April 11, 2004

For Those Expecting This Summer's "Sky Captain" To Be A Hoot, Make Way For "Casshern", Japan's Answer To "Blade Runner". Take one part "Metropolis", one part "Blade Runner", one part "Triumph of the Will"; shake it all inside creator Kaz Kiriya and garnish with some fresh manga...
  • Wow, this looks like anime, but in real life.
  • This is so amazing - I only understand one word of Japanese ("deska" - mis-spelled, I know) and I still want to see it. I really should watch more Japanese film in general, as it is a very rich tradition. Though, as Dizzy says, this might be more in the tradition of Bladerunner than Kurosawa. Which is still very cool. Cellar - I wonder to what extent live-action filmakers have been influenced by anime? Anime has certainly been influenced by film, as in the animated Metropolis. Where all these styles meet, I think there the imagination is very fruitful. Fusion never hurt cooking, music, or film.
  • I wonder to what extent live-action filmakers have been influenced by anime? [insert obligatory Kill Bill reference] [insert OT squee over the EVA live-action movie] Casshern looks stunning. I'll have to get a pirate copy as soon as it's available.
  • Wow, I didn't understand the trailer, not a bit. Looks more like a rehash of some Final Fantasy game than any other thing. And I have watched the the three movies mentioned by Dizzy. Stunning indeed.
  • The trailer's imagery reminded me a little of Otomo's "Metropolis" anime film. Another one to watch for: Le Immortel, based on Enki Bilal's graphic story of Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal fame. Drooling in anticipation...
  • I've been drooling over it for weeks - but can't find any info on a release date in the U.S.
  • Looks more like a rehash of some Final Fantasy game than any other thing. Yes, and?......... /me sees no problem with this (I know my weaknesses)
  • Le Immortel looks pretty damn strange. But it has Sigur R
  • Yes, and?......... /me sees no problem with this (I know my weaknesses) Sorry, I didn't mean it as a critic. It's just that the style is more similar to Final Fantasy games (FF6 in particular) than any other reference put forth.
  • oh no, i'm not offended. The plot willl likely be predictable and subservient to visuals. I just don't happen to mind. (on the other hand maybe it'll be a good).
  • The story:
    An alternate world with an alternate history. The entire planet was divided between two opposing alliances. After fifty years of bitter warfare, the Greater Eastern Federation triumphs over the forces of Europa and gains dominion over the Eurasian continent. However, this is an empty victory. Years of chemical, biological and nuclear war have poisoned the land and left an exhausted population at the mercy of every pestilence and newly-mutated disease. It seems that there's little hope for humanity's future. Debate rages over the chances of finding some way to stave off the seemingly-inevitable decline of civilization. One man comes forward with a possible solution. Dr. Azuma is a geneticist who proposes a "neo-cell" treatment that can rejuvenate the body and regenerate humankind. He's driven in his studies by a desire to save his beloved wife, Midori, from the ravages of pollution-related disease. He appeals for funding to the government but the politicians in the Health Ministry turn him down, fearing that the new technology will threaten their entrenched powers. However, a sinister faction in the powerful military makes a secret offer to provide the support he needs to further his research. When an incident occurs in the lab that sends the Professor's "neo-cell" cloning experiment haywire, a race of mutant human beings (Shinzo Ningen) is unleashed upon the world. Instead of being the savior of mankind, the Professor's miraculous technology looks set to threaten its very existence...
    I'm pretty sure that's the first minute covered.
  • It reminds me more of FF7, especially since one of the villain(?) characters has white hair (ala Sephiroth). But the main character doesn't have a kick-ass big sword. Pity. I'm definitely getting a ticket! )
  • Yeah! There's a lack of kick-ass big swords in modern cinema.
  • Just did some more digging and found it will be released in Japan on April 24th, but no word IF or WHEN there will be a U.S. release, which makes me hinky. Now I know how the average fanboy in France, say, feels. Except this would be in French, and I'd be wearing a beret or something...
  • For those of you waiting for a US release, I wouldn't hold my breath. You'll probably eventually be able to get it on video but there will probably not be a cinema release. With a few exceptions (very few) Japanese cinema is bad. bad bad BAD. My prediction: The acting will suck, so will the dialog, the story will be hard to follow, the effects will be special but you won't care because the story and the acting are so bad. There's a reason why the Japanese section at your local video store is small and filled with cartoons, and it doesn't look like this movie will be any different.
  • Mexican: It might be a cultural perception thing? I've seen a few Japanese movies (The Ring wasn't one of them, but Kurosawa's Ran was, and so was Dr. Akagi), and they strike me as pretty OK. I've sat through a few of their serials as well, which weren't as painful as Days of Our Lives or The Young and The Restless for me. And it's anime! Anime, dammit! Ain't no fancy shmancy caaar-tooooon neither! You varmints better get that right, or I'll have me some skinned simians for supper t'night! /pedantic codger
  • Kurosawa movies like Ran are the exception. Japanese cinema is well known for it's badness right here in Japan. Many of my friends have been disappointed enough times that they won't watch Japanese movies any more. Movies in the domestic section of my local Tsutaya are always in stock. One of the most interesting things I've read about Japanese cinema was an interview with a movie poster painter from Kyoto. (Most movie posters in Kyoto are still painted by hand). The painter said lots of interesting thing, like that he used to watch the movies before he painted the poster and would render his favorite scene but now he just copies the promotional art. When asked about what kind of movies he likes he said that he preferred Hollywood movies to Japanese ones. He gets to see movies for free, said that often the Japanese movies are so bad that he walks out and feels like asking for his money back. I didn't have any luck finding an online version of the interview. It was in one of the Kansai based English language magazines. I want to say KTO but it might have been something else. The hand-painted movie posters are actually pretty interesting. Maybe I should track down some information and make a FPP about them. And today's Japanese lesson: anime - animation; cartoon manga - comic book
  • That is really very sad (about the Japanese movies). *sigh* I know that anime are cartoons, but calling anime cartoons really, really grates on me. I have no idea why, but my guess is my realization years ago that second grade American animation isn't even third grade Japanese animation. Kiddy stuff like Akazukin Cha-Cha is heaps better than He-Man or Thundercats (Both which I quite enjoyed watching, but cringed at the animation).
  • Mexican; You make many excellent points. But if I had written "Garnish with fresh Anime", it wouldn't have the same pseudo-double meaning as "manga" ("garnish alongside manga=mango",etc, etc...) never mind.
  • I was to say the same thing that mexican, Alnedra, Yes, there are excelent japanese movies, but they are the exception. Most of them suck the heat out of hell. And, to be sincere, for what I have seen, this movie won't be much different. Both the villian and the hero seem stereotipical of japanese cinema. And, Alnedra, I used to have the same respect for anime as you but after a series of eye opening sessions with rabbid fans I came to realize that, with some exceptions, most anime suck at least as much as your tipical US cartoon. And mangas in general suck worst than US comics. I personally hate the angsty-geek-teen-falls-in-love-with-gynoid-angel-goddess, preteen-girls-piloting-giant-robots, and collectible-game-or-toy-based themes which abound in anime.
  • Most of them suck the heat out of hell. Well put, Zemat. Um, sorry for pissing all over everybody's hopes and everything.
  • Never forget Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crud.
  • I like Zappa's law better: Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.