon that is unique in its illustrations, colorations, soundtrack, voice overs. This ancient story is revealed in a new and artistic light in this take on the famous Hindu epic The Ramayana. Enjoy the visual appeal.

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The Iron Giant

March 20th, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

Cute and emotionally uplifting, The Iron Giant was a pleasure to see. While watching it, I couldn’t help but notice that it had a similar plot to Spielberg’s E.T. yet it became something that E.T. did not. In E.T. there was a reciprocity of learning between the alien and the boy, however in the Iron Giant, the boy was more of the instructor than the alien robot. The robot and the boy had an asymmetrical relationship where the boy was the moral compass, teaching the robot the difference between right and wrong, and the true meaning of life. As we discover, the robot is meant as an indestructible weapon, bent on destroying earth. Although he is a robot, the Iron transforms into a sentient being (I suppose that’s where the alien technology comes in, or perhaps it’s the boy’s teachings?). But this begs the question, can one learn how to emote, how to perceive?

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The Hungry Cave gave me goose bumps

March 9th, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

Upon reading “The Hungry Cave” from the Tales from the Grave series, I marveled at the effect it had upon me. I enjoyed the short, yet suspenseful, storyline, as well as the dark and convincing images in each panel. When I had finished, I was surprised to find that it was originally distributed in color. I think part of the draw for me was the black and white illustration. It made certain, (and probably the most important images) in the panel stick out and really created a spooky atmosphere, adding to the already creepy plot.
The artist did a marvelous job with the characters’ facial expressions. Indeed, they were convincing in that the eyes would show worry, or the mouth would depict anticipation, like a bit lip. To me, it read like a movie. Many of the later character images (especially when Jim began to go a little crazy), look monstrous. The lighting within the panels, as well as the black and white color scale, creates ghastly shadows upon their faces, transforming them into demonic creatures.
This little comic novella was very entertaining. It set out to thrill and scare, and I left having goose bumps.

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Orientalism abounds in the Spirit

March 7th, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

I suppose I really should not be surprised that Orientalism is included in Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Several things strike me as not so politically correct in this graphic novel, like his sidekick Ebony White. The presence of Orientalism, however, does surprise me a bit, because when this was published (in 1948), the ‘Orient’, or what we might now refer to as the Middle East, was just newly becoming a U.S. concern (what with all the natural gas and petroleum deposits found in that region).
In Meet P’Gell, Orientalism is particularly rampant in that it portrays Turkey in a way that hardly informed the reality of the time period. The graphic novel portrays the Turkic natives in ‘traditional’ garb, as a backwards people, if you will, while The Spirit is dressed in a more period appropriate dress, looking suave and Modern. Furthermore, The Spirit successfully demonizes those characters supposedly from Turkey, by making them the villains, thus perpetuating the popular notion that the Middle East is full of terrorists.
It is a very small part of the Spirit to take issue with, but I feel that it is an important aspect of the comic to consider, because it exposes the kind of political climate or the popular beliefs that were materializing when this was written (directly after the second World War). It is simply interesting how pervasive popular media can be, even informing comics with notions of Orientalism.

Ebony White, sidekick

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DC: The New Frontier

March 2nd, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

Upon reading volume one of DC: The New Frontier, I immediately set out to find the next installment. At first I disliked the style of the illustrations, but after getting used to it and upon learning more about the context of the comic book (such as approximate time period, and scope of plot) I felt that the boxy style of the illustrations fit well within the storyline. In my eyes, the styled illustrations encapsulated the post-war time period.

Despite loving the story and the wonderfully colorful pictures, I sometimes found myself becoming annoyed at the lingo used by the characters. It was like they were trying too hard to be a part of the era. By using phrases like “catch you cats later”, or the military nicknames and phrases used in volume 1, the seriousness of the conversations waned. Perhaps that was the point of it, but I didn’t think it was appropriate, I thought it was overkill.

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Hello world!

February 21st, 2011 by Jarvinen Amelia · Uncategorized

Welcome to your blog. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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