Updates from January, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Sachi 9:50 pm on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adaptation, , Elfen Lied, , , , Kazunari Ninomiya, Kenichi Matsuyama, , Last Airbender, Live action, , Resident Evil, , Uwe Boll   

    The Live-Action Gantz 

    What is it about live action film adaptations that are just so inferior to their original counterpart? Without even including anything directed by Uwe Boll, I bet you can easily name five bad live action films that were adapted from either a video game, a book, an anime, or the like. It’s not difficult, is it? I can personally name five films simply from the last few years: Hitman, Dragonball: Evolution, The Last Airbender, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Now, I bet you can’t do the same for good live action film adaptations, can you? Off the top of my head now, I can give small kudos to films like Harry Potter, the original Resident Evil, and the original Spiderman. The point is that quality live action adaptations are far and scarce, while terrible ones are a dime a dozen.

    But what happens when you make a live action adaptation of something that was already bad? Will it be better than the original, or will it suck even more? This was the question I had when hearing about the new live action Gantz. (More …)

    • juliancan 2:03 pm on January 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Nice review and oh if you know about Paprika, the anime film based about venturing into people’s dreams. Well it is set for a live action adaption by Wolfgang Petersen :D. I’m actually being optimistic with this movie knowing this guy’s promising track record unlike the sh*tty director who adapted my beloved pseudo-anime series, Avatar: the last Airbender.

      • Sachi 2:19 pm on January 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Paprika is up there with my favorite anime films, and certainly my favorite work of the late Satoshi Kon. This is going to have to push Petersen out of his usual niche of directing if he wants to do this right. From the looks of it, it’s also going to be an American-made film, which already has me a little iffy about it, but I’ll reserve all judgment until I learn more about it.

        • juliancan 3:12 pm on January 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

          Mmm says that he is going to have to make it “mainstream”. Many things could mean by that :/. He further says that it is going to be similar to the Matrix which is not a bad sci-fi film to be honest.

          Then again how can you go more wrong than Dragon Ball and Avatar? It’s going to be quite hard beating them two.

          I just hope that it will not be too similar to Inception, assuming that the latter has an almost identical device used in Paprika.

          • Sachi 4:39 pm on January 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

            Nolan has cited Paprika to be an inspiration/influence for Inception; the problem is that the general public isn’t going to know this once the live action Paprika premieres in the U.S., and many may criticize Paprika for being too similar to Inception, when in fact it is the other way around. The timing is just bad for this film.

  • Sachi 7:46 am on January 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Terminator 2, The Empire Strikes Back   

    Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence 

    When creating a sequel there’s a few key things that you need to keep in mind. First, you want your sequel to have all the things that made the original great, yet on a grander scale; you want a better story, better special effects, better action, better everything! But you don’t want it to be the same, or else it’ll become bland and predictable, meaning that you’ll want to strive to do something different, breaking the status quo. You want it to remain true to the original and not break continuity so that it may truly be a sequel and not just a random movie with the same characters. However, if it were as easy as these last few sentences make it then we wouldn’t have this “bad sequel” pandemic we have now. Lastly, you’ll be needing to drop in your little dash of Chemical X to provide the cherry; add that secret ingredient and your sequel will be a masterpiece. Unfortunately, only a select group of writers accepted into the most secret circle of the Illuminati at birth know of this most important puzzle piece, and even they need to earn it. Others stumble upon it through sheer dumb luck. The secret of good sequel-making may be a mystery forever.

    Despite this lack of knowledge, however, we are still somehow blessed to experience good sequels every once in a while, and on the rarest occasion we get one that even surpasses the original, such as The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and Terminator 2. Well, one more we can add onto that list is Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. (More …)

    • Fazmotron 7:36 am on January 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Anyone else scared of dolls now after watching this film?

    • marinasauce 11:01 pm on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You certainly did rock this post ^_^ I enjoyed reading the prior post on the 1995 Ghost in the Shell, and I liked reading this one even more! A successful sequel blog post? (pardon my cheesiness)
      Nicely written again; now I have another of your recommendations to watch.

    • Mac Colestock 12:24 am on January 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I respectfully disagree. The biggest criticism often leveled at Innocence was how awkwardly Oshii placed his philosophical ruminations. At first glance, it certainly seems that GitS 2 tackles more subjects than its predecessor, but the thing is that GitS tackles all of the same themes and concepts without having to rely so much on uninspired talking heads to do so. Its themes are more refined and subtle, for one thing, but its narrative also more focused than its sequel; Innocence on the other hand always struck me as a work that Oshii lost track of where he was going with his narrative somewhere after the first half of the work. The problem isn’t the fact that it’s packed with exposition and allusions to intensely academic works (Gosenzosama Banbanzai was even more intense in this regard, yet he handled that beautifully). The problem is that these segments contributed very very little to the narrative and ultimately only served to underline the ambiguous nature of these characters’ predicaments, things that were already fairly obvious and could have been conveyed in much subtler ways. The fact that in GitS he’d already done exactly what he’d failed to do in its follow-up was quite disheartening.

      While I do enjoy it, I think GitS 2 is one of the weakest works Oshii has ever done for this reason–combined with the very awkward pacing and extremely tangential nature of the plot. The fact he followed this work up four years later with the phenomenal Sky Crawlers is a small miracle, IMO.

      Although to its credit, Innocence has some of the best action and mindfuck scenes Oshii has done. First half of the movie worked fantastic as neo-noir, too.

  • Sachi 7:48 pm on January 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Wachowski Brothers   

    Ghost in the Shell 

    A question posed throughout all of human history, one possibly more insightful and more relevant than the meaning of life, deals with that of humanity. What makes a human being? Is it our body? Our intellect? Our consciousness? What makes man any different from a machine performing functions? Could a machine be more human than a human? The list goes on and on, and there’s still no definitive answer to the question— but it certainly gets us to think, doesn’t it? In 1995, an anime readdressed this question using cyborgs.

    Science fiction often asks this question, among many other issues and questions it address, and popularly roots from the writings of Isaac Asimov. Ghost in the Shell, produced by Production I. G. in 1995, premiered, introducing us to the world where the line between human and machine is no longer distinct, and many people have upgraded to cybernetic bodies. We follow Major Motoko Kusanagi, of the security force Section 9, as she and her team track down a dangerous hacker known as the Puppet Master. At the same time, Kusanagi questions her existence as a cyborg and seeks to discover what it means to be truly human. Ghost in the Shell was a breakthrough in animation, blending cel and computer animation, as well as in the international arena, being among the first anime to be shown extensively in North America, and even being an influence for the Wachowski brothers in creating The Matrix. So, what makes it such a great film? Well, lets go over that in what will by my first essay of my Ghost in the Shell marathon: (More …)

    • Mac Colestock 8:24 pm on January 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Oshii’s film adaptation of Shirou’s manga is barely even an adaptation. It’s probably best to consider them two different beasts altogether due to how drastically they differ, but that’s not to say either one is bad. Aside from visual models, the characters aren’t even recognizable; the thought provoking but loose and lighthearted tone of the manga is contrasted by the somber, introspective, and melancholy tone of the film; and not to mention how the whole narrative had to be compressed and rewritten to the point of only bearing passing resemblance to its source material. But they’re both excellent, since Shirou works well with the comic format and Oshii’s adaptation–though wild in its liberties–does it justice while still remaining thoroughly “Oshii”. He only loses track of himself with Innocence, but… oh well.

      The animation in that film is godly, too. Production IG certainly never fails to deliver on that front.

      • Sachi 8:36 pm on January 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Ah, the difference in tone is one thing I forgot to mention. The 1995 film certainly is much, much more serious than the manga, and rightfully so. I personally like the seriousness this film has, and is one of the many reasons I enjoy it more than Stand Alone Complex, but that essay can be saved for another day.

      • juliancan 11:25 am on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Extremely well-written article. Quite an amazing feat considering your age :D. I will be posting this article on Facebook with the hope that your number of viewers will increase thus gaining the recognition you rightfully deserve.

        Indeed, the philosophy presented in this anime is quite interesting too and your essay about how humane is a human is quite intriguing and does justice to the anime series itself. Good job :D.

        Other than that it is so weird, we have one year of difference but we are born on the same month and on the same day o.O. Both born on June 2nd. How did I acquire this information, by stalking your MAL account ;D:

        • Sachi 11:45 am on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

          Wow, that is really weird. o.O

          I’m glad you enjoyed the article. 😀 I tried to spice up my style a little bit with this one, while still following the same basic formula I’ve been developing over the last several months. It’s good to know that it’s been working.

          Thank you for plugging my blog, as well! I’ll be sure to do the same for yours!

          • juliancan 10:41 pm on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

            Anyways if you like anime series with a intriguing and convoluted plotline, having a lot of metaphors and symbolism hidden in it and of course a lot of depth, then I strongly suggest you to watch Monster and Honey and Clover. While Honey and Clover presents the whole philosophy surrounding the transition from adolescent to adulthood, Monster presents the danger of making a person miss his own childhood as well as teenhood, leaving him in an eternal deadlock of transition between his young years and his adult years. While Honey and Clover’s cast of characters are foolhardy college students, in Monster, the main interaction revolves around a life-saver– a doctor– and his pseudo creation, a young psychopath who has been trained to become the next Hitler.


            http://myanimelist.net/anime/16/Honey_and_Clover (the synopsis here does not do justice to its plot :/).

            PS: Watched Yumekui Merry yet?

            • Sachi 10:55 pm on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

              Monster has been on my list of things to watch forever, and I’ve been meaning to get to it for a while. Perhaps after I finish my Ghost in the Shell marathon. As for Honey and Clover: I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never actually looked into it. It was bound to get onto my list at some point, though, and I may get to watching it soon based off of your recommendation.

              And yes, I did watch Yumekui Merry. It seems enjoyably silly, and I love the animation. I will certainly keep watching as the season goes on.

    • marinasauce 10:53 pm on January 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Though I’ve never seen or read any of the Ghost in the Shell works, I did find your article intriguing and well-written. You have a pretty good hook, with the list of questions and draw to the average reader’s curiosity about humanity, that also transitions quite easily into your discussion of the 1995 anime rendition. I’ll have to get around to watching this sometime soon >.<

    • Marina 8:24 pm on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I just wanted to drop by and let you know that I finally got around to watching this…and I loved it! Now I just need to get my hands on the 2nd film 🙂 Thanks for convincing me to watch it.

  • Sachi 11:03 pm on December 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Alan Bradley, Bruce Boxleitner, Daft Punk, Encom, Jeff Bridges, , Olivia Wilde, reboot, , , , Tron, Tron: Legacy   

    Tron: Legacy 

    Greetings, Programs!

    Usually when you see Hollywood reboot a classic franchise from over twenty years ago, you’ll find yourself with a palm on your face and lacking a sigh. We’ve all seen too many greats ruined over the last decade and it’s taken its toll on all of us; consider Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Halloween, Transformers, G.I. Joe, and The A-Team, to name a few. Where is it that they’ve gone wrong?  Well, the developers of Tron: Legacy sure seem to have it all figured out. The sequel to the 1982 classic remains true to the original without being afraid to take a few leaps and bounds of its own. If you haven’t figured it out already, I loved this movie.

    It would seem that the majority of people (that is, the majority that isn’t simply eating up everything they’re shown) have lost faith in reboots that it would seem that even the briefest mention of one has critics sharpening their teeth. But something about Tron: Legacy was different, and that allowed it to be the perfect update for the new era of movie-making and computer technology. So, enough build-up! Lets get into why this long-awaited sequel was so deserving of the classic Tron. (More …)

  • Sachi 9:21 pm on October 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brenda Song, , Divya Narendra, , , Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timerblake, Mark Zuckerberg, , , The Social Network, Trent Reznor, Zombieland   

    The Social Network 

    Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites dominating the internet these days, and just about everybody is on it. I’m on Facebook; my friends are on Facebook, and it’s not too much of a stretch to guess that even you too are on Facebook. Facebook has become so large over the last few years, quickly becoming the new thing and making Myspace obsolete, and now it even has its own movie, sorta. The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg (of Zombieland fame), is a dramatized adaptation of the true story of the creation of Facebook, the major $65 million dollar lawsuit that followed, and the rise of the world’s youngest billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg. The movie has so far seen very positive reviews, and just about everybody I know who has seen it loved it. Of course, I’m not one to immediately trust what the average joe enjoys in cinema, but when I went and viewed this movie for myself I was a bit more than pleasantly surprised. Here’s why: (More …)

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