Blog posts in Movies for November 2007:

External Movie Reviews: Glass Fleet -La Legende du Vent de L'Universe- Vol. #1

The first episode of Glass Fleet throws so much at you, and explains so little of it, that I dreaded what else awaited me on that disc. It was like bolting a whole box of bonbons at once: space battles,...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2007/11/11 18:00
Buy at Amazon

The first episode of Glass Fleet throws so much at you, and explains so little of it, that I dreaded what else awaited me on that disc. It was like bolting a whole box of bonbons at once: space battles, emperors, revolutions, uprisings, all of it mounted and staged with the pomp and pretense of a widescreen Hollywood special-effects epic. Then the second episode snapped everything into focus, and while there’s a lot here that’s clichéd and obvious (or downright puzzling), I would be lying if I said it wasn’t fun to watch.

Read more


Tags: Japan anime review


Movie Reviews: Time

Time is the latest film from Korea’s Ki-duk Kim, he of several genuinely great movies (The Isle and 3-Iron) and a few that aim for something that we can’t even see from here and miss completely (The Coast Guard and...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2007/11/11 16:55
Buy at Amazon

Time is the latest film from Korea’s Ki-duk Kim, he of several genuinely great movies (The Isle and 3-Iron) and a few that aim for something that we can’t even see from here and miss completely (The Coast Guard and Address Unknown). I am not sure if other people will accept Time as completely as I did, since it traffics in the deeper and murkier recesses of people’s ids and makes no apologies for going off the deep end not just once but several times. Then again, this isn’t a movie about rational people, and Kim’s forte is compulsive, obsessive people, so perhaps we can’t demand that the movie be wholly rational either. I’d rather see Kim take chances, as he is wont to do, instead of watching someone else with smaller ambition play it safe.

Time gives us a young, slightly Yuppie-esque Korean couple, Si-hee and Ji-woo. He edits movies on his Macintosh for a film company, and has a passing eye for the ladies. Si-hee (whose job is never defined) burns with jealousy whenever Ji-woo so much as looks at another woman, and the depth of her jealousy is cemented in an early scene where she screams at a couple of women who traded phone numbers with Ji-woo when they hit his car by mistake. She’s disturbed that she should be this obsessive. So’s he, and what sane man wouldn’t be? But the movie does its best to make Si-hee’s obsession tangible, not just a given, and it does this by showing her thinking at work: If I looked like another woman, would he want me all the more?

Read more


Tags: Ki-duk Kim Korea movies review


External Movie Reviews: Pumpkin Scissors Vol. #1: Honor and Blood

With a title like Pumpkin Scissors, I half-expected some goofy puff pastry about kids pulling pranks at Halloween. The show is anything but, though—in fact, it’s one of the more intriguing new offerings for the end of 2007, a strong...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2007/11/11 01:07
Buy at Amazon

With a title like Pumpkin Scissors, I half-expected some goofy puff pastry about kids pulling pranks at Halloween. The show is anything but, though—in fact, it’s one of the more intriguing new offerings for the end of 2007, a strong mix of elements that are both audience-friendly and relatively challenging.

Call Scissors a “post-war story,” for a lack of a better term—it’s not about war itself, but how the mess left behind after the official hostilities have ended is sometimes every bit as bad, and often worse. Anyone who’s opened a newspaper anytime in the last four years knows this, but you don’t need to look to Iraq alone for an example—Japan itself will do nicely. There are plenty of grim memories of the post-WWII years, when hunger and black-marketeering and a general state of ruin prevailed*, and a lot of those feelings, however second- or third-hand, seem to have filtered into the overall mood of Pumpkin Scissors.

Read more


Tags: Japan anime review


External Movie Reviews: Hell Girl Vol. #1: Butterfly

Ghostly urban legends are all the rage in Japan right now, and they tie nicely into that country’s general appetite for supernatural weirdness. The things that fascinate them are almost quaint compared to the kinds of urban legends that fly...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2007/11/11 01:05
Buy at Amazon

Ghostly urban legends are all the rage in Japan right now, and they tie nicely into that country’s general appetite for supernatural weirdness. The things that fascinate them are almost quaint compared to the kinds of urban legends that fly around on this side of the Pacific, actually: they ruminate over haunted hotel rooms and ghostly tenants in apartment buildings, and we have nasty stories about people waking up in an ice-filled bathtub with one kidney missing.

Hell Girl fuses modern-day urban-legends and high technology with low-tech spooking and old-school Japanese mythology. If you have a grudge against someone, or so the whisperings go, you can enter a certain website that shows up only at midnight and punch in the name of the one you want to send to hell. Accept the covenant that the Hell Girl, Enma Ai*, offers you, and “your grievance will be avenged,” as she declaims again and again. However, as Ai points out, “Grudges come home to roost.” The cost for sending someone to the underworld will be your own soul, claimed after your death and sent to hell as well. (I’m no believer in the afterlife, but seeing something like this work out for real just might get me to change my theory.)

Read more


Tags: Japan anime review


External Movie Reviews: Paprika

A grotesque parade of dolls, household appliances, and stuffed animals bustles through the city streets, turning everyone in its path into dream monsters. People dive in and out of paintings, billboards and movie screens. Girls sprout wings, only to be...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2007/11/11 01:04
Buy at Amazon

A grotesque parade of dolls, household appliances, and stuffedanimals bustles through the city streets, turning everyone in its pathinto dream monsters. People dive in and out of paintings, billboardsand movie screens. Girls sprout wings, only to be sucked into theocean’s depths and erupt once again from the water as mermaids.

Welcome to the maddeningly wonderful world of Satoshi Kon’s Paprika, the latest production from the man who gave us the reality-twisting head games of Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress and the masterful Paranoia Agent. Paprika has elements of each one, come to think of it: the dual-personality psychosis of Perfect Blue, the world-as-nightmare and nightmare-as-world of Paranoia Agent, and the life-as-cinema and cinema-as-life of Millennium Actress. And now we have Paprika, a story of life-as-a-dream and dreaming-as-a-way-of-life, and it’s every bit as much a masterwork as his other productions.

Read more


Tags: Japan Satoshi Kon anime review


External Movie Reviews: Mushi-shi Vol. #3

I remained as spellbound during the third disc of Mushi-shi as I did for the first two. Isn’t it around this point in the lifecycle (as it were) of most any anime series that things begin to drop off? Not...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2007/11/11 00:58
Buy at Amazon

I remained as spellbound during the third disc of Mushi-shi as I did for the firsttwo. Isn’t it around this point in the lifecycle (as it were) of mostany anime series that things begin to drop off? Not here. This show isinexhaustibly fascinating.

In my earlier reviews for thisseries, I mentioned how this is a story about an ecosystem—about thecycle of life and death within a world. The closest thing we have to aprotagonist in the show, the wandering and taciturn mushi-masternamed Ginko, has been quite deliberately kept at arm’s length from us.The show wasn’t really about his personality, but about the world hewalked through and did his best to understand and help people copewith.

Read more


Tags: review


External Movie Reviews: Hikaru no Go Vol. #11: Hikaru Vs. Ochi

Once, when I lived in New York City, I watched two speed-chess players doing their thing a couple of tables down from me at the Wendy’s in Times Square. They set up their board and drilled their way through something...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2007/11/11 00:17
Buy at Amazon

Once, when I lived in New York City, I watched two speed-chess players doing their thing a couple of tables down from me at the Wendy’s in Times Square. They set up their board and drilled their way through something like five games, possibly six, in the time it took me and my wife to finish our meal. The only sounds they made were the slap of the pieces on the board and the clack of the chess clock, and their faces were as blank as freshly-cleaned blackboards. Right then, I thought, there’s nothing else going on inside these guys except chess.

There are many moments throughout Hikaru no Go when I look at the cast and think about those two guys. Everything they are, everything that validates their worth as a human being, boils down to what happens on that board in front of them in the next ninety minutes. And when you battle one opponent, you’re not just fighting him: you’re fighting all the people that taught him, too.

Read more


Tags: Go (game) Japan anime review


Genji Press

Science fiction, rebooted.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

About Me

I'm an independent SF and fantasy author, technology journalist, and freelance contemplator for how SF can be made into something more than just a way to blow stuff up.

My Goodreads author profile.

Learn some more about me.

My Books

Out Now

Coming Soon

Previously Released

More about my books

Search This Site

Archives