Reviews and random thoughts brought about by various movies, series, music, books, travels, social behavior and what not...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rurouni Kenshin (live movie adaptation)

I'm not much of a 'Samurai X' fan, but judging from the trailers, I think the live action movie adaptation of the anime and manga classic,"Rurouni Kenshin" is worth watching.

And I was right. All my expectations were vindicated. And if I may add, I think this movie will not only cater to the numerous Samurai X fans out there but also serve as a good stand alone movie even for people who are not fans, or not quite familiar with the series. And even for those not familiar, there are flashback scenes that explains why the things here are the way they are. As I was walking out of the theater, this guy asks his GF what she thinks of the movie, the girl responds with a hearty "nanka omoshiroi", although it is evident she's nota fan or unfamiliar with the series.

From some of the few episodes of the anime that I was able to watch, a lot of the actors were dead on in the potrayal of their respective characters. Satou Takeru (who I first mistook for Kazuya Kamenashi) was able to bring out the clueless carefree nature of the reformed Kenshin (I love the scene where he skips down the street and sees a wanted poster with his former alias on it, blurting out "Oro!!"), and when he changes to his "Battousai" mode where his voice lowers and brandishes a 'yankee'-ish diction.

But most of the comedy was stricken off the movie to make it in a more serious tone. Most of the goofing around is handled marvelously by Munetaka Aoki, who plays Sanosuke (my fave Samurai X character). Emi Takei also did a good Kaoru, and Taketo Tanaka did a noteworthy and awesome job with his natural potrayal of Yahiko. But Yosuke Eguchi somewhat remolded Hajime Saito and made it his own while retaining some aspects that are found in the anime.

Fight scenes are not that intense but was good...very good. Well planned and well executed.

You can count on this movie adaptation to be one of the movies I would watch again and again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Boku no Kanojo wa Saibo-gu (Cyborg She)

This 2008 Japanese movie written by Korean director Kwak Jae Yong features Haruka Ayase as the unnamed female cyborg and Keisuke Koide as Jirou Kitamura, the lonesome college student who celebrates his birthdays alone and buys presents for himself on that occassion.

Its a whirlwind romance-comedy drama of some mysterious events concerning a beautiful girl who he spends time with, falls in love, and never asks her name, even it was time for her to go... a cyborg who looks like her that Jirou sends back in time to protect his past self from a disaster, a grandmother who is actually his mother, and a real human girl who looks like the cyborg and falls in love with Jirou because she "experiences" what the cyborg went through by downloading the memory to his chair which runs on the same concept as the chair in Total Recall then decides to go back in time to pursue Jirou (which would explain the opening scene and the two different personalities of that girl, who went back twice to be with him).

Aside from the crappy title translation (Boku no Kanojo wa Cyborg is literally translated to "My Girlfriend is a Cyborg"...what the heck is this "Cyborg She" crap? Me afraid not...dictionary good), utter disregard for the concept of Time-Space theory ("time will heal itself ..." say what? I think you've been sniffing the wrong shit, man), the movie is a pretty decent thing to watch... enjoyable, funny, and with a dramatic epilogue for an ending. And with most of the situations in the movie, it makes you fall in love along with a certain point. I find it hilarious the way the human and cyborg 'she' overcompensates to make herself blend in with that era's society and culture. Her inquisitive nature, and high intolerance to alcohol. Its like Terminator meets Chobits meets Ghost in the Shell meets Time Cop. There are a lot of scenes in the movie that makes you want to fast forward to the good parts, though.

There are also a lot of references that parodies or pays homage to the 'Terminator' franchise leading me to believe that the writer is either a fan of the series or of Arnold, which adds to this film's comedic charm.