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All reviews - Movies (49) - TV Shows (5) - DVDs (41) - Music (13)

Fun, cartoony movie

Posted : 15 years, 9 months ago on 22 April 2007 08:52 (A review of Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar)

Just got through watching ASTERIX AND OBELIX TAKE ON CAESAR (1999), with
Christian Clavier as Asterix and Gerard Depardieu as Obelix. It's a live action adaption of some the Asterix & Obelix comics by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. Yes, it's a comic book movie, just one that few of us have ever heard of.

Without being too spoilerish the plot revolves around the adventures of our two Gauls defending their village from the Romans. From what little of the albums I have read (a couple, years ago), the movie seems to capture their tone and heart quite well. There's violence, but it's all very cartoony and mostly good natured.

Clavier and Depardieu both nail their roles, though Depardieu's over-grown, superhuman, man-child shines brightest. All the comic's characters are given some screen time so you can point at the screen and go "hey, there's so & so"!

I don't know how many live action adaptions of euro-comics there have been (the only ones I can think of off the top of my are BARBARELLA and DANGER: DIABOLIK, both quite good). This has certainly got to be one of the better ones, too.



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Fun euro-comic French movie

Posted : 15 years, 9 months ago on 22 April 2007 08:50 (A review of Asterix & Obelix Take on Caesar)

Just got through watching ASTERIX AND OBELIX TAKE ON CAESAR (1999), with
Christian Clavier as Asterix and Gerard Depardieu as Obelix. It's a live action adaption of some the Asterix & Obelix comics by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. Yes, it's a comic book movie, just one that few of us have ever heard of.

Without being too spoilerish the plot revolves around the adventures of our two Gauls defending their village from the Romans. From what little of the albums I have read (a couple, years ago), the movie seems to capture their tone and heart quite well. There's violence, but it's all very cartoony and mostly good natured.

Clavier and Depardieu both nail their roles, though Depardieu's over-grown, superhuman, man-child shines brightest. All the comic's characters are given some screen time so you can point at the screen and go "hey, there's so & so"!

I'm not sure why there hasn't been some kind of R1 dvd release; well, there was a Canadian dvd release, but it's out of print and I don't think there were English subs. The movie did well enough theatrically that they made a sequel called ASTERIX AND OBELIX: MISSION CLEOPATRA, that is considered a superior sequel. No one thought it would sell because it's too French or something...

While there is no R1 disc, there are tons of R2 releases. The UK releases is English dub only (*shudder*), the German disc is German dub only, and the other discs include the French audio (5.1 etc...), but no English subs. However, there is a R4 disc (from Madman), that includes the French audio, an English audio track for masochists (okay, useful for small children), and English subs. Most of the review/comparison sites I use don't mention this disc (or the R4 MISSION CLEOPATRA disc); I kinda tripped over them. I think I was poking around for ASTERIX AND THE VIKINGS and these turned up. The disc isn't fancy and the only extra is a trailer (English dubbed), but the movie's widescreen anamorphic and the picture looks great and the French audio track sounds good. If you want to see the movie, with English subs rather than an English dub, this is your only choice.

I don't know how many live action adaptions of euro-comics there have been (the only ones I can think of off the top of my are BARBARELLA and DANGER: DIABOLIK, both quite good). This has certainly got to be one of the better ones, too.


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Nearly flawless Lovecraft adaption

Posted : 15 years, 9 months ago on 21 April 2007 06:05 (A review of The Call of Cthulhu (The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft))

Finally, someone has adapted Lovecraft (his short story 'Call of Cthulhu') right. They took the unconventional approach of filming it as a period silent, black and white feature (there is a music soundtrack). The interstitials are in just about any language you can imagine. It works beautifully and is genuinely creepy.


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Be Careful

Posted : 15 years, 10 months ago on 16 April 2007 02:36 (A review of James Bond - Casino Royale )

Sony has slapped some kind of insane drm/copyright protection scheme on these dvds that breaks the discs and makes them unplayable on some players.

You need to think twice before buying any Sony disc, because you might be buying a nice new $25+ coaster.

*******************
Sony is now offering to replace the drm infected/broken discs with drm infected not broken discs.


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Maybe too cryptic for it

Posted : 15 years, 10 months ago on 16 April 2007 02:04 (A review of Serial Experiments Lain)

There's a lot to like about Lain. It's weird, really weird. You have to pay attention and even then, by the end, you may not be entirely sure just what the hell happened.

A comparison to VIDEODROME would be fair. They're both covering similar territory. It is nice to see anime as ambitious as this, you don't that often. Paranoia Agent comes to mind.

Definitely not for the casual anime fan, but worth it, even if you're left scratching your head by the end.


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Worth getting

Posted : 15 years, 10 months ago on 16 April 2007 01:51 (A review of Scrapped Princess )

** some spoilers **


A really likable mecha sci-fi series masquerading as a fantasy. It does take a little while to warm up to Pacifica, but once you realize where she's come from and her possible fate, you warm up to her.

Interestingly it's similar in some ways to Megazone 23 (I need to re-watch Megazone 23 to see if the similarities are just superficial).

It's pretty melancholy, though not as melancholy as Haibane Renmei. By the end it's obvious that just because you win it doesn't mean everything worked out.


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Practically Perfect Mahou Shoujo

Posted : 15 years, 10 months ago on 16 April 2007 01:39 (A review of Pretear)

If you want to get someone started on the mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime sub-genre, start with Prétear.

At 13 episodes it just the right size for starts (something like Cardcaptor Sakura might scare someone off; 72 episodes is quite an investment). At worst one or two eps might be considered filler, but for the most part the story keeps driving forward because there's no time for dilly dallying.

The characters are all sympathetic including the bad guys, maybe especially the bad guys. Being a fairy tale, the ending is not a cop out.


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Atypical fantasy

Posted : 15 years, 10 months ago on 16 April 2007 01:25 (A review of Haibane Renmei: New Feathers)

Not for everyone. It's character driven and much darker than the initial episodes suggest. This is one where you watch it because you care about the characters and not about action. Some people complain that it's slow and I won't deny that it's deliberately paced.

There's no gimmes here. You have to draw your own conclusions and a lot of people don't like that. If you're looking for something different, deep even, give this a look.


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Fluffy & gritty and fun

Posted : 15 years, 10 months ago on 15 April 2007 01:21 (A review of D.O.A.: Dead or Alive)

Fan service out the wazoo. They threw out most of the games' plot(s) (such as it was). They did manage to get all the girl playing beach volleyball in bikinis. There's some beefcake in there too.

The fights are all well choreographed, but they went for a generic martial arts look & feel. Tina is the exception; a lot of her moves did seem to be wrestling based. She also had the best (most brutal) fight, with Zack.

As far as video game adaptions go this is one of the better ones. It's certainly one of the best of the fighting game adaptions (what, there's STREETFIGHTER (oog), MORTAL KOMBAT (good), MORTAL KOMBAT II (decent), THE AVENGING FIST (okay unofficial Tekken movie) and I can't think of any others).

Nobody embarrasses themselves. It's a good time. I wonder when they'll get around to making a Virtua Fighter movie?


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Fluffy & Gritty and fun

Posted : 15 years, 10 months ago on 15 April 2007 01:20 (A review of DOA: Dead or Alive [2006])

Fan service out the wazoo. They threw out most of the games' plot(s) (such as it was). They did manage to get all the girl playing beach volleyball in bikinis. There's some beefcake in there too.

The fights are all well choreographed, but they went for a generic martial arts look & feel. Tina is the exception; a lot of her moves did seem to be wrestling based. She also had the best (most brutal) fight, with Zack.

As far as video game adaptions go this is one of the better ones. It's certainly one of the best of the fighting game adaptions (what, there's STREETFIGHTER (oog), MORTAL KOMBAT (good), MORTAL KOMBAT II (decent), THE AVENGING FIST (okay unofficial Tekken movie) and I can't think of any others).

Nobody embarrasses themselves. It's a good time. I wonder when they'll get around to making a Virtua Fighter movie?


DVD
This is a R2 PAL disc. If you've got to have it now I would suggest going with a R3 NTSC disc from Hong Kong (unless you're in a PAL region). I think the R1 dvd should see light of day sometime this summer.


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