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REVIEW: Redline Blu-Ray


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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:09 pm Reply with quote
I really need to get my hands on this. It sounds so far up my alley that it's crossing the street on the other end. Very Happy
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:12 pm Reply with quote
Chagen46 wrote:
I just know I'm going to love this movie.

I love absolutely ridiculous shit like this. And I love any kind of racing movie as well. As much offense as people may take to this: this movie reminds me of the "new" Speed Racer film. Both are immensly over-the-top, utterly un-realistic, it's obvious that the director(s) loved making every second of it, and both are AWESOME.

One of them, Speed Racer, is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I think Redline is going to be as well.


Redline does have a lot in common with the Speed Racer movie, which I also love, but I think it has a broader appeal because that over-the-top, colorful aesthetic is easier to accept in animation than in live action.
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DRWii



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:15 pm Reply with quote
Anthis wrote:
I can't help but feel hesitant when seeing an over-the-top rating like this (highest I've seen so far on ANN?).

There's definitely one movie that got a better rating on ANN; Justin Sevakis' review of "Paprika" had nothing below an A+.
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ElectricDork



Joined: 08 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:15 pm Reply with quote
Being a fan of stylish, straightforward, no-nonsense anime action movies (think Yoshiaki Kawajiri), I thought I'd like Redline more than I did. But while I absolutely appreciate the technical brilliance of the movie, the action itself was too loud, too relentless, too over-the-top for my liking. I had a similar problem with Gurren Lagann, most episodes of which wore me out long before the credits rolled. Pipe and slippers time?

Maybe it would've been a little different had I cared about any of the characters, but I didn't and that just added boredom to the mix.

Having said all that, I don't regret buying the Blu-ray because I would like to see Japan produce more movies and series for adults (and with a view to a Western audience). I just hope that I like the next one a bit better.
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Timeenforceranubis



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:30 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
Timeenforceranubis wrote:
Zac wrote:
Timeenforceranubis wrote:

I feel like the film was just desperately trying to engage me the entire time, through all the wrong methods. I would have been engaged if it bothered to actually do some worldbuilding, but instead it opted to constantly hype its own self up, like the movie presumes its awesomeness is a given, and I'm just the guy who doesn't get it.

That's what I mean when I say "it insists upon itself."


I get what you're saying, but this isn't a flaw of the film itself - it never set out to create this expansive, hyper-detailed sci-fi world where you know the backstory of every race or whatever. That wasn't the film's goal. It's like criticizing a comedy for not having enough drama in it for you.

Everyone has their own taste and they know what they like but it's important to judge a work based on what it *is*, not what you wanted it to be or what you thought it was before you saw it.

I think it is a flaw of the film. I'm not asking for the film to be a sci-fi epic, but I don't think it's too much to ask for a little framing to initially engage me in the film's world. It's not like criticizing a comedy for not having enough drama. It's like criticizing a comedy for not framing its jokes correctly.


Bad analogy.

A comedy that doesn't frame its jokes correctly falls apart at a very fundamental level and fails to operate as a comedy.

Redline not giving you whatever sci-fi details you were looking for outside the basic premise doesn't mean it doesn't function as a narrative. I know you didn't like the film, but that simply is not true. You want something that isn't there, but its absence does not dramatically cripple the film's story or make it difficult to understand.

Lack of worldbuilding doesn't make the film not function as a narrative, true. However, I think it would function as a better narrative if, among other things, the film did some worldbuilding. That's the point I'm trying to make. I'm not trying to make this film something it isn't, but I'm not buying this "you can't criticize the film on things it could have done" angle.
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j Talbain



Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:39 pm Reply with quote
Just Bought It On Blu-ray. Just Watched It and It was Effen AWESOME!!! One of the best stand alone movie's I've seen in years.
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Great Rumbler



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:59 pm Reply with quote
Timeenforceranubis wrote:

Lack of worldbuilding doesn't make the film not function as a narrative, true. However, I think it would function as a better narrative if, among other things, the film did some worldbuilding. That's the point I'm trying to make. I'm not trying to make this film something it isn't, but I'm not buying this "you can't criticize the film on things it could have done" angle.


But what, exactly, would world-building add to Redline?

Would more information about Roboworld, the history of the human race, the formation of Redline, or the state of the universe make the relationship between JP and Sonoshee more meaningful or the race itself more exciting? What insight would the viewer gain by this information?

Redline deals with very simple, very universal themes: the pursuit of love and the joy of racing. This isn't a story about humanity's journey into space or the effects of advanced technology on society, where the world itself plays directly into the narrative.

In a very real sense the visual trappings in Redline are just that, trappings. The scifi world, the aliens, the crazy weapons, all that is merely an artistic choice rather than a narrative choice. Redline could just as easily be set in the American southwest with a group of illegal racers from different countries involved in a cross-country rally who accidentally stumble upon a secret government project. The narrative is the same, the characters are largely the same, the themes are the same. Redline is not reliant on place for those elements to work, which is why world-building is not and should not be a priority.


Last edited by Great Rumbler on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Animerican14



Joined: 19 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:01 am Reply with quote
Does anyone else find the dichotomy between Zac's praise for the aesthetics for Redline and Zac's... lack of praise for the Animatrix's "World Record" segment interesting? You know, since it was also directed and designed by Takeshi Koike?

Zac wrote:
World Record is probably the least visually appealing short on the disc. [...] [The main character's] being followed by agents the entire time, of course; agents with spectacularly bad hair. Everyone has gigantic flapping lips that never really come close to matching their speech; I understand anime has difficulty with lip-synch but this short is somewhat ridiculous. The awkward, ugly character designs, constant use of the fisheye lens, and hideous color palette make World Record possibly one of the most aesthetically disgusting anime productions ever made.


Has Takeshi Koike really made that much more progress in the nine or ten years since then? Laughing Or is this one of those situations he's mentioned back on a relatively recent podcast where, were he to look at "World Record" now, he would have a different opinion of it due to his evolving preferences?
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Timeenforceranubis



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:19 am Reply with quote
Great Rumbler wrote:
Timeenforceranubis wrote:

Lack of worldbuilding doesn't make the film not function as a narrative, true. However, I think it would function as a better narrative if, among other things, the film did some worldbuilding. That's the point I'm trying to make. I'm not trying to make this film something it isn't, but I'm not buying this "you can't criticize the film on things it could have done" angle.


But what, exactly, would world-building add to Redline?

Would more information about Roboworld, the history of the human race, the formation of Redline, or the state of the universe make the relationship between JP and Sonoshee more meaningful or the race itself more exciting? What insight would the viewer gain by this information?

Redline deals with very simple, very universal themes: the pursuit of love and the joy of racing. This isn't a story about humanity's journey into space or the effects of advanced technology on society, where the world itself plays directly into the narrative.

In a very real sense the visual trappings in Redline are just that, trappings. The scifi world, the aliens, the crazy weapons, all that is merely an artistic choice rather than a narrative choice. Redline could just as easily be set in the American southwest with a group of illegal racers from different countries involved in a cross-country rally who accidentally stumble upon a secret government project. The narrative is the same, the characters are largely the same, the themes are the same. Redline is not reliant on place for those elements to work, which is why world-building is not and should not be a priority.

When I talk about worldbuilding, what I'm saying is that I feel that I would have been more engaged with Redline had it had some worldbuilding, to build up the story and initially engage the viewer, instead of insisting upon itself like it did.

So, as far as what worldbuilding would add, it would add engagement to the story.
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SoandSo



Joined: 13 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:05 am Reply with quote
Timeenforceranubis wrote:
insisting upon itself like it did.


First off, stop using this phrase. It is exactly as empty and pretentious as the now powerfully-worthless "comedy" you obviously learned it from was making it out to be. Case in point, it really isn't helping me understand where you're coming from.

What else, at it's most basic level, can a movie entirely and completely about nothing but a huge race in the future, do to immediately engage and absorb its audience into the story...but to immediately thrust them directly into that race with the booming crowds and troves of amazingly creative, colorful aliens and technology and throttling chassis and explosions of nitro and noise andalmost grotesque close-ups of faces quivering from the sheer g-forces created in the expertly captured, mind-melting speed? What would adding a talky prologue add to that?

Insists on itself nothing. Besides the immenent race is tuned into from countelss tv sets across the galaxy, it attracts fans and racers from all walks of intergalactic life, it has its own news station, has enough clout(read; revenue) to coerce several parties and governments to use abject subterfuge to ensure the race goes off with (relatively) few hitches. The film goes to pretty much every appreciably non-expositional length it can to get across that the Redline Grand Prix is a pretty big deal, and the animation and direction has all the vibrancy, sense of speed and virtuosity to reinforce all that thematically. So I'm at a total loss at what exactly it is you feel this film lacks in order to justify its premise.
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Timeenforceranubis



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:56 am Reply with quote
SoandSo wrote:
Timeenforceranubis wrote:
insisting upon itself like it did.


First off, stop using this phrase. It is exactly as empty and pretentious as the now powerfully-worthless "comedy" you obviously learned it from was making it out to be. Case in point, it really isn't helping me understand where you're coming from.

What else, at it's most basic level, can a movie entirely and completely about nothing but a huge race in the future, do to immediately engage and absorb its audience into the story...but to immediately thrust them directly into that race with the booming crowds and troves of amazingly creative, colorful aliens and technology and throttling chassis and explosions of nitro and noise andalmost grotesque close-ups of faces quivering from the sheer g-forces created in the expertly captured, mind-melting speed? What would adding a talky prologue add to that?

Insists on itself nothing. Besides the immenent race is tuned into from countelss tv sets across the galaxy, it attracts fans and racers from all walks of intergalactic life, it has its own news station, has enough clout(read; revenue) to coerce several parties and governments to use abject subterfuge to ensure the race goes off with (relatively) few hitches. The film goes to pretty much every appreciably non-expositional length it can to get across that the Redline Grand Prix is a pretty big deal, and the animation and direction has all the vibrancy, sense of speed and virtuosity to reinforce all that thematically. So I'm at a total loss at what exactly it is you feel this film lacks in order to justify its premise.


Okay, I'll say the film begs the question. My meaning still stands:

Quote:
I feel like the film was just desperately trying to engage me the entire time, through all the wrong methods. I would have been engaged if it bothered to actually do some worldbuilding, but instead it opted to constantly hype its own self up, like the movie presumes its awesomeness is a given, and I'm just the guy who doesn't get it.


I'm not saying the film has to justify its premise. What I'm saying is that I would have been more engaged in what was going on if there was some exposition going on in the beginning. Without it, the film felt to me like it was just being made-up as it went.
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DogsWithGlasses



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:57 am Reply with quote
Timeenforceranubis wrote:
SoandSo wrote:
Timeenforceranubis wrote:
insisting upon itself like it did.


First off, stop using this phrase. It is exactly as empty and pretentious as the now powerfully-worthless "comedy" you obviously learned it from was making it out to be. Case in point, it really isn't helping me understand where you're coming from.

What else, at it's most basic level, can a movie entirely and completely about nothing but a huge race in the future, do to immediately engage and absorb its audience into the story...but to immediately thrust them directly into that race with the booming crowds and troves of amazingly creative, colorful aliens and technology and throttling chassis and explosions of nitro and noise andalmost grotesque close-ups of faces quivering from the sheer g-forces created in the expertly captured, mind-melting speed? What would adding a talky prologue add to that?

Insists on itself nothing. Besides the immenent race is tuned into from countelss tv sets across the galaxy, it attracts fans and racers from all walks of intergalactic life, it has its own news station, has enough clout(read; revenue) to coerce several parties and governments to use abject subterfuge to ensure the race goes off with (relatively) few hitches. The film goes to pretty much every appreciably non-expositional length it can to get across that the Redline Grand Prix is a pretty big deal, and the animation and direction has all the vibrancy, sense of speed and virtuosity to reinforce all that thematically. So I'm at a total loss at what exactly it is you feel this film lacks in order to justify its premise.


Okay, I'll say the film begs the question. My meaning still stands:

Quote:
I feel like the film was just desperately trying to engage me the entire time, through all the wrong methods. I would have been engaged if it bothered to actually do some worldbuilding, but instead it opted to constantly hype its own self up, like the movie presumes its awesomeness is a given, and I'm just the guy who doesn't get it.


I'm not saying the film has to justify its premise. What I'm saying is that I would have been more engaged in what was going on if there was some exposition going on in the beginning. Without it, the film felt to me like it was just being made-up as it went.


I have to agree with Zac when he made reference to expectations of the film vs. what the film actually was. I agree with you when you say that "you can't criticize the film on things it could have done", but I don't feel that it necessarily applies here because for what the film is and was intended to be Redline was superbly executed. I mean, were there any details that were left out that were important to the plot or the overall experience?

I personally don't feel that any additional world building or exposition would have necessarily added to Redline without harming the overall experience of the film. Redline had a tight, no-nonsense script and everything that needed to be there was there. It wasn't confusing, boring, talky, or vague at any point. It was clear, concise, to-the-point, and damned entertaining throughout. As straight forward as the film was would it have benefited from having any extra exposition or world explaining inserted into it? I personally don't think so. I feel it would have most likely hurt the pacing of the film.

Besides, aren't some questions better left unanswered? Mystique and imaginative engagement are good things sometimes, no?
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braves



Joined: 29 Dec 2007
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Location: Puerto Rico (but living in Texas)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:26 am Reply with quote
Animerican14 wrote:

Has Takeshi Koike really made that much more progress in the nine or ten years since then? Laughing Or is this one of those situations he's mentioned back on a relatively recent podcast where, were he to look at "World Record" now, he would have a different opinion of it due to his evolving preferences?
lol I can't believe I forgot about this when I made my first post in this thread. I remember questioning this myself when I went back and read that old review. World Record shows Koike's style without having any restraint while he does hold back a bit on Redline when it comes to showing extreme and exaggerated movement. It's kind of like comparing Hiroyuki Imaishi's Dead Leaves to what he did later in Gurren Lagann. They're both from the same guy, but you can see they're trying to hold things back a bit to let other aspects of their work take over a bit more instead of mostly just having great animation*. However, I do think that there is still a huge disparity there if you hated World Record but loved Redline.

Add more slow-motion shots of people's faces while they're running in Redline and maybe people don't like it as much. Razz

* I think the major purpose of World Record is just to showcase Koike's animation work-- since he did half of the key animation himself-- and I imagine that Kawajiri tailored the script so his protégé could maximize what he could do in a short amount of time (slow motion shots of peoples' muscles expanding and contracting, keys spinning in mid-air, people stumbling over the finish line, sentinels, etc).
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kakitamike



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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Location: Akron, OH
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:49 am Reply with quote
Just watched this for the first time last night. It's definitely one of the better looking anime i've seen in the last few years.

I do feel like it lost a lot to the hype machine for me. I feel it drags a lot between the races. The little nudity there is felt gratuitous. The wrap up of the main characters relationship seemed cliche. The storyline 'twist' of the main character's friend wasn't very original.

And yes, these are all things that dozens of other shows do. I guess that was my main letdown going into it. So many people said this was the best anime in the last upteen years, haven't seen anything like it.

To me, this was just like an afro samurai. Insanity level animation quality, but otherwise over the top just for the sake of being over the top.

As an anime fan, I definitely think it's worth viewing at least once, but my hopes that this would be something to show my dad, or invite all my friend's over to watch, were dashed maybe halfway in. It just felt like any other show with a slicker paint job.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 432
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:17 am Reply with quote
kakitamike wrote:
I do feel like it lost a lot to the hype machine for me.

Basically my opinion too. It's pretty much a show for a very specific group of people, certain types of otaku. When you go beyond that it's going to disappoint.

I watched it a couple times, and I think the key distinction is just how much you care about the characters. Zac says it sold, but me and a bunch of people obviously didn't buy. And if you don't buy in the characters, this film is basically like an anime form of Fast Five [or insert another movie of your choosing in the same franchise] with way less character development. To me that is not a sign of a great film, it can't be divisive because of some kind of narrative gamble (as opposed to content or tastes or something due to the flavor of the story).

But yeah, it's a great racing and action anime, one of the best! Can't we just leave it at that Sad
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