instead of choosing the obvious theater flick over the weekend, i went somewhat out of my way to attend a big screen viewing of Masamune Shirow's Appleseed, the loose remake of the '88 OVA. i can't really compare the two since it's been at least 5 years since i've seen the OVA and i remember dozing off while i was watching. anyways, this new and improved Appleseed, based on Shirow's (Ghost in the Shell/Intron Depot) manga, was indeed the visual treat the trailers would have you believe and definitely theater worthy...
and i won't bother stepping on the soap box about my disdain for CGI integration into traditional cell animation b/c i think this is the direction for most anime studios, in this case Digital Frontier, so there's no use bitching about it. besides Blue Submarine, i think the first time i recall CGI and cell merging in a feature presentation was in Metropolis. i didn't like it then and i don't care for it now. CGI has reached a point of realism that makes it appear as tho cartoon characters are running around interacting w/the real world a la Roger Rabbit. the latter example i can understand but for anime it's slightly jarring. ok, so i did toe the soap box. gomen nasai.
anyways, Appleseed The Movie was pretty cool albeit familiar - Shirow's future here poses machine-created man versus man, a twist on the man versus machine future - but i've come to accept that anime/manga future so it's no longer surprising to watch yet another iteration of it unfold on the big screen. Appleseed was a fun flick but nothing terribly deep or convoluted as Osamu Tezuka's work, which isn't a downside just an observation.
at the point when i thought Appleseed was headed down convolution road, it took an upturn towards mecha-ville, with high action laced between calmer spots of exposition. i was entertained thru-out and definitely recommend catching it on the big screen in your area (assuming it's playing in your area). it might not be quite as good on the small screen but probably decent enough - Appleseed is akin to one large PS2 cutscene (ANN gives it favorable ratings so far). the real downside for me was that it was presented w/the English dub! WTF?! it's in extremely limited release and they serve up the English dub?! very fucking annoying.
hot off the wire: "In limited release, Geneon Entertainment's Appleseed, an animé import featuring the kick-ass warrior heroine of a futuristic society, zapped in at 31 sites, averaged $2,539 for $78,718."
so yeah, i skipped Elektra even tho i did want to see it. i don't think my ticket would've mattered much since it tanked in a big way. i attribute that to the poor reviews and Garner's "illness" which left her off the pub-circuit leading up to the flick. i say "illness" b/c i wonder if she bailed on the promotion run after the initial reviews started trickling in? then again, Halle did go gangbusters pubbing Catwoman. i'll try to squeeze in Elektra next weekend along w/the Assault on Precinct 13 remake (that didn't need to be remade).
and since this is my first official post of 2005 there is some housekeeping in order... catching up, we like to say. year kicked off w/a better than usual new years spent @Ron's (Capt'n Satan) playing party games the whole fam while sipping the hard stuff. warm and cozy fun. then alotta bowl games w/kev of which only the Iowa and Michigan games were worth a hoot. then the semi-huge year-end news that my employer is being acquired by a rival company, one whom i hate, is followed in the first week of the new year with news of impending lay-offs. ah, wonderful. so that deal went down last week and we lost 3 - but none of mine.
thanks to a last minute save i was able to keep my dept intact and throw someone else in front of the bus. yeah. that sucks but like a mother wolf i gotta protect my cubs. fortunately the layoffs had hardly an impact and things are moving forward, hopefully in the right direction. doubtful but w/o hope we have nothing (yes, i am fervently watching the new Battlestar Galactica series). Happy New Year!