Sunday, January 02, 2005

Disparate Movies

That's what I watched yesterday and today. Two very disparate movies. Last night my wife and I finally got out to see The Incredibles, which was, well, incredible. I myself agree with Steve that it was the best of the Pixar films to date. They have only made five films (Toy Story 1&2, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life and Monster's Inc.) prior to The Incredibles, but what films! I have to say, I think the James Bond franchise might ought to look into doing an animated feature. It's becoming more and more accepted here for animated films to be for adults as well as children (as it is in Japan) and seeing how wonderfully all the gadgets and stunts were brought to life in The Incredibles means spectacular events (even if beyond the realm of the physically possible) on a smaller budget. Or perhaps a combination of digital and animated effects with live action, a la Star Wars.

Speaking of Star Wars, the trailer for Revenge of the Sith was shown before the feature Saturday night. And while I will go see it, (Darn you, Lucas!) it looks to be tripe piled on top of the tripe already presented. Could Lucas do worse than he already has in turning his loyal fans against him? I don't see how, but then I didn't see how he could make a movie largely without Jar Jar Binks and still have be just as bad. I'm constantly amazed at the depths to which he sinks.

Finally, before the bile wells up too much and overwhelms me, I turn to the movie I watched this afternoon. Zatoichi: On the Road. It seems to be the fifth one in the series, but there were dozens movies made about this character, and I have no idea whether or not all or most have the same actor in the title role, nor whether they are all even considered part of the same series as the James Bond films are (for the most part).

Zatoichi is a blind man who has taught himself to use a sword and uses his senses other than sight to be a fierce fighter. The movies I've seen have been pretty formulaic: he wanders around trying to find peace and is constantly being caught up by people scheming to get him to do their dirty work for them. He outwits them and saves the innocent girl/old man/priest/etc who has been caught in the middle and then wanders off into the sunset. It's not Kurosawa, but they are entertaining.

I've started to look for some anime films; I've been interested in several manga stories in book form, but haven't seen much to interest me on film. If anyone has any good recommendations, I'd enjoy hearing about it.