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 Live action anime!

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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: Live action anime!   Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:29 am

First, thank the powers that be for Netflix instant streaming! Second, I realize at some other thread I had mentioned planning to review 'Bunraku' but I failed to do so. I will have to throw that up after this post. This will be thread for movies that could have been Japanese Anime, have the features of, yet are live action extravaganzas for the senses.

This morning's find? 'The Warrior's Way' from 2010. First thing I noticed, the opening sky backgrounds looked like paintings on HUGE walls. Second, the main star, a Dong-gun Jang, looks like a younger Chow Yun Fat. Third, he's got a sword, and a bunch of ninja styled assassins line up in front of him...they go for a distant side shot of the entire line in silhouette against a painted sky...he starts running, then do a swish swish sound and edit a dark blur across the scene and place him on the other end of the line of ninjas...pause...small CG blood spurts pop out of each ninja at the same time. The blood spurts also look almost painted.

Without giving much else away, for reasons explained early on, the hero leaves Japan and goes to the American Old West (oh yeah, takes place in that era). It has some slow spots where, much like a real animated anime, they develop character backgrounds! Each character has a story behind why they are who they are now! Between the slow spots, there's a ton of swish swish....pause...dodge....blood spurt...repeat. Flying swordfights, using tables and chairs as weapons and shields. It's just an all around good time! And yes, there's even sakura petals during some scenes! I gave it a 5/5 on Netflix, as I found it original, well written, well acted, with nice camera work including the sky looking painted most of the way through. Aside from Dong-gun Jang being a pretty decent actor that I've never heard of, there are quite a few good actors I have heard of (Geoffrey Rush!!! You know, Captain Barbossa!) and even the other ones I didn't recognize did their jobs well.

If you want action AND a story, without being stuck with HUGE 'Hollywood' effects or big name actors, try this out!

My rating: full_rating full_rating full_rating full_rating full_rating

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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: Re: Live action anime!   Thu May 17, 2012 1:17 pm

I have another one thanks to Netflix streaming: Sukiyaki Western Django! This one blew my mind more than just a little, so much so I had to look it up. Since Quentin Tarantino is in it (briefly), and it is so over the top odd, I assumed he worked on it, but NOPE. He just had his cameos. Other wise, it was written and directed by Japanese filmmakers. Except for Quentin's cameos, it is all Japanese actors...BUT, writer/director Takashi Miike (another Mike? YAY!) was paying homage to spaghetti westerns, and all of the Japanese actors speak English! According to tidbits comparing the international release, and the Japanese release, this was not a dub job, but Miike actually filmed it that way!

So, you have two rival gangs, one red, one white, who are representing an ancient Japanese tale of two rival clans (Always symbolism in Japan!). The movie takes place in an old Western town, which I believe a sign in the beginning placed somewhere in Nevada. Old West construction, with 'Far East' architecture! Each gang is teaching a different side of ancient Japanese philosophy, but that's only implied and treated as a side line to the actual plot. Anyway, you have a little bit of martial arts, and a whole lot of gunfighting. Much of the gunfighting is way over the top, but that's okay! Very Happy At it's core, it's a spaghetti western, but it's based on Japanese lore, with Japanese actors (and Quentin), and everyone is speaking English! Miike even made sure to have his characters using old spaghetti western cliche one-liners!

The movie flopped based on IMDB's film budget and gross ticket sale amounts, but dammit, I liked it! There's even a scene where old-age Quentin's character is talking about his feelings for one of the female main characters and he says: "What can i say, I'm an anime otaku at heart." Thumbs Up

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PostSubject: Re: Live action anime!   Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:10 pm

Bunraku was decent! I'd like to read what you thought of it!

I'll check out the other two!! Thumbs Up
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PostSubject: Re: Live action anime!   Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:50 am

I mentioned this in passing, but couldn't remember the name of it at the time. Won't go into a lot of details, except to say it was a really well put together movie with all the story and "jump around" one would expect from a really well put together Japanese live action anime. Also, this one throws in a bit of a Sam Spade detective thing... sorta... ish... just try it dammit!

The title is: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Oh yes... that is the title. And it makes sense if you watch it. There's no talking dogs or dudes in neckerchiefs, but there are spirit deer controlled by ancient Chinese secrets!

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PostSubject: Re: Live action anime!   Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:01 pm

Not to be sarcastic, but I have to ask, what makes a movie a live action anime? That's just too broad of a term to put out there without something to help define it. Do movies such as Blood fall into this, as it was based on the anime? What of the likes of the Matrix movies, or Kill Bill?

And, to be sarcastic, what type of anime? Genre of anime?
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PostSubject: Re: Live action anime!   Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:42 pm

To be clear, I did not yet see Blood or the Kill Bill series (I know...). This really is a matter of individual perception, as the elements of Japanese anime are valued differently by different people. So, thus far it was more my personal opinion... movies whose elements reminded me of something that could easily be animated and yet keep the same style. Examples.

The movies I have already listed incorporate many of the elements we have discussed previously as making anime stand apart from "Western" cartoon endeavors. Certain slow parts, designed to flesh out the characters, their histories and motivations. Heroes getting beaten down, only to find their "warrior's spirit" and rise from their own ashes to become something more than human. Special effects that scream animation, but make live action jumping around a fluid affair... or the special effects that just send the live action WAY beyond the borders of normalcy.

Again... one of my earlier examples being 'The Warrior's Way" (I so need to watch this again)... Not being able to find a video of the bridge fight scene, I found a fan-made MUSIC video that actually starts with the opening fight scene. Watch until about 1:50, or more if you're enjoying. Right around 1:30ish to 1:50ish is the scene I described with the sideways "swish" attack, followed by many bad ninja bleeding at the same time.


Further, I now need to look up more from this band!

But yeah... in my mind, it's the action and art, combined with actual character building. Die Hard REALLY built the characters, but it was a standard cop/terrorist shooter movie. Had John McClaine jumped and hovered before doing some kinda spin kick in a long black trenchcoat, I might have included it here. Twisted Evil

The Matrix? IMO, not enough character building. Yes, he's the chosen one. Ooh, he fell for the main chick... so we have some emotion. Machines have been kicking our asses for centuries, so we have motive, vengeance, and freedom. BUT, we also have NON-STOP fight scenes. We have the fight scene special effects, but by movies 2 and 3, that seemed to be the whole "bank" of the movies... like, where'd the writing go?! Again, my opinion. Could the Matrix become anime? Very easily, but I don't think they were worried enough with the story for it to happen with the material so far supplied.

So am I singling out Asian movies as live-action anime? Hells no! Because, and again, and forever... BUNRAKU. That movie has EVERYTHING screaming anime style. And maybe they don't build the character's as much as you would expect from an anime, but the way they weave all the characters' fates together... truly epic (and we know how much I hate that word).

Hell, I would even go so far as to include the Night Watch series as live action anime. In fact, animating it might give it more "oomph"!!! It has story, special effects of a certain "feel" (bloody subtitles!!!), REALLY lets you into the characters' heads...

So from what I know of the Kill Bill series, yes that would probably fall into this category. Dammit man, it's about FEEL. If you watch something and afterwards you FEEL like you just watched a super awesome anime, but wait, it wasn't animated... it will probably fit here. And we've discussed that anime FEEL before.... the character building, the symbolism (oh my... BUNRAKU), fighting or tech or whatever that takes it just a bit more human than human (yeah, I am the astro creep, a demolition style hell american freak, yeah.....booom booom.... boom boom... Headbanger ).

You know how anime makes us feel. Throw some movies in here! If you say Blood, I will take your word for it, and then be forced to try it. If you say Titanic, cuz there was great character building and some cool gunfights, I will have admin ban your ass for life Laughing .... OOH... If you said Last of the Mohicans... you know what? I would agree with there being enough anime vibe in that....

And thank you very much for making me rant... damn trolls. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Live action anime!   Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:58 pm

Holy wow!!! I have GOT to find this movie! Oh, I should clarify... from what I've gathered, this is based on an actual anime or manga. Not sure which. This is one of the trailers... and I have to see the movie...nuff said



Seriously, is this coming to a theatre near me, or what?! And how about a teaser trailer without actual movie footage and a semi-NSFW rating? (hint/warning: boobs)


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PostSubject: Re: Live action anime!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:53 am

...

Huh. My interest is peaked!
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