Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ movie ’

So despite being a pretty terrible and inconsistent blogger all year, I decided to participate in Reverse Thieves’ Secret Santa project. My choices of assignments were Gunslinger Girl, Tatami Galaxy, and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. I have been casually recommended Gunslinger Girl before, but had never been terribly interested in it. I have seen the first episode of Tatami Galaxy and had meant to watch it the season it aired, but that season I got behind on everything, and I never did get around to catching up ever. And Place Promised has been on my to-watch list for years.

Originally, I was on the over-ambitious bandwagon and planned on watching and reviewing all three of their possible choices in time for Christmas. Obviously this didn’t happen. I ended up going with Place Promised mostly because it was the shortest. I still kind of intend to watch the rest of Tatami Galaxy eventually, but the longer I wait the more I feel indifferent to it. I’m not sure that I’m ever going to get around to Gunslinger Girl unless someone gives a particularly passionate recommendation.

But here is the review for Place Promised. And here is the MAL mirror.

Merry Christmas!

Review: Tangled

December 5, 2010 Review 2 Comments

Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen a majority of Disney’s (non-Pixar) 3D animated films. …So maybe it was weird that I looked forward to Tangled as much as I did. Maybe it’s because Rapunzel is Disney’s first 3D princess. Disney puts so much effort and emphasis on its princesses; after all, Tiana’s role as their first black princess garnered far more attention than the fact that the Princess and the Frog was supposed to be a callback to Disney’s traditional roots. So Rapunzel’s “first” factor probably gives it more weight to it than say, 2009’s A Christmas Carol and 2008’s Bolt, neither of which I’ve seen. The fact that Tangled’s early tidbits and concept art were all very charming also helped, of course.

(this review does not contain spoilers)


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Review: Last Quarter

November 15, 2010 Review Comments Off on Review: Last Quarter

I have been meaning to watch this movie for years, ever since I saw Moon Child. It is HYDE’s only other film, and though his acting in the aforementioned is pretty decent, I was pretty sure that Last Quarter (originally Kagen no Tsuki) wouldn’t be any good. But I wanted to watch it anyway.

The DVD was licensed for R1 distribution by Geneon and released in 2006. I’m awful about getting around to things on my massive to-watch list, but despite being out of print, the DVD’s price has been steadily declining on Amazon for ages (an indication of suckage?). So finally, at less than five bucks, I figured, oh, why the hell not. (And even then, after it arrived, it sat on my desk for three weeks until I got around to it.)

(this review contains minor spoilers)

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A lot of people from my generation like to complain that traditional animation methods such as 2D cel animation and stop-motion have been replaced by less-worthy 3D counterparts. We’re all a little nostalgic for the oldschool stuff, but I think it’s a little unfair to suggest that 3D is somehow inferior or that it somehow takes less work. Sure, the time and effort it takes to draw every single frame of a character animation┬ámay have become a little under-appreciated, but those in the offended camp probably under-appreciate the time it takes to model, texture, render and rig a 3D character animation. Appreciation aside though, I did think it was a damn shame when Disney closed down its 2D animation branch after the disastrous Home on the Range movie, and was amongst the hopeful when the company later turned around and decided to make a return to its roots.

The periodic trailers and behind-the-scenes looks released for the Princess and the Frog all looked amazing. The character designs felt like they would have fit in well with the Disney movies of the early 90’s and the animation was similarly nostalgic. In addition to being a throwback to the animated features I grew up with, I was happy to see another film focused on a slice of American history and culture, in this case, the French Quarter of New Orleans before and after World War I. The music and musical style were less of a concern for me since movies like Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch and the Emperor’s New Groove worked perfectly fine without much, if any, bursting into song. Still, the last Disney musical was Mulan, and Mulan was all kinds of amazing, so anticipation remained extremely high for this film. I finally got to see it yesterday.

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I was really hoping that this would be some kind of joke, but it apparently isn’t.

There’s already been a live action adaptation of Death Note. Two of them, in fact, since the story isn’t easily told in one. I might be in the few as far as thinking that they were both fantastic movies and worked wonderfully as adaptations (I swear I’ll get around to reviewing them both), but the fact remains that it’s already been done, not to mention that L spinoff movie, which I’ve yet to see. All three of those movies have been licensed and released Stateside, so why do we need Hollywood to make another one?

Of course, Hollywood re-making Japanese (and other Asian) films is nothing new, and there are many instances where those re-makes are wildly popular and subsequently profitable. The Ring comes to mind, but I’ve seen neither that nor Ringu, from which it was based. Even so, there’s at least one adaptation that I found to be successful (The Departed, based on a Hong Kong film). But Death Note is not a J-horror and Death Note is not an action drama. And from what I can understand, Warner Brothers will not be basing their movie off of the existing movies, so Death Note isn’t even a movie.

Death Note is a superntural, psychological, suspense thriller manga, and I have little faith that a Hollywood adaptation will 1) make any money, 2) treat the source material right, 3) be a decent movie on any kind of level. Well, at least it isn’t Fox, right?

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You know, I almost didn’t want to write this review because it meant I had to keep thinking about this movie, and all I want to do is forget that it exists. My immediate thoughts after viewing Dragonball Evolution were: “LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED.” Sentiments haven’t changed much since then, but I’m pleased to hear that it’s bombing at the box office. I hope pray this means that they’ll put to rest their undoubtedly terrible sequel/trilogy plans. Anyway… this review. It’s obviously not going to be pretty, but I’m going to at least try and shelf some of the fan rage in favor of a coherent analysis. Try.

(this review contains no spoilers for neither the anime, manga nor movie… not that the latter has anything to do with the former two)
Dragonball Evolution

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I swear this will be my last Watchmen-related post, ahaha…

Even before I went to see the movie on Friday, I had heard the blasphemous whispers of a sequel. Or at least, I had heard that Zack Snyder is refusing to have anything to do with one, which is certainly reassuring. Watching the movie, I couldn’t help but notice Dr. Manhattan’s ominous line, “Nothing ever ends.” It seemed like it had less to do with his concept of time and more to do with Hollywood’s tendency to milk everything for all its worth. Except that a second Watchmen movie wouldn’t fly, even for non-fans. Seriously, what would you do? Just about everyone involved in the film is confused on that front. Who would want a sequel? Or even a prequel?

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I’m not really sure this should be considered a review. I cover the basics, I guess, but it’s more like me rambling in an semi-organized manner about the movie and the book and describing which of the changes I liked and which I didn’t. As such, this is your spoiler warning:

(this review contains spoilers for both the book and the movie!)
(Hey, this poster looks kinda familiar…)

Watchmen

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Yes, it’s Still True

January 15, 2009 Commentary, News 3 Comments

Well, it looks like all those rumors were true, and TOKYOPOP hadn’t been jumping the gun after all. ANN announced this morning that Sunrise has officially confirmed the live-action Cowboy Bebop project as a collaboration between itself, 20th Century Fox, and 3 Arts Entertainment. And whaddaya know, Keanu Reeves is going to be Spike after all.

I can’t say I’m really surprised, but with every bit of news that comes up, I find myself getting a little more optimistic about the prospects for the film. It’s a cautious optimism, but it’s optimism all the same. At the risk of repeating myself, I’m going to give Reeves a chance. It’s true that almost all of the roles I’ve seen him play (which admittedly, isn’t many) all have the same general personality — that stoic, reserved, almost confused kind of person that doesn’t really suit Spike Spiegal at all. But nevertheless, if Reeves is really an actor, then he should be perfectly capable of acting outside of his comfort zone, especially if it’s for a character he actually likes and admires. I had huge doubts about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker, but look at how that turned out. I think it’ll be really interesting to see if he can pull it off and perhaps grow as an actor.

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Reeves Confirmed as Spike?

December 19, 2008 News 5 Comments

Being on TOKYOPOP’s mailing list sure brings interesting news sometimes. According to this most recent email, it seems like Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegal is a sure thing:

Spike and friends are blasting off on a new adventure as plans for a live action film adaptation of TOKYOPOP’s Cowboy Bebop have just been announced! Keanu Reeves (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Matrix trilogy) will star as Spike Spiegel with Erwin Stoff (I Am Legend) to produce.

Of course, TP can’t be considered a reliable source as they have nothing to do with the film at all. (I love how they claim Cowboy Bebop as their property.) They’re just using the tidbit to promote the Cowboy Bebop manga they have. The article they link doesn’t explicitly cast Reeves as Spike either (or at least, it cites an interview that’s already been torn apart by the aniblogosphere and the general consensus seems to be that he really wants the role, but it isn’t a sure thing yet).

I think they’re just jumping the gun on that announcement, but I don’t think I really care at this point.

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