Archives For Books

First, let me just say that when the trailer for Dawn Treader came out, I thought it looked terrible. The CGI work in the film looked positively subpar in comparison to what you thought of Lion and Caspian when they came out. I also wondered why I couldn’t remember any details in regards of the book, since I’ve only read the series once. Except for the annoying cousin, I was blank.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader tells the story of Edmund and Lucy Pevensie who stayed over at their cousin Eustace’s place as they’re separated from their family… including Susan and Peter. Eustace is annoying, played very convincingly by Will Poulter (Son of Rambow), he’s loud, whiny, a complete pain. Then one day as the cousins are arguing in a room that includes a painting of a ship at sea, water starts dripping from the painting. The room fills with water, and they’re transported to Narnia.

Edmund, Lucy and Eustace — who’s freaking out by now — get rescued by Prince (now King) Caspian and his crew, plus Reepicheep, on board of the Dawn Treader in search for the 7 allies of Caspian’s kingdom who were betrayed by his uncle when he took power. Stopping in the first kingdom/island, they discovered a group that’s been taking people away to give them as offering to something known as “The Green Mist”.

Aslan’s totally against this Green Mist, so Caspian, the Pevensie bros, Eustace and company must trail the rest of the kingdom’s allies, get their swords together, and vanquish the Green Mist.

Looking at these not-longer-kids makes me feel old. Lucy (Georgie Henley) is even more grown-up that I remember from Caspian. Same thing for Edmund (Skandar Keynes). Peter (William Moseley) and Susan (Anna Popplewell), however, look ageless. At least they do on the film.

Because my expectations were low in regards to the CG and the conversion, I must say Dawn Treader delivers better than expected. The fakeness of the CG in the 2D trailers was lost in the 3D conversion which made the picture darker and blurry. You can’t have crisp action, that defeats the purpose of action. Also, the shots use in the film work quite fine as “3D” shots, you could even believe they had thought in terms of 3D environment.

The problem with Dawn Treader, however, lies in that it’s pretty thin on story. Even in the book, it seemed to only work as an introduction to Eustace… maybe the reason why that’s all I remember about the actual book. The film also includes some very cringe-worthy dialog, but maybe that’s an issue with the dubbing I had to watch.

But I did enjoy it. What the movie makes better than the book is that it fixes the pacing, there’s a lot of action going on while they’re on their way to search for the allies and their swords. They also make a great build-up for Reepicheep, despite the lack of screen-time he’s had in the movies, to give him a deserving send-off. Actually, it’s probably my favorite scene — despite the blatant Christianity hitting me in the face always on the series, I’m rather fond of how the series ended.

However, I wish they had done something more emotional with Lucy and Edmund’s Narnia farewell, because I felt Susan and Peter’s were much more serious, much more felt… after all, we won’t see Lucy and Edmund! We could see a glimpse of Ben Barns as Caspian on The Silver Chair, but not Keynes and Henley.

I hope they do make it to The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle… even cooler if they make The Magician’s Nephew. I really REALLY hate The Horse and his Boy, though.

3/5

Because I couldn’t post these until the DVD ;P

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It’s begun. The beginning of the end. After the 7th book came out, and left me unsatisfied — a feeling carried over the 6th book and the 5th film — I swore to never see Harry Potter at the cinema ever again. A promise easy to keep with the 6th film, but then… it was hard to keep it when the first promotional materials for HP7 were released.

Well played, Warner. Well played.

Deathly Hallows is perhaps Yates’ best attempt at a Harry Potter adaption, but considering the other two – it isn’t saying that much. In the greater scale of things, it might follow on Azkaban’s footsteps as an interesting film filled with anguish and desperation… of I guess, the teenage sort. If the book didn’t work for you, the film seems to improve on action and characters. It’s also of great comfort to say that The WB’s decision of splitting the film in two parts was hardly a bad commercial or creative choice… at least for the fans of the books, who will savor each an every detail.

But then again, considering how many chapters were crammed into this first part, one has to wonder what’s left for part two if not only the “last battle” which, in the book, happened off-page… and that epilogue that’s ripped out of the most poorly written fanfiction.

For the non-readers or those who haven’t seen HP6… well, you’re screwed. It really doesn’t work without the background, and you’re better without watching it, if you’re going to start complaining. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows feels like made for the fans of the series only.

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I think this is the first time I post more than one review not of mine of a Yu Aoi film, maybe I’m getting better at finding info… or maybe more people are writing in English. Anyway, this second review of Raiou isn’t so kind either.

I haven’t been able to find Box Office info on whether Raiou opened at #1, or a had weak opening — being a Period Romance, it should open at #1 for various reasons. Anyway~ here’s an excerpt:

Although the charismatic Aoi Yu brings some sorely-needed life to the film with her portrayal of Rai/Yu, her counterpart Okada Masaki is never truly convincing as a man whose inner demons threaten to tear him apart.

Via Screendaily.com

I don’t think those comments will hurt the Okada Masaki fans, but let’s wait for those Box Office numbers~

*EDIT*

Got numbers~ They’re not that good. Raiou opened at #8 ~

via Japan Now + Cinema Navi

Okay, the Raiou review isn’t so ouch because it’s in Japanese, and it didn’t seem to talk much about the film – other than the synopsis – but they gave it 2/5 which… you know, it’s bad. It doesn’t really surprise me after Ryuichi Hiroki’s April Bride. We’re not talking about Shinobu Terajima — fully, in-your-face actress — with Ryuichi Hiroki. We’re talking about Eita and Nana Eikura — the idols.

But still, as an idol film, I think it’s gonna floor me. I’ve seen the clips, it’s got Yu-chan riding a horse in slow-motion. Screaming. Talking with an accent. Shooting an arrow. It’s got Yu-chan’s first proper on-screen kiss — it’s not an “in your head” kiss scene, it’s not a stolen kiss — it’s a proper romance.

Then Mark Schilling from the Japan Times – who also kicked FLOWERS in the shins – kicks Redline too. I’m gonna pick the phrases that sum up his review the best:

“Redline” is all about visceral thrills that peak in the first slam-bang, headlong race scene. The film then spends the next 90 minutes trying to top this opener — about 90 minutes too long for me.

But the first 10 minutes are terrific.

There you go. He gave it a 2.5/5

But he says the animation is good, which… I mean – have you seen the World Record short from The Animatrix? Same guy directing. I can’t wait to just feast my eyes. Maybe, if the story and action is as sucky as he says (not enough drama, again?) Maybe I’ll just watch it one more time. I mean, he did love Tekkonkinkreet.

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