Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Movie Industry: Commerical Profit Over Creativity

I was browsing the net today, and I decided to look further into this "Rebuild of Evangelion" movie I've been hearing so much about. As a casual fan of the orginal source matieral, I couldn't help but get just a little excited about the concept. Take one of the weirdest anime shows ever created, and remake it into a four part movie series. It would have the same basic plot and premise as its orginal source matieral, but with brand spanking new animation, new scenes, and a reworked ending. 0_0 I was hyped! Heck, I still am hyped!

A couple hours, I stepped back and actually started to think about it. They did this before, they already made an Evangelion movie... and it sucked. It really sucked, actually. Now they're going to go back and milk a dead cow that has been in retirement for over ten years? Come on! Why doesn't the show's creator make something new we can be excited about, why remake Evangelion? Then it hit me. Creativity isn't what pays off in the end, it's all about the money.

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Rei! Now with more curve appeal and computer enhanced animation! This adds a whole new layer to the EVA mythos. You see, with Rei's new curve appeal and computer enhanced animation, we can now create a new kind of Evangelion. One with more curve appeal and computer enhanced animation!

I mean, look at the way Hollywood is run now. There isn't any quality control there?! The last two Pirates movies sucked, but I would bet you good money that we're going to see even more Captain Jack Sparrow in the near future. Not because it's necessary! Not because they have an orginal idea that would steer the series in a whole direction! But because it'll make the studio more money! Heck, we fall for it everytime. Disney has managed to feed me two extra doses of Pirates, and to be quite frank I don't care if I ever see Captain Jack Sparrow on the big screen again.

What made the first Pirates so appealing was the orginality of the characeter. Captain Jack was like nothing we had ever seen before, and the movie he starred in wasn't too bad either. It was easily some of the most fun I had at the cinema. I can't remember another movie where I laughed so often and so frequently. So when I heard they were going to make not only one, but "TWO" more outings for the then legendary "Jack Sparrow", I couldn't wait! Alas, I walked out of both Dead Man's Chest and At World's End thinking.... "What the hell went wrong?" It seemed like such a good idea on paper.

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Thank you for seeing my crappy sequel! I couldn't have made all this money without you!!

The truth was, neither the writers nor the director had anything new to add to the franchise. They would try to trick you into thinking otherwise though! The scripts were so sloopy that it would take a "Pirates Expert" to make any sense out of the whole thing. Does the movie have any kind of message? Is there really any point to all this swashbuckling? And more importantly... is this really entertainment, or a really bland carbon copy of what we've already seen. Honestly, it feels like the writers spent a whole 'weekend' devising this plot, and you can easily see where they liberally borrowed from just about every other successful trilogy ever made. This is Pirates, not Star Wars. If I wanted to watch epic drawn out battles, I would have watched Lord of the Rings. Just be Pirates for me! Not only are you uninspired and unorginal, but you have an identity crisis as well.

Looking at the movie business as a whole, it really feels nothing more then a huge commercal market. The most creative and thoughtful movies produced every year are usually in 'limited release', while the surprisngly uncreative "Spider-Man 3" is shown in every theatre under the sun. It's kinda sad really. If there was any true justice, the personal dramas would be at the top of the box office, not the sequels.

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The movie wasn't nearly as cool as this poster would make you think. It wasn't bad... but it wasn't particularly good either.

If a sequel is done well, then there's really no problem. But how often does that actually happen? When the sequel is just as good if not better then the orginal. I can only think of a few off the top of my head, and I know alot of people are going to disagree with me, but I usually don't agree with them either. xD I have a different taste in entertainment then most people.

-Toy Story 2 (just as funny, just as sharp, and just as 'strangely' touching as the orginal. The new characters didn't feel slapped on either, they actually had a reason to exist in this franchise besides the sales of 'Toy Story 2 merchandise.' Who could forget the famous freeway crossing scene?)

-Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (some actual emotinal substance with my Star Trek movie?!! Who da thunk it?! This one packs quite an emotinal wallop as well, easily out perfoming the orginal in every conceviable way. Awesome flick.)

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Kirk to Enterprise. .... My movie rocks!

-The Harry Potter franchise (what can I say, each movie is better then the last. It actually makes me sad that there'll only be seven, and that's saying alot)

-The Empire Strikes Back (darker, deeper, and contains some of the best writing out of any Star Wars film. Makes me wish that George had stuck to his day job, and let other people write his stories for him)

I could go on and on with this, so I'll just list the rest: "Aliens, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Lord of the Rings films..... gah, I give up! There just aren't very many."

This whole rant being said and done... I'm still excited about "Rebuild of Evangelion." I just find it funny how the majority of blockbuster hits now are either based on a pre-existing franchise or a succesful book. Where is the creativity? You can find it in 'limited release', but very rarely do you find it on the box office charts. So while the majority of people are being fed the same crap and paying good money for it, a 'real' movie written by an 'inspired' writer often just floats by without any media attention. Remember "The Iron Giant?" Of course you don't. No one remembers that movie. But it was damn good, especially for an animated flick.

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After seeing this poster, I really can't blame people for not having seen this. Trust me! It's alot better then it looks.

So I dedicate this blog post to director Anno Hideaki, who feels it necessary to milk his former glory instead of creating a brand new (and possibly more exciting) mythology. We don't need another Evangelion. I just want to watch great anime. I'll watch the movie because I'm an Evangelion fan (and I have a feeling it's gonna be "sugoi"... but that's the geeky side speaking again), but I still can't help but feel a little weird. This guy is feeding me the same story all over again. That's worse then making a sequel. That's about as low as you can get without jumping into prequel territory. I hope your movie turns out great, because I really want to see it. But maybe next time you should rekindle your relationship with Mr. Pen and Mr. Paper and make something new for us. Something truly new. Not something 'kinda new' that you know will make you money. You already have enough money. You're an artist! Make art!

.... Okay, that's the end of my rant. xD Hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did typing it.

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At least I'll stil have Rei.... now with more curve appeal and computer enhanced animation! xD

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Brief History of Blogging

Hey everyone! I'm finally getting back into the blogging game, since I really don't have anything better to do at the moment (watched a particularly boring sci-fi flick, which I'll review later). As I type this out, I have become curious how this entire blogging sensation started. I mean, now it seems like everyone has a blog. Just a few months ago, I was surfing around looking at people's anime blogs... and there is alot of us out there! I mean, dang, it makes me happy to be a geek. :) All that aside, I've become really curious about the history of blogging, so right this very moment I'm logged into Wikipedia to check it out. What follows is a brief report of my findings. *giggles* I feel like Indiana Jones or something, finding the lost history of an ancient peoples. xD

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This was kinda what I felt like... until I discovered a terrible truth!

.... I have just now realised that I really don't wanna spend the time nor the effort to copy and paste this stuff in my own words. So, I'll just give you guys the link. I find it really fascinating, considering that I am a blogger. We should know more about our origins!

*sigh* Wikipedia is a wonderful site.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Love and What It Means to People

*bows* I apologise if my blog updates have been becoming less and less frequent, but since Christine seems to be the only person reading my blog anyways, that's no big loss. I've been keeping myself busy with doing geeky things, while avoiding the things I really should be doing. It really is great fun! My Nintendo Wii is still a god, and I have been watching anime like there'll be no tommorrow. Can't wait till school starts though, I miss studying. As strange as that may sound (I really quit enjoy it).

But anyways, I'm getting way off topic here.

The other day, I was surfing the "Extended Discussion" board on Gaia Online, which seems to be the only place you can go to have an intelligent conversation on that site. As I scrolled through the dozens of religious arguments and pro-feminism topics, I finally found something that caught my eye. Someone had made a topic about "love" and what it means. She asked that we each respond and describe what the word "love" means to us personally. I thought this was really interesting, not because of the topic in general, but because of the surprising array of different descriptions. It's really interesting how a universal idea like love can take so many different forms and mean as much or as little as a person wants it to. Fascinating stuff.
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Love is Saber from Fate Stay Night. ... Not really, but I felt like sharing a pic of this awesome character anyways. My new favorite!

You had people who were obviously in the middle of a relationship, and stated that love was the feeling that two individuals share when in each others arms (gag!). There were others that believed that true love doesn't exist (emo types). I quote a strange looking Gaia avatar when I say "When you can levitate a skittle, you are in love."

What surprised me most was how narrow everyone's description of love seemed to be. They didn't seem to get that love, no matter which was you look at it, is everywhere we go. Below I will attempt, with questionable quality no doubt, to write down my own description. Why? Mostly because I'm bored, but also because I consider myself a "lover" in the most traditonal sense. I love to love life. xD That made... pefect sense.

"Love is what drives us, without love we have no reason to go on. The entire reason we live is to love.

When one witnesses a beautiful orange sunset, is one not feeling love? When one enters their house to watch an episode of Stargate SG-1.. is that not love? When you look into the eyes of someone you care for, and they stare back with the same intensity, are you not feeling love?

It is my humble opinion that love isn't something you can classify, for it embodies all things good and all things pure. If you enjoy doing something, you are performing an action of love. If you're cleaning the house for your mother as a surprise when she gets home from work, you are perfoming a labor of love. When you kiss your significant other softly on the lips, you are performing a very tender act of love.

We can't survive without love just like we can't survive without oxygen. Remember that really sappy oldies song? 'Love is Like Oxygen?' They had it all right. Love makes you high."

That was weird. *laughs* I just made that all up in five minutes, so if you were expecting poetry, you came to the wrong place. I actually quite like it though.. especially the Stargate reference. That was a very nice touch!

To close my thoughts, don't be afraid to let love in. Love is amazing.

Today's Review: Neon Genesis Evangelion (An Anime)
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A cute picture of an anime that is everything but. Prepare for a dark depressing ride through the human condition.

What I Liked About Evangelion: I'll just say it straight out, I went head over heels for Evangelion. It was the best anime I had seen since Eureka Seven, and that was saying alot. Sure, there were giant robots protecting Earth from an unknown alien force, but it was done so well that I really didn't care how silly the plot was. EVA (Evangelion) was one of those anime that you completely forget that you were watching a cartoon. These characters feel more real to me then in any recent Hollywood production, and I couldn't wait to see how the show's numerous mysteries were going to unfold. Which leads me to why I hate EVA now, after watching the entire series.

What I Hated About Evangelion: This perfectly engaging show is ruined by what is perhaps the worst conclusion I have ever seen to any kind of story (and I've seen alot of bad endings). It left me speechless, wondering what the hell the writer/director was thinking! It feels like a cold hard slap in the face after all the time you spent watching the show. Nothing is explained, the plot dives straight into script hell, and I'm left angry and bitter. Thanks alot EVA! You just ended up being another "Lost".

Rating: B- (great anime ruined by absurdly weak conclusion)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wii Love the Wii!

I haven't updated as often as I've been wanting to, but I have a really good excuse. A few days ago, I bought a Nintendo Wii. After the continuous dissapointment as far as the PS3's line-up is concerned, I finally decided to go next-gen with Nintendo. After all, they are selliing the most amount of systems at the moment, meaning that alot of my favorite companies are no doubt going to make alot of orginal games for the system (can't wait to se what Square-Enix does with the motion control). After hours upon hours of hands on experience, I can say without a doubt that the Nintendo Wii is something else. Heck, I would even go so far as to say that it's the most innovative video game system yet realsed. The games are great, the extras are awesome, and the motion control is as smooth as silk. It's... just... too... freaking... cool.

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Nagato loves the Wii too! *hugs* Gives me even more reason to love her.

One thing that I did like was how easy Internet gaming is on the Wii. You don't have to sign onto some weird thing like X-Box Live in order to enjoy a good game of Mario Strikers, which I've only played online once, but that's not the point. On top of that, you can download old games from the NES all the way to the N64 for no more then ten dollars (they range from five to ten dollars, depending on what you want to download). Buying Super Mario World is probably the best eight bucks I ever spent.. period.

I was worried about the motion control at first, but after spending a couple hours with it, it feels just as natural as using a normal controler. Now to all of you who love to whine about the controler.... actually try it out for me then just a few a practice runs. It's not "on crack", like some people like to call it (sorry Christine, your anti-wii statements fed fuel to my pro-wii fire).

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Who said you needed great graphics to have fun?

Plus, they're making a Bleach fighting game!!!! Okay, it probably won't be any good.. but as a Bleach fan, I can't help but be a little excited. I can finally see how a fight between Orihime and Ichigo would go! Of course, Orihime would win.. because I would be playing as her. And she'd kick Ichigo's butt. xDD

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Bleach..... for the Wii! *has geek attack*

I need to stop typing and get back to playing my Wii. Wii will update later.

Today's Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (A Book..... duh)
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What I Loved About This Book: This is, on the whole, a fantastic conclusion to the Harry Potter series. There's drama, action, suspense, clever plot twists, and one of the best endings in recent memory. J.K. Rowling has managed to take what is basically a very traditional good versus evil story and shape it into something so unique and new that, to be honest, I can't really compare this series to anything else out there.
This book itself is one of the best in the series (if not the best in the series). I would have to go back and read all of the books from begginning to end to make a true comparsion, but this was easily the darkest and the most emotinal Harry Potter book so far. A must read... but you really didn't need me to tell you that.

Some Closing Thoughts: This book could have been trimmed down by about two-hundred pages. It really started to drag in the middle, and I couldn't help but feel that J.K. Rowling was trying a little too hard for every character to have their time in the spotlight. There is an entire scene in Gringotts as well that just turned me off. Don't ask me why, it just did.
Five hundred and fifty pages sounds more appropriate for the amount of plot that she was developing. While all of the extra subplots and details really don't detract from the story, they kept me from doing any "all nighters". The ending made up for it though. It.... was...... amazing.

Rating: A- (drags a bit in the middle, but it is still a fantastic conclusion to an enchanting series)