Posts tagged ‘movies’

06/15/2011

Detective Conan Main Theme (Baker Street Version)

by wfgodbold

This arrangement of the Detective Conan Main Theme was featured in the series’s sixth movie, the Phantom of Baker Street.

Detective Conan (localized as Case Closed for the English-speaking market) is a popular, long-running manga and anime series (71 volumes to date, and over 600 half-hour episodes); it’s one of the few that airs during primetime. Due to low ratings on the Cartoon Network, only the first 50 episodes were broadcast in the US.

Every April since 1997, a Detective Conan movie has been released (yes, that means there are fifteen of them); the Phantom of Baker Street hit theaters in the April of 2002, and it was (if I remember right) the only movie I saw in theaters while studying abroad.

It’s a good detective show; the puzzles are interesting (even if rather obscure; sometimes they hinge on the minutiae of Japanese culture (for example, one had to do with the game of shogi)), and the characters are entertaining.

The eponymous detective, Conan Edogawa, has the appearance of a grade-schooler; in reality, he is the famous (in Tokyo, at least) high school student detective Shinichi Kudou. After witnessing a couple of criminals (Gin and Vodka of the Black Syndicate), he’s attacked and forced to drink an experimental poison. Gin and Vodka leave Shinichi behind, sure he’s at death’s door, but the poison shrinks him to the size of a young child.

In a panic when confronted in the library by his friend, Ran Mori, he says his first name is Conan, and his last is Edogawa. Ran ends up taking him to live at her house with her barely scraping by PI father.

Through the use of various gadgets, Conan solves cases for Ran’s father behind the scenes, rebuilding his reputation while trying to keep anyone from discovering that Shinichi is actually Conan; if the Black Syndicate were to learn he had survived, everyone close to him could become a target.

The Phantom of Baker Street was a good movie, but it’s worth starting the series at the beginning of the TV show; there isn’t much of an overarching plot, but new characters are periodically introduced.

Besides, if you’ve never seen it, how will you know what’s going on when the live action TV series airs in Japan this summer?

02/21/2011

Liam Neeson is getting typecast, I think

by wfgodbold

Not that I care; he’s just as awesome in Unknown as he is in every other suspense/action movie he’s done. If he keeps making great popcorn flicks, I’ll be happy.

The movie does follow a few tropes, but it does so in a way that is (mostly) believable; Liam Neeson makes such a great implacable man that you can overlook the little things.

02/12/2011

The Eagle has landed…

by wfgodbold

And I managed to sit through an entire Channing Tatum movie without wishing I were dead (G.I. Joe, I’m looking at you).

As long as you expect a movie with Channing Tatum in it to be worse than any movie you’ve ever seen, you should be fine. The Eagle was decent; the trailer emphasized the legion scenes more than the rest of them, and the legion was done with in the first half hour or so.

The rest of the movie illustrated exactly how howling and savage the howling savages north of Hadrian’s Wall were (answer: pretty damn savage). There’s no moral relativity here, no noble savage oppressed by the evil Roman conquerors (though they do mention it briefly); for the most part, the Romans are civilization and the Britons are a bunch of barely human barbarians.

Barbarism has degrees, though; Marcus’s (Channing Tatum) slave, Esca (Jamie Bell), was a member of the Brigantes before being forced to fight in the arena. Esca turns out to be a better character than Marcus, mostly due to Marcus’s obsession with clearing his father’s name.

It’s not a terrible film, but I don’t know that I would spend full price for a ticket. Go to a matinee or see it on Netflix and you’ll be better off.

01/17/2011

In which I discuss two recent movies

by wfgodbold

True Grit and The Green Hornet!

First, the lesser of the two: The Green Hornet.  I was initially suspicious of Seth Rogen’s ability to play anything but a self-absorbed party guy, but since that’s his character in a nutshell (he comes up with the idea to be a costumed hero while on a bender), he does a pretty good job.  The Asian guy who plays Kato, though, steals the show; he’s hilarious, and is a far better character than the spoiled son of a newspaperman that Rogen plays.

I enjoyed it; unlike the film adaptation of The Shadow from the 90s, The Green Hornet is adapted into the modern age (The Shadow was set in the 40s, I believe).  It worked for this source material, and it might not have worked as well with the Shadow (though they could have taken a page from the BBC’s reinvintion of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock, also a very good adaptation) and had Lamont Cranston be an opium lord in the modern Orient; opium is still very big there).

Now for True Grit; sadly, I haven’t seen the original adaptation with John Wayne, so while on the one hand I haven’t seen a classic western, on the other hand my opinion wasn’t clouded by any expectations.

Jeff Bridges does a great job as the crotchety old marshal, Rooster Cogburn; Matt Damon was surprisingly un Matt Damon like in his role as the wayward Texas Ranger LaBeouf, but the star of the movie is Hailee Steinfeld, who played the feisty Mattie Hayes.  She doesn’t take any guff from anyone, and barrels on through the tale on sheer willpower.

It pains me to say this (since it’s usually not the case, in my opinion), but the critics are right; True Grit is amazing.

01/10/2011

Season of the Witch

by wfgodbold

Academy Award winner Nic Cage (and partner in crime Ron Perlman!) don’t fail to entertain in this tale of two jaded crusaders looking for redemption…  One at the bottom of a bottle, and the other in the arms of the woman he loves (that’s completely false, but it would have made the jaded tale of two jaded soldiers and their journey even more jaded).

Who am I kidding?  This movie is exactly what the trailers make it look like; if you’re the kind of person who likes this kind of movie, then you should definitely go see it.  The 5% fresh rating doesn’t tell the whole story.

Some of the dialog is less than Oscar-quality (you expected otherwise?), and at points the plot plods along, but all in all, it’s an enjoyable movie.  The action is pretty good, and the actors do a good job with what they’re given; I haven’t seen as convincing a portrayal of Nic Cage since he played himself in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (he didn’t do as well portraying himself in Kick-Ass, but he did do a perfect job playing Adam West)!

12/13/2010

Thor!

by wfgodbold

The official trailer is out, and it looks awesome!

Marvel studios is doing a good job at churning these movies out every couple years, and they’ve all been pretty good.  Hopefully Thor will continue the trend.

11/12/2010

Skip Skyline

by wfgodbold

I saw Skyline this afternoon; it was kind of a mashup between an aliens attack movie and a zombie survival movie, in that the characters are trying to hole up and hide out from the marauding aliens, and their stupidity tends to get them killed.

Unfortunately, instead of resolving the plot, the movie ends right at the climax; we don’t get to see an actual conclusion.

The trailer makes it look like a decent movie, but don’t be fooled; it’s a waste of time!

10/15/2010

I’ll be seeing this tomorrow

by wfgodbold

Cause after spending all day in the car driving, I wasn’t too keen on sitting in a theater for 2 hours to watch RED.

It looks like a good time, and the actors are all top notch, so I expect its 70% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes is well deserved.

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10/05/2010

Maybe now Superman movies will be good again

by wfgodbold

With Zack Snyder at the helm!

He’d have to actually actively try to make the movie bad to fail to top Superman Returns; as long as he does the consistent job he did on 300 and Watchmen, the next Superman movie (with the return of General Zod!) should be pretty good.

We’ll just all agree that Superman 3 and 4 never happened.

09/28/2010

Monster Hunter Vendetta

by wfgodbold

Larry Correia’s latest is on the way from amazon; the advanced electronic copy was well received, and I enjoyed the first one.  I expect the sequel will be a wild ride, and will definitely be hilarious (especially if the elves show up in this one, too).

Since I ordered it during my brief one-month trial of amazon prime, it should be here on Thursday.  I may read it over the weekend instead of going to see Let Me In, the new vampire movie releasing Friday.

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