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Groucho's Movie Challenge Week 12: Watch a Theatrical Anime Feature

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Groucho's Movie Challenge Week 12: Watch a Theatrical Anime Feature

Old 05-26-04, 01:43 PM
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Groucho's Movie Challenge Week 12: Watch a Theatrical Anime Feature

Groucho's Movie Challenge Week 12: Watch a Theatrical Anime Feature

What is Grouchoís Movie Challenge? Its mission is simple: let us all, as a forum, work to seek out films that might otherwise slip our radar. Each week, anybody who wants to participate will see a film within the guidelines, and return back to the forum to report on the film they saw. Itís easy, itís fun, and everybody can participate. Itís not a trivia contestÖitís not a gameÖitís merely a way we can all be exposed to new avenues of film appreciationÖor at the very least see a good flick or two.

Week 12: Watch a Theatrical Anime Feature


Groucho still seems to be absent from these threads, but his spirt will live on (and hopefully the rest of him, too! )

The Challenge this week is to watch a Anime feature that was first released theatrically, in Japan or in your country of origin, as opposed to a television series or direct to video feature.

For the purposes of this challenge, Anime is defined as animation (traditionally 2-D,) made in Japan, that was originally intended for the Japanese audience, irrespective of any future releases in other countries.

If you watch a lot of anime, try to find a feature that you haven't seen, although you could choose one that you haven't watched in a long while, if you can't find anything else.

To those who haven't watched any Anime before, there are as many genres in Anime as there are in live-action films from Hollywood, so don't feel that it is all Giant Robots, Pokemon-style kiddy shows, tentacle porn, or wacky high-school comedies.

Here is just a small sampling of recent anime films that were released theatrically, many in the US, and are available on DVD or tape.

Hayao Miyazaki has been termed the Walt Disney of Japan, and has several films out in the US which are released by Disney:
Princess Mononoke
Castle in the Sky
Spirited Away (Winner of the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film)
Kiki's Delivery Service

Ah! My Goddess: The Movie
Armitage the IIIrd: Polymatrix
Cowboy Bebop: The Motion Picture
Escaflowne: The Movie
Memories
Metropolis
Millenium Actress
Patlabor I, II, and III
Perfect Blue
Tokyo Godfathers


I am choosing to watch Tokyo Godfathers, which is a film about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby girl on Christmas Eve. All that I have heard about this film paints it as a very heartwarming and touching story.


--------


Missed a previous version of the Movie Challenge? Itís never to late to play:

Week 1: Old Movie Week
Week 2: Foreign Film Week
Week 3: Silence is Golden
Week 4: The Truth is Stranger
Week 5: IMDB Top 250
Week 6: Unfamiliar Genres
Week 7: Martial Arts Films
Week 8: Watch a movie you didn't originally like
Week 9: If it ain't broke...FIX IT ANYWAY!
Week 10: The Greatest Year (The Year you were born)
Week 11: The Cannes Film Festival
Old 05-26-04, 02:33 PM
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Re: Groucho's Movie Challenge Week 12: Watch a Theatrical Anime Feature

Originally posted by littlefuzzy
I am choosing to watch Tokyo Godfathers, which is a film about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby girl on Christmas Eve. All that I have heard about this film paints it as a very heartwarming and touching story.
I rented this one last month, you won't be disappointed.

I will be watching the Region 3 version of Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind which is coming August 31 to Region 1.

At this point I don't think Groucho would be upset if we started some kind of rotating "Guest Host" schedule so that we can keep the challenges going without wondering who's next to pick a theme. comments?

Last edited by Damfino; 05-26-04 at 03:43 PM.
Old 05-26-04, 03:15 PM
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Re: Groucho's Movie Challenge Week 12: Watch a Theatrical Anime Feature

Originally posted by littlefuzzy
I am choosing to watch Tokyo Godfathers, which is a film about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby girl on Christmas Eve. All that I have heard about this film paints it as a very heartwarming and touching story.
I've not seen this, but from what I've heard, it's a remake of The 3 Godfathers, a John Ford/John Wayne western about three outlaws who come across a dying woman and a baby in the desert. Unfortunately, The 3 Godfathers is not on DVD.

I picked up Princess Mononoke a few months ago and haven't had a chance to watch it yet, so I'll probably watch that.
Old 05-26-04, 04:59 PM
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Does tentacle pr0n count ?
Old 05-26-04, 08:01 PM
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Originally posted by Brain Stew
Does tentacle pr0n count ?
If it was released theatrically... About the only one I know of would be Urutskidoji...
Old 05-26-04, 08:55 PM
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hmmm, for me i guess i can watch ghost in the shell, castle in the sky (the only of the Miyazaki movies i haven't watched yet)

hey, if i made the challenge this week, i would have made (watch two movies in a row week)
Old 05-27-04, 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by littlefuzzy
If it was released theatrically... About the only one I know of would be Urutskidoji...
I remember seeing a theatrical cut of the film and while unrated, didn't include the more extreme scenes that were present on the video version of the film (go figure?).
Old 05-27-04, 09:06 AM
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oh and I am going to try and pencil in a viewing of Perfect Blue
Old 05-27-04, 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by littlefuzzy
If it was released theatrically... About the only one I know of would be Urutskidoji...
Sorry for the slight hijack but...while we're on the subject, how do you pronounce Urutskidoji? I just want to say it correctly when using this movie as an example of extreme anime to friends.

Oh, and I'm in the same anime boat as Rypro. I have, but haven't got around to watching, Castle in the Sky (hangs head in shame).
Old 05-27-04, 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by TomOpus
Sorry for the slight hijack but...while we're on the subject, how do you pronounce Urutskidoji? I just want to say it correctly when using this movie as an example of extreme anime to friends.
well for one thing I think you misspelled it:

Urotsukidoji

you-rot suekee doe gee (I think)

Last edited by Giles; 05-27-04 at 12:48 PM.
Old 05-27-04, 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by Giles
well for one thing I think you misspelled it:

Urotsukidoji
Blame littlefuzzy, he started it (pointing).... Okay, blame me for being too lazy to look at the damn DVD case


Originally posted by Giles
you-rot suekee doe gee (I think)
Domo!
Old 05-27-04, 01:32 PM
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Mine for this week was MeikyŻ monogatari (Pretty sure it was theatrical, not positive though - it's short (50 minutes) but apparently that isn't uncommon in Japan)

aka Manie-Manie aka Neo-Tokyo.

Basically, it's Memories a decade before Memories - 3 short films that vary in tone and content. The animation is top notch and the stories are more than a little experimental (The third segment being the only one with a traditional plot, in which Robots at a construction zone get messed up).

It's pretty cool if you're an anime buff, the animation and artwork still holds up today (the second Segment looks roughly like what F-Zero would be if it were turned into an anime, and was shown on Liquid Television on multiple occasions) and you get to see some early artwork in Katsuhiro ‘tomo's segment that heavily influenced the way the anime Akira turned out. (Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Rintaro also did a segment each)

Cool stuff and I highly recommend it!
Old 05-28-04, 07:48 AM
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Hmm. Nothing for this week, but I've been meaning to pick up Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis soon.
Old 05-28-04, 02:36 PM
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Funny I had rented Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (I absolutely loved the show) for my own pleasure earlier in the week. I guess that will work for the purposes of this thread.


The movie dealt with our favorite bounty hunters being faced with their most dangerous and largest bounty to date, only fitting I suppose. The plot was really just like one of the shows only stretched out with far more tiny details to bring it to it running time of around two hours. I never felt bored though and was thoroughly interested through the course of the film. There were many other strong points to the film as well. The soundtrack and score had that same funky, jazzy type feel that fits so well with its half hour sibling. The art direction was simply beautiful, I have always been a huge fan of how Watanabe and his artists depict his characters and environments. There was a huge amount of hand-drawn detail and for the most part the animation was gorgeous. There were times however where I thought it was only a couple of steps higher than the show and not up to par for a motion picture, but I'm nitpicking.

The pacing and editing of the story was an area that I found to be enlightening. There was never a dull moment and it seemed like either an important plot point or something that was just kickass was happening on the screen every few moments. I suppose Watanabe direction also was a big reason for that and I congratulate him on a job well done. I also must mention the fine job done by the voice actors. I watched the english-dubbed audio track and have to say they did a masterful job conveying emotion and interacting with each other.

So to sum up, with its solid and interesting story, amazing (at-times) animation, great voice acting, and its cool-as-shit feel that anime's of recent times have not been able to match, I would have to highly recommend Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.
***1/2/**** See you Space Cowboy
Old 05-31-04, 01:49 PM
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I watched Tokyo Godfathers this week. A great movie. Very unusual protagonists. The main characters are very unconventional which gives the film a more realistic grounding. The detail in the backgrounds really blew me away, and they make very good use of multi-plane animation. I'm glad my roommate picked up this DVD, but sad because I want it in my collection.

The movie is about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby on Christmas and try to find its mother to return it. Throughout their adventure the homeless people's lives are changed.

This film is very heartwarming, and I highly recommend it.
Old 06-01-04, 03:29 AM
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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away)

Princess Mononoke was the first Miyazaki movie I saw. I was so impressed that I've been trying to see the rest of his movies. This week's challenge provided the opportunity to watch my R3 DVD of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

Nausicaa is a Princess living in a future where pollution has rendered most of the planet uninhabitable. Most of the land is ruled by giant insects and plants that emit toxic spores. One safe place is The Valley of the Wind which is surrounded by mountains facing the sea where a constant wind keeps the spores away. When another tribe invades the valley with threats to unleash a devastating weapon, Nausicaa takes it on herself to save her people.

Although I didn't think this was as quite good as Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, the movie is clearly an important cinematic ancestor for these later works. (especially Princess Mononoke).

Back in 1986, the movie was cut by a half hour (25% of the movie!) for the American video release. I can't imagine how the movie could have been shortened without compromising the story which is already fairly tight for a 2 hour movie. The good news is that the movie will finally be released uncut on R1 DVD on August 31.

Last edited by Damfino; 06-01-04 at 03:31 AM.
Old 06-01-04, 11:24 AM
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and sadly, the commentary track on the Region 2 Japanese edition of Nausicaa doesn't appear to be ported over to the August R1 edition. This is the one time I wish I could enjoy listening and understanding the commentary track.

I actually first saw this film as the trunscated American version of the film entitled "Warriors of the Wind" even the VHS cover of the film featured characters that aren't even in the film, if I can find online - I'll post the image, it's quite a radical and unfair depiction of this great film.



_______________

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Old 06-03-04, 06:04 PM
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Perfect Blue (1997)
unrated 83min version.
dir. Satoshi Kon

This film is very reminescent of DePalma if he had done an anime feature. Lurid, graphically violent and a riveting thriller that plays with the notion of what is reality and what isn't, is fascinating to say the least. I haven't seen an anime feature in a long time that was this entertaining. The story of a pop music star changed actress that is convinced she is being stalked, while friends and co-workers are slaughtered, literally pulls the viewer into this gruesome tale and doesn't cave-in into cliched anime ambiguity or overindulgence. Director Kon manages to effortessly pull this off where most other director's of this niche of anime would have faltered. Higly recommended.
Old 06-03-04, 08:12 PM
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I dedicate this post to Groucho's spirt.
Old 06-12-04, 01:27 AM
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I just watched Tokyo Godfathers, and I whole-heartedly recommend it to everyone.
Old 06-12-04, 10:18 AM
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No love for Akira from any anime noobs? *sigh* I'm old.

I guess I'll watch Metropolis.. Somehow missed that one over the last few years.
Old 06-13-04, 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by Gyno Rhino
No love for Akira from any anime noobs? *sigh* I'm old.
I suspect most of us (including myself) have seen it already.

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