Sat, 20 May 2000 13:51:36 -0400 (EDT)
Saw X last night. Here's a quick impression, because it was discussed
here before. To avoid endless OT thread, pls send reply to me personally,
reply in GML if you find a way to bring it back on-topic.
[hmm turns out I can't stop myself and wrote a long one... here is the
gist so impatient readers won't have to endur my rambling. the images are
incredibly beautiful, the sounds, dubbing and BGM are great. The story is
very simple but effective if a little shallow in final analysis. There
are a few odd things and scenes, and the way it's done is very oriental
(meaning it doesn't make sense to N. Americans), the mostly white audience
broke into moaning, groaning and giggling many times during the awkward
moments, especially the very last scenes. Some of the louder and ruder
members of the audience told us that they want a lot less yakking and a
lot more action. Personally I actually like the way they did it. But I
understand some of the bad reviews in American media, I enjoyed the movie
myself (3.5 out of 5 stars). Will you enjoy it? I can't say, it's very
hard to describe the flaws of this film, I can understand a lot of people
will just not get it from the first minute on. Go and see and judge for
[If you plan to see X at all, try to see it in a cinema, it's moving
through 33 cinema in N America (6 in Canada, yay!). After this run, it
will be out on VHS and DVD. But even DVD won't be able to reproduce all
the visual details]
I walked into the cinema with very low expectation, all reports seem
negative about the movie, and the poster was blahh... But I had no idea
what the movie was about, since I hadn't read any reviews, synopsis, hype
enthralled by the imagery and sound. And this holds up for the full
length of the movie, every scene was incredibly beautiful, especially the
Tokyo architecture and the inanimate objects, the people are quite
beautiful too, with the exception that everyone was too exaggerated,
especially the eyes of several main characters, my God! These eyes will
scare little kids at night, it damn near scared me in the dark cinema (see
The sounds, which is often a weakness in anime, is very well done here.
The background music is excellent, this movie really rely on atmosphere,
and the BGM carries it off very well, the OST is worth a consideration.
The (dubbed) voice acting is very well done, considering the difficulty of
the materials (how do u expect a young man would scream if he... hmm
better leave some spoiler space later... see a very weird death?), I think
X's voice acting is even better than Mononoke. Unfortunately the sound
mixing wasn't very good and the dubbing sounds like it's seperated from
the BGM and sound effects, but that's a minor technical problem, nothing
wrong with the actors).
The story line is very simple, and i imagine that's what caused X fans to
be so flustered. not having seen the manga, I have to say I think X the
movie did an excellent job of filling ~1.5 hours with contents, I can
imagine each of the 9+ characters getting their 15 pages of fame in the
manga, but in the movie, many are pushed to the background with only a
glimmer of their personality showing throught. If they take the 500 (or
however many) pages and cram them all into a movie, the result could be
disastrous, like Akira. Both Ghost in the Shell smartly trim out the
story lines into a single manageable one for a feature length movie, if
manga fans are not impressed, let them beg for an OVA. Anyway, I think
it's well done.
Hmmm... There are flaws in this movie, but I've move this paragraph to to
the top. Basically X is about mood, atmosphere, beautiful visuals and
sounds and a lot philosophizing. If are looking for big big big action
scenes, you can give this a pass.
I will now discuss some of the specific things I was holding
back on, first the spoiler space.
Are you sure you want to be spoiled? You may regret this!
On the voice-acting:
How do you expect a young man scream after he watch his mother stripped
naked, plunged her hand into her own belly and pulled out a 9 foot long
sword, and finally die when her body was ripped into pieces? Well the
dubbing actually did a decent scream. And generally all the screaming in
the movie managed not to annoy the hell out of me.
On the expectation of white (perhaps more precisely, young, male and/or
The action sequences were all rather short and (I think) sweet. This
seems to bug the audience a lot. They feel that were suffering through
the dialogues to be rewarded by big big big action sequences. For
example, the final climatic clash between Kamui and Fuma lasted literally
1.5 seconds, after about 1 hour of building up. When the 1.5 second was
over, the audience almsot broke into a riot! But I thought it was
ingenious. Perhaps this is an oriental thing, if a sumo wrestling match
that cost >$1000 to see last 5 seconds, everyone will go home happy, if a
boxing match last less than 2 rounds, boxing fans will go berserk!
Patient ID: #1
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