Archive for September, 2005

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – Brad Silberling

Posted By yonghow on September 28th, 2005

Watching Brad Silberling’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is like tasting the delicious icing and toppings on an otherwise bland cake; its like savouring the attractive, beautifully illustrated cover of an otherwise boring novel. That much said, the film’s astonishing photography and production work is unlike anything we’ve seen since Sleepy Hollow, granted, they were done by some of the same folks.

If you’d cared to stay just a few minutes longer for the end credits, one will be greeted by a cornucopia of the best talents in the business; ILM, as ever for the CG and animation, cinematography by Emmaneul Lubezki of Sleepy Hollow, Great Expectations; editing by Michael Kahn, who edited most of Spielberg’s recent films; production design by Rick Henrichs of Sleepy Hollow; costume design by Colleen Atwood of Gattaca, Silence of the Lambs; music by Thomas Newman of American Beauty, Meet Joe Black, and the list goes on.
Let’s just hope next time the cake is as tasty as the icing itself.

Tsui Hark’s Seven Swords

Posted By yonghow on September 22nd, 2005

For the last time, Tsui Hark’s Seven Swords is not at attempt at remaking Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, quote “and a piss poor job at that”, so say the folks who hated Hark’s latest film. For the record, Seven Swords is based on the much-read novel “Seven Swordsmen From Mount Tian,” by Liang Yu-sheng, one of the fathers of 20th century Hong Kong martial arts fiction.

I know what you want to say. “So, you must be a Tsui Hark fan eh, standing up for his work like that. ” I beg to differ. Seven Swords certainly had its merits in the character design and fight choreography departments, ( not to mention Hark’s excellent decision in asking Kawai Kenji to score. Let’s face it, original scores in Hong Kong films just ain’t that great. ) but its Kurosawa that’s taking the insult here by that “remake” comment. What amuses me, maybe even irritates me is how the chaps came up with the idea of this Seven Samurai remake connection. Do these folks even know what they are talking about ? I figured there are 2 possibilites : 1) They are simply outta their minds or 2) They’ve never watched Kurosawa’s Samurai, or didn’t understood a thing if they did, but since it was such a famous film and it puts credit to their film literacy they decide to mention it, “and hey, both films have the word SEVEN in them !”

Anyone who’s actually watched Samurai and enjoyed it understand that the film’s concern is not about the fighting, but the in depth study of the different characters that exist within and their actions and consequences, the beautiful and brilliant use of visual patterns which accentuate the narrative, and so on. Nadda on fighting. Last but not least, the film’s a CLASSIC. When was the last time anyone compared a piece of contemporary music to say, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in terms of grandeur ?

ps Check out this beautiful Seven Swords Japanese movie pamplet.

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Final Fantasy Advent Children

Posted By yonghow on September 16th, 2005

Sweet, sweet eye candy from start till end, Nomura Tetsuya’s Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children is the ultimate culmination of the brilliant CG work conjured up by the artists at SquareEnix ( formerly SquareSoft ), dating back to the then revolutionary Squall Leonheart character in 1999. This time round what sets Advent Children apart from 2001’s FF Spirits Within is not so much the faithfulness it stays to the game’s original material, but more the presence of impossibly, devastatingly neat characters. Top that with sleek Anime style editing, photography and beautifully animated fight sequences, Nomura has created a film tailor made for FF fans, with none of that sanitized Hollywood treatment in sight. This is the definitive, bona fide Final Fantasy.

Sunset

Posted By yonghow on September 7th, 2005

As Typhoon No 14 lashed past central Japan plains glancing past Tokyo the winds here were still strong enough to give me one of those Stormriders hairdos as I struggled to get to school today. On my way home as I got off the train station I was greeted with a quaint and nostalgic sight; in the far distance the setting sun has spilled a wondrous palette of reds and oranges reflecting off the voluminous clouds, framed by the distinctive silhouetted rooftops of Japanese houses and cascading cables that stretched from post to post. A beautiful sight by any other day, but more significant today because I had created an exact image of it a full 6 years ago for my final year animation project.

Truly, this is the Shinjuku Dreams.

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