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ANIME AICN - Early Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Review(s) (Updated)

Published at: Aug. 12, 2006, 8:05 p.m. CST by staff


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Column by Scott Green


Scott from ANIME AICN here...

After years of waiting, production and negotiation, the new Robotech movie, The Shadow Chronicles has been unveiled.

The original Robotech was the localized concatenation of three Tatsunoko produced anime space operas: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada. For fans of a certain age, Robotech was the gateway to anime. For many who haven't maintained an interest in the medium, it's still a well remembered sci-fi epic. Popular during its North American TV run and a perennial cult classic, its producer, Harmony Gold USA planned a number of attempts to produce a new Robotech. In 2005, 20 years after the premiere of the original Robotech, Harmony Gold was able to unveil a trailer for its sequel, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles.

As well as aiming to entertain both returning and new Robotech fans, Harmony Gold hopes that the movie will serve as a pilot/launching point for further Robotech works. Whether these take of the form of additional movies or TV series depend on the opportunities that present themselves.

Darkwater, one of the internet's most dedicated Robotech fans and the force behind the must-see (Unofficial) Robotech Reporter, has had the opportunity to catch one of the movie's festival screenings and as graciously provided a very advanced review of the feature.

Those looking to catch Shadow Chronicles in a theatre will have the following opportunities:
MechaCon Charity Screening, Aug. 12th
New York Korean Film Festival, Aug 25, 27 & Sept. 2nd
Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival, Sept. 29 – Oct. 5th
International Horror and Science Fiction Film Festival Oct. 28 & 29th

See here for movie information.

FUNimation will be distributing the movie on DVD November 21st.

8/13/06

Slop Reilly was been good enough to us a second opinion on the upcoming film.


Darkwater's Review

In 2005, I ran the only fan site dedicated entirely Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the new Robotech movie (it's since been replaced by my more cynical blog). Pouring my heart and soul into it and not collecting a single penny, That all changed when someone from Harmony Gold gave me a call in early 2006. Saying that I was responsible for a lot of people hearing about The Shadow Chronicles in the first place, I should at least get to the chance to see it. I was honored to be invited (and I guess it helped that I lived 10 minutes away from their building).

Now of course I was a totally giddy fanboy throughout the entire experience, and it killed me not to be able to tell anyone about it since the movie was in distribution limbo. But now with a solid release date in place and today marking the first screening of the film to the general public at MechaCon 2.0 in Louisiana, I'm now happy I can share my thoughts of this movie.

Yes, I did see the movie at a screening with almost the entire cast and crew (not to mention that I sat two rows in front Carl Macek himself!), but I'll do my best not to let that cloud my judgment and give the fairest review I can.

THE STORY

About the first half hour the film overlaps with the final Invid battle from the last two episodes of "The New Generation." This time, however, it's from the point of view of newer characters battling it out in space. We also get a few scenes that either re-enact or fit in-between scenes of these old episodes that won't always match up word-for-word to their 80's counterparts, (in some cases they actually fix continuity errors). But only the most hardcore fanboy will be bothered by any discrepancies.

Once this overlapping segment is finished, we finally get into the meat of the story…

Admiral Rick Hunter and the SDF-3 crew are lost. While Captain Vince Grant (from The Sentinels) attempts to find him, he and his crew run into a new enemy which can somehow break through all of their defenses effortlessly. Scott Bernard (New Generation) is still learning to deal with the fact that the woman he loves, Ariel, is actually an Invid. Then there's the only returning character from The Southern Cross saga, Louie Nichols, who forms a rather cliché and nerdy bond to the female android J.A.N.I.C.E. (another Sentinels character). We're also introduced to two young pilots, Alex Romero and Marcus Rush (the brother of Scott's dead girlfriend, Marlene), a duo slightly reminiscent of Rick Hunter and Roy Fokker from the Macross Saga. One of them has a serious crush on his superior officer, Maia Sterling, who happens to be the daughter of Max and Miriya Sterling from the Macross Saga.

The story's a bit convoluted (as you can tell), and the re-cap at the beginning doesn't really help that much. While this movie does tell a complete story, a number of specific story elements will remain a mystery to all but the most hardcore Robotech fan. Yes, you can still enjoy it if you have only passing familiarity with Robotech, but you will be left with questions afterwards.

Some will definitely find it disappointing that the story acts more like a TV pilot than an actual movie. It acts as a decent set-up for future sequels, but it wouldn't act as a satisfying end for the Robotech saga (and contrary to some misinterpretations in the press, Harmony Gold does plan to continue this franchise).

Wanting to remain as spoiler-free as possible, one specific thing I need to mention is the involvement of Rick Hunter, the only returning Macross character. Harmony Gold hyped this project from day one as the answer as to what's happened to Rick Hunter and I must say that the answer we get is pretty unsatisfying. Fans will get an answer, but all I'll say is that It'll leave them wondering why this was hyped as the main focus of the movie.

But all of this isn't to say that the story can't still be quite entertaining at times, because it really can. The character interactions are done pretty well for the most part, and the story's pacing will hold the attention of even the most ADD-stricken fan. And while the story can feel a little uneven at times, it really hits home on the emotional level.

THE ANIMATION

I'll get right down to it - the animation feels cheap and rushed. It won't take away all of your attention from what's going on, but it'll come close. The 2D does its job but lacks detail and fluidity while the CG feels cutting edge for 10 years ago. A few CG shots here and there can actually be quite impressive, but for the most part it's pretty stiff and flat.

Even though I saw this on the big screen, I did keep in mind that it was made to be seen on television. Some will get the chance to see this in digital theaters when it goes to its limited theatrical run, but the majority will be seeing in on their screens at home – and seeing it in that way will be much kinder to the animation overall.

And I can't pass up mentioning the design of the women – all of whom were given triple-D cup breasts. Sure, while any guy likes to look at big boobies, the way the women are depicted here is more ridiculous and distracting than sexy. Honestly, it feels like it takes away a small portion of the movie's credibility.

THE SOUND

The music, simply put, is unbelievable. This score will make you keep your full attention, even when you're having trouble following the story or the animation isn't blowing you away. Not once does the composer treat this like a low-budget animated movie, and at times the score will make you forget that you're watching one. This music is definitely the movie's saving grace.

A close listener to movie's score will hear influences from John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and Hans Zimmer, just to name a few. In the end, it brings the movie to a whole new level and I hope the composer, Scott Glasgow, will be back for any future Robotech sequels. The music can be over-done during certain dialogue sequences, but that's a small price to pay for just how engrossing it becomes later on.

A majority of the franchise's original cast was brought back and doing so was an excellent decision. Not only does it add to the film's nostalgic value, you can hear the experience the cast has gained since originally recording Robotech 20 years ago. A few roles were re-cast and the new actors fill the roles quite nicely, even if fans would have preferred to hear the older voices. The only downside comes from having such a large cast of characters, leaving many of these great performances to be heard only briefly.

OVERALL

Being a huge Robotech fan, I'll always remember the huge smile I had on my face after seeing this. It was damn entertaining, even if a part of it was just the novelty of seeing new animated Robotech. While it did leave me wondering why it took 4 years to make, and while I would have preferred a more closed storyline and more of Admiral Hunter, in the end I thought "yeah, that was really fun."

Hardcore Robotech fans will see this without question and watch it repeatedly (and pick it apart to no end), but even passive Robotech fans will probably enjoy seeing this at least once. If you want to catch up a little bit on Robotech before seeing this, I'd suggest the final 3 episodes of "The New Generation."

It was also kind of interesting to see this with a sci-fi fangirl friend of mine who had never seen Robotech in her life. At first she was like "I didn't get all of it," but later on said, "You know, it's growing on me," and even asked to borrow some of Robotech DVD's.

While Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles isn't perfect, it definitely reminded me why this whole Robotech thing is so exciting. It just gets in your blood or something, I don't know.

3 / 5 stars

Darkwater
RobotechNews.blogspot.com


Slop Reilly's Review

I have been a huge fan of Robotech since 1985, and have dreamt for over 20 years to see a continuation of the story. But I am not your typical fan boy. Unlike so many others, I can objectively watch these films and give an honest critique. For example I hated the Star Wars prequels, and felt that it tarnished the legend of the once great Star Wars. And regrettably, I feel much the same for "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles."

First, I commend those involved with the production for completing this production. It is obvious that much hard work and sleepless nights went into it. And all should take a bow for seeing this to its conclusion.

Secondly, it's not that I HATED this film. There were some real "Robotech" moments to cheer about. But, it seemed like the producers and director of this film forgot, or never actually knew what made "Robotech" so special in the first place. There also seemed to be a real struggle at the movie's core of what it was trying to be and what it was trying to do. The word "schizophrenic" kept coming to me during the screening. At one end of the spectrum there seems to be a desire to adhere to cannon and continuity. And on the other end of the spectrum it seemed like the creative directors were trying to put their own, unique spin on the production and make it "their own," rather than be compared to the past and the creators who originally made their mark on this legendary series.

WHAT'S GOOD?:

Music

Scott Glasgow's score was beautiful. He was able to take the original theme music and make it both nostalgic and fresh all at the same time. The quality was definitely motion picture quality, and not your average run of the mill TV animation quality. Scott should be commended.

Voice Actors

The voice acting was very effective. The actors did a tremendous job with lack luster dialogue and at times almost made up for the inferiority of the script. That is the test of good acting. Chase Masterson should be commended for a beautiful singing voice. She gave me chills when she began to sing "We Will Win." All of them were fantastic.

Plot

The plot was well developed. Whoever made the decision to go back and revisit the events of Episode 85 should be praised. A good job matching the action with the new storyline of the Expeditionary Force returning to Earth. (Where were Lancer and the gang though?) The basic idea of how Rick Hunter became lost was a nice touch, and the decision to have Earth be depleted of protoculture and have only a year's supply left was well done. This leaves the story possibilities open whether you continue with a second film, or return to series format.

WHAT'S BAD?:

Screenplay

I'm sorry, but this is one of the weakest elements of the film. In my opinion, Ford Reilly did not do a good job with the script. The dialogue was poorly written and filled with clichés. The addition of the Children of the Shadows, a race that are puppet masters manipulating events behind the scenes, is a rip off of " Babylon 5" and the Shadow storyline in that series. The script also lacked any real emotional depth for the characters. As much as Mr. Reilly says he is a fan of "Robotech," it seems he does not understand what made it special. As cool as space battles always are, it is in fact the characters, their growth, and their interaction with each other that makes "Robotech" stand out of the crowd of the many animes in existence.

Characters

This leads me into my main gripe with the screenplay…the characters. I cared about none of the characters except for Louis Nichols. Louis was a more fully realized individual, with quirks and habits, which were not explored as fully during the Southern Cross segment of the original series. As far as the other returning characters, Rick Hunter we didn't see nearly enough, so judgment on him must be held. But Scott Bernard didn't seem like Scott Bernard. Scott was always a strong leader. He had particular mannerisms that were unique to him. He always seemed like a real person. But in this new film, he is nothing more than a cardboard cut out character. Gone is his spitfire leadership style. Instead he is merely a follower, a throw away character with very little emotion. He went through hell for Christ's sake fighting the Invid. He should be the most complex character in the story. Ariel is so bland, that I care not even go into.

As far as the new characters, General Reinhardt is the best. I'm not sure if it was more Dan Warren's amazing performance, or if the character was just really interesting. I wanted to know more. Vince Grant on the other hand was flat as a door. Alex Romero was just so absolutely annoying that I wanted to cheer when he died. Were we supposed to care about him? It is obvious that he was supposed to be the "Ben Dixon" of the story, playing off Marcus, the "Rick Hunter" of Shadow Chronicles. But the original story showed us clearly why Rick, Max, and Ben were friends. They goofed on each other, they joked, and they were there for one another. So when Ben perishes, we the audience were as heart broken as Rick and Max were. Here, I didn't even feel that they were friends. Alex totally disrespects Marcus at every chance he gets. Marcus doesn't even seem like he cares about him. AND then there is the Mya Sterling and Marcus relationship. Marcus has a crush on her, and we are supposed to see their chemistry through the few verbal spats they get into. But they had no chemistry. It was always easy to see why Rick fell for Minmei, and it was easy to see that Lisa and Rick were meant for each other; even long before the characters themselves realized it. In this new story, there is no development of real bonding between the characters. Each of the relationships seems staged and clichéd. By far, the character development was the weakest link in "Shadow Chronicles."

3D / CG Animation

By no means was this up to the standards promised by DR Movie after the brilliant Yukikaze. It isn't horrible. I have seen far worse. And in fact, in comparison to other CG animated films, the quality is better than most and would normally be one of the bright spots for this movie. But based on the quality of work DR Movie turned out with "Yukikaze", the end result can only be described as disappointing.

2D Animation

The colors were vibrant and at times the animation looked truly beautiful. But the biggest fault of this aspect of the film is the character movement. The character movement seemed lifeless and not human like. One of the complaints I have always had about Tommy Yune's art is that his characters seem lifeless and that he doesn't understand human movement. Well the characters here suffer the same fate. They move in a blocky and unnatural way. The whole time I kept thinking that someone should send the animators to a Human Kinesiology class. And as director of this project, Tommy Yune is to blame. He should have caught these flaws and ordered the animation team to correct it. But perhaps the reason he didn't catch it is that he, like his animation team need to go back to school and enroll in Kinesiology 101.

Character Design

Most of the characters, with a few exceptions (Mya Sterling, Louis Nichols) looked the same. No facial expressions, especially Vince Grant. The man definitely does not look black. Claudia Grant looked black. But not Vince. Drawing an obviously Anglo looking character and painting them black does not constitute creating a truly ethnically accurate character. The Heidenites (sp?) / Children of the Shadows were ripped off character designs from the Vorluns on "Babylon 5." Rick didn't look like Rick Hunter. They could have done a better job of making him look like the original character. Especially with the decision to make him gray and have a scar, they shouldn't worry about legal ramifications. Lastly, the design for Scott Bernard wouldn't have been bad if he were a new character. But the drastic redesign of an already existing character was unnecessary, and not a good decision.

These are all flaws that can be corrected before production begins on the next chapter of "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles." But it is my belief that those in charge of "Robotech" at Harmony Gold fail to recognize exactly what kind of special property they have. They see it as a niche product with a cult following. But I argue that "Robotech" has the potential to be bigger that "The Transformers" or any other animated property from that time period. When I was in middle school, it was "Robotech" that all the kids, not just the boys, but the girls too, talked about. It was more popular than the aforementioned "Transformers" or "G.I. Joe." And many regular people I talk to when "Robotech" is mentioned to them remember it fondly. They might not watch it any more, but they remember it well. And it is my belief that if "Robotech" was produced and marketed in just the right way, those older fans who don't watch anime, might watch it, remember back to a time when they rushed home from school to catch the new episode, and then introduce their kids to it, creating a whole new fan base that will allow "Robotech" to live on for many years to come.

As it stands though, I do not think that "Shadow Chronicles" will have much appeal beyond the die-hard Robotech fan. I believe that the average person who knows nothing or very little at all about this world will shrug and move on quickly. In the end, I believe that this new movie will tarnish the legend and memory of "Robotech" much in the same way as the new trilogy has done for "Star Wars."

My rating – 1/5

Readers Talkback

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  • Aug. 12, 2006, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Check it.

    by TheJake

    I'll get it whether it sucks or not... know why? I'm a dork. Period.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 8:34 p.m. CST

    CGI with traditional animation always looks like shit

    by Kirk's Toupee

    I was a HUGE robotech fan back in the 80's as a kid and I have to say that the cell animation looks great but the cgi looks aweful. It feels like two different movies. It tells me that they did this on the cheap since it would be much more expensive and time consuming to hand draw all those battle scenes than use a computer. But you have to remember that at the time they played this on tv in the afternoons in the 80's, we american kids had never seen anything like it. The battle scenes were always the thing that stuck in everyone's mind. So to see them take the cheap way out in the trailer is a dissappointment. However hearing the original voices did bring back good memories.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 8:45 p.m. CST

    I am such a geek

    by ennui

    I have all of the episodes from the tv show. My friend taped them back in 86 commercials and all....and then made me copies I loved these things and break them out every 5 years or so.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Give Us A Robotech Live Action Movie Already!!!

    by MetalWater

    It's time for a live action film version of this show!!! I always thought the concept of the giant alien humanoid troopers being the reason why Earth countered with fighters that are part robot, think X-Wing fighter/AT-AT hybrids, was a really cool justification for human's piloting robots. Something that Gundam really didn't have a good explanation for other than to just do it. Oh, and the city that gets sucked into space with our heroes' Fortress ship upon its initial warp launch into space, forcing them to take civilians and city centers...and transplant them aboard the ship, was also cool!!!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 8:57 p.m. CST

    CGI w/ Traditonal Animation

    by ScottGreen

    Shadow Chronicles isn't really CGI with traditional, its a combination of 2D and 3D digital animation. The animation seems more dominantly from the Korean studio DR Movie than from Tatsunoko. In Japanese directed projects, putting 2D characters with 3D effects and objects has been a mature art for a number of years. Movies like Metropolis and Steam Boy are probably the best examples, but TV like Full Metal Alchemist have also demonstrated proficiency. I haven't seen the film, but the scenes I have looked like the more Korean directed efforts. Korean animation is maturing, and has resulted in some very interesting projects, such as My Girl Mari, but what I've seen isn't on the same level as anime yet.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:06 p.m. CST

    re: MetalWater

    by ScottGreen

    The funny thing is that Gundam does have a good rational for human piloted robots, but it's well hidden in the series' supplimental material. I actually just got through sketching this out in the introduction to a Gundam blogging project I'm edging towards launching. The power source in Gundam blocks long rang sensors, necessitating the use of mobile suits to close in for combat http://tinyurl.com/nuh7m The fact that this isn't evident in show is one of the problems I have with the franchise.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Scott Green!!!

    by MetalWater

    Thanks for the info!!! Gundam would also make a great live action film franchise. Just wish they'd elaborate more on what you pointed out...the reason why they use the robots. Anyway, good luck with your project...sounds great!!!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Hey

    by johne5

    What happens to Hunter? If the answer was that weak, I don't know if I want to wait that long to hear it. Lay it on me brother.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:28 p.m. CST

    MetalWater

    by Northridge

    Some things (like any continuation of the old BSG) should never be, MetalWater. Check out Gundam G-Saviour. You'll see why there won't be any more live action Gundam anytime soon.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:17 p.m. CST

    saw a preview at A-Kon 17

    by minh

    Caught a clip of it at A-Kon 17 at the Robotech panel. Looks fun, and I will definitely be getting it on DVD, but probably for the nostalgia factor than anything else.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:27 p.m. CST

    CGI and traditional animation sucking??? WTF?

    by Johnno

    Where've you been man??? It works amazing well when done and blended right! Check out films like Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Steamboy, Metropolis, or heck even series like Last Exile and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, or OVAs like freaking MACROSS ZERO!!!! They should just get Shoji Kawamori's team onboard!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:29 p.m. CST

    But what I want to know is...

    by Johnno

    What's happens between Scott and Marlene/Ariel? Do they hook back up??? That's the note I left the series with as a kid, and damn, it broke my heart!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Northridge! A Live Action Gundam Can Be Done Properly!

    by MetalWater

    If someone like James Cameron was brought in to execute it...we'd have a great film on our hands. Have you forgotten his power loader scene from Aliens??? So, whether it be Gundam...or Robotech, or both...with the right director...and budget...it'll be huge!!!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:41 p.m. CST

    I believe Matrix got the ball rolling with mechs...

    by Johnno

    The only other one I know that's being planned is Evangelion, but the Evas are considerably different than traditional mecha. If you ask me a Robotech/Macross movie ought to be the first to go with Gundam following it up.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 11:43 p.m. CST

    What the fuck is Kevin Smith thinking?

    by Darth Evil Dead

    Kevin Smith was filling in for Ebert this week. I'm a huge Kevin Smith fan (I hate Jersey Girl like everyone though).. He gives World Trade Center a thumbs up..thats cool, and deserved.. But then he does one of the most fucked up things I have ever seen (not really).. He gives "Step Up" a thumbs up... WHAT THE FUCK !!!! This movie has a 20% rating on rottentomatoes.com ... How the fuck can Kevin Smith like this buy the numbers dance flick that has been done (story)a million fucking times in hollywood (Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing 2, Footloose, Honey, The Cutting Edge, the list goes fucking on).. Roaper on the show said the lead character not only cant act..but cant dance either and gave the movie a huge thumbs down.. So what the hell has happend to Kevin Smith? Since the box office of Clerks 2 went lack luster, has he gone from pussy to liking cocks up his ass? How has it come to this with Kevin? Step Up? A good movie? Kevin what the fuck is going on? Out of the two celeb critics, I thought Leno would suck balls to Kevin.. But it looks like Leno is the one fucking Kevin in the ass..and Kevin likes it.. He's gone Lance Bass on us all of a sudden... Oh fucking well.. http://www.youtube.com/user/DarthEvilDead

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Rick Hunter, Robotech, Macross, etc....

    by Zadillo

    Honestly, I think one of the best things that they ever did with the original Macross series (the Japanese one) was to really pretty much leave it up in the air as to what ultimately happened to Hikaru, Misa and Minmei. The various Macross sequels focused on other characters and settings instead. Hearing that the attempt by this new movie to answer the question of "what happened" to Hikaru's counterpart, Rick Hunter, was unsatisfying is not really surprising to me. And to repeat what Johnno said; yes, Macross Zero is definitely Exhibit A in showing how CGI and 2D animation can work quite well. It's a shame that the issues with bringing out other Macross stuff here still hasn't been worked out (thus relegating Macross 7, Macross Zero and Macross: DYRL to the realm of fansubs and/or bootlegs).

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Maybe MetalWater

    by Northridge

    MetalWater, there is some truth to your statement. With the right director and budget, I suppose there is the potential for blockbuster proportions. Batman & Robin was a gayfest that pretty much buried the franchise for a while until Batman Begins came along and brought masculinity back to the Dark Knight. With Gundam G-Saviour...it's pretty much a B-movie that makes any live-action continuation HIGHLY unlikely. There is the tiny possibility of the right director and high enough budget to do the Gundam or Robotech franchises justice. HOWEVER, RARELY do I ever deal in hypotheticals; I don't like to think I, or anyone, can predict the future with precision. If I say that James Cameron and a high budget can do a really good Gundam or Robotech movie, it would only be true in hindsight (i.e., after the fact).

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Giggle...

    by SG7

    ...nothing makes me giggle like watching fanboys rationalize anthropomorphic giant fighting robot suits. While undeniably cool on screen, they are silly as hell when you think about it.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Robotech Movie..Hell yea!!

    by Agent sith

    I have been wishing (for years) that some studio like 20th century fox would do a live action Robotech flick. but y'know the powers that be have their minds focused on transformers instead. Macross predated the transformers when it came to transforming robots/mechs, and the series was more realistic in terms of storytelling and depth. hey i can relate more to a human struggle against alien invaders as oppossed to robots in disguise. Bring it biatches!!

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 4:36 a.m. CST

    Darth

    by BadMrWonka

    did you really think I wouldn't find your dumb ass? posting a rant about Kevin Smith in an anime talkback? that's simple-minded even for you. and I thought we settled the youtube peddling...come on man...you can do it...put the keyboard down...(looking forward to another witty comeback from you riddled with "gay" and "fag" comments...let's have it!)

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Yikes - They Made This?

    by Mr. Winston

    I read this script months ago. I'll have to admit never hearing of the ROBOTECH series before reading and I guessed at the time that there must have been much more of a story before this (indeed this review indicates that there was a precursor to the script I read). On the heels of that, I'm going to assume that hardcore fans of the original might be able to keep up. However, everyone else is going to be lost - the script, in the state I received it, was almost unintelligible. It didn't make a lick of sense to me from page one. I can't imagine how they might have possibly turned it into anything coherent. I'm actually shocked to read not only that there are fans of this series but that this project got made at all. That's not to say the original series or film or whatever it was didn't have merit; it very well may have. But the writing was so poor that, if you're really a fan, you're probably just going to be angry that they didn't even try to put together something that you could understand. It really was one of those scripts that you have to assume was written by someone to whom English was a second language. It didn't make sense to me as a continuation of something (obviously) but more than that it didn't make any sense as its own story - not because I didn't know the characters or the setting. Of course that didn't help, but...well, I'm running out of ways to say the writing was awful. I can't speak to the animation or the voice work but, based on the script, I'd have to recommend that anyone but a mouth-frothing, I'll-die-unless-I-see-it fan not waste your money.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 8:06 a.m. CST

    The Story Of The Original Robotech Was Very Clear!!!

    by MetalWater

    The writing and story of the original series was as clear as they come...and very smart. Story: When a deserted alien battle ship warps toward Earth, the battle fortress Marcross, mysteriously appears and falls into the hands of humanity. Judging by the size of the ship...Earth's forces know that the alien creators of this vessel are literally giants in size and stature...This revelation leaves frightening implications for Earth's defense forces...who are left with the question: If the race that created this ship comes looking for it, and are hostile, how do you defend the planet from technologically advanced aliens...who also happen to be giants? Preparing for war in case the aliens are indeed a threat to humanity...Earth's military forces utilize the alien's own technology, the fortress ship Macross itself, to defend the planet. It seems the ship is an alien experiment, and the only one of its kind...making it very special to them, and something they want back desperately...so much so, they are willing to start a war over it!!! And in anticipantion of possibly meeting the giant humanoid aliens on the battle field, the Earth defense force creates special fighter craft that can transform into robotic infantry...or walking tanks...roughly the same physical size of the enemy. Upon the launch of the captured alien ship by Earth's forces, all hell breaks loose...thanks to their lack of familiarity with the use of its technology...sucking a whole city into space with the vessel...and drawing a young civilian pilot...Rick Hunter, a mere teenager, into an unexpected call to destiny...and to duty as a much needed and unexpectantly talented hot shot fighter pilot for the crew of the ship. The story moves on from there as the giant aliens, think 30 foot tall storm troopers, appear...and wreak havoc on the Earth...Our only defense...the transforming multi-dimensional space battle fortress Marcross. I'll tell you...when you see these aliens face off with the humans' special transforming fighters...its really something to see...especially when they are fighting on city streets, above city skylines, in space...and even in the corridors of the giant aliens' space ships!!!

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Oban = good CG+traditional

    by turk128

    Oban StarRacers is a very good example of traditional animation and CG. Instead of going for realistic, they went for style and design. Gorgeous, gorgeous design. Between Oban and Avatar, the West has finally learn from anime and starting on their own path./// Speaking of Avatar, I'm so glad I discovered that after Naruto dropped the ball with their horrible, horrible fillers (Bleach ain't far off). Avatar is better than Naruto as a whole-- yes, I was shocked, too.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 10 a.m. CST

    Maia Sterling, J.A.N.I.C.E., Ariel? Continuity errors

    by Monkey_King

    abound in this production. Apparently, money(not storytelling), was the motivation for this project. Time to string up Carl Macek yet again, methinks!

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    html formatting off on main page

    by digital8

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 11:47 a.m. CST

    To be in love, is the sweetest thing a girl could know.

    by Uncapie

    Lynn Minmay, now appearing at the Lava Lounge.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    It's ALWAYS Time To String Up Carl Macek

    by Harry Weinstein

    WARRIORS OF THE WIND. That's reason enough.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Megazone 23 was the first Robotech movie!

    by JarJar25

    Scott Green failed to mention that Megazone 23 was the first Robotech movie, but had it's title changed to Robotech the movie with an alternate ending. If anyone wants to see Megazone 23, then check it out. ADV did a great job translanting and brung it out last year. As for the Robotech movie having problems. Well, it could be, because Genesis Climber Mosepeda did end. The problem is they are trying to continue something that never really worked out well to begin with. Changing Macross was one thing, but when they tried to alter the other two series, it got too far away from Marcross and ending up being something that the original creators never intended. Trying watching Macross the Movie, which is the true Robotech film and Macross Plus. Better yet, trying watching the original Macross TV series, it's a lot better than Robotech.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Does anyone remember End of the Circle

    by Bigstadder

    I thought it did its best to end the series. Well it had plot holes too and stole from nearly every idea Scifi put out, but it was good enough to put an end to the series. I still want to see this, but I do hope they improve...

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 5:37 p.m. CST

    NO LIVE ACTION MOVIE!

    by INWOsuxRED

    Wait till you have the ability to do a weekly TV show where characters can grow over time, I have no interest in seeing a summer action movie version of Robotech. I'm sure after Transformers you'll all come around to my way of thinking.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Ouch seems like the movie won't be all that...

    by Johnno

    judging form the second review... I worry... Ever wonder if the bad blocky animation walking could really be imitating the bad animation of the show? Heh, by that I mean comparing the animation of robotech then to the quality expected of animation today... No? Damn... ah hell, I'll still be watching this. I just have to!

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Please Release MACROSS THE MOVIE: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE?

    by ZombieSolutions

    I have like 4 copies of this; several on video and one on DVD puchased when I was living and working in Japan. I will eagerly spend even more of my money on this and buy it again if someone will release a DVD stateside with professionally done subtitles. Hello, Harmony Gold? Consumer over here looking to spend more money.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Where's the Hentai?

    by Ricky Henderson

    nuff said.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Re: Maia Sterling, J.A.N.I.C.E., Ariel?

    by Leto III

    Agreed. They seem to have taken much of what was established 20 years ago in THE SENTINELS and elsewhere, and blew them right out the SDF-1's airlock. It was **AURORA** Sterling whom was Max and Miriya's second daughter, though perhaps "Maia" is a nom de plume she assumed upon adulthood (a rift between she and her parents?). We'll see. She'd be right around that age by the time Dana and Bowie arrive in Tirolspace with the rest of the 15th ATAC, though....

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Re: "The End of the Circle"

    by Leto III

    Agreed, ditto. Interestingly well done finale to the entire ROBOTECH saga, and a very "Sleeping in Light" ending, if I may steal a B5 reference, here. Though it remains to be seen how well this new flick stacks up to the Daley/Luceno novels in its continuation of the SDF-3's story.....despite the fact that the novel is being supplanted by THE SHADOW CHRONICLES as new animation, the movie's gonna have a hard time knocking END OF THE CIRCLE from the mantel of my heart as an true, final ending.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 5:08 p.m. CST

    No Misa Hayase? Fuk dat!!

    by mbeemer

    (Then again, maybe I don't want to see what they'd have done with the character.) I didn't expect this to be good so I'm not surprised to read these reviews.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 6:23 p.m. CST

    embarassingly enough, a buddy of mine edited this film.

    by Monkey_King

    The trailer for this looked promising(save, for the 'Ariel' mention by the Scott Bernard voice actor), but then again trailers can always fool you into thinking a film will be great or ruining the whole movie experience by spoiling/showing too much. Perhaps stringing up the screenwriter and Macek this time would finally put these folks on the right track, or...expensive as it sounds.... extensive rewrites, dubbing, new animation to fix their money-grubbing errors.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 9:16 p.m. CST

    While we're at it

    by INWOsuxRED

    Can anyone tell me if there is a good release of all the original Robetech episodes in order on DVD for a reasonable price? I remember Conan once had a funny bit where a nerd complained about all the various releases of Robotech, where none of them were ever complete. I'd like to rewatch the series, but not randomly.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 10:09 p.m. CST

    INWOsuxRED Robotech on DVD

    by tacoshack27

    Bestbuy has Robotech on DVD for 19.95 per boxset. There are 7 in all and they are all remasted and the fully uncut versions of the episodes.

  • Aug. 17, 2006, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Robotech is just a rip off of Macross

    by Plazola_MEX

    That

  • Feb. 9, 2007, 12:41 a.m. CST

    I broke a big rule with this movie...

    by Xanther

    I got my hopes up and was left dissapointed.

  • Feb. 9, 2007, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Dissapointed even...

    by Xanther

    grr... This movie could have been an epic three hour event that put Lord of the Rings to shame. Culminating with Admiral Rick Hunter returning to earth to save the planet with his new allies the invid.

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