Author Topic: Tom's Random Reviews  (Read 469457 times)

Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #75 on: July 12, 2008, 05:04:48 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: L: Change the World
Year: 2008
Director: Shusuke Kaneko
Rating: Category IIB
Length: 129 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85
Audio: Japanese: Dolby Digital Surround EX , Japanese: DTS ES (Matrixed) , Cantonese: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: Chinese, English

Stars:
Ken'ichi Matsuyama
Shunji Fujimura
Mayuko Fukuda
Sei Hiraizumi
Renji Ishibashi

Plot:
The film is a spin-off from the Death Note and Presents the "final 23 days of L." The mystery the world wants to know will be revealed. After solving the Kira case in Death Note, another serious one finds L and he only has 23 days left to solve it. A boy and a girl hold the key to solving the case and L faces a crisis of global magnitude to protect the kids. L is without his trusted partner, Watari, and to solve the case all by himself for the very first time.

What will happen to L? What will change? The 23 days are packed with turns of events even L himself cannot predict.

Extras:
Scene Access
Trailers

My Thoughts:
Sadly rather disappointing. I knew that it will not be as great as the Death Note movies, but I still thought that another adventure with L could only be good.
But except for some minor references to the Death Note movies, this movie could be set around any set of characters. Though it is supposed to center around L, I had the feeling, that he had a bigger role in the Death Note movies, than in his own film. Also it feels more like L is just going along with the flow of the events. It doesn't feel like he has any major influence here. His skills of deduction are sadly rather underused. As I said, it could be any other character in the center of this movie. It wouldn't have needed L. It feels a little like they had already a script for another movie and after L was such a fan-favorite character in the Death Note movies, they made little adjustments in the script and used it for an L movie.

Rating:

(click to show/hide)




Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #76 on: July 13, 2008, 10:32:40 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Haibane - Renmei: Ailes Grises
Year: 2002
Rating: FSK-12
Length: 330 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78
Audio: German: Dolby Digital 5.1 , German: DTS 5.1 , Japanese: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: German

Stars:
Ryo Hirohashi
Junko Noda
Akiko Yajima
Kazusa Murai
Eri Miyajima

My Thoughts:
A wonderful story about angel-like creatures - with beautiful animation work.
A girl finds herself, after having some strange dream, coming out of a cocoon with small wings on her back. She has lost all memories of her previous life and now must find out what it means to be a "Haibane" (this is how these creatures are called).

Rating:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2n0hQ3igZtI



Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #77 on: July 15, 2008, 10:38:19 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Yume de Aetara
Year: 1998
Rating: NR
Length: 220 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Stereo , Japanese: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English

Plot:
Misou managed to get through all of high school and college without a grilfriend. A wizened fortune-teller has predicted that it is his destiny to be alone for his entire life! When Misou sees the beautiful Nagisa, his heart is awakened for the first time. He has serious competition in the form of the flawlessly handsome Kaizuka and the amazingly ugly Kujira.

Misou is determined to succeed, but he is stalled by his knack for ending up in compromising situations with other woman at exactly the wrong moment.

My Thoughts:
Another cheap blind buy. And I very much enjoyed it :)
This collection are two separate series, which both take a different take on the same source material.
First, we have a 3-episode OVA series: On this the animation is well-done and the story is told from a more serious and romantic angle.
Then we have a TV series with 16 mini-episodes (about 7 minutes each): Animation overall is not as good as in the OVA but due to its more comical take on the story, it had a lot of good laughs (often from good visual gags). Due to its structure, the story continues mostly as "1 step forward - 1 step back" for the main character. Usually each episodes end with a cliffhanger, which is resolved in the beginning of the next episode. Due to the short length of the episodes you are at, before you know, yet another cliffhanger.

Overall I can say, it was another 12 bucks well spent.

Rating:



Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #78 on: August 28, 2008, 03:32:04 PM »

Title: Death Note

Rating: 

For those of you who still haven't seen this movie, because either of the non-RC1 issue or because you do not like watching movies with subtitles ( :redcard:): Soon there is a RC1 release coming for the first Death Note movie. It contains both the original Japanese language track and an English dubbed track (with the same voices as the English version of the anime).
DVD Pacific $15.81
Amazon.com $16.99



Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #79 on: August 28, 2008, 06:10:23 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Gokusen I
Year: 2002
Director:
Rating: U
Length: 660 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: Japanese: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: Chinese, English, Other

Stars:
Nakama Yukie
Matsumoto Jun
Itoh Misaki
Namase Katsuhisa
Kaneko Ken

Plot:
Newly graduated Kumiko Yamaguchi wants to make her mark on the Japanese educational system as a teacher. All well and good until she finds out that the school she'll be teaching at has its fair share of troublemakers and rabble-rousers. The ruffians at the school don't frighten her though for she has a secret of her own-she's a fourth generation crime syndicate member and next in line to head it up. She's gone straight and wants to be a teacher though, but she's one person in whose class you don't want to be caught fooling around!

Extras:
Featurettes

My Thoughts:
What can I say: I love it!!!
Great Japanese comedy series I can highly recommend. If you remember, I recently watched the anime series of this after a lucky blind buy.
This series is even better than the anime.
The actress who plays the main character is simply perfect in the role. What makes the series so great is the combination of the line delivery by main stars, editing and camera work. I had to laugh out a lot in most scenes thanks to the great direction on these (and that even though I am watching the series for the second time).
This show does not only offer comedy but also a little drama. Which is often on the cheesy side but it really works here.
The only minor critique I have is, that the grandfather of the main character is too much of a nice guy to be the head of a Yakuza clan.

Sadly I did not find any YouTube material which does the show justice.
But I will provide some links nevertheless:
Here is a best of montage, but of which I think that the shown scenes are hardly best of material of this series. There would have so much better stuff.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkvZ7NAuH_Y

Here is a montage of a running gag, but will probably be lost on people who haven't seen this series yet:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVdMbP3ojuY

If I have even remotely sparked your interest, I recommend that you follow the link provided in the description in both of the above YouTube videos. It will lead you to a site which offers fansubbed versions of the episodes. This is how I come to know this series the first time around.

Rating:
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 02:31:52 PM by Tom »



Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #80 on: September 01, 2008, 06:39:26 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Year: 2006
Director:
Rating: NR
Length: 350 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78
Audio: Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English

Extras:
The Adventures of the ASOS Brigade
Trailers
Original TV Broadcast Previews

My Thoughts:
This series is about a girl, Haruhi, who acts like the whole world revolves around her. What she doesn't know, it probably does. Three years ago she wished herself, that there would be things like aliens, time-travellors and ESPers (psycics) in her world for her to meet. Because of this wish, these things do exist. As a matter of fact, the school club she has founded (which goal is to find aliens, time-travellors and ESPers), has an alien, a time-travellor and an ESPer in it and she doesn't notice it. The job of these individuals is to make sure, that Haruhi is happy with the world as it is and is not bored with it. You never know, what she would wish next otherwise. Maybe the end of the world?

This series is really funny. Especially how forceful Haruhi is with her fellow club members. It is told from the point of view of the only "ordinary" member of her school club "SOS Brigate" (Spreading Excitement All Over the World with Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade) who narrates the story.
This series enjoys a huge cult following in Japan. Even so far, that fans are doing the dance which appears during the end credits :laugh:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXO0Baqzme4

What I find disappointing with the DVD release though (and that is not necessarily the fault of the US publisher, because it also was this way with the Japanese DVD release), that they are using the chronological order of the episodes and not the order they were aired. Originally the main story arc was told in six episodes spread out over the season with single self-contained stories in-between (which happen after the main story). But on the DVD they start with an episode which is totally different from the rest of the series (Episode 0) which shows a "movie" the main character have made. It's a little strange going in, but after getting to know the character during the rest of the series, this episode has a lot charm to it. After it they bring the main story's six episodes. Which ends with a nice emotional conclusion. Then after that they bring the rest of the episodes with single story lines which go nowhere particular and therefore the season ends on a low note.
But nevertheless it is totally worth to watch.

Rating:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZeV1GkYurc



Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2008, 07:41:53 PM »
I just did a little browsing at YouTube and encountered countless videos of people performing a song from this anime. Which shows that the show is really huge in Japan.

Here the original excerpt of this song from the anime:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kv3mMK7EP8

Here a video from a live performance of this song by the voice actress of Haruhi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDlSYkK81tI

If you look further (e.g via related videos), you will find tons of videos of this song played by High School bands or the guitar part played by countless other people.

Also a curiosity: The dance performed live by the original voice actresses of the anime:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5gJ8d2x5vA



Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #82 on: September 02, 2008, 11:44:00 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Season One
Year: 2008
Director:
Rating: NR
Length: 405 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: Chinese, English, Korean, Other, Spanish, Thai

Stars:
Lena Headey
Thomas Dekker
Summer Glau

Plot:
The mother of all destiny. Her son, the future leader of mankind. Their protector, a Terminator from the future. Together they must take back the future as Sarah Connor (300's Lena Headey) prepares her son to fight the war against machines determined to annihilate the human race. The Clock is ticking. Can they stop Judgement Day?

Extras:
Commentary
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Outtakes
Scene Access
Storyboard Comparisons

My Thoughts:
I think it's a great series. When I saw the pilot when it first appeared on the internet, I really liked it. I was hoping that the rest of the series holds up. And I think it did. Cannot wait for season 2!

Major plot hole in the pilot though:
How did the Cromartie terminator travel to the future when it was already blown to pieces and thus not covered by "living tissues" anymore?

Now I am hoping that Arnie will turn up in a cameo. I imagine a scene set in the future where we see how John sends the re-programmed Arnie back in time for Termintor 2.

This series put me in the mood to watch T1 and T2 again. Maybe I will do it soon.

Rating:



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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #83 on: September 03, 2008, 12:37:40 AM »
How did the Cromartie terminator travel to the future when it was already blown to pieces and thus not covered by "living tissues" anymore?

It's a while since I saw the pilot, but he got blasted into the future! Sarah hits him with the pulse rifle thingy just as the teleport kicks in and as they arrive, the skull comes flying towards the camera. Then a homeless guy finds the skull, messes with it and it's able to relocate its body...

I like your idea for an Arnie cameo. It would make sense for the series to end with a shot of him being teleported back.

Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #84 on: September 03, 2008, 12:44:13 AM »
It's a while since I saw the pilot, but he got blasted into the future!
Yes, but we have learned in the movies, that only living tissue can travel through time. That is why people arrive naked and only flesh-covered Terminator and not other machines and weapons can travel through time. So how did the skull travel through time?



Najemikon

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #85 on: September 03, 2008, 01:20:38 AM »
It's a while since I saw the pilot, but he got blasted into the future!
Yes, but we have learned in the movies, that only living tissue can travel through time. That is why people arrive naked and only flesh-covered Terminator and not other machines and weapons can travel through time. So how did the skull travel through time?

Oooooh.... :headscratch:

Found this on IMdB forums (aka The Pit of Satan, but hey, I knew someone on there probably asked it!). The explanation is disappointing in that it's outside the story. Not sure if it's viable or just fans makinf excuses for a complete balls-up:

Quote
This question has been asked sooo many times before.

Chromartie's head got through as a robotic form because the people who put the show out there would not allow a decapitated human head to be seen on a TV show that could be seen by 'those of a sensitive disposition'. Instead, they compromised by having 'the flesh burnt off in transit.'

In T2, Cameron never actually showed us how the T-1000 arrived, which has led to the 'skin-sac' theory, done off-screen to not give away what Robert's character actually is; or that Cameron either forgot about the living tissue rule, or was just messing with everyone's heads.

In T3 the rule was ignored because the director was a lazy moron who just wanted a carbon copy of T2 with a more pc villain.


Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #86 on: September 13, 2008, 08:26:32 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: The Office: Season Four
Year: 2007
Rating: NR
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 , Commentary: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Stars:
Steve Carell
Rainn Wilson
Jenna Fisher

Extras:
Commentary
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Music Videos
Outtakes
Trailers

My Thoughts:
Another season of The Office that I enjoyed very much. When this series started, I did not think that it would become a series which is not just a cheap remake of the original. But now in season 4 they are still going strong.

The documentary style is still enjoyable, but it has become really unbelievable. For four years this camera crew with multiple cameras has followed them around now and they never got in the shot of each other's cameras :laugh:

Due to the writer's strike this season was a couple of episodes short. But five of the episodes are twice the runtime as usual which makes it like watching 19 instead of 14 episodes.
Also there are a lot of deleted scenes available. About 10-20 minutes per episodes. These were obviously cut for time and and not for bad quality.

Rating:



Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #87 on: September 21, 2008, 03:03:53 PM »


Title: Highlander: The Source
Year: 2007
Director: Brett Leonard
Rating: R
Length: 86 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 , English: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Stars:
Adrian Paul
Thekla Reuten
Cristian Solimeno
Peter Wingfield
Jim Byrnes

Plot:
Immortals, they have secretly dwelt among us for thousands of years but their origins have been shrouded in mystery. The answers, Prophets say, are to be found in The Source. The last band of eternal warriors, lead by Duncan MacLeod, the Highlander, have set out on a treacherous quest to find the origin of their immortality. But to learn the truth, they must first defeat The Guardian of the Source, a powerful killer who will destroy all who seek its secrets.

Extras:
Closed Captioned
Documentary
Featurettes
Scene Access
Storyboard Comparisons
Trailers
Video Game Sneak Peak

My Thoughts:
"How bad can it be?", I thought. After only reading bad reviews about this movie, I expected the worst. This movie is bad, but not as bad as I had expected. But nevertheless I cannot recommend it one bit.
The Highlander franchise doesn't have a good track record when it comes to movies. After one good movie, other movies followed which seemed to have forgotten what Highlander is about.
The TV series, although not necessarily of top-notch quality, did get it, what Highlander is about and what fans wanted to see. Now this movie has again forgotten it.
No real flashbacks to the past about MacLeod, badly choreographed sword fights. And a story which is worse than any episode of the TV series.

And another story point which really bothered me:
Duncan has married a mortal woman, who knew about him and also that he couldn't get children. But then she left him, because she wanted to have children. In what day and age are we? Never heard of adoption or artificial insemination? Couldn't really have been love then.

And a movie which has to end on a recap of the entire movie because of fear you wouldn't understand the ending otherwise. Always a bad sign.

Rating:
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 06:54:02 PM by Tom »



Offline DJ Doena

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #88 on: September 21, 2008, 03:18:43 PM »
That reminds me that I have to finalize the TV show. I've never seen the last season.
Karsten

Abraham Lincoln once said The trouble with quotes from the internet is that you never know if they're genuine.

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Offline Tom

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Re: My random reviews
« Reply #89 on: October 05, 2008, 10:34:47 PM »


Title: GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka
Year: 1999
Rating: NR
Length: 625 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Stereo , Japanese: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English

Plot:
Meet Eikichi Onizuka, a 22-year-old virgin and ex-biker. He's crude, foul-mouthed, and has a hair-trigger temper. His goal: to be the Greatest High School Teacher in the World! Wait, what?!? GTO is the fan-favorite story of Onizuka, a former motorcycle gang member whose goal is to become a teacher to make a difference. Once he's got his foot in the school door...can he squeeze his big head through it?

Watch in awe as Onizuka pummels through his teacher training only to be faced with the mammoth task of actually landing a teaching position. With unusual circumstances on his side, he just might pull it off. Using his street smarts to deal with colleagues, students, and troublemakers, Onizuka finds that he has too many lessons to learn!

Extras:
Interviews
Scene Access
Trailers

My Thoughts:
This anime series is an adaption of the first 14 volumes of the manga. It follows fairly close the manga, only changing some story elements to soften it a little (AFAIK they allowed to be more crass in mangas than in animes in Japan) and extending others. Also some ideas were taken from the live-action version which came one year earlier.
It had its high and lows for me but overall the anime is good. Sometimes the animation style bothered me a little and I think they had dumbed down the character Onizuka too much on some occations. He was too gullable in some cases compared to the manga version.
Too bad that they made this anime while the manga was still running and therefore it does not cover the full manga story, but the new ending they devised is fitting (I haven't read the ending of the manga yet, so I am curious how that one will end).
I can understand that they make anime series based on mangas while the manga is still current and popular, but it is always sad that the anime is cut short or differentiate from the manga because of this.

Rating:
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 06:54:12 PM by Tom »