Monday, May 4, 2009

Movie Reviews: 20th Century Boys and S. Darko

(crap! forgot to post well. Here's a post from last week!)

Okay, so I'm late to the party again blogsphere,

I've come to realize that 2008 (whose Oscar picks sucked btw) was a really good year for movies, in my humble opinion. There were quite a few movies that I saw, which were just really good in lots of ways (movies which I won't list right now because I'm lazy :P).

The reason why I mention this is because I just watched 20th Century Boys today, and while it was released in November, it was still last year and I didn't know about it till this one. While this movie didn't blow me away, it was just really cool to see something of the like. The story is based on friendships from childhood, which of course is typical Japanese, but I thought it was illustrated very well this time. These kids who all grew up in the same neighborhood and played with each other, came up with this story about the end of humankind, through an evil organization bent on conquering the world.

Of course they get older and forget about it, and they all grow apart and start their own lives, but after a school reunion they find out that a friend of theirs died. The way he died causes them to think about their childhood more, and they remember the story, eventually noticing that it's actually happening exactly how they wrote it as children. I won't say that it's a great movie, as it's got a bit of slow down as most J-movies tend to, but it was really well put together and fun to watch. Oddly enough, this is a movie that I would like to see an American remake of, or at least a Luc Besson spin on ^^

The latter movie is a far less enjoyable experience.

Granted, I'm not the biggest fan ever of Donnie Darko, but I did enjoy the movie. I thought that it had quite a bit going for it, and appears to have influenced quite a few indie films in years since. S. Darko of course, is nothing like it's predecessor. The story revolves around Donnie's younger sister, Samantha as she runs away from home with her slutty friend from wherever they're from and get into doing the same thing her brother did.

The only reason I gave this movie the time of day, was the fact that it's got the Darko name attached to it. I thought that it would at least be a nice homage to what was, or maybe something completely different. I thought that I'd find something redeemable about it (granted I'm actually still technically watching it, as it plays while I'm watching this), but I really don't like it. Maybe it's just me, but everything seems very much forced, none of the characters seem like they fit the world they inhabit. I find the story itself to be a try-hard version of Donnie Darko, while desperately trying to differentiate itself as an original creation.

I'm being harsh though. I mean it is direct to DVD, and...well...I should probably be over Donnie Darko since I was never really into it. I guess if you're like me, and you expect this movie to have a semblance to the original: don't. If you want to watch it to satisfy your curiosity, have a crack at it, but lower your expectations, critical standards, and intelligence quotient, immediately before doing so. I should have known better than to watch anything other than a summer blockbuster. That'll teach me. Thank god I'm seeing Star Trek later this week.

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