Saturday, July 30, 2005

What's old is new and new is old (or whatever...)

Subject: Noir
Watched a little more than just "Utena" so far this weekend.

I also rented the 2004 theatrical release of "Appleseed". I caught the original old-skool series a little while back, and enjoyed that well enough. This time around it was very much a 3-D animated, 5.1 DTS surround-sound extravaganza...

And, unfortunately, lacking the charm and "spark" of the orginal.

That's not to say there weren't some cool effects and techniques involved. But the bar has been set pretty darned high with 3-D animation, and a lot of the character-animation shortcuts that anime uses -- and can be quite successful using -- fall totally flat when combining them with the attempted-realism of mo-cap movements. When one aspect of a character representation mimics reality pretty closely (as captured motion is wont to do), your mind really needs the whole package to go along with it, or you can't cross over into "suspension of disbelief". And the shortcut facial expressions really kill that effect. Which is too bad, but pretty much expected. Really, only Pixar pulls it off. The other big-name 3-D projects from DreamWorks and whatnot are close. But "Appleseed"; nope.

Still, it was fun enough for a bit of escapism. But not worth buying, eye candy not withstanding.

This morning I watched those "IGPX" mini-episodes I found, and those were pretty neat. Nothing mind-blowing, because there wasn't really any time to establish anything. But it was clearly very Mashimo, and for that, I dug it. Heh.

Finally, episode 3 of "Tide Line Blue". Hrm. Still not too sure about this one. It's got a bit of an "Uninhabited Planet: Survive" vibe to a couple of the characters (I believe there's some staff crossover), but overall, it's really just another "Oh noes, it's the post-apocalyptic future; whatever are we to do?!" typicality to it. Which is okay and all, but I'm only going to give it a couple of more episodes to open up into something either more entertaining or more interesting.

Tonight I've got disc 4 of "Samurai Champloo" on tap, so I'm looking forward to having some fun for once!

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