As we trail further down the Naruto film train, we have reached the conclusion to the young Naruto film trilogy. This will be the last moment I get to have fun with the younger cast of Naruto and dive into the worst part of the franchise, the Shippuuden years. So far the stories have been…a rather mixed bag to say the least. The first one was fun in an unconventional way but was stepped on by convention and the second was far too conventional and unintentionally funny. This one…has yet another story about royalty except this time this one knows they are royalty and their family is alive! The small differences count I guess? Well hopefully this one manages to be the ace in the whole I have been looking for with this binge of Naruto films or will I be looking for that gem in the Shippuuden side of things?
It is time for the second outing of Naruto in this movie marathon I am doing and this time we are promised an even longer runtime! Oh joy! I mean that non-sarcastically as I think with more time a proper story could be told. Well hopefully this time they learn from their mistakes a give us a great Naruto film. One can certainly hope right? I mean this time we have a magical McGuffin that an evil dictator like figure is hunting for and needs the royal family of a broken kingdom…Wait a second. This seems oddly familiar to the previous film. We are on the second film and we are already reusing ideas. Well that just means that they can refine it and most likely nothing is going to go my way. We shall see if this film manages to get itself out of this narrative similarity to the previous film, or if it will indeed just be a shallow rehashing with a new coat of paint.
Well I have decided with my family (who will watch anime) to take a crack at the Naruto series of films. The series itself has been a big part of the Western fanbase since the 2000s and could be one of the pivotal series that sparked a boon in anime fans over here. For a while it was Naruto this and Sasuke that, to ad nauseum mind you. It was a series that was hard not to know in this sphere of influence and for the most part anime fans of the early 2000s have at least come across and shared fond memories with it. I have included shared my many fond memories with the franchise and certainly I have talked quite a bit about one of my favourite portions during my Hunt for the Great Antagonist post on Zabuza Momochi. Though my love died down for the franchise when Shippuden came around, I still want to judge the movies on their own merit. Do they stand apart and craft well told companion pieces, or are they merely trite to get people to buy more merchandise? Hopefully the first film, Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, can offer a solid experience.
Oh video game adaptations how I’ve missed you! It has been a while since I have delved into this territory since I stopped doing the video game adaptation weekends. Now fighting game adaptations is something new to me. I often see fighting games try to incorporate a story into its arcade fighting mode yet often it’s more grasping at straws for lore than creating anything memorable. So if the game is a blank slate waiting to be rewritten, then the film can certainly go wild with its story and not be held down right? Well due to the fact that there is still some lore it needs to adhere to it, but besides that it seems like these types of adaptations should bring forth bombastic action with potentially good characterization. Street Fighter II has enough character in its designs and framework of a story to make a story interesting if not serviceable, but the scary question is will the adaptation feel like it needs to appeal to fans by shoving in all the characters or focus only on a few?
I have seen the wicked and the wicked shall be punished. There are many films about people being trapped in a room and forced to figure something out. The Nine needed to figure out why they are all there, Would You Rather pitted people in terrifying games against each other and the Killing Floor had a selection process of people killing each other. Every one of these films have a similar idea, but one time out of three these types of films are stinkers. None are truly terrible, and all could be some decent popcorn material if you enjoy people talking in a room for an hour and a half. The ones that go further and have something to say are generally the ones that supersede the others yet often that doesn’t mean things work out. Sometimes the film becomes a bit long-winded or focuses more on the situation than making the characters desirable to watch. Does The Eyes manage to be a good fun ride or does it fall back and become another movie at the bottom of the pile? Continue reading “The Eyes – This Time The Hills Don’t Have Them”
Earlier last year I looked at a film called the Belko Experiment. A dark comedy about office politics and nihilism that nothing matters in the end with such a huge travesty taking place. Each path lead to the same endgame. Now Mayhem is a similar beast in the sense of both insanity and the corporate setting and tone, but there is a kicker. There isn’t some big guy upstairs telling everyone to do something, this time it is themselves doing all the decision making because of a virus that unlocks all inhibitions and brings out deep seated feelings. Mayhem is less about the decisions made and more about the gruesome black comedy in place of a situation fixated on being intensely comedic. So does Mayhem’s more energized approach to the office politics pay off or does it simply fall into a campy gorefest with no mileage?
Now this is an oddity of a film. I have seen dramas situated in the same environment. Thrillers, mysteries, horror, a lot of different genres that situate themselves mostly in a single moment of time within one place. Free Fire is an oddity purely in its scenario which could have been cut sooner, is dragged out for this long gangster crime comedy all about a shootout between the Irish and their gun suppliers. It takes a climactic moment from any crime film and explodes it to this realm of surrealism, perhaps a take on the lack of coherency that should arise from a shootout. While the routine is predictable, the beats noticeable, and the jokes abundant and charmingly delivered, does this still come together as a cinematic experience for the big screen?