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Some of these are still good and easily viewable. Others are somewhat mediocre. But some fall way bellow that standard.
I'll add more movie to the list overtime, but feel free to mention any mvoies you think are overrated.
Star Trek (2009)
I don't think there is a word in Klingon to describe how bad this is.
What do you get when you mix the Original Star Trek with Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and J. J. Abrams? An incoherent mess of a movie. Highly resembling the manic chaos that is the Michael Bay, Transformer movies.
The first and obvious thing that is notable about this film is the absolute train wreck visuals. This film features: slanted angles, shaky-cam, light glares, strobing lights and loud very music. It's all used to make things appear more fast-paced and exciting but it makes the whole movie feel a lot less distinct and memorable. It includes the kind of quick editing which misses out all the intermittent scenes which would make the movie flow as a whole. The movie loves to get painfully close to people's faces to the point where it feels like an invasion of privacy.
The second thing to draw would be the awful plot and writing, courtesy of the dumb and dumber pair of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. With such unbelievable lines as "a supernova that threatens the entire galaxy" it becomes clear that these two think the audience is as dumb as they are. Once against the Earth is in danger from some bold megalomaniac person from the Romulan empire. Any Star Trek fan will instantly recognise this as the plot from the last movie, Star Trek Nemesis. So not content from trying to rip-off some of the plot from one of the worst Star Trek movies up until this one, what else can they steal? Well it's been noted already by many at how this movie seems to heavily resemble the Star Wars franchise. More specifically; A New Hope. But where A New Hope had groundbreaking special effects. With unique aspects interwoven to capture people's imagination, like the force. This movie has nada.
Onto the characters we have James.T.Kirk; a roguish, womanising, law-breaking, fun-times kinda guy who cleans up his act by the end of the movie. Yep his character is reduced to Tony Stark from Iron Man(2008). But where you have the quick thinking and smooth charm of Robert Downey Jr to back up that character. We get a rather flat Chris Pine for a Kirk. John Cho from Harold & Kumar fame plays Mr Sulu but lacks the extravagant voice to match George Takei's original interpretation. Instead Sulu is reduced to being the guy who can swing a sword and do cool Asian martial arts. Anton Yelchin's Chekov has some pretty funny and unconvincing sounding Russian accent here, but he fills the role adequately. Zoe Zadana plays a rather bitchy Uhura who is made a tacked-on love interest. Simon Pegg pulls of the most lively and wonderful performance as Scotty. He carries an enthusiasm for the situation and the general surroundings which make it seem all the more believable that he loves his craft. Zachary Quinto plays a fairly good Spock who is far more emotional than Leonard Nimoy's own Spock. But I was a little disappointed with the lack of famous Spock eyebrow raising which always happened to make him seem quite human but also perplexed at the same time. Quinto's voice just doesn't hold that cold, rigid firmness that Vulcans and Spock in particular, are noted for. Carl Urban is pretty good as Bones, he really makes it believable that he and Jim are good friends. His franticness really make his character the most believable in the role of a medical officer. Eric Bana plays Nero who just feels like nothing more than a stomping angry figure then a complex and clever villain that Trek has been known for. Lastly there is Leonard Nimoy who is the only one of the Original series cast to reprise their role in this picture and yet he feels rather underused. In fact his dialogue is pretty bad and he cobbles such eye-rolling sentiments as "destiny" in the scenes which are a clear sort of pass-the-torch moments. A far more uninvolved Spock which is counterintuitive to the old stubborn ambassador who enters any and all situations to achieve his ambitious but well-thought ends.
This is a bad movie, not because it loses its adherence to the old Trek. After all the old Star Trek has produced its own fill of bad movies. No the movie is bad because it lacks intelligence, cohesion, good characters and memorable acting on the whole.
Perhaps next time, instead of trying to copy elements for the most widest and blandest adaptation. They should try to look at all the good Star Trek series and moments. To try bring about what was actually unique and special about the franchise. Rather than reduce it to this stupid, tumble-heap of a movie mess.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993)
A heart of latinum, and a small one at that.
By far the single most overrated series that the Star Trek franchise has ever produced. For something that has been praised for taking the franchise in a new dark direction, it must also be guilty of sacrificing some of the chief tenets that the series was supposed to be about.
Now during the first few seasons the show bore false promises of exploration with a new wormhole to a new unchartered part of space. Such was the way in the series of boldly going where no man has gone before. Much like Voyager it Starfleet officers and members of other factions to create a mismatch crew aboard a space station. Of course the space station was the indication of things, as they attempted to create a more grounded series which attempted to delve into the woes of two races; the Cardassians and the Bajorans.
The cast consisted of; Benjamin Sisko a bereaved husband and father who eventually becomes the most battle-hardy but hypocritical captain ever. Jazdia Dax; a smarmy know-it-all who was really just a rehashed Guinan. Chief O'Brien who was an underused character in TNG only to find himself suffering in increasingly pointless ways.Dr Bashir; a genetically enhanced individual with the flaws of egotism which made him feel right at home with the cast. Constable Odo; a stern changeling who is torn in his loyalties. The least of course is Major Kira Nerys; a former terrorist who is incredulously privy to Starfleet tech and is repeatedly called "sir" despite the alternative "ma'am". All these characters were not without incredible amounts of hypocrisy and arrogance, with O'Brien to a lesser extent. They were all uninteresting and boring characters who laboured under the mundane conditions of working in a space station nowhere they would make their annoyed and snooty characters pronounced. Then came relaxation time when they would would huddle into their own little pairings which detracted from any feeling of a united crew and restricted the interaction between the crew members significantly.
The greatest failings were evident when it was the minor characters who were the more likable ones. With their charm and earnest it was Garak and Quark among the few that stood out. Though they were increasingly belittled by the main cast and made to feel their blunt wrath and annoyance they carried on with grace and diligence. Then there was Gul Dukat the antagonist from the start. He too was made to feel the hostility from a group so beneath him in zeal and yet in the later series he grew to be a very powerful antagonist who made the failed Bajoran-prophet story, flesh out and have some semblance of meaning.
The first few seasons were very uneventful until the introduction of the founders. At this point the show made with the agenda of closing of the wormhole. That's right, they wanted to do away with exploration. However, they were perfectly content to explore to mundane nature of the Bajorans. The villains early on (Cardasians) served to create very petty tension and were otherwise largely ineffective. Due to the annoying and unalien nature of the Bajorans. There was never anything interesting about these religious elements. Instead they became tedious elements to involve Sisko with powerful energy being known as the Prophets who despite their best efforts of conservation, felt totally unalien much like the Bajorans.
But they now had to deal with the dominion governed by a race who's goals were simple but lacked any of the charisma of Dukat. Or the iconic threat that the Borg posed. They used an army of genetically-engineered soldiers. Who shared this trait of being devoid of anything interesting or worth noting. The Vorta were another serving race who were made to be subservient but as smarmy and two-faced as the Ferengi. But whilst they were usually non-threatening. They definitely helped put a face on otherwise bland enemy.
The show was able to have some good episodes showcasing the seriousness in all things war related. But the price of which became extensively of past ideals. Sisko was willing to abet the murder of a senator and yet apposed Section 31 who's methods would not have been so similar. That episode (In the Pale Moonlight) is hailed as one of the best. When in fact, it was one of the most disgusting perversions the franchise had undertaken. Sisko was a hypocrite and it was not his first time that he had done such "dark" things. There was the time in "for the uniform" where Sisko went out of his way to persecute the Marquis, even breaking his Star Fleet code. Even to argue that ideals must be balanced with reality. We would see that justice still exists as part of the equation. To avoid the corruption and crimes that Sisko would continue to carry out.
The Marquis were a very interesting element but the show. Found themselves being juggled like many plates. As a result the Marquis storyline finished on a rather timid note. By having so many threads running it became a detriment to the series for most of it's run such as having a major war, With only a very few confrontations only to dabble back into the tediously retreaded grounds, like the Bajorans Had they put more focus into the story lines in one season. They might have come to full fruition. But instead they became terribly wasted opportunities.
The show reached it's peak at season 4 and then began to decline into eventual antics such as holosuite episodes. The war which started as a cold war ignited only to be felt half-heartedly as something requiring a quick bulletin update before the mundane procedures of the station needed to be carried out.
This show drew the franchise into a deep trough thanks to the fans which may have hastened it's demise. It is the ultimate proof that fans can drag a franchise to it's knees.
Dragon Booster (2004)
Control the dragon control the world
Dragons. Now and for a long time a popular mythical creature. It has been fairly common for fantasy settings to involve controlling and taming these beasts. The idea of riding a flying, armoured fire breather is quite appealing.
Dragon booster however takes this idea to the next level. The dragons for one aren't the most typical class you would expect. In this universe dragons are lizard like horses as well as raptors, hued in the full spectrum. But what makes these dragons truly magical is their ability to use electromagnetism including high tech gear.
These dragons are used in a variety of competitions in all shapes an sizes.
What makes dragon booster different is dragons are used for racing as well as fighting. This makes things nice an even with races being just as exciting as fighting and means the skills for both are translatable.
Here humans and dragons live together but there is a threat that dragons and humans would go to war. The heroes are generally about unison and teamwork with he dragons and each other.
The character are generally a goofy fun bunch but a lot of them do show signs of complexity.
The whole show is full cg cell shaded which makes everything stand out quite well.
Plot did move along nicely and the characters were always gaining something even the villains.
Dragon booster is really successful in making its own mythos with the idea of mag energy being as tied in with the world as the force in star wars. The long winding city with massive pitfalls and bright neon lights is certainly something. Along with the massive array of varied dragon types and designs.
Unfortunately this show was doomed before it could truly mature. But the conclusion of dragon booster it was the final in entering the next stage of their evolution. They had all hyped up about this next stage which sadly never came to fruition.
As a show its fairly good but its really sad to think what could have been.
The End if only.
The actual anime Neon Genesis Evangelion was chock full of problems. Budgeting, animation, writing and progression to name a few.
But this movie was an attempt at one final trip through the mad world of this show. One final attempt at giving what was supposed to be an explanation to the chaos.
In that regards this movie was both a catastrophic failure and a glorious victory. This movie was as true to the anime as possible. It began virtually before the infamous last two episodes. It carries the massive flaws of the anime such as the plot threads and te characters. Along with increasingly abstract use of art. The animation scenes were all wonderfully drawn and done. It was a real spectacle.
Imploring techniques such as real life footage intermingled with the madness. The music is so emotional tuned it is astounding. From the unfitting cheerful music when people are screaming. To the piano keys playing in those lonely scenes.
It gave the best explanation to the psychological problems of Shinji in such a relatively clear way with a monologue which cleverly took the approach not to show shinji during those times. It was as if Shinji would have been speaking out to the audience or actually occupying his cerebrum.
Unfortunately the film goes sour with all the problems the series faced and some quite new to the film.
One is the infamous Shinji/Asuka hospital scene. It is an example of a near out of character inappropriate moment. Shinji has never even looked at lad mags and was crowded with very open attractive females he never saw much interest in, found himself overcome over a comatose comrade. I mean there is a time and place.
A lot of other characters don't really get the good send of at all. They abruptly end up deceased without a chance to express sentiments other than the ones out of the anime. Its as bad as x-men 3. It gets worse by the fact their deaths are unrequited later on such as Shinji failing to get his act together.
The selfish and ridiculous problems get over exaggerated as to become amusing to think this is what humans are capable of. Shinji whines and is willing to die for NOTHING. Despite the fact everyone who ever tried to care for him or he has known is dying. His father distanced himself because he is schizoid. Yeah nice save there. A father who puts his only son through the horrors of piloting a robot against monsters and their is no concern. Or the fact he cares more for Rei. I find it impossible to believe that humans could ever be this selfish, pitiful, immoral and near worse than evil.
Rei exists in this film as massive fan service. She exists as a magic genie let out of the bottle to grant wishes to Shinji.
Asuka is the only character to actually get better but her triumphant glory is cut short. All the characters pretty much get worse or are no better than they started.
Christian, Jewdaism, Kabbala are all used is a most nonsensical idealogical fashion simply because the Japanese think their alien and really don't care or respect them. The spectacle of the film is ultimately a hollow one where symbolism loses all meaning in its increasingly derivative use.
But what makes this movie truly bad is the fact nothing really gets resolved. At the end of everything the characters have experienced with world changing consequences along with deep introspective looks, they are still the same. It gives no clear answer for how to deal with any of these issues.
How disgusting indeed.
Naruto: Shippûden (2007)
The wait is long enough
I thought it would be best to review this after the series has finished. But then I checked how long the franchise has been going. The whole fanchise has been going nearly over 10 years. Whilst shippuden is in its third. It has occurred to me that something that has gone on for so long is not above being reviewed. Who knows how long shippuden will continues when the franchise has proved such a cash cow.
I dare say that this has to be put under the Darwinian philosophy of evolve or die. But such is the current problem with anime in general that a lot of anime are ridiculous long runners.
Naruto shippuden follows up on the ninja as Naruto struts back in. During the time-skip the kids have decided to have a change of clothes after growing a few inches whilst the adults can expect to wear the same do-rags to emphasise how mundane they all are compared to the new hip generation.
In fact Shippuden is all about the next generation and how awesome they are. Too bad that only ever means few of the main character get the chance to train for the next tournament in between the long fillers where the peripheral characters are drawn in, to emphasise how stock theyreally are. In fact showing that the new generation has only gained so little in their techniques it is laughable with the exception of the few.
Team 7 has been reformed with two replacement characters out of nowhere who belong nowhere. We have Sai, the vague slightly off putting character who uses drawn to life attacks. As well as yamato who is low and behold another eerie character this time to make the plants rise up and attack without the green talk. Both these characters only serve to push naruto and sakura together which in turn forces naruto to go it alone after seeing how useless they all are as a team and himself sometimes.
The villains are even more genderly confused and have perfected the art of deux ex machina. Expect much gloating from these freaks as they explain their detailed plans and abilities if you so much as challenge them. They all are really good at dodging so a lot of crappy ninja tag. Battles ensues with even more dust clouds to obscure the action.
The plot has thickened by having the villains appear vaguely threatening then disappear opportunely to plan even more enigmatically. Whilst the good guys amnesiacaly go back to their villages whilst strings play in the background.
Naruto himself has become less trickster like and much less likable. He feels more emotional then most the women and their disappearing periods. Kishimoto even has the nerve to say that naruto is the all cliché chosen one destined to bring peace to the ninja world. Almost as funny as the Pokémon movie when the character mentioned that getting monsters to fight was (lex Luthor moment) WRONG! So once again naruto is the tumble mix of a show where nothing happens and status quo ahoy. Villains are less enjoyable than even the stereotypical twirly moustache variety but even more ridiculously clandestine and obscure. This show has no ending planned and such a series can never be called good.
If you like shippuden then your just a soft anime user. The regularity of naruto only substantiates that it is meant to be like a routine fix. Once you miss one you go etching back for another. But aren't you tired of the same thing. There are good alternatives out there, but you must admit you have a problem first. Of course naruto shippuden has more problems than any of us ever will.
Corpse Bride (2005)
A dead art no longer
Tim Burton is a director who manages to bring across something much darker in a cheerful fancifully way. This film is no exception.
The plot is an adaptation of an old Jewish story when a dead bride come to claim her still alive accidental spouse. Of course its plays out much more like a horror accept when they come to terms with it.
In the classic Tim Burton fashion however the scenes which should be icky and grotesque end up on the fun side. Indeed the dead are shown partying well in the afterlife. New arrivals for the most part receive a musical number with the ghosts and ghouls literally playing each other. Whilst the land above is filled with character who are really about living their own lives. The land above is always shown in the eternal night under constant moonlinght.
In fact the over top is where everything certainly feels creepy and for good reason. The villains in this movie are never the supposedly evil dead. Although they acre treated with full fear once they surface.
The characters include two young soon to be betrothed victor and victoire. They are often subject to the demands of all the peripheral characters and it seem they are never in their element or at least in a comfortable position. Victoire's parents are played up to the arrogant stereotypes whereas Victor's are much more humble. The cast of dead fellows includes many but the most prominent is an elder who is nothing but bones. Of course the corpse bride is the title character who manages to prove very endearing.
Make no mistake this movie is played out in full pantomime fashion. Expect music numbers of the dark and dastardly kind you'd expect from a Disney movie. Those jazzy tunes and brass beats are all for interpretation i guess, but go the way to explaining the characters.
The relationship between Victor his betrothed and his was to be betrothed is the main draw. Victor is meant to be with Victoire and yet the corpse bride Emily has certainly more draws except for the rotting and decaying part.
In classic Burton style the forbidden romance is played out but its also more about the characters coming to understand one another. Victor might well be trying to marry Emily out of pity, or maybe she makes him feel more at ease.
The problems this film faces are I guess similarities between the nightmare before Christmas. The setting of the film to feel quite remote and confining but I guess that gives the movie are short story feel. However Tim Burton should have tried for a much more artistic extravagance that we know he is capable of rather than playing it so timidly. The film feels much shorter than it is and the musicals do feel like they steal the spotlight from when characters really do progress when they are more intimate.
So this film is much like a short story. It can fill the short slot of an evening and you may get a short chuckle. But it feels as if it doesn't realise its a movie. The art style is still different from most but it still isn't evolved from the original. This is more I dare say straight to DVD but in a good way, at the very least a rental.
Street Fighter (1994)
An extra slice of cheese please
Oh dear. The Van Damme movie. Hated by street fighter fans and those who are not. In terms of expectations, the fans wanted the shoto centric characters to fight in a tournament where plasma is thrown freely. They wanted all the special moves and the original story lines intact, the costumes and the exact looks. Probably wanted Japanese subs as well if not the whole movie.
Instead they got one of the loosest adaptations to come along. Something so far out of street figther it baffled them. And so in their ignorance they shouted BOOO and all claimed Hollywood was hurting their precious franchise.
But when I watched this movie I expected something dumb and colourful. A few fights her and there some nice sets. I got way more than I bargained for. The movie blew me away with how outlandish it was to the point of being cartoony. The characters were so exaggerated as to have trivialised the plot. Fight scenes took weird turns where the fighters tried to outdo the other. Dialogue was chock full of the most quotable things to have you asphyxiate under the strain of hilarity.
Everything that went wrong in this movie somehow enhanced it. It became a joy to delve into scenes to pick apart the small out of place details in a where's Wally like quest.
This movie can only be described as so bad its good. So out there in both bizarrely and ludicrously that somehow it was all funny. I guess the interpretation is varied. In the mood of watching something serious, slapstick may seem inappropriate and yet the laughter here is so funny as you don't expect to laugh.
The fact that the movie has only a passing resemblance is but a blessing. It could tell a story no one would care for and yet push characters into the scenes which gave whole new reactions.
A faithful adaptation would have only given what was already there.I would be hard pressed to enjoy viewing the fights over being able to play out those fights myself. The story played by real actors with silly wigs talking in the the silly Japanese stock phrases such as growing stronger would have been annoying. In the game the story could be ignored but a theatrical version would try and be so faithful as to remove that luxury. Pitting all the character with their stories intact for the goal of fighting would mean they might not be able to do much else. To put it plainly fighting games including street fighter have poor plots. The nerdiness of the video game would still come across to the general audience. Fans were selfish enough to think the film should be just for them.
This film turned those weaknesses into strengths. By changing the characters whilst exaggerating the more core characters the film became a far better showcase. The games already give plenty of coverage to the shoto's so a film where Guile and M.Bison square of is refreshing. Raul Julia plays M.Bison with such zeal in what it the realised parody of a deluded dictator. From the Nazi skull hat to the sweeping cape, M.Bison is played so grandiose that his insane schemes seem hilarious. Raul Julia, one of the best actors puts his full effort into this swan song. For nothing else of street fighter the movie was about him. Van Damme's guile has a french accent for an all American soldier. He has good chemistry with Raul Julia who exchange insults and threats like a wwf showdown. The whole film pivots on this epic confrontation of the two opposing characters. Everyone else does a decent enough job.
So what wins the film for me is mainly the funniness of the whole movie. They didn't care for a poor story but they were creative enough to play on the aspects not fully realised in the video games. Many people will not forget the memorable quotes and scenes used in that movie. They may insult it whilst slightly snickering or they may hold their noses high. Even some will say this film killed Raul Julia. I like to think he lived a completely different life during that movie. The movie which should be by all accounts bad is still enjoyed by some. RIP Raul Julia.
Shyamalan defence force assemble!
After viewing metacritic (a mistake) and looking and several of the reviews here I am forced into giving my response to the ill gotten hate. This film in no small amounts is absolutely wonderful and totally unique on its own.
Lets start with the plot of an ex-clergy man turned farmer Graham living through what seems to be a strange turn of events. Suddenly he finds a crop circle instantaneously appear in his crop with no obvious indication as to the culprits. But those issues are packaged with the family of two small children which he and his brother care for.
Graham and his family of course feel the tension of these happenings and old wounds which never healed become salted. But the as a large impending force looms. Graham must evaluate his life. The family look to each other for strength. But still with all those mysterious goings on Graham and many others contemplate deeper matters.
The carefully built suspense is artistically used to give everyone including the audience a sense of foreboding. Everyone is hearing from all over of these events that are playing out globally which no one can answer. As these claims escalate it seems a pivotal moment for both the world and such a small family. The genius is of course putting an ordinary family which tries to deal with the global events so extraordinary. It gives the film a very isolated feel especially with such a small core cast. The music is used so sparingly and it uses long pan shots for added effect. The nearby village is scarcely populated by folk so ordinary but some of them seem more clued in then the rest. The exchange of stories leave most the family uncomfortable in their denial.
Most of the family members all have their little quirks which they pull of well. Merril acts much the tough guy but looks up to his brother Graham as well as holding some resentment to the road not taken. Bo is a strange girl who seems to know things strangely more accurate than what the adults can fathom. The second kid is the one who resents his father for not listening to him and for his ignorance. All the cast pulls a wonderful performance of a family broken by tragic and yet not distasteful problems like alcohol abuse.
The draw towards this family is something but with these turn of events, it feels as though they are coming to a crossroad. The decision may rest on something more than just what they have come to know. Indeed facing the unknown they are fearful and unprepared.
Shamalan manages to bring faith into the movie without being condescending about it. Graham puts it perfectly about how people may view such events. Simply there is the viewpoint of faith. The willingness to believe something is far greater than your own comprehension. That doesn't say atheism is wrong in any way either.
For a story to tell about a compelling family, a suspenseful thriller and evaluate the intricacies of faith, this movie can only be called excellent.
The detractors however question the antics of the alien forces. But the stupidity of it is judging aliens by human logic. To aliens we humans would seem to be completely illogical. Aliens would indeed act in a whole other manner and customs. People seem to hate the symbolic weakness of water and yet for reasons we don't understand perhaps there was something in the water that was effective. I could give a million reasons as to why the aliens acted in that way. To simply call them ridiculous is an ignorant claim.
This movie goes for an homage to the alien invasion movies of the bi gone era. Yet like the rest of the movie nothing is as it seems. it was never an invasion but a raid. As the threat passes the world mourns is loss but the family feels safe and whole.
People say this film is too similar to his other ones but i feel that is more to do with Shyamlan's style of film making. In terms of themes it couldn't have talked about anything more real and important than family.
They Live (1988)
A film at a whole other level
From what i've seen on the ratings, they live has got mediocrish ratings. Whilst i can only whine about how the top films on IMDb are voted by morons, i'd rather spend the time explaining why this film is a masterpiece.
John Carpenter is a director who doesn't care for the norms. He's dabbled in horror and sci fi mostly as well as some action movies among others. But what he does in this movie is once again to blur the distinction of films. Not only does they live have action sequences and buff guys fighting but it also contains a clear and intricate message.
Typical of John Carpenter, the film can appeal to one audience and yet cater for something outside that audience. That is the sign of a brilliant film maker.
It seems most people fault it on being a cheesy 80s action movie with bad hair, ripped pecks, gratuitous violence and snappy one liners. Yet i don't see that as a bad thing. All it shows was the respective era of 80s film making and those benchmarks. They are all still very enjoyable elements which have been lost in recent movie making in attempt for even lower form of humour and brass action.
What sets they live apart is the message that it tries to bring even though the package it tries to deliver it apparently doesn't fit.
Well as i have said this movie would be good enough for anyone in the 80s or those who remember that era. But this film asked some deep stuff in a rather amusing way and some people wrongly believes that takes away from the message.
To deconstruct this film i would say to use characters as buff as Roddy Piper in a way makes for a herculean average Joe. A character with a simple enough story but with the zeal and personality to get himself through any situation. He finds himself in the middle of very bad situation and yes the scale is played small in that regard. But that's the beauty of it, as a an average Joe the small scale of it makes him more effective than rather blowing up a mother ship.
They live wasn't a big budget film nor an art-house movie and yet it feels more effective then either. Yes its a B-movie but its the best of that niche. While its played outlandishly somewhat it does it out of regards to that era of film making and previously alien invasion scare movies.
The fact that this film has permeated even video games is testament to its appeal or the fact that over 20 years later its is still being referenced. Even the most cheesy 80s elements have become a hallmark for the film such as the infamous overlong fight scene. You could even say the overlong gag owes it self to this film. Even the underlying political and social message was sheer brilliance. Before the stark and dark tones of the matrix and dark city there was this film telling us that the world was not all that it seemed and the solution was as simple as joining forces and taking arms. That feels far more empowering then the superhero esqe matrix or dark city.
So they live is a film above excellence. Even now the film is incredibly relevant and fun in its own right. Year from now i believe people may still issue the I'm here to kick ass line. I just hope they remember where it all came from. More than that i hope they listen to the message of the film.
Samurai sentai Shinkenjâ (2009)
Bleach? Oh no its called Shinkenger.
Shinkenger is a Sentai based on old Japanese legends with Yokai which are basically Japanese bogeymen. The Shinkengers are an order of samurai dedicated to fighting the Gedoushu as they are called and are aided by the use of Mojikara which is basically magic.
A run down of the rangers is Takeru who is the lord and red ranger, mostly a stoic. Mako who is the motherly support figure who is pink. Ryunosuke who is the overactive yet loyal blue ranger. Kotoha is the shy and submissive yellow ranger who feels unworthy. Then theirs Chaiki the brash and loud ass of the group, who feels he deserves more than is beyond his ability.
Later on we see Genta who is an avid sushi seller and age old friend of takeru. He is a mojikara genius which generally puts takeru to shame as he is supposedly lower cast but is the only one among them capable of creating any mechas.
Their is also a support character known as Jii who is a wise old man looking after Takeru so he is the Alfred to him.
The villains consist of Doukoku an abusive drunk general who is a powerful berserker lacking the brains to be a manipulator. Luckily he has his adviser on hand Shitari who is a good strategist and a fill in for whenever the villains need direction for Doukoku's absence. A bard like character exists for this set known as Dayu who plays eerie music which can calm down doukoku, she was the woman scorned in her human life.
Later on we get Juzo who is a demonic swordsman who was once human. He serves as the rival to Takeru because he believes they both stray the path of a true samurai and nothing can satisfy him more than a fight. Also arriving is akumaro who is a master manipulator and quite powerful but forced into shadowy work because he is no match for Doukaku.
Now as a series its rather middling in quality as although many of the characters get development including the villains and particularly takeru. The characters never take it upon themselves to give each other true motivation. Take the villains for instance, Doukoku fights well because he's just angry. Juzo fights because he likes fighting, well theirs a surprise. Dayu well she just spends time reminiscing and only fights so that she can hold onto her shamisen. Akumaro is the only character who goes to the lengths to be seen as a true villain establishing himself with other characters in the past and manipulating people into his favour. Whilst he certainly makes the effort he feels much like a court jester because of Doukoku and that diminishes his ability to be a serious villain.
Whilst many character get their own little stories it doesn't really carry through in much of the story anyway. Only Takeru gets the consistence throughout the series in his character development which can follow through. unfortunately his character is bland and unappealing. Whilst near the end a well thought out plot twist puts many things into perspective it usually equates to mopping episodes where all the character show anguish over what has happened. While that is all nice it generally gives over to endless monologue sequences of stuttering pondering. Only Genta and Jii it seems have the balls to back his friend and actually add to the story rather than share a revelation hog stealing moment where character say the same damn thing.
The rest of the characters under the stern yet boring leadership of Takeru are truly just cheerleaders and exist to scream "donnnooo" as well as act as meat shields at times.
The fights are some of the most boring fights to have ventured Sentai history. Seeing as swords are their main weapon it means the choreography plays out nearly the same way with few exceptions on certain episodes. They have secondary weapons or Shinkai as i like to think of them which are seldom used unless your name happens to be takeru. Another detractor from fights is the addition of their super modes which is really just a long-tail no sleeve white coat giving them the power of cut scenes and no real change in battle style or tactics. Lazily followed by hyper mode which is simply a red version with at least a different main weapon. Eventually their is a Mougyu bazooka which severs as a baffling one hand cannon despite its size and only takeru really uses it.
Now i like to think of this as bleach seeing as they have Shinkais and even a Bankai mode with the super and hyper resembling Ichigo's. Along with Mojikara (cough kiddo) and gendoushu being a lot like hollows. So i'm not really impressed with the creativity of this series.
The mecha are a fair clunky bunch but nowhere near the cluster level of rpm. Some of the additional mechas really get few episodes of their own and are later resigned to kibble on the jumbo tron. The fights are short cut scene filled and that makes them at least tolerable.
To summarise shinkenger is certainly not horrible but not memorable either. Aside from one nice twist not a lot of suspense goes into this series and characters are grossly uneven in every known aspect. Contradictory roles often negate any kind of character development and it just roles back to status quo. Unoriginal ideas and fight scenes makes it feel like i've seen that same fight before it even finishes. This certainly is no change in any sentai formulae and definitely no game changer. Ultimately its just another in long line, unable to be anything more than its origins.