Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Subject: Noir
I watched a couple more of my GreenCine rentals last night. First up was disc 1 of "Paranoia Agent". Right from the opening animation, you can tell that it's going to be a quirky one. There are various shots of the assorted characters drawn just standing there, but their heads and mouths moving up & down like they are chuckling -- or at least like some sort of loony set of bobblehead dolls.

The stories intertwine around the characters as they are assaulted by a kid on skates roaming around and smacking folks upside the head with a baseball bat. The character style and the humorous, cartoony tone is just a mask for the sinister edge of it's psychological underpinnings. Lots of detail, and pretty interesting overall, so I'm looking forward to the next disc's release so I can rent that as well.

And speaking of psychological dramas, I also saw the movie "Perfect Blue". This one is the story of young pop star who makes the transistion to becoming an actress, and it tracks her mental state as she slowly sells-out her "pure & innocent" image for something more risque. A well-done story with a very convincing attention to detail and very good performances.

One strike against the disc, though, is that instead of being anamorphic widescreen, it was letterboxed inside a 4:3 image. Which for me means a small window inside the middle 2/3rds of my screen. And because the subtitles were mostly in that letterboxed area, I couldn't just zoom it in. Argh! I hate that! Luckily I was drawn into the story enough to get over it.

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