Posts Tagged ‘cartoons’

So here it is, finally. The first in my Rewatch Review series, in which I look at horror or thriller movies I’ve seen and didn’t like/had problems with and see if maybe I missed something the first time. I’m kind of just winging it with this first one, with no fixed plan on length or how deep I’m going into these films and their respective qualities, but at the very least, I hope if you haven’t seen these films, you get an idea of whether or not it’s worth checking out. And if you have seen any of these films, you’ll get an idea of what my thoughts are on them these days.

With that out of the way, here are my thoughts on Perfect Blue!

WHAT’S IT ABOUT: Perfect Blue is an anime film that follows Mima “Mimarin” Kirigoe, a Japanese pop idol singer who, on the advice of her agency, is reluctantly leaving the pop idol industry to become an actress on a TV show.  Experiencing a crisis of identity and followed everywhere by a violent stalker, things only get worse for Mima as events conspire to blur her perceptions of reality and fiction, leading to a violent and horrifying head where not just her own life is at stake, but her very identity as well.

WHY I DIDN’T LIKE IT: I thought it was too trippy when I first saw it in college, and it kind of dragged at points. I had expected something much more dynamic, and this felt more slow-burn to me.

WHY I REWATCHED IT: I saw a video essay on the movie a while back, and it pointed out some interesting things about the film that made me want to go back and give it another chance.

THOUGHTS: I’m glad I rewatched this film, because it is really good. I’m actually a little disappointed that I didn’t care for it when I saw it in college. It’s a great psychological thriller, and there’s a lot to talk about on several different levels (I’ll stick to the film quality and not to diving deeper into the psychological aspects. I’ll leave that to the video essay I mentioned above).

First off, the animation is different from most anime, which is very stylistic. The artwork isn’t exaggerated or distinctly cartoony, full of jumpy animations and wild reactions. If you think of most anime, like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and One Piece as analogues to cartoons like Family Guy or Looney Tunes (just examples for the non-fans out there, don’t kill me, fellow anime lovers), then Perfect Blue‘s style is more analogous to early Disney films, particularly those of Cinderella and Snow White (the latter is actually a lot darker than you probably remember it if you go back to watch it). It’s very grounded and scaled back, with very few characters actually looking pretty, cute or cool. The only ones who do are characters directly involved in the entertainment industry, and that makes the movie feel real to us. It’s a world very much like ours, with violence like ours, and people just like ours. So when you see something violent within the film, the realism makes it all the more powerful. This isn’t just animation, this feels like it could happen. Maybe it has happened, and it’s amazing to see animation portray that.

Speaking of the main character, Mima is presented to the audience with extraordinary skill. There’s no exposition or anything, but who she is and how she feels is made clear to us, which makes her real to us. We’re shown quiet moments for her, such as grocery shopping or getting to and from work, presented in contrast to her life as a celebrity, and that really conveys to us just what sort of character Mima is. And that’s good, because the central conflict is around who she is: Mima has trouble dealing with the fact that she’s been talked into changing careers, and isn’t sure who she is now that she’s changed. With the struggles of her new acting career starting to get to her, as well as visitations from her stalker, Mima’s own grasp on reality starts to go. She starts to lose track on what’s part of her new TV show, which bears some resemblances to her own mental struggle, as well as starts to see a phantom version of her pop-idol persona. And so do we, the audience, unable to tell what is real, what is part of her show, and what is part of her tortured pscyhe.

And when that happens, we feel Mima’s inner anguish. We’re right there with her, trying to unsuccessfully figure out what’s real and what isn’t. And when we can’t come up with those answers with Mima, it only makes the terror of the moment and of the unreality of the situation that much stronger.

JUDGMENT: If you think that anime can’t be deep or anything other than silly cartoons, you need to watch Perfect Blue. It’s a twisted story of a girl trying to find herself under the most terrifying circumstances reality can give her, full of gorgeous but realistic animation, intense scenes and visuals (I’m talking to you, screwdriver scene!), and great questions on the idea of our true selves versus the personas we create for ourselves (that’s a subject for another post). Definite 4.5 out of 5. Pop it in and see what the rabbit hole uncovers.

 

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I hope you enjoyed the first entry in the Rewatch Review series, and I hope you join me when I get my hands on 2008’s The Strangers.

Advertisements

(This is the sequel to my previous post The Rabid Fans. In this installment, the fans are nuttier, the anger is much more bloodthirsty, and the references to Charlaine Harris’s work…is basically not part of this post. Sorry, but it’s an old story, and frankly there’s more to this phenomenon than vampires in the Bible belt. Onto the sequel, which may or may not be better than the original, depending on your opinion)

He’s Batman, deal with it.

Hollywood is being terrorized. Well, not really terrorized. More like annoyed. A few weeks ago, Warner Bros. announced that in the Man of Steel sequel, good ol’ Bats will be played by Ben Affleck. Now personally I have no problem with Affleck. He’s a capable actor, I liked him in Daredevil, and I’m sure, given the chance, he will break new ground in the role of Batman (if they force him to play a Bale copycat or something else that’s been done before, then God help the producers of the film). However, some fans were not so happy with the casting decision, taking to Twitter to voice their discontent in a tweeting storm. Many sent angry letters to Warner Bros. to tell them they hated their casting decision, and some even started a petition on the White House We the People page to get the White House involved.

That petition was taken down because, for all the obvious reasons, the White House isn’t going to take part in a casting call in Hollywood. They’ve got some bigger problems to deal with, in case you haven’t noticed. But then things got crazier, when this past week Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced that Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam and Ben and Kate actress Dakota Jonston were cast in the roles of the leads for the upcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Moms and middle-aged women and a former neighbor of mine who just happens to be a fan weren’t happy when the announcement came out. Instead, they started a petition, this one on Change.org apparently, asking that instead of Hunnam and Johnston, Matt Bomer and Alexis Beidel play the roles.

I’m surprised this is being made into a movie, but hey, if it makes money, why not?

Obviously, Hollywood ignored both outpourings of fan reactions. And I’m not surprised. After all, a lot more goes into a casting besides good looks. Talent, availability, willingness to play a role, chemistry, and a bunch of other factors go into the casting of a single character. And if the fans don’t like it, that’s their decision. In a meantime, there’s a movie to make, and not enough time to bother with annoyed men and women on their computers.

That’s Hollywood’s line of reasoning, anyway. But honestly, I think even the elites in LA are a little annoyed and worried. Heck, I find it worrying. Fans these days seem so…entitled. It’s not just casting calls, but demands for sequels (or threats should a sequel/remake be made), certain characters be made couples or else. It’s insane.

So let me take this moment to let all you rabid fans out there know one very important thing: THERE’S A F***ING LIMIT TO HOW MUCH OBLIGATION HOLLYWOOD HAS TO YOU, AND YOU’RE BLOODY WELL OVER THAT F***ING LIMIT!!! I mean honestly, the people who make these pieces of entertainment don’t have to make these films/shows/books. They could easily find other things to do or make. Yes, they’ll try and stay close to the original vein of the story, and they will do what they feel is best. You may not like it, but to assume that you know better than the producers and directors and writers is just plain snobbish arrogance. I mean come on! They have money and creating a brilliant story on their minds when they make these things. To assume they’re not trying to make the best story possible or that for some reason a simple fan knows better, well before the story is even made, seems imbecilic to me.

Yes, I understand there are people who want sequels to John Carter or Dredd 3D despite their miserable box office intakes (I wouldn’t mind the latter personally). And I know you want the characters you love to be portrayed by competent actors who look like they would fit the parts (I’m a little skeptical because the person playing Sue Snell in the Carrie remake isn’t a brunette). And I know you want certain characters to end up with each other at the end of the series (I was a Harry-Hermione supporter until Book 5 or 6, I’ll admit it now). But listen, you’ve got to let these things go. Give the filmmakers and writers and directors a chance, and stop thinking you know better. I’m willing to see if the new Sue Snell can impress me. I want to see if Affleck can break new ground at the Dark Knight. And I think Harry-Ginny and Ron-Hermione has a sort-of harmony to it.

There will not be a sequel. Harassment must cease. Failure to comply will result in the ultimate punishment provided by law.

Besides, the world won’t end if there’s no sequel to your beloved film. People won’t die if the favorite actor/actress plays a certain part. The universe won’t cause a storm if Character A and Character B end up in love and having cute babies together. The world moves on, because everything I’ve listed above–50 Shades, Superman vs. Batman, Carrie and John Carter and Dredd 3D and others–they’re all FICTION. Not real, fake, born from the imaginations of people who are paid to lie. Yes, they feel real and I understand that, but at the end of the day, it’s all fictional and therefore irrelevant to the workings of the world.

Help those being treated like mutants now.

Stop Assad with me!

If you must get angry about something, then think about this: people in Syria are being killed like humans when faced with General Zod. In many nations, LGBT communities and women are treated like Marvel’s mutants. In many nations, women can’t decide between two hunks who look good without their shirts on or have sex with mysterious and tortured partners. They get married off to men sometimes much older than them by their parents and if they protest they can get tortured or killed without any protection from the law.

Now that’s something to get upset about!

But if you still disagree with me on all that I’ve discussed above, I’ve some friends I want you to meet. They’re very animated, but I think they’ll take good care of you and you’ll learn a lot from them and their foundation.

Get the picture? Good. Have a lovely evening, everybody. Hope you’re not planning on sending me hate comments or discussing casting and writing decisions for the latest Star Trek movie (yes, there were obvious flaws in that movie, but that’s a post for another time. Probably never).