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Ogenki Clinic Adventures (1991)
This film is terrible. This film is perverted. This film is morally bankrupt. This film is perfect.
It may strike you as intriguing that I'd refer to such a filthy cartoon as perfect. Now, being a young man (19), you might expect me to have the typical adolescent humor. You'd be right. But this is not, by any means, adolescent humor. This is disturbing.
Men who can't get erections without getting anally raped. Men who can only have sex in a superhero costume. Men who are impotent. Men who can only satisfy themselves watching lesbians. This film covers it all--and then some.
From the onset, you are warned that this is not your typical hentai. This is amply proved by the unbelievably robust breasts of "Diana," a prostitute depicted in the first episode. Add to that the HILARIOUS inserts (one scene in particular about getting cured in an abnormal way) and you have one of the most luridly shocking films I have ever seen.
Now to the merits. The animation for an anime of this nature is really quite excellent. The lines are smooth, the coloring is glossy and intricate, and the figures (namely Ogenki's talking penis) are hysterical. The voice acting is -- kind of wonderful, actually. Lines such as "Shit, this happens all the time." and "Ah, I am perverted" are delivered by the actors with incredible nonchalance. Perhaps the animators did not allow the voice actors to really understand just what they reading. This pays off handsomely, especially in the touching scene where Dr. Ogenki embraces his fully mustached, four-foot tall penis.
The flaws are manifold. This is vile and perverse. Nobody should see this film. I shouldn't have seen it. But, if by some means you do see it, stay through the whole thing. You might laugh yourself to tears. I did.
Finding Neverland (2004)
Best in Genre
To review a film like Finding Neverland, rather to APPRECIATE a film like Finding Neverland, you have to know what it sets out to accomplish.
It's clear that Marc Forster, along with practically everybody involved with the production, has a deep connection to J.M. Barrie's play. Because of this, it accurately depicts J.M. Barrie's life. Are there a few "poetic license" liberties taken? Naturally. As we all know, real life is simply not that interesting.
Forster's direction is amazing. The coordination with the cinematographer, along with his usage of grace notes (the tainting of the tea is brilliant) is perhaps the film's strongest points. The score, winner of the Oscar, is brilliant: whimsical while melancholy.
The performances are subdued, yet they still qualify as exceptional. Some on this board have criticized Johnny Depp. Most on this board are not bona fide film critics, nor am I. Even so, Mr. Depp gave an intricately laced performance, complete with a terrific dialect, while refraining from eccentric mannerisms. Winslet and Julie Christie are charming and, in the case of the latter, somehow lovable by the end. Hoffman is his usual terrific self, and the newcomer Freddie Highmore delivers a breakthrough performance.
The film's only weak spot is the very thing that makes it fantastic. This film will probably make you cry. I did. My family did. We all did. Some may feel manipulated into crying, and in a sense you ARE. Even so, Forster succeeded in making you cry or at the very least feel an overwhelming sense of awe and beauty. Not many films that I can think of, and I'm really racking my brain here, have been able to derive tears from sheer beauty rather than manipulated guilt.
In closing, this is a professionally done, admirable, beautiful film. It has its detractors, but I'd presume many of them are just too emotionally closeted to reveal their inner child. And revealing ones inner child is exactly what Finding Neverland does. Perfectly.