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REVIEW: Highlander: Search for Vengeance DVD




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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14410
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:50 am Reply with quote
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Naturally, having helped to promote anime's stateside reputation in the 80s and 90s for sex and violence


Based on your shallow interpretation of Kawajiri's ouvre, you could use the same argument for Satoshi Kon and Yasuomi Umetsu. Rolling Eyes You obviously forgot he worked on titles as varies as X and Lensman, and which don't fall under that same category. Even if they did, the point is that what makes Kawajiri's films so appealing is that they are more contemplative than the average b-movie, and the women are more assertive than those in the average softcore porn flick.

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Try as you might to tell yourself that it's merely a product of ignorance, you can't help but feel that it was done just to piss you off. "You not only helped bring the vaccine," says one character "you brought them something much more important... You've brought them hope." Splat. Monkey dung on the brain.


I'm guessing it was ad-libbed off the Japanese script.

I'll have to wait until I get my copy to comment on the spoilers, though. Anyway, it appears to have gotten a 7.2 at IMDB, which is probably the highest score for a Highlander film in recent memory.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:55 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:

Based on your shallow interpretation of Kawajiri's ouvre, you could use the same argument for Satoshi Kon and Yasuomi Umetsu.


Give me a f**kin' break, Gatsu. You just compared Kawajiri to Satoshi Kon.

Yeah OK he has a style but seriously, they're not even comparable. It's cool to like Kawajiri; hell, I loved Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. But he's not even in the same league as Kon. If Kon is in the MLB, Kawajiri is the guy who coaches little league.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:03 am Reply with quote
Zac:
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You just compared Kawajiri to Satoshi Kon.


So? Tokyo Godfathers is as "dumb" as any Kawajiri film.

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But he's not even in the same league as Kon. If Kon is in the MLB, Kawajiri is the guy who coaches little league.


Kawajiri's more like a small-time player in Japan who gets scouted for the U.S. team. Kon's more like the hometown hero who doesn't put butts in seats, but who gives great pep talks.
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Jedi General



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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Location: Tucson, AZ
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:22 am Reply with quote
When I first looked at the grades and saw an F for the story, I thought: "Man, that's harsh." But after reading the very negative part of the review in regards to the story and script, it makes sense. That line presented as an example was really quite bad sounding. Ugh.

I haven't seen this yet, but I guess I should have expected this film to be filled with sex, having seen Ninja Scroll (didn't know about the content going in). I think I'll pass on Highlander based on that and upon hearing that the story and script is atrocious. Time to remove it from my Netflix queue ....
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Deltakiral



Joined: 07 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:49 am Reply with quote
Jedi General wrote:
I haven't seen this yet, but I guess I should have expected this film to be filled with sex, having seen Ninja Scroll (didn't know about the content going in). I think I'll pass on Highlander based on that and upon hearing that the story and script is atrocious. Time to remove it from my Netflix queue ....


I would keep it in your Netflix at least you'll have something to laugh at, but then again I am sure it will be Sci-fi. So maybe you can't remove it. Also with the F I was a little surprised, granted most of the highlander cuts are extremely odd and the story isn't the best, but damn. I am glad I didn't drop 13 dollars on it now in hindsight.
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silentjay



Joined: 12 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:56 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
I'm guessing it was ad-libbed off the Japanese script.


It was written in English for an English speaking audience.

Jedi General wrote:
I think I'll pass on Highlander based on that and upon hearing that the story and script is atrocious.


It's about as atrocious as the majority of stuff that's been coming out as of late. When 90% of everything is crap, one needs to appreciate good crap.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:23 am Reply with quote
Hell, If the Action and Animation is as good as he says, I'll see it just for that. Even if the story is crap.

Honestly though, I question the impartiality of someone when they say anything was THAT bad. Maybe it truely is that terrible, still I just find it comes off as: OMG! it was teh worst ever!!!!1!!1 whenever you rate something that badly. I dount doubt that its not good, but is it really 'F' bad? I guess I'll find out.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:52 am Reply with quote
silentjay:
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It was written in English for an English speaking audience.


The script was translated into English for the producers, who then gave Kawajiri their input. There's a difference.
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indrik



Joined: 22 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 1:35 pm Reply with quote
Did they really spell MacLeod McCloud?

Not to pick nits, but apparently it's tradition...
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Dan42
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Joined: 02 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:41 pm Reply with quote
indrik wrote:
Did they really spell MacLeod McCloud?

Not to pick nits, but apparently it's tradition...


You're not alone, I thought the same thing.

I was also strongly reminded of Sin the movie while reading this review. Why is it that the American companies give such pathetic scripts to the Japanese directors? Don't they understand that no matter how good the director he can't possibly make a good anime from a bad script? Don't they understand that they should leave the creative stuff to people who are actually creative? As it is, I'm worried about Mutineer's Moon
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DKL



Joined: 08 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:00 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
silentjay:
Quote:
It was written in English for an English speaking audience.


The script was translated into English for the producers, who then gave Kawajiri their input. There's a difference.


I think Kawajiri was the one who came up with the idea for the virus.

But yes, this was written by the orginal Highlander dude, apparently... David... I can't spell his last name.

Anyway, yeah, it really depends on how you look at this...

Of course it would be a throw-back to olden days when anime theatrical features like this were common...

...

And for the record, I still wanna see those new Fist of the North Star movies.

Also, I do kinda agree with Gatsu that the appeal of Kawajiri's stuff is that it is definately more contemplative than the usual violence-fest...

I mean, even if only a little.

Kinda like... uhh... Bruce Lee movies.

Dan42 wrote:


Don't they understand that no matter how good the director he can't possibly make a good anime from a bad script? Don't they understand that they should leave the creative stuff to people who are actually creative?


The thing is... most of the works that Kawajiri is best known for (particularly Ninja Scroll and Wicked City) are actually sort of like this; again, worst case scenario here is that it's Kawajiri screwing up Highlander...

Not the other way around.

But, like Gatsu said, he does work on a range of different things... but I can really argue that this is Kawajiri's style here and if didn't work for audiences, it's really his fault; the whole "it's the US side's fault" feels kinda like a cop-out given that the US side was pretty subservient to Kawajiri's side.

Sure, they had the whole "theatrical cut" thing, but still... the visuals and storytelling style and whatever still belongs to Kawajiri...

Heck, I thought that X-TV was a little hammy (but still awesome).

But maybe I need to see more of his work? I dunno.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:41 pm Reply with quote
Man, were you being harsh. At worst it's a C, at best it's a B-.

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but then almost immediately plants its foot squarely into the middle of a big steaming pile of post-apocalyptic clichés. Evil despots, deadly viruses, and cynical saviors, oh my!


What makes it entertaining, compared to other movies with the same subject matter is the despot has a philosophy behind what he does, the savior is not much of a fighter, and Kawajiri brings up the philosophical question of whether the humans who are threatened by the virus are worth saving.

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Really good. Gorgeous in fact. Veteran theatrical director Yoshiaki Kawajiri knows how to use a theatrical budget to greatest effect, making for something that looks like it belongs on the biggest screen possible.


I think this might be his first cg/3-d project, because it's more luminous than his previous work in 2-d.

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Fitting, given that the dialogue is the intellectual equivalent of being hit by freshly thrown monkey dung. Try as you might to tell yourself that it's merely a product of ignorance, you can't help but feel that it was done just to piss you off. "You not only helped bring the vaccine," says one character "you brought them something much more important... You've brought them hope." Splat. Monkey dung on the brain


Yes, it's cliche, but if you see the living conditions of the people underground, you can understand how much it means for them to be saying that. Although I will admit that Kawajiri's jabs at New Yorkers are a little mean, albeit hilarious.
(But the best parody of America I saw was in the original Mothra.) He must be a fan of Escape from New York.

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Colin at one point is told that he should stop chasing vengeance and enjoy immortal life with the ever-reincarnating love of his life, without a single thought for the realities of the situation. He'll have to watch his love die again and again.


Yes, but it's better than allowing her to die from the frequent historic wars he encounters. That's what he doesn't seem to realize. His "vengeance" doesn't seem to protect anyone. It doesn't even validate her death(s). It's when he realizes that he's not just fighting for his ego that he starts to win.

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No amount of technical prowess can keep Allied freedom fighter Colin and evil Nazi Marcus confronting each other on the wing of a falling plane from feeling like something straight out of a fourth-rate continental James Bond rip-off.


Technically, if you've seen the second series intro, it'd be a Lupin rip-off , but it still is the most exciting scene in the film.

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Kawajiri can begin and end them with eye-popping transitions, but he can't keep the endless series of flashbacks from constantly murdering whatever narrative momentum the movie has managed to build in the meantime.


The point of the flashbacks is to establish his character and to emphasize historic parallels.

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And just to polish things off, there's the sometimes-inappropriate electric guitar of the score (which is otherwise fine), and the flatness of the acting.


I'll agree that part sucks, but I'm gonna guess that's the American side of the production.

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There's some tired Matrix-y stuff involving bullets.


I disagree with you on that one. The bullet-time on that's a lot more detailed than what was in the Matrix. There, you just had them pausing frames while dodging bullets, not pausing while running and jumping.

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and the character designs are a tad silly in some respects ("You cannot win against me McCloud, for the chin is mightier than the mullet!").


Actually, I thought Octavius had the best voice actor.
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