Posts Tagged ‘ anime film ’

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) – 4/5

Creative, yet somewhat shallow horror comedy fantasy science fiction hybrid that nonetheless works despite a rather ambitious, thinly stretched plot that doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense but is usually always fun, occasionally quite funny, and very well acted/shot/made. And what a crazy, over the top, gore splattered last act. Definitely more fantasy than horror, though, so be warned.

Like a lot of Joss Whedon’s stuff, the plot of this film feels like something out of an anime, especially the last third. I’ve noticed he often borrows heavily from Japanese anime type themes and story elements, most noticeably here through his meshing of **SPOILERS** corporate bureaucracy/advanced technology and fantasy/the supernatural. **END SPOILERS** He even sort of acknowledges this with the hilarious **SPOILERS** scenes from Japan of the schoolgirls being terrorized by that little girl demon thing that’s in a lot of their horror. You know what I’m talking about: the iconic wet haired monster thing that looks like the demon girl from The Ring. **END SPOILERS** Funny, funny stuff whenever that came on. But yeah, not very many mainstream American writers take their inspiration from Japanese anime, or steal from it nearly as readily or as often, or with as great success, so, good for him, getting rich and famous from stealing and all. Bastard.

And yeah the dialogue is the usual Whedon cutesy clever fluffy stuff he’s known for. It’s a decent story; not the groundbreaking horror redefining brilliance I had heard it was, but it does interesting things with old clich├ęs. The rules aren’t always clear, though, nor do they always make sense, and some of it feels like it could have been explored more, especially the **SPOILERS** monster escape scene that follows the third act,**END SPOILERS** and the final “reveal” at the very end, but it still delivers as far as all around crazy insane stuff goes.

Overall, I liked it. The film is flawed: the plot isn’t as well-developed or as narratively consistent as it could have been, nor does it go as far with its unique concept as it could have. But it’s entertaining and funny and clever when it wants to be. There are also hints of depth here that are ever only briefly touched upon, then never explored again. One in particular that comes to mind is the scene **SPOILERS** in the elevator near the end of the second act when the lead girl and the nerdy guy are led through the ever shifting cubes of monsters, and it briefly stops at the one monster who’s clearly a reference to Pinhead from the Hellraiser series, and the two just stand there looking at one another, this woman and this monster, only a few inches of glass between them. **END SPOILERS**

It’s a great scene visually, but what did it mean? Nothing. Because, emotionally, it was empty; nothing was established between the two before that brief meeting, so there was nothing there for the audience to get once they did despite the film attempting to make you think there was. It was a missed opportunity for something that could have been quite powerful. It’s the scene that sums up this whole movie, in a way: clever and creative, but ultimately hollow and meaningless. Even the ending is like this; yeah, that happened, but so what? Who cares?

Still, it’s a good movie for what it is. Entertaining, gory, creative, funny, well shot, decently acted. Worth a watch.

 

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Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009) – 5/5 – “Masterpiece”

Astounding. A must see if you’re a fan of the original series, and if you’re not, you should be. Though the film, like the series, doesn’t make a lot of sense at times, it’s still brilliant and beautiful and probably one of the most creative and engaging things made since the art of visual story telling was invented.

This is cinema at its absolute best. The “Shakespeare” of our time, in many ways. The show in of itself is a masterpiece, and this is simply the second part in the four part reinterpretation of the series, with improved artwork and many changes/additional scenes.

While the first part followed the first couple of episodes of the show pretty faithfully, this one adds entirely new story elements and even a new character, and everything works extremely well, from the beautiful and hilarious scenes on the water purification vessel, to the brilliantly apocalyptic fight scene at the end between the EVAs and that weird crab skull thing, it’s all just genius. And how this movie ends is the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, though, if you stay until after the credits, you’re given an additional scene that perfectly prepares you for part three.

I also loved the overt sexuality of all the characters. The show was always subtle with it, but here, they go all out, sometimes for laughs, other times to really hit the eroticism home. Not that I’m complaining. Asuka has to be the sexiest female cartoon character in anime history. Just a great character all around.

And man was this violent and gory, especially the final battle at the end. There’s a great scene where an Eva or Angel loses an arm or something and the blood splatters all over one side of the head NERV honcho guy’s face, and the guy is so characteristically stoic he doesn’t even bother wiping it off for the remainder of the film. Hilarious and brilliant.

A masterpiece. Up there with End of Evangelion as one of the best things ever made, anime or otherwise. Things like this are why cinema exists.