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By otakuman5000 On 3 Jul, 2012 At 05:29 AM | Categorized As Reviews | With 2 Comments

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Inception is like no other film you’ve ever experienced. Sure, we’ve all seen our fair share of alternate realities in film before – The Matrix obviously comes to mind – but what Christopher Nolan has created here is a film which crosses a courageous line only few filmmakers would ever attempt. With films such as Memento (2000), and his grand re-imagining of Batman, we know Nolan’s not afraid to do just that.

Speaking of Memento, it’s said that Nolan began writing Inception‘s screenplay during the filming of it. A decade-long writing job for any film would seem like overkill, but when it comes to this film, it’s not necessarily crazy, once you think about it. The amount of work creating the multi-layered story, especially writing it in such a way as to make it understandable to the viewer, would have been a very daunting task. Luckily, we have plot points and characters holding our hands throughout the story’s progression, but without making it feel annoyingly obvious.

Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled extractor, someone who goes into the manipulated dreams of others to extract ideas, secrets, information, whatever it is he needs from his target. The ability to do this comes from the Portable Automated Somnacin IntraVenous (PASIV) Device, an extraordinary machine with injectors you attach to your arm, placing you in the dream world almost instantly. While in the dream, his mission is to acquire what he needs and get out. However, it’s not so simple because there are some rules and risks to adhere to and be aware of.

After a failed mission, Cobb receives an offer quite like in The Godfather: an offer he can’t refuse, consisting of the chance to, upon completion, go home to his children whom he hasn’t seen in some time. It’s no surprise that this mission (a “Mission: Impossible” of sorts) isn’t going to be so easy… He must plant an idea in a man’s head causing him to wake up from the dream a changed man. Although this may not sound difficult, the film explains it all quite clearly, and that is where the title of the film comes in.

He’ll need help along the way, so he assembles a team of very talented people. Among them are Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a trusty longtime partner; Eames (Tom Hardy), a skilled manipulator; Yusuf (Dileep Rao), an excellent chemist; and a newcomer, Ariadne (Ellen Page), a brilliant young architect recommended by Cobb’s intelligent father-in-law, Miles (Michael Caine), who introduces him to Ariadne and her talents.

I could actually tell you the entirety of Inception‘s story and, even then, you wouldn’t be spoiled. In this film, there are no real plot points, no twists, that someone could ruin for the viewer. For the most part, knowing anything before seeing the film unravel for itself brings you no further to knowing what is actually going on without seeing it first, and describing Inception isn’t exactly an easy thing to do… Seeing it is the only thing that matters, and the only true way to know what it’s all about.

The acting in the film, as a whole, is very well done. As with Page, I’ve personally never seen DiCaprio do a questionable acting job in any film, and Inception continues that tradition… the rest of his team is no different. The demand for top-notch drama isn’t here, but it doesn’t need to be. Some drama elements are included, though, highlighting the story of Cobb and his ex-wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who is a much more important character in the film than simply being a partner presence or love interest.

When it comes to the action sequences, you can tell they’re very “Nolan” – by that I mean extremely well executed, even if the scenes may sometimes seem reminiscent, on the surface, of others we’ve seen before. (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was quite the same.) What makes these scenes different, however, is the emotional weight to them. You care more for the characters involved rather than thinking of their inclusion being exploited for a body count, or just characters to fill in the film. There are also several excellent scenes involving changes in gravity and rotation to be remembered, for sure – these scenes are quite intriguing to say the least.

The films of today usually consist of many recycled elements from other films, and we’re often bombarded by sequels, prequels, re-imaginations, and reboots. While there are a few similarities you may notice between this film and others like it, Inception remains a remarkable piece of film-making that is intelligent, thought-provoking, and still highly original. As with any film, some of what is in Inception may be a little less impressive as years come and go, but the story, intelligent layers, and creativity will surely never be forgotten. Nolan has impressed me several times before, but even his epic-action powerhouse, The Dark Knight, may have been dethroned by this film (and this is coming from an avid Batman fan).

One of the best things a filmmaker can do is make an excellent film knowing only they could have pulled it off so masterfully. (I can only assume Kubrick would agree.) What Nolan has done with Inception is made something that has never quite been done before, and at the same time, a film that may never be attempted again. The roadmap to this film is lost in a dream, and that is a great thing, indeed.

Mike’s rating score: 10/10
Mike’s liking score: 09/10

NOTES:
Inception won four 2011 Academy Awards: Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Visual Effects; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. It was also nominated for another four: Best Writing, Original Screenplay; Best Achievement in Art Direction; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score; and Best Motion Picture of the Year.
Inception won the AFI Movie of the Year award (2010).

By SarahTheRebel On 14 Jul, 2011 At 03:28 AM | Categorized As Featured, International News, Movie News, News | With 2 Comments

No GravatarIt’s time to celebrate Otakus! The seemingly ill-advised venture to create a live-action version of Akira featuring a mostly non-Asian cast has been shelved.

Although an Akira live-action remake could have the potential to be great, fans were most outraged with the revisions to the original story that the new live-action version was rumored to feature.

Issues with the remake

Non-Asian Cast

As you can read for yourself in the timeline of events below, all of the rumored cast members, with the exception of Morgan Freeman, were caucasian. For a film as unambiguously Japanese as Akira, this was quite a surprise. Out of all the amazing Asian actors we have on the scene, the old white guys were best suited to play Japanese boys? This was almost a slap in the face of the Asian community.

To be honest, they might have been better off making this a completely different movie and simply admitting that the movie had a similar plot to Akira!

This is how that made me feel…

Setting

So how do we explain all these white guys in Neo Japan? We don’t. The setting was moved to modern-day New York City.

Umm…. ok then… so … doesn’t this completely change the plot? This anime dealt with the feelings of isolation, confusion and anger that Japanese teenagers experienced at that time. How is this even remotely the same movie if it doesn’t take place in Japan? Why would the characters be named Tetsuo, Kaneda and Akira?!

They should have changed the movie name to “Alex” and moved along.

Mr. Sulu saves the day

Perhaps the most amazing part of this story is that the film appears to have been shelved due to the fan outcry. Often Hollywood is perceived as ignoring the purists and aiming at new fans when they make a cartoon or book into a live-action movie (this happens less in cartoon adaptions I’ve noticed).

Instead, it appears that the voice of the fans had an effect on the decision to abandon the movie. George Takei, known for his role as Mr. Sulu in the first Star Trek series, created a petition in outcry of the lack of Asian cast members and the removal of the setting from Neo Japan in the proposed remake. Bravo Mr. Takei!

IMO

If you’ve read my previous post about Akira, you will know that I am a huge fan of the movie.I understand that some changes need to be made when going from manga or anime to live-action, but changing the setting and race of the characters in this classic, milestone of a movie is obscene.

I can’t even imagine the flavor, edge of desperation, context or culture of the original making its way into this remake in any form, shape or fashion. The fact that the director would even consider it is a wake up call to the fact that although Hollywood has come a long way (they no longer cast white men as Native Americans for example) they still struggle with their inherent racism that probably stems from the fear of alienating the main, white audience.

This is a foolish fear, as we all know, but it seems to persist nevertheless!

What do you think?

You’ve heard my opinion: now I want to hear yours! Are you relieved or disappointed by this news? What do you think will happen from here? Do you think the movie will really never see the light of day?

Dilemma resolved… without even needing the gun!

Timeline of events

Here is a summary of the events leading up to the cancelation.

  • In 1988, Akira, the anime version of the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo was released.
  • Around the early 2000s, talk surfaced of Warner Brothers acquiring the rights to a live-action remake of the film.
  • Stephen Norrington and Jon Peters were linked to the film.
  • In 2008, Anime News Network reported that Ruairi Robinson would direct, Gary Whitta would write and Andrew Lazat, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson would produce the film.
  • In 2009, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt were rumored to be stars in the film
  • Late 2009, Gary Whitta said he was no longer attached to the film and Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby were rumored to be taking over script writing.
  • In February 2010, Deadline reported that Warner Brothers was in talks with Allen and Albert Hughes to direct the film.
  • In November 2010, it was reported that Zac Effron was in talks for the leading role and that Morgan Freeman would be Colonel Shikishima.
  • On June 17, 2010, Lazar said a new writer had been hired, the movie would be fast-tracked, Albert Hughes would be the only director and that the first movie would be based on volumes 1-3 and the second on 4-6.
  • In February 2011, it was reported that James Franco was in talks for the role of Kaneda.  That same month, Vulture reported that Mila Kunis was offered the role of Kei, but turned it down.
  • In March 2011, Deadline reported that Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Justin Timberlake, Joaquin Phoeniz and Chris Pine were in the running to play Kaneda, while Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy were rumored to be in talks to play Tetsuo.
  • In April 2011, a petition against casting a live-action Akira film with non-Asian actors was set up on Facebook and George Takei spoke with The Advocate about the rumors.
  • On May 6, 2011, Keanu Reeves was offered the role of Kaneda, but 11 days later he was reported to have turned it down.
  • On May 26, 2011, it was reported that Albert Hughes had left the project due to creative differences.

 

After much going back and forth with the project, the plug was finally pulled on AKIRA a few days ago. Many hardcore anime rejoiced at the fact their beloved anime epic would’nt be ruined by Caucasian castings or redesigns of the plot. However…..

 

It was recently reported by Variety Magazine that the AKIRA project recently found a new director for the film in the form of Jaume Collet-Serra. In the past, he directed such films as “House of Wax” and “Orphan”. The saga of this anime turning live action movie continue….

 

Check out the Variety post below.

 

—– http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118039904?refCatId=13