Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Recent movies - Appleseed, Sword of Doom, Return of the Joker, Fire in the Sky, Ronin Gai

I recently signed up with a rental service, and here is the first batch of movies I've received.

Appleseed (2004) - The CGI anime flick based on the graphic novel of the same name. SUCKED. The action sequences were good, and usually I will forgive a lot of other faults for good action, but the rest of this movie sucked so hard the back of its head caved in. Terrible voice acting, terrible facial animation, painful story-telling. This isn't even a poor-man's Ghost in the Shell, like I was expecting. Nothing thought-provoking, nothing interesting, nada. Avoid like AIDS.

Sword of Doom (1966) - The one with that awesome cover I posted a while back. Crazy samurai flick with Toshiro Mifune and the gun wielding samurai from Yojimbo. Some beautiful cinematography. Kind of a weird story about this guy who is possessed by his evil sword (or is it his soul that makes the sword evil? Mifune says YES!), and just goes around killing everyone. The story jumps around abruptly at different points, too. One scene, two characters are preparing for an early morning duel to settle all. Next scene, text transition saying "Incident at Sachikawa Pass," and you discover years have gone by and you have to figure out on your own that the duel never happened, and guess why. Then it ends. And you sort of have to guess that, ok, I guess the good guys ended up ok, maybe...? The build up at the end is a cool visual telling of the final descent into madness, but then these guys show up, I guess for Sword of Doom to kill, and then it ends. Hm. Ok.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker - Any episode of Batman: The Animated Series is better, but at least the right people were involved in this, and it does have one extensive flashback of BTAS. It's ok. Some good animation and voice-work, as could be expected.

(couldn't find any good pictures for this one)

Fire in the Sky - Interesting for a bit, but doesn't focus on the aliens that much, until the end with a very long and vivid flashback featuring pink aliens probing the poor guy. I'm just not feeling the aliens' motivation, y'know?

Ronin Gai (1990) - Just started it, but it's beautiful stuff so far.


Jonathan said...

I almost got Ronin Gai in my last group of DVD purchases just because the cover was so nice, but when I saw the 1992 year I was worried it might not look very good, so I got Tokyo Drifter instead. I still haven't seen any Kurosawa movies so I should probably watch those first anyway.

Ryan said...

I'm a little more than half way through it now, and it's not as good as I'd hoped. The first 15 minutes had me very hopeful, as there were some beautiful shots in the rain, and some good characters being developed. But we'll see how it ends.