Sunday, January 08, 2006

Quick Picks

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (movie) - very pretty, quite well adapted, however, I had the same problems with this movie as I had with the book. The girls don't do anything, and while I'm perfectly happy to believe in magical worlds hidden in wardrobes, I will NOT believe that a boy can suddenly pick up sword fighting, in full plate armour, on horse back, and be good at it. Nor do I believe it's a brilliant idea to find the first random bunch of kids you can, and automatically assume they're going to make GREAT rulers. I'll believe in magic, but people are people.

King Kong (movie) - this film needs cutting. Someone needs to take to it with an axe and a big red pen. Too many action sequences for the sake of action sequences, which go too long. I mean, at the end, when he's up on top of the Empire State Building with no space to turn around let alone manoeuver, and the planes are coming at him and he can't get out of their way - that could have been a quarter of the length it was. But, beautiful film. Loved the dinosaurs.

Blood: The Last Vampire (movie) - well I say 'movie', but it's only half an hour long. Vampire is part of a secret organisation that hunts demons. She hunts some demons. That is all. Nothing new there. Animation was okay. Due to the lack of any originality, was bored most of the way through it, and waiting for the end. Did I mention it was only half an hour long?

Voices of a Distant Star (movie) - oh my god. Only half an hour long, but what a brilliantly crafted half hour. It was beautiful, and when I say that I'm not talking about the animation. Childhood friends finish school. She goes to join the army, he stays on earth. As the fleet she is with jumps from Mars, to Neptune, to Pluto, to the Sirrius Constellation, the time it takes for her messages to reach him is greater and greater, until he's waiting 8 years between messages, when she waited maybe a day between writing them. It's stunning. It broke my heart so tenderly. Very much worth your time.

Samurai Executioner (comic) - by the gentlemen responsible for Lone Wolf and Cub. Alas, no Ogami Itto, but this samurai is just as worth. Same brutal and wonderful writing. Same sex and violence. Possibly even more meaning and layers to this, although I've only read the first book.

Akira (comic) - again, I've only read the first book, but already everything that the film blurred makes So Much More Sense. It's all bigger, better, with more depth, more time, more space. When they say 'classic' and 'masterpiece', they're not talking about the movie, they're talking about this. Added bonus that these books are huge, as opposed to the vast majority of manga, which is small.

Battle Angel Alita (comic) - only first book. So far, very similar to the movie, haven't met an unfamiliar plot point yet. Very cool though. Cyberpunky, grotty, dingy. My sort of thing.

Battle Royale (comic) - oh em gi. If I had kids, I wouldn't want to know they were reading this. There's sex and violence, like with samurais, and then there's this. It squicked me out first time around, and now I'm hooked. The tension in the first two books is unbelievable. Even having read the novel, and knowing everything fate has in store, it's so hard to put down. The only thing that has slowed my consumption of this series is that the shops don't ever seem to have the next book in stock when I'm passing by. So good, but if you're a delicate flower...this isn't your thing.

The Red Star (comic) - this is THE prettiest colour comic out there. Don't believe me? Just flip through a book when you're passing through. It's stunning, and better yet, it's incredibly original. Addictive story, fantastic character dynamics. There aren't many colour comics, in fact there aren't ANY other colour comics I follow, yet this, I've bought several times. Single issues, collected trades, new editions, I have them. They'll stay with me forever.

Cowboy Bebop (comic) - the anime is genius. Love it. Get fangirl squealy about it. These comics? Not so genius. Not just lackluster writing, so-so art, but sloppy design. I don't like spending time trying to figure out what order to read the text boxes in.

Ghost in the Shell (comic) - manga, anime, movie; this is the original, and it does beat all the others hands down, and hands up. Good depth of the characters, flexible relations between them, and it trips over so many fascinating themes without losing the reader in heavy heavy philosophical Matrix-Puke. Go the Major.

1 comment:

  1. Yup, I totally agree with you about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Some of the blue-screen effects were pretty dodgy as well. Most disappointing...

    I like your blog, keep it up!