Oct. 16, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST
Me am Bizarro.
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST
country that invents words like "Winningest" and can't spell "aluminium" about English?
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:01 a.m. CST
by DC Films
"...but through actions." <p>Nail on the head.<p>Leone's still the greatest.
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST
...are in fact complaints about the ENTIRE ASTRO BOY MYTHOLOGY. I just want you to know that. It's always been that Dr. Tenma created Astro to look like Tobio and then rejected him, and yes, for some reason also gave him all these fucked-up weapons and powers that didn't match up with his original intent. The franchise has always blended with the juvenile with some serious emotional shit. It was the '03 version that most heavily focused on robot/human relations, but still retained the goofiness. So what I'm hearing is... sounds like they made a pretty good mashup of the various versions, and stayed true to the source material.
Oct. 16, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST
Is it the perfect movie, of course not. But if you turn your brain off, it's pretty funny and entertaining.
Oct. 16, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST
it was a well done movie,but unfortunately it was chocked by the plethora of things it tried to tell at once.
Oct. 16, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST
NinjaRap: That's fair enough. But as I pointed out, I was reviewing it as someone unfamiliar with the source material, and from that perspective it made little sense. In particular, the motives of Nic Cage's character are truly bizarre, and sort-of stops the film from making much sense. <BR> <BR> Dreamwriter: Personally, I've never agreed with the idea that you should have to turn your brain off for any film, but that's just me.
Oct. 16, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST
Someone want to tell V'Shael that Latauro is Australian not American and we spell aluminium just fine. We also didn't invent the word winningest. And Dreamwriter, I am so sick of people suggesting I didn't enjoy a film because I am not stupid enough. I use the brain to watch the film. If it picks up plot holes, bad dialogue and lazy characterisation that is not my fault.
Oct. 16, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST
by The Wrong Guy
Ridiculous I say. Ri-effing-diculous. April, that movie was released in the U.K. Goddamn April... But apparently, we're getting Gervais' latest piss-poor cinematic effort a lot sooner than that. Bah, humbug. Go CATS, anyway. Haven't been on here since then. That was an awesome Grand Final. Just saying...
Oct. 16, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST
by Wonder Man
Loved the column as always, sir. However... a three minor corrections: 1) I'm not sure the DIGISPAA Feature Film Comp winners were four "shorts"... 2) David Peace wrote DAMNED/RIDING, not David Pearce (easy mistake, though)... 3) You totally should've seen THE CHASER instead of BRAN NUE DAE!! Huzzah!!! (Sad about LYING, though. The thing about using metaphor is interesting, because I read an on-set article where Gervais pulled Rob Lowe up after a take for improvising something similar. Clearly got sloppy at some point thereafter... in the editing room, perhaps?)
Oct. 16, 2009, 8:54 p.m. CST
Hey if anyone is interested we have a new teaser with footage here: http://tinyurl.com/ykkjlf8 and our website adreamofdarkcolours.com will be up for the 20th. Cheers :-)
Oct. 16, 2009, 9:36 p.m. CST
Wonder Man: I wrote the DigiSPAA bit last, very late at night, and remember thinking that "short" and "feature" looked odd next to one another -- but for some reason my addled brain couldn't figure out why!
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:12 p.m. CST
In the manga, Dr. Tenma built a robot to replace his dead son - then turned against it when it couldn't act fully human. And yes, he built in the rockets and the machine guns, etc. So the film sounds like it's merely adhering to the original story - which is pretty damn refreshing in my view (especially after suffering through the unidentifiable mess that was the last Harry Potter film). Still can't wait to see this. I care more about this than the Princess and the Frog film. Go go GO Astro Boy!
Oct. 17, 2009, 12:39 a.m. CST
where it goes from being Pinocchio to Frankenstein, which are the two obvious sources. But this one does it pretty badly. The writing is so damn lazy and clichéd it amplifies the incongruity. I really wanted to like the flick, but this is a good one to put beside, say, Coraline - every time you think you're going to get a hackneyed line that patronises kids AND adults in Coraline, you don't. Every time you think they'll couch things like death in a more "kid-friendly" (when we all know kids worry about these things too) way, they don't. Astro boy, on the other hand ticks off all the clichés one by one. Such a shame. And if a moron like me knows how easily just the dialogue could have been fixed, you're in big trouble... <p> O a separate but related point, although I liked a lot of the designs being fairly cartoony and true to the manga/animé, I just don't understand why they wussed out on Astro. It had bothered me in the railers, but I thought best wait and see for sure. But no, the robots are cartoony. More importantly, the human characters aside from the ugly kids and 'Bratz' looking girl, were cartoony and close to the earlier versions. But they toned down Astro, squaring things off and making the eyes smaller (for the main character we're supposed to sympathise with!). It's not for the internal logic of making him initially indistiguishable from the human boy, as previously mentioned those characters are stylised too (and boy is that part of the story hackneyed, with only one decent joke to be seen). And then there's the animation having no connection to the voice performances, kids who act like kidults and talk in Oprah/therapyspeak, non-development of the surface world, idiotic resolution for certain characters and on and on. <p> Feral Angel, the big sin is that although it SEEMS like they're being true to the source, they're actually only paying the elements lip service. They've got the content, but not the execution. Generally though the design and look are nice, as they were with the execrable Turtles movie they did beforehand. At least they're slowly improving. Can they do another 5 films before Gatchaman please?
Oct. 17, 2009, 1:49 a.m. CST
Just saw this for the first time a month ago. UNBELIEVABLY GOOD FILM MAKING! I couldn't believe what I was watching. The only thing that spoiled it was seeing where all these derivative movies, framing, shots and set pieces came from. Makes me want to see Quick and the Dead again just to see how much Raimi stole.
Oct. 17, 2009, 1:50 a.m. CST
Quick and the Dead was fun, but after seeing OUATITW I realised the good bits weren't all Raimi.
Oct. 17, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST
And did you write up a Departures review?
Oct. 17, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST
Was booked in to screenings for both Beautiful Kate and Departures, and was forced to miss both. Hoping to amend this by the end of the year, they look pretty damned good.
Oct. 17, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST
When are people going to start realising that it's Stephen Merchant who is the real talent. Hence the reason for anything Gervais does on his own never coming close to the stuff they create together. The films are like his stand up, average.
Oct. 17, 2009, 9:42 p.m. CST
Oct. 18, 2009, 3:18 a.m. CST
Regarding "Astro Boy," I'm pretty sure that in the original story Tenma was losing his mind when he decided to build the robot replacement for his dead son. I also think it was after Atom (or Astro, or whatever) was adopted by Ochanomizu that he was given the ability to fly and shoot bullets out of his ass(!?). But that was in the original story, I don't know how this movie does it. Based on what I've seen and heard about the film, it looks like it's shaping up to be yet another case of how movies get it wrong. Why should I (or anyone) see this new Astro Boy movie, when Naoki Urasawa's "Pluto" exists? Maybe I'm wrong and this movie will be wonderful, but if it is, the advertising is doing a great job of hiding that from me, and your review naturally does nothing to increase what scant enthusiasm I have. I couldn't agree with you more about "Once Upon a Time in the West." This is exactly what Hollywood blockbusters should be aspiring to and they often (if not always) fall well below the mark. What depresses me even more is how so few people seem to care. It has the basic elements that can be found within a fair number of blockbusters and/or action movies in general, specifically an alpha male/superman type out for revenge while trying to protect a beautiful woman. The difference here, is that it doesn't go out of its way to be the dumbest, most artistically bland, and most overly expositional shit ever committed to film. When the hell is this going to be released on Blu-ray?
Oct. 18, 2009, 4:01 a.m. CST
- they did such a lousy job with the Good, Bad & the Ugly transfer I'd rather they just take their bloody time and do a decent job. I never owned it on any format and it was cheap so I guess I didn't really lose out, but the picture is pretty pathetic compared to some of the other Blu-ray/HD transfers that are out there for flicks from the same period/same sort of film stocks. The DNR is atrocious. <p> Although apparently there is a separate Italian transfer (strange that alternative transfers are still done when there's no framerate or resolution difference and yes it's more about corporate shenanigans but anyway) that's just great. And for Fistful of Dollars too. Just hard to find/import or something. Apparently the new HD version of Ran (not Criterion because of rights issues) looks like crap too. Goddammit. <p> And I haven't heard about this "Pluto" - what's the deal?
Oct. 18, 2009, 5:42 a.m. CST
Good point about the transfer. Yes, I'd gladly be patient if I thought OUATITW was going to get a great Blu-ray treatment. My concern is that I haven't heard anything about it ever being released on Blu. There's also the fact that I'll often find the DVD for sale for like six bucks in the bargain bin of a number of stores, so this suggests to me that it's not selling well and may never be released in HD. Hopefully I'm wrong. It's unfortunate to hear about "Ran." I didn't even know there was a Blu-ray until you mentioned it. I hope someone (like Criterion) will be able to put out a better version soon. "Pluto," or by its full title "Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka" is a manga by Naoki Urasawa. It's a retelling of the old Astro Boy story "The Greatest Robot on Earth." Here's a review: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/39109#pluto. It's been getting high praise in just about every review I've encountered. I've read the first three volumes myself, and I feel the praise is justified.
Oct. 18, 2009, 11 a.m. CST
As for Astro's origins, there's a reason for confusion - Osamu Tezuka, Astro's creator, kept rewriting and redrawing his work every time it got collected into book form. And yeah he made changes. Bet a lot of artists would do that if they could. As for "Pluto", White Vader, it's a sanctioned retelling by Naoki Urasawa of the original Tezuka story "The World's Strongest Robot". It's been described as a "Blade Runner" version of Astro Boy, and I think that's a pretty accurate assessment. For my part, I think "Pluto" is okay, but I still prefer the original manga. There's a retro-earnestness there I find extremely refreshing and entertaining. And despite the caveats posted here by those who have viewed the movie, I'm still stoked to see "Astro Boy". Looks like fun, and I'm interested to see exactly where it works and where it doesn't.
Oct. 18, 2009, 11:08 p.m. CST
Check this out: <p> http://tinyurl.com/yz7fh7n <p> The difference between the American and Italian versions is outrageous. The U.S. One looks more like a regular upscaled DVD than a BD! Unfortunately no English dub on the Italian from what I understand (not sure about English subs).
Oct. 19, 2009, 3:55 a.m. CST
It's too bad about "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." I'm hoping we see a big Blu box set similar to the DVD collection that contained the "Dollars" trilogy and "Duck, You Sucker." Maybe in time.