I watched a couple of films yesterday, which I then wrote about and didn’t post. In the case of the latter film, it was probably for the best I’ve given it some more thought on the hikes from and to the exhaust place I had to do today.
First up was Tekkon Kinkreet, which I’ve finally seen after about a year of being all excited about it. Thankfully it didn’t let me down.
I’d read a fair chunk of the manga when it was published as “Black and White” in the pages of Pulp. It was always my favourite of the strips in there and for the past couple of years I’ve been all over Studio 4°C, so my hopes were high for Michael Arias’ adaptation. I’ve not seen the dub yet, and I understand the English script was written first, but the Japanese version flowed well. Boy band member Kazunari Ninomiya as Kuro was probably the weak link in the cast, sounding a little too like someone reading lines, but that can be seen in US animation too with actors who aren’t voice actors doing animation. Yuu Aoi (Hagu in the live action Honey & Clover) steals the show with her performance as Shiro, and Min Tanaka (is this the Butoh dancer?) is a good Nezumi.
I don’t know if it’s my memory playing tricks on me, but I seem to remember the manga having more of Nezumi and his view of Treasure Town in it. My copies of Pulp went binward when I moved last year so I can’t check at the moment. I should get the new one volume collection to compare it.
The most dazzling thing about the film is the background art and I see there’s 3 artbooks, two of which are in the same format as Cannabis Works, so I can see me grabbing them if the background painting/designs are in there.
Of the three 2006 anime films I was getting all excited about, I still think Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is the best, but this and Paprika are both hot on it’s heels.
After watching Tekkon Kinkreet, I went and watched Superbad.
It’s not as good as I was hoping for from the trailer, but I don’t think it’s as bad as some reviews it’s got in the UK. The first segment, basically everything prior to the first McLovin gag, is wearisome, and I’m not sure if the misogynistic ignorance that is spouted by the characters here is supposed to be found amusing by the audience in itself, or if we are supposed to find the fact that they are so ignorant amusing. Either way it doesn’t work.
What it does do better is slapstick and situational comedy. The stuff with the cops, Joe Lo Truglio’s character and Micheal Cera’s scene with the coked up guys work well. But, there’s been comedies who’ve done the whole getting from A-B with hijinks inbetween better, and have made that the focus of the film. Danny Leiner’s films for example. Yes, I am saying “Harold and Kumar” AND “Dude, Where’s My Car” are better (“Dude, Where’s My Car” is a film I found myself surprised at liking. Admittedly I was very ill at the time, so that might have played a part).
What would have made it better?
Well, the female characters could have been more fleshed out, it’s not until the last 15 minutes any of them really get a personality and that seems to be only in order to deliver what amounts to the films moral. A moral that had been delivered about halfway through the film anyway. And the most interesting aspect of the film, the separation anxiety of the two leads, gets lost in the rest of the film. And it’s far too long for a comedy, a good deal of the film before the attempts to buy alcohol could be excised from the film.
It’s not as good as a lot of people are making out (imdb top 250! really?), but it’s also not as bad as few people have painted it.