Akira (1988)

logoDirector: Katsuhiro Otomo

Writer: Katsuhiro Otomo, Izo Hashimoto (Screenplay) Katsuhiro Otomo (Graphic Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tessho Genda, Hiroshi Otake, Koichi Kitamura, Michihiro Ikemizu

Plot: A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Visually Beautiful Film

Story: In the aftermath of World War III in 1988 Tokyo has had to build again and 31 years later in the 2019 New-Tokyo is on the edge of the next war. We follow Kaneda and school student the leader of a biker gang including Tetsuo and Kei. When Tetsuo ends up involved in an accident after getting distracted by Takashi a young boy with certain abilities he gets taken by the government.

When Colonel Shikishima is running an operation to find Akira the cause of the previous World War the three children Takashi, Kiyoko and Masaru must prevent this happening while Tetsuo ends up becoming power and a threat to the whole city. Kaneda teams up with the resistance against the government through Kei and we follow as every side comes to a battle that will need to stop a future war.

Akira reaches levels most action films could never imagine with the number of character in the overall battle each having their own motives behind being involved. The look at what a future could have been all looks great and coming from a graphic novel everything works for what the film is trying to achieve. The violence is unlike anything you would have seen in an animated film which helps shows the world we will be entering.

Character Review

Kaneda: Kaneda is the leader of the school aged biker gang who drives the iconic red bike, when one of his gang is kidnapped by the government he joins the resistance against the government movement. Once we see what happens with his friend Tetsuo he must fight his old friend to stop the next World War happen. Kaneda is a great leading character that even after nearly 30 years is still one of the most iconic in all of animated film history.kaneda

Tetsuo: Tetsuo is a member of Kaneda’s biker gang but after he has an accident the government takes his away to use in their latest experiments. What happens to Tetsuo leads him to become a threat to the city as he searches for Akira a threat not just to Neo-Tokyo but the world. Tetsuo starts of as just a member of the gang wanting to become more and once he has the powers he learns he isn’t ready to have the leadership when he ends up turning on the people he once considered friends, a great villainous character without being a true villain.tetsuo

Kei: Kei is a member of the resistance that Kaneda rescues from the police before joining forces Kaneda to stop the government and rescue Tetsuo from bring Akira back from the dead. Kei is the potential romantic angle for Kaneda who is also as tough as they come, she also has a connection to the children with the abilities.kei

Support Characters: Akira has a large amount of supporting characters which include Kaneda’s gang who all stick with him when he needs to fight. We also have the resistance who help Kei and Kaneda achieve the battle. We have the three kids who have to abilities in their own right that together making the deadly but also fighting for the right thing. We also have one last group and that is the government who want to bring the Akira power back as a weapon.

Director Review: Katsuhiro Otomo – Katsuhiro brings us his own graphic novel to the bring screen which offers one of the most entertain and well developed characters in recent film.

Action: Akira has action from start to finish, we have a motorbike chase to open the film, constant chases to either reach someone or escape from them and the final fight oh my god what a brilliant conclusion.

Animation: Akira has simply brilliant looking animation that help bring the action to life and once more I refer to the final scene which is just breathtaking visual moment.

Sci-Fi: Akira brings us into a future world where the world has been through another World War and had to rebuild in a new future with the Neo-Tokyo.

Settings: Akira creates a futuristic looking world that helps us identify just how far into the future we have gone with the story.

Suggestion: Akira is one for all the animated fans to see because it really is a visual treat with a stunning story that will stick with you. (Animated Fans Watch)

Best Part: The final battle which will leave your jaw dropped with how amazing it looks.

Worst Part: I would say this is going to be too violent for certain animated fans.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final battle is easily the best scene in the whole film and could easily be the best one in action animated films.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: Signal Traced to Tokyo!

Trivia: The movie takes place in 2019 and depicts Neo-Tokyo creating a new Olympic stadium. Coincidentally, Tokyo is scheduled to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Overall: Akira really is one of the best animated film that ever got made that will still be talked about for years to come.

Scorecard Ratingscorecard

 

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2015 Watched List Part 12

Over the past year I have seen an incredible amount of films and I have decided to share with you all which ones I have seen in what order. I am going to be doing these in groups of ten, where I will pick my favourite of the bunch and the worst of the bunch.

So without further ramblings here we go with 121 – 130:

1. Nailbiter logo The Maguire family is forced to take sudden refuge in a seemingly abandoned storm cellar from a deadly tornado. A nice horror with an extra twist.

2. Dark Star logo In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong. Carpenter’s early work that shines.

3. Point Last Seen Fact-based story about a tracker who searches for a little girl who was lost in the desert, but suffers internally because her own children were kidnapped by her ex-husband. Standard made for tv movie.

4. Dead Rising Watchtowerlogo A group of people fight to survive in a zombie infested town. As fun as the game.

5. The Collection logo A man who escapes from the vicious grips of the serial killer known as “The Collector” is blackmailed to rescue an innocent girl from the killer’s booby-trapped warehouse. A solid sequel to an underrated horror.

6. Interstellar logo A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival. Sci-fi that makes you think too much, but is breath taking.

7. John Wicklogo An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. Brutal action film.

8. Treehouse logo A teenage boy discovers the perpetrators of several brutal kidnappings in his home town. A horror film that lacks that punch.

9. The Pyramid logo An archaeological team attempts to unlock the secrets of a lost pyramid only to find themselves hunted by an insidious creature. A horror that impressed me with the humour side.

10. Whispers of the Heart logoA love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses. What you would expect from Ghilbli.

The Best – Interstellarlogo

The Worst – Treehouselogo

Memorial Day (2011)

I went into the latest of the challenge with a film I had never heard of but with the utmost respect for James Cromwell I knew I wouldn’t be let down.

rob challengelogoDirector: Samuel Fischer

Writer: Marc Conklin (Screenplay) Jeff Traxler, Marc Conklin (Story)

Starring: Jonathan Bennett, James Cromwell, John Cromwell, Jackson Bond, Mary Kay Fortier-Spalding, Emily Fradenburgh, Charles Hubbell

Plot: Memorial Day, 1993. When 13-year-old Kyle Vogel discovers the World War II footlocker belonging to his grandfather, Bud, everyone tells Kyle to put it back. Luckily, he ignores them. Although Bud has never talked about the war, he finds himself striking a deal with his grandson: Kyle can pick any three souvenirs, and Bud will tell him the stories behind each one. Memorial Day not only takes us on a journey into Bud’s complicated wartime past, but also into Kyle’s wartime future. As the two men share parallel experiences in combat, they come to realize how that magical day on the porch shaped both of their lives.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Experience

Story: Memorial Day starts by following SSGT Kyle Vogel (Bennett) running a military mission where he gets injured by a bomb fragment, which he can add to his collection. While recovering in the hospital we Kyle start telling a story about his childhood, the story goes back to his grandfather Bud (James Cromwell) who was a military man himself.

In this trip to his grandparents Kyle (Bond) finds a military trunk and challenges Bud to recount his stories of World War II on Memorial Day. The two strike up a deal that Kyle can ask about three items from the trunk and Bud will tell the story behind them.

Memorial Day brings back memories of my late grandfather who never wanted to discuss his time in the war, we get to see how difficult it was for Bud to remember the war, the things he did, the people he lost and the memories that have scared him for life. The connection between the story tellers is unquestionable brilliant and the moments not overplayed feeling like they could have be real memories any war veteran has. This is a little gem of a film where we could all see our elders telling the stories involved. (8/10)

Actor Review

Jonathan Bennett: SSGT. Kyle Vogel is the soldier telling the story of the story he was told, he is involved in the current time war but he is only there because of the stories of his own grandfather. Jonathan does a good job in this role. (7/10)

James Cromwell: Bud Vogel is the grandfather telling the story to his grandson, he doesn’t talk about the war in normal everyday life but because Kyle challenged him he accepts the challenges to discuss a time he long wants to forget. James shines in this role as you feel you could listen to him tell stories forever. (9/10)

John Cromwell: Lieutenant Bud Vogel is the young version of Bid who is involved in World War II, he shows the same courage and calm that Kyle has learnt in the conflict that was a different time. John does a good job showing the emotion James creates. (8/10)

Support Cast: Memorial Day has supporting cast that includes the military men as well as the rest of the family who witness the story telling from behind a window.

Director Review: Samuel FischerSamuel gives us a great story about staying connected about the hardest times in life. (7/10)

Action: Memorial Day has limited war action sequences. (6/10)

History: Memorial Day shows what it would have been through the war time period. (7/10)

War: Memorial Day creates the two different time periods of war showing how conflict has changed between the generations. (8/10)

Settings: Memorial Day each setting used feels authentic to the moment of the story. (8/10)

Suggestion: Memorial Day is one to check out, I feel most people will enjoy it. (Check it Out)

Best Part: Third story from Bud.

Worst Part: I feel certain people will be disappointed with lack of war moments.

Believability: This could easily be a real connection between grandfather and grandson. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: You could have a few at the end. (5/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $4.2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Two generations. Two wars. One story.

Overall: A special little gem of a film.

Rating 80

Self/less (2015)

logoDirector: Tarsem Singh

Writer: David Pastor, Alex Pastor (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Melore Hardin, Michelle Dockery

Plot: A dying real estate mogul transfers his consciousness into a healthy young body, but soon finds that neither the procedure nor the company that performed it are quite what they seem.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Sci-Fi Body Doublling

Story: Self/less starts with ruthless business man Damian (Kingsley) who runs the city and has connections in every corner of business, he weakness is that he has been diagnosed with cancer and will dead within a year. Damian has been researching a process called Shedding that his long time friend and confidant Martin (Garber) has never heard off.

Dr Albright (Goode) is the man behind the Shedding process and the idea has been pitched to Damian who has to make up his mind about making it happen. After going through the process Damian wakes up in a younger body (Reynolds), Damian now has to learn to adapt to his new body with the likes of walking needing to be learnt all over again. Damian has to start a new life though, with money put on the side along with a new name Edward.

Everything seems to go well with the new body, parties, girls booze all the things he never got a chance to do in his first life, but Damian can’t help but miss his previous life with daughter Claire (Dockery) as well as vision he has no idea about.

Damian decides to investigate this vision he has which leads him to discover where the new body really cam from and what the Shedding company has really been getting up too.

Self/less brings another twist to the double swapping idea, sure we only see one side of it all but that doesn’t mean we don’t see the effects. We have the people who knew the body side while he tries to convince the mind side, so that all works nicely. I liked how the film tries to bring in the idea of becoming immortal and the people it would effect. The idea give us the old cause against effect concept and all works really well. Overall this does plan out simple but also gives us the moral questions. (7/10)

Actor Review

Ryan Reynolds: Young Damian is the new body that Damian gets, he gets to live for fun until he starts getting vision of a life that wasn’t his. After he starts researching it turns out the body is of a man called Mark who made a deal to save his dying daughters life. He know has to expose the truth before he loses control. Ryan continues to show his range in a leading role. (7/10)damia

Natalie Martinez: Madeline is the wife of Mark who thought her husband had died, but when Damian turns up she gets to learn how much he sacrificed to give his daughter a new life. Natalie does well but never really excels in this role. (5/10)

Matthew Goode: Albright is the doctor taking care of the Shedding process, he is very careful to keep his own identity secret to protect what is really going on. Matthew gives us a calm villain which all comes off very well but also ends up feeling rather generic. (6/10)

Ben Kingsley: Damian is the successful business man who is dying, he uses his money to go through the Shedding process thinking it is all legit, he leaves his daughter to his money but himself a back up once he has changed. Ben does well in his early role in the film. (7/10)

Support Cast: Self/less has a supporting cast that is either helping Damian or trying to capture him, they all do well without doing too much.

Director Review: Tarsem SinghTarsem does a good job directing a sci-fi action film. (7/10)

Mystery: Self/less does create a mystery but doesn’t give you many clues to what is happening. (5/10)

Sci-Fi: Self/less uses the idea of advanced technology being used to change human mortality. (7/10)

Thriller: Self/less gives us the thriller side by making us want to know what will happen until the end. (7/10)

Settings: Self/less doesn’t us any special location during the film. (3/10)

Suggestion: Self/less is one to really give a chance to, I think this is one people will enjoy but I understand it might be slightly long for all. (Try It)

Best Part: Car chase.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car chase.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Island

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $12 Million

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: God created man. Man created immortality.

Overall: Good sci-fi film that asks moral questions.

Rating 70