Ghost In The Shell, 2017
last modified: Monday, April 03, 2017 (3:52:40 PM CST)
Anybody see the new GITS?
If you saw it, what did you think?
The 1995 animated film had an interesting idea: Humanity accidentally becoming God-- creating life from our technology, i.e., a self aware being with its own individual thoughts, wants, and desires (the Puppet Master). I had seen this kind of idea even used in the schlock American horror film, "Demon Seed" (which seemed only to want to abuse Julie Christie), but "Ghost In The Shell", 1995, took a more thoughtful look.
This 2017 movie's plot is a sub-par rip-off of "RoboCop". An evil company tries to take away a person's humanity, and turn that person into a product. However, our technology is not able to crush the human soul, and the person is able to reclaim their humanity. But new GITS didn't work this very well, because in the film almost everyone is very supportive of the Major's personhood. Only one man, Cutter, wanted to treat her as less than human.
It was probably because Juliette Binoche was in this movie; part way through, my mind just wandered, and I thought about her 1993 film, "Blue". In "Blue" there is a scene in a swimming pool where the audience feels the heroine's depression surrounding her, holding her dissociated from her life, making her want to die. But, “Blue” is a masterpiece, and, I wasn't getting any of that from this movie.
The movie features several of the most memorable scenes from the 1995 animated film done in live action, but the redone scenes seemed truncated, the flow of the movie wasn't very good, and the plot seemed confused.
P.S., When I first heard of the live action GITS film, I didn't think it mattered to the story that the lead actress was or wasn't Asian, but when this film went out of its way to tell me that the Major is a Japanese teenager stuck in Scarlett Johansson body... then it does seem a bit odd that she isn't Japanese.
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last modified: Saturday, December 04, 2010 (1:52:34 PM CST)
Last night, or really very early this morning, I saw the LAAF midnight showing of Takeshi Koike’s fast and furious “Redline”.
Set in the distant future, the movie follows --at lightening speed-- our hero and protagonist, “JP”. It starts as he’s racing down the track in his souped-up, futuristic/mid-1970s style Trans Am on the alien, aired, desert world of the Yellowline qualifying race for the intergalactic race/demolition derby: Redline. Helped by his longtime friends: multi-armed mechanic, “Old Man” Mogura, and his best bud from the slums, the shady, car designer with gangster ties, “Frisbee”; JP will remove all doubt that he’s number one, and snag the buxom, shown-topless-while-eating-cherry-tomatoes girl of his dreams, Sonoshee.
Redline wears its engine above its hood, and its heart on its sleeve. It has the fast, fun, innocent charm of someone who wants to show you his cool hero, drivin’ a killer car, getting a hot-babe, and taking on cyborgs, monsters, and … satellite death rays. Seven-years in the making, with retro-tastic, hyper-realistic, hand-drawn action animation, and clocking in at about 90 mind-blowing minutes; Redline is one mean, lean, badass, machine!
If you’re in LA, I’d highly recommend catching the Sunday, December 5th, 6:30pm showing at the, not so silent, Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax.
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AX and Trigun: Badlands Rumble
last modified: Sunday, July 04, 2010 (10:13:25 AM CST)
So, first I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to AX or not. I could go see “The Last Air Bender” in 3D, the DC-comic based, “Jonah Hex”; or American Cinematique’s showing of, “The Matrix Trilogy”. But then I thought, ‘Nah, I’m doomed to nerdom no matter what,’ and headed for AX and the English subtitled premiere of “Trigun: Badlands Rumble” (and next week I’ll catch the new Predator movie).
Most of the movie takes place near the beginning of the series. The heroes already know Wolfwood, but there is no romance yet between any of the regular series' canon characters.
During a bank heist gone awry, Vash, by acting like a doofus, is able to save the lives of the robbery’s instigator, Gasback, and his traitorous henchmen. Twenty years later, after waiting for the perfect time to take his revenge, Gasback is in the process of destroying every facet of the lives of the goons that betrayed him. His life irrevocably scarred, one of Gasback’s onetime followers is able to have a $$55 million bounty placed on his ex-boss, to entice all types of bounty hunters.
Traveling with a group of scumbag bounty hunters, Vash meets the beautiful, kickass, nineteen-year-old Amelia, who blames Gasback for the death of her mother. By previously saving the villain’s life, is Vash partially responsible for said villain’s subsequent actions? And even if that’s true, was that still the right decision?
Though I think many of the series’ original multifaceted characters were simplified (probably due to time constraints) and the story was stretched, just to allow for the inclusion of some of those fan favorite characters, I still enjoyed the film; with its familiar Trigun brand of whacked-out comedy blended with wistful reflection.
And watching it with an entire audience made up of fellow anime geeks certainly added to the fun.
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2-Years, 6-Months, and 21-days …
last modified: Thursday, April 30, 2009 (3:50:39 PM CST) View Comments
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Lost Relic from Past Cinema: Last Legion
last modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 (2:36:29 AM CST)
Last Legion --
This is the best 8-10 year old boy movie I’ve seen since I last rented a 1960s fantasy adventure movie. It’s based on some 2003 novel I’ve never heard of.
I saw the movie because it was playing near a nice restaurant, before watching the movie all I had heard about it was:
“… it’s more intellectual than ‘300’” and “…it’s not historically accurate.”
Both of which are true; but “Rambo”, 1982 is more intellectual than “300” and this movie was just slightly more historically accurate than “Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas”, 1964.
The plot of this film was like “Jack the Giant Killer”, 1962 or “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”, 1958. The kid Caesar could have been “Jack the Giant Killer’s” Cabin Boy, or the Genie from “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”. The effects and violence were like an episode of “Xena: Warrior Princess” or “Hercules”. This movie could have used a giant clay-mation monster.
Story: (spoilers … but the film is obvious)
Colin Firth, Aurelius, is brought to Rome to act as commander of the guard for the new boy emperor, Romulus. After some friendly Man/Boy joshing between Aurelius and Romulus involving the threatened removal of a hand, Rome is overrun with Goths; Romulus’ almost non-existent parents die; and the boy is imprisoned with his wise old teacher (Ambrosinus/Merlin - Ben Kingsley), by big hulking ugly Goths. To save the boy, Aurelius forms a small fighting force from the remnants of his original guard unit. His men consist of a nice young man warrior; a big buff guy; some expendable guy who can die to show things are bad; and an exotic, Eastern warrior woman (Bollywood’s Aishwarya Rai). Not surprisingly, they save Romulus, who happened to find Excalibur during his imprisonment. There’s a nice Father/Son like hug scene, but unfortunately Aurelius is double crossed by the erstwhile backers of this rescue mission … and expendable guy dies T__T
To keep the boy safe, the band travels on a perilous journey to Britain in order to meet up with the abandoned Roman 9th Legion. In Britain they must rally the troops (who have turned to a non-violent life of agriculture), so as to fight against the evil warlord Vortgyn (a sinister gold mask wearing villain, who invests in a lot of black clothing).
In the end …
The boy Romulus is raised by Aurelius, who marries Mira (the exotic, Eastern warrior woman). Romulus changes his name to Pendragon and rules all England (wish fulfillment for a 9-10 year old).
What I see:
Last Legion is one of the best boy movies to have been made in the last decade (no pretentious English kids; smart-ass, potty-mouthed, randy American kids; or want-to-be artsy cinematography). A fun kid fantasy adventure movie made for the age group that the genre was intended for. Why are reviewers comparing it to "300"? It’s nowhere near as slick in look or as gory (swords go in and come out clean as a whistle), and its age demographic is much younger.
Romance … as seen through the eyes of a 10 year old:
There are a lot of longing looks; a mock battle (ala “Red Sonya”, 1985); a kiss; she’s in a pool of water, but you see nothing (like a million other movies of this type); she walks into Aurelius’ tent in a non-see-through/opaque nightgown, they hug and turn the lights off. The movie is like 10 year olds who know there’s something between Mom and Dad, but it’s mysterious mushy stuff they’d rather not think about.
Kid’s undeveloped biological parents die; a big ugly guy gets his finger cut off and a mean looking, bad-guy scar; expendable guy dies; I think buff guy dies; hordes of bad guys die; legions of nobodies die; and the kid kills big-ugly-mean-scar guy to protect Aurelius. Most of it is sped-up and handled off screen; I think I heard a few “Aaaiiieeee”s; I’ve seen worse, and more realistic, in Disney “G” rated classics.
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Need Opinions on S/R Labs
last modified: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 (4:54:56 PM CST)
Is it standard practice for them to charge $65 to look at a cel?
A little while ago I bought a Pan cel from “Dunbine” off Mandarake. The cel is damaged. Since I live in Los Angeles, I thought I’d try S/R Labs. I called them today. Maybe the guy was having a bad day, but he almost flat out told me that I’d be a waste of his time and he said he would have to charge me $65 to look at my cel.
He wouldn’t allow to make an appointment today but he said I could call back tomorrow.
Has anyone else had a “Free” consultation?
If you have, were you charged $65 or am I just lucky?
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last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 (8:25:46 PM CST)
I guess it was for the Mothers Day Weekend, the Nuart was/is/might still be playing "Lady Vengeance".
(Someone has a sense of humor.)
"Lady Vengeance", or "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", was OK but it’s the worst movie in the trilogy. Unlike "OldBoy", and "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance", there is sympathy for Lady Vengeance. The joke is she’s pretty, so people will forgive her, but it doesn’t really work. In many places the movie turns sentimental and hokey.
There were many hilarious scenes, like a policeman trying to explain to an older lady the correct way to stab a man with a kitchen knife. Unfortunately many of the jokes weren’t convincingly worked into the movie’s story. I was beginning to hate the humor because the plot would stop. I felt like I was being treated like an idiot, before almost every single joke, the movie does its best to tell you when you should laugh.
Now that Park Chanwook has ended his trilogy of revenge, I can say "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" was both the first and the best. "OldBoy" is more shocking, but I really think the end of "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" is just perfect. "Lady Vengeance" has many moments, and looks like a professional movie; but "The ruling; by the revolutionary anarchists' assosiation: we sentence you to death."
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Akeelah and the Bee: A Good Family Movie
last modified: Monday, May 08, 2006 (12:21:44 PM CST)
Last weekend I wanted to see a new 70mm print of “Patton” which was playing at the Egyptian theatre, but I was talked into seeing “Akeelah and the Bee.” I didn’t want to see this, because it seems that every time I see a kid movie they’re filled with smart-ass little kids spouting contrived potty humor.
This movie is cliché, but it’s fun and cute. In this film “South Los Angeles” seems more like “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” (or maybe his hood.)
Every character in the film is nice and friendly.
The gruff overworked Mom is only trying to protect her daughter from the agony of failure.
The mean eccentric teacher becomes a father figure to Akeelah.
Petty hoodlums help her study.
Her punk brother even decides to lighten up.
All the actors were very good in their conventional parts. If I said I didn’t like this film, I would feel like I was saying “I hate Christmas, Easter, bunnies, duckies, puppies, and all manner of cute critters.” All parents should probably take their children to “Akeelah and the Bee.”
While not a great film, “Akeelah and the Bee” is a good movie. After watching the movie, I had to see “The Asphalt Jungle” in order to cleanse myself of it. Unfortunately that didn’t work because I still feel good. Life will probably get me back on track, but I might have to watch “Nobody Knows,” “City of God,” “OldBoy” and a bunch of Swedish movies to feel like myself again.
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Another reason to NEVER go to a theater
last modified: Monday, April 03, 2006 (2:19:05 PM CST)
I think I now know why some people consider “V” a good movie, its because the standards are so low. Now to be a “bad” movie, you have to be “Basic Instinct 2.” OK, last weekend I saw “Basic Instinct 2.” That was a mistake.
One of my best friends since High School called and said, “Let’s see a movie.” I wanted to see “Inside Man.” He wanted to see “Basic Instinct 2.” I said, “OK.”
The problem with me:
I think “Basic Instinct” is the best film ever created on sexual obsession, and I like the “ice-bitch, black-widow, all-controlling, super-hot, castrating female” character.
The problem with the movie:
1. Sharon Stone is too old for this part. This movie gave her a “soccer mom” plus “ I can regain my youth through plastic surgery, old-floozy” look. This isn’t to say that I don’t think she isn’t an attractive lady in her late 40s, but that means she should be in parts like the older psychologist expert not the bought “sex-on-legs” woman.
The movie would have been better if her character was trying to continue her existence from the first movie but was failing. If her need to be the “all-controlling ice-bitch” superceded her own actual control of others.
2. The most important character in this movie is the guy. Stone’s character gets to stay the same in the movie, but the man has to go from a pseudo-average guy to an insane individual. Michael Douglas played the role of edgy cop to obsessed nut-job very well in “Basic Instinct.” David Morrissey was not believable as this character.
3.The most unforgivable fault in this movie, the sex was not attractive. I felt like a little kid at a horror movie, “Oh no, they’re going to have sex, cover your eyes. Aaaaah!” In movies like “Election” and “Happiness” the sex is supposed to look bad, but these scenes looked even worse.
“Basic Instinct” is a very well done movie. “Basic Instinct 2” is a reason to become celibate.
Has anyone seen “Inside Man?” Is it any good?
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V: More Darkman than Dumas
last modified: Monday, March 20, 2006 (7:44:30 PM CST)
What is this junk?
Last weekend I saw “V for Vendetta.” There was something terribly wrong with this movie. After hearing the garbage on the reviews about this film (how it celebrated terrorism) I’ve got to disagree. Unless you’re a misogynistic, vindictive, sadistic, megalomaniac who identifies with “V”, he’s horrible. My enjoyment of this movie began and ended with V and Evey’s first meeting (The one where Evey says, “Are you some kind of crazy person?”).
This movie is crazy. “V” tortures Evey and his reason is; he tortures her because he loves her. At first she’s a little mad, but she comes to the conclusion that she’s really grateful to “V” (Maybe even loves “V”) after he puts her through both mental and physical torture.
“V” never takes responsibility for his actions. He only has the excuse “The government made me do it. It’s their fault.”
Poor “V”, gag.
My favorite character in the movie is the inspector, but I think he’s probably the worst policeman on the face of the planet.
Things I kept asking myself during the film:
How can “V” afford some huge excavation project that takes 10 years?
How was he supposed to have secretly engaged in the above project?
(The all-controlling government with eyes everywhere apparently paid no attention to V’s huge construction project.)
The idea that V memorized all of Shakespeare’s plays, became an superb knife fighter, became a genius in toxins, learned botany, apparently built a train, laid miles of track, excavated a huge tunnel, and while he was doing this he had time to engage in vandalism and watch the old “Count of Monte Cristo” was just too silly to believe.
If I wanted to see the individual conquer an oppressive government system, I should have rented “Rollerball” with James Caan.
“Super-heroes” Vs “An Evil Religious Government” is old and formulaic. It’s amazing, but “Ultra Violet”, a super bad low-budget version of this movie is out at the same time. I guess there was no time for a good plot, just assume “V” is omniscient, and enjoy the action scenes.
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last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2005 (1:53:33 PM CST)
*This is just so you know that I’m reading what you’ve written*
Thank You Krafty, Lonelymountain, and E
I’m trying to decide whether I should try and redo everything, or just fix some problems.
I don’t know, I could be wrong, but I was going for a dated look, to try and match the dated look of most of my cels (Original Idea: RoboCop meets A.T. Votoms). If I start out with a dated look, I don’t have to worry that my gallery’s look will become dated.
But I’m a little conflicted because I collect what I like so, I have some cels from different genres of anime. I feel that most of my cels are sci-fi/monster/giant robot but I don’t know what the viewer thinks.
Sorry E, I think I’m going to keep the tin cans.
I’ll look for the disk I saved my original files to before I compressed them to try and change the side images. I was worried at the time, and I’m still worried, that if I use images that aren’t as compressed I’ll limit the number of people who can visit my site to only those with DSL and Cable Modems.
Hope the followed link color is better. Originally I was thinking of having them as red and green but no matter how I mess with the colors, red and green always looks like Christmas.
Re: a simple look:
Although I like the idea, that by using very little graphics you’re able to enjoy the beauty of the cels more so than with graphics, When it’s used in practice I feel that something is missing. I could make the gallery look cleaner by only using solid colors (like white, Off white, silver and Black) but I don’t think that really takes into account the origin of the shows. Most of these cels were used in cartoons that feature robots and cockpits that contain millions of dials that seem to do nothing.
I toned down the color in the lower banner and the subpage banner. When I changed to black and white I felt it looked like an old photo, and I didn’t like it.
Why there are 4 cels per page:
I like using 4 scans per page, because all the images are next to each other. I feel this makes it easier for a viewer to see similarities between cel images, whether they’re from the same cartoon or different cartoons.
I can’t scan The Land Before Time cels they’re too big (This isn’t to imply that I don’t like the fact that they’re huge) but I’ll try to take better photos of them.
I don’t have the Guyver cels yet (evil mailman) but I plan on putting them up when I do.
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last modified: Monday, March 07, 2005 (9:30:53 PM CST)
If you’re bored and have nothing to do, I’m looking for feedback.
Please take a moment to comment on this entry.
What I’d like to find out:
1. Is the overall theme of the layout/presentation a good match with my collection?
2. Do the graphics look bad?
3. Does anything look out of place?
4. Do you have any problems navigating this site?
(I know, I currently have 116 different sections, but I think I’d make it worse if I added more cels to the miscellaneous section)
5. Is anyone offended by any of my graphics?
6. Would you like to see any of the cels rescanned?
7. Does this page take too long to load?
8. What do you like best about the presentation?
9. What do you hate about the presentation?
I’m using the term graphics in the above questions because I’m referring to the images I’ve created, not the cel scans. I’m only providing these questions, so, you know what I’d like to know, but feel free to pay no attention to them.
I know many collectors that keep online galleries feel that a person’s website is fine as long as the owner feels it satisfies their own aesthetic tastes. I agree with them. Still, as long as I have a website up that everyone can look at, I’d like to at least know what people like or dislike about it.
Most of the time when I receive email from the feedback link, they’re people asking me for something. Sometimes when they ask me for something they include a comment about the presentation of the site. Usually it’s something nice, but if a person is asking me for something, I’d sort of expect them to write something nice.
I know I have rating icons at the bottom of the page, but I’d like to know what you like or dislike about my overall design.
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last modified: Monday, February 28, 2005 (10:44:17 PM CST)
“You can use your weblog to keep an online journal and talk about your collection, daily musings, or favorite pizza toppings.”
Alright, I’m bored, and I don’t really have much of anything to do. My class isn’t meeting and I carpooled to college. So, I’m stuck here at the school Computer Lab, until 8:45, might as well see if this works. Be warned, my existence is dull and boring.
The most viewed cel on my site is the Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer cel. It has 115 hits.
The second most viewed cel is a tie between Teknoman02 and DBGT 004 both with 67 hits.
Daily Musings/My weekend:
I tried to watch the Oscars, because I wanted to see Downfall lose for best foreign film. Unfortunately I fell asleep before foreign films were mentioned. Even though I didn’t see it lose, I’m glad it lost because I hate it.
On Saturday, I went to the theatre knowing nothing about Downfall. Well except that it was about the Nazis at the end of the 3rd Reich, and that it was up for best foreign film. The movie starts with a sound clip, I immediately thought to myself “Wait a minute, I know this, I’ve seen this, it’s that documentary about Hitler’s Secretary.” Next the picture appears and you see a group of women being lead into Hitler’s Bunker. The camera paned across the different women until it came to one who looked a whole lot better than any of the other ones. I thought to myself “Oh no, it’s a dramatic reenactment of Hitler’s Secretary, and gee let me guess that’s Junge.”
The rest of the movie was a dramatic reenactment of sections of Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary, except I guess the film maker got bored with her, so, they added a friendly SS doctor, and a blonde kid (who happened to have a friend that looked like Heidi in Nazi garb). It was sentimental crap; explosions, a musical score made up almost entirely of string instruments, and lots of war meetings with people yelling at each other.
Bruno Ganz was great as Hitler, but it was for nothing because there weren’t any identifiable people in the movie. They were all clichés, or maybe I should use the term symbols because the movie was supposed to be a serious flick.
Don’t watch Downfall, watch Blind Spot.
Blind Spot was a great documentary because it’s a person telling their story, looking back on their past. As she spoke her story changed, because she had to keep adding excuses and apologies about how she was wrong to try and explain how she actually felt at the end of the 3rd Reich. During the film, she knows that she isn’t a bad person, but she doesn’t want to say that at the time she felt that Hitler wasn’t that bad of a guy, because although she saw him as an eccentric friendly guy, she knows now he was really a maniac. It clearly portrays how gullible people are when faced with someone who truly believes in what they’re saying. After watching it, you might even question what you believe to be right.
Favorite Pizza Toppings:
Pepperoni, Pineapple, and Canadian Bacon
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