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REVIEW: Appleseed: Ex Machina


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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:13 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
It's a far cry from the head games of movies like Ghost in the Shell: Innocence and its ilk, resulting in an experience that's a lot less draining (or sleep-inducing).


Yeah, who needs sci-fi films with "ideas", anyway? I'll take The Fifth Element over Blade Runner any day. Rolling Eyes

Quote:
That's not to say the animation is bad, per se, it's simply awkward and, in the age of motion-captured films like Beowulf,


Those may be awkward, too, but they have bad acting and a homoerotic subtext to make up for it. Laughing
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Zac
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:17 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:

Yeah, who needs sci-fi films with "ideas", anyway? I'll take The Fifth Element over Blade Runner any day. Rolling Eyes


I'll take 'em both. My point was that it was nice to just have an action movie instead of something that goes over-the-top with the philosophizin', obscure references and heady psychological concepts in between the explosions and firefights. I was expecting long scenes where people discuss "WHAT IS IT TO BE HUMAN" followed by time-lapse footage of a flower wilting. Instead I got a standard action movie and it was a nice surprise.
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ikillchicken



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:38 pm Reply with quote
Well, it sounds like what I expected since these were pretty much my thoughts on the original movie. I'm glad if they improved the art but its a shame if the animation is still poor.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:44 pm Reply with quote
Zac: I think GITS is the only series where Shirow gets into the analytical stuff. Everything else he does is military porn.
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Murasakisuishou



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:31 am Reply with quote
There's a romantic angle in this one? SWEET! I love the way Deunan and Briareos play off each other as a couple in the manga, and their general lack of emotion toward each other except for those horrifically forced scenes (even though the plot clearly stated they were involved. -eyeroll-) in the first movie annoyed me to no end.

-scans review again- All right, videogame-esque, fight scene-oriented action movie. So far my expectations have been met. I do wish there was an improvement in the animation quality, but if the script/story is at least bearable and mildly interesting, I'll settle.
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eely225



Joined: 23 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:24 am Reply with quote
Any idea when we'll be seeing this in the States (theaters?).
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:30 am Reply with quote
eely: I'm waiting for that, myself, but I'm wondering if they've chosen to give up on the theatrical idea in favor of home video. If you can watch it without having seen the previous film, then they it could be eligible for Best Animated Film.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:52 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
eely: I'm waiting for that, myself, but I'm wondering if they've chosen to give up on the theatrical idea in favor of home video. If you can watch it without having seen the previous film, then they it could be eligible for Best Animated Film.


It was never planned for a theatrical release. It'll be out on DVD and HD-DVD in March next year, following a series of promotional theatrical showings.

Also, there's no way in hell this would get nominated for Best Animated Film. That's not to say it's bad or whatever, but it's just an action movie. Not anything that would stand a chance come Oscar time next year.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:59 am Reply with quote
Zac: And Beowulf and The Matrix are action movies, too.
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Keonyn
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:18 am Reply with quote
The Matrix was arguably significantly more than an action movie, one could even argue that with the second and third it fell in to the trap that Zac was discussing earlier involving philosophy and psychology. Beowul on the other hand is an action movie but manages to play well on a classic tale and adds some new ideas for domestic animation. Regardless though Beowulf doesn't stand much of a chance either so your point is essentially invalid.

Of course, look who I'm talking to; the closed-minded self-proclaimed Lord of the anime universe himself. I swear until the day you demonstrate any ability to see beyond your anime and manga shelves I can hardly take a word you say seriously GATSU.
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Murasakisuishou



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:23 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Zac: And Beowulf and The Matrix are action movies, too.


...Wait, what? That's a completely baseless comparison. I haven't seen Beowulf yet (I've read the poem), but as Zac said in his review (and here I'm paraphrasing), Appleseed is not meant to be what The Matrix ended up being. There's no psychobabble, no 'deep thoughts', no shameless referencing of the Western canon. It's basically a straight up, action/character-driven cop story that was probably written just to give fanboys another opertunity to stare at sweaty girls with firearms and tight shirts. If an anime film were to be brought into the limelight and given an award, I'd rather it be something that actually had substance, like GitS (which, ironically, inspired some of The Matrix) or one of Satoshi Kon's films. This whole "it's anime, therefore it deserves high praise so people know about it!" thing is just ridiculous.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:40 am Reply with quote
Fine, if people are gonna bitch, then I'll use a better example. Why does Appleseed deserve any less of a chance than Spirits Within?
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Berserkfury819



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:47 am Reply with quote
I really want to see this. What can I say, I'm a sucker for Cyberpunk. And yeah, I do kind of wonder how Deunan and Briaros "get it on."

Gatsu: Was The Matrix nominated for an Academy Award? It rare for sci-fi films to get nominated for Academy Awards. I saw Beowulf and enjoyed it, but I really don't think it will win any awards. Besides, Ratatouille was easily the best animated film this year. But I haven't seen Paprikan, so maybe I'm wrong.
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Veoryn87



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:34 am Reply with quote
I honestly never had a problem with the animation on the first movie.

The first movie was ok to my roommate and I, but nothing special. We'll definitely be watching this for the eyecandy.
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MH Knights



Joined: 27 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:55 am Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
GATSU wrote:

Yeah, who needs sci-fi films with "ideas", anyway? I'll take The Fifth Element over Blade Runner any day. Rolling Eyes


I'll take 'em both. My point was that it was nice to just have an action movie instead of something that goes over-the-top with the philosophizin', obscure references and heady psychological concepts in between the explosions and firefights. I was expecting long scenes where people discuss "WHAT IS IT TO BE HUMAN" followed by time-lapse footage of a flower wilting. Instead I got a standard action movie and it was a nice surprise.


Agreed. We need films like Commando, Predator, 300, Transfomers (2007), Smokin' Aces, The Rundown, Aliens, etc. For anime examples think of Black Lagoon, Agent Aika/Najica Blitz Tatics, Ninja Scroll, Tank Police, and Colorful. Good old fashioned sit down, turn your brain off, and enjoy the explosions type cinema.

In fact one thing that is annoying me about modern anime is that so many directors/writers/producers feel they need to cram long winded philosophy into their stories. Most of the time it feels out of place and grinds the pacing to a halt. Its nice to get inside a character's head and find out what makes them tick but do we need them to spend ten minutes quoting a "101" level textbook? No. Rambling on and on doesn't make your show smarter or deeper, it does the opposite.

Ex Machina itself does look to be a good improvement over the first movie and I will be buying it. Bringing in some non-anime talent was a wise move and hopefully more shows will do this in the future. The only two gripes are the animation and the need the writers feel to explain every little detail. We can see the car hovers, we do not need any further explanation. Save the psuedo-science technobabble for a DVD extra. As pretty much all my English teachers said: "Show, don't tell."
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