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The Iron Giant
areaseven posted a topic in Anime or Science FictionThe Iron Giant Warner Bros. Pictures, 1999 Directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) Executive Producer: Pete Townshend (the guy from The Who that used to destroy his guitars every night...) Based on the novel The Iron Man by the late Ted Hughes (1930-1998) Running Time: 86 minutes Rated PG for sci-fi violence. Cast Eli Marienthal (Stifler's brother in American Pie 1-2) as Hogarth Hughes Vin Diesel (Riddick, Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious) as The Iron Giant Jennifer Aniston (Tory in Leprechaun, Joanna in Office Space) as Annie Hughes Harry Connick, Jr. (Narrator in My Dog Skip, Jimmy in Independence Day) as Dean McCoppin Christopher McDonald (Jor-El in Superman: The Animated Series, Superman in Batman Beyond) as Kent Mansley John Mahoney (Marty in Frasier) as Gen. Rogard Synopsis In 1957, a mysterious object from space crashes on a stormy night off the coast of Maine. The next night, in the small town of Rockwell, a boy named Hogarth discovers the object as a giant robotic being with an appetite for metal and the ability to repair itself. He befriends the robot after saving it when it clumsily traps itself between power lines. Shortly afterward, Hogarth has the Giant stay at a junkyard run by a Beatnik named Dean. At the same time, Hogarth must keep the Giant's existence a secret from Mansley, a nosy government agent sent to investigate strange anomalies in the town. Story: A+ It's such a shame that this film flopped at the box office due to Warner Bros.' inability to properly market it, as this is how an American animated story should be told. The Iron Giant is a classic tale of boy-meets-alien. The Cold War-era works perfectly with the story, as well as the Giant's interaction with its surroundings and its struggle to differentiate good from evil. In addition, outstanding performances are given by the main cast. Yes - even by Vin Diesel, who still has yet to outdo his role as the Giant. Despite the film failing at the box office, director Brad Bird went on to find greater success in 2004 with Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles. Animation: A+ This is how a great American story should be animated. The Iron Giant displays some of the best examples of different forms of animation - old-style rotoscoping (which is much better than the style Don Bluth used to kill his career in Titan A.E.) for the human characters mixed with cel-shaded CGI for the Giant and various military vehicles. Soundtrack: A The film score by the late Michael Kamen (1948-2003) (Metallica's S&M live album, Pink Floyd's The Wall) is not as loud as his other theatrical works, but it works really well and doesn't detract from the storytelling. The Bottom Line Probably the last great American 2D animated theatrical release and undoubtedly one of the best sci-fi stories ever told. DVD Extras: A The Special Edition DVD is loaded with extras such as additional scenes cut from the film (in animated storyboard form, with commentary by director Bird), the full "Duck and Cover" song, numerous behind-the-scenes footage that's accessible in the middle of the film, a motion gallery and some trailers. There's also a mini-documentary featuring Vin Diesel - not that anyone cares, anyway. In addition, the DVD-ROM has some bonuses that may probably crash your computer. Links The Iron Giant Official Site References The Internet Movie Database
Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim'
fifbeat posted a topic in Anime or Science FictionI think Macross fans will get a kick out of this: Check out the plot. It involves piloted-giant robots fighting alien forces, supposedly the size of monsters like Godzilla. http://www.cityonfir...new-sci-fi-pic/ In other live-action Japanese Robot news, check out the trailer to a Hong Kong film called Let's Go: (trailer at link below) http://www.cityonfir...g-kong-blu-ray/ EDIT: Mods, sorry, I meant to post this in "Anime or Science Fiction" please move. Thanks!
Hades Project Zeorymer
areaseven posted a topic in Anime or Science FictionMeioh Project Zeorymer (冥王計画ゼオライマー) AIC/ARTMIC/YOUMEX/Toshiba EMI, 1988-1990 U.S. Manga Corps., 1994, 2003 (out of print) Directed by Toshihiro Hirano (Fight! Iczer-One, Dangaioh)Running Time: 30 minutes per episode Rated 16-Up for graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations and strong language. Cast (Japanese) Toshihiko Seki (Legato in Trigun, Rau in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED) as Masato Akitsu Chieko Honda (Elpeo Ple in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Kurumi in Kimagure Orange Road) as Miku Himuro Hideyuki Tanaka (Riding Bean, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust) as Oki Mayumi Shou (Mia Alice in Dangaioh, Hitomi in Appleseed) as Yuratei Hirotaka Suzuoki (Bright Noa in Mobile Suit Gundam, Kaifun in Macross) as Taiha Kaneto Shiozawa (Vampire Hunter D OAV, Shin in the original Area 88) as Saiga Yuko Sasaki (Miranda in The Venus Wars, Kourin in Twelve Kingdoms) as Tau Rei Sakuma (Kazumi in Gunbuster, Nina in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083) as Aen Sho Hayami (Max in Macross, Wolfwood in Trigun as Ritsu Masako Katsuki (Lucette in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, Emeraldas in Harlock Saga) as Rockfell Tessho Genda (Sanders in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, James in ZOE: Dolores, i) as Gisou Mahito Tsujimura (Jihl in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Tsukamoto in 801 T.T.S. Airbats) as Lurahn Issei Masamune (Chief in You're Under Arrest) as the narrator Synopsis Tekkoryu (Hau Dragon) - a secret Chinese-based organization bent on world domination. After the rise of their new leader, Yuratei, the Tekkoryu come out of hiding and unleash the Hakkeshu - a band of giant robots with lethal weaponry and equally skilled pilots. Before their quest for domination, the Hakkeshu must recover one of their own mecha: Zeorymer of the Heavens, stolen from them 15 years ago by a turncoat member along with the frozen embryo of a genetically engineered pilot. Caught in the crossfire is Masato Akitsu, a teenager captured by a Japanese organization and forced to pilot Zeorymer. Teamed with a mysterious girl named Miku Himuro, Masato must use Zeorymer to battle each of the Hakkeshu's mecha; at the same time, he must figure out why he was chosen to pilot the mecha and why he is able to adapt to it so easily. Story: B- After Dangaioh left us with a cliffhanger ending (I refuse to consider Great Dangaioh canon), I was unsure if I could trust another Toshihiro Hirano title. Then, I picked up Hades Project Zeorymer. It has a rather dark storyline using realistic giant robots and a protagonist with a personality disorder. Masato starts out as a kid that's so pessimistic, you'd think he's Shinji Ikari in another form. Then, when he's piloting Zeorymer, he becomes a maniacal psychopath bent on total destruction of his enemies. The plot and character development really build up on episodes 1-3. Unfortunately, it all falls apart on episode 4 with revelations leaving you asking what the hell just happened. And then the series ends on a rather sour note. Despite all this, Zeorymer is well worth watching. Hirano just needs to learn to end his anime titles properly. Animation: A Ah, nothing like some grade-A cel animation. For a title that's nearly two decades old, Zeorymer boasts some excellent animation and awesome mecha designs by Hideki Kakinuma (Bubblegum Crisis, Gall Force) and Kimitoshi Yamane (Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne), as well as some outstanding character designs by Michitaka "Kia Asamiya" Kikuchi (Silent Möbius, Martian Successor Nadesico). Zeorymer, Rose C'est la Vie and Lanstar are some of the sweetest robot designs this side of The Five Star Stories. Soundtrack: B Eiji Kawamura's (Black Jack) musical score has its moments, especially the battle themes. But for the most part, it doesn't warrant a soundtrack purchase. The ending theme reeks of Engrish. Sub vs. Dub Central Park Media's current DVD release features an all-new English dub, which sucks like every other CPM dub. Just give me a folding chair and a moment alone with the narrator. DVD Extras: B+ Two years ago, when I originally posted this review, I used the NuTech Digital DVD for reference. That disc set was merely a hard-subbed transfer with average video and sound quality. Today, we have CPM's new-and-improved DVD, featuring improved picture and sound, optional subtitles and extras like a photo gallery, line art and character/mecha descriptions (images & text with audio only). The Bottom Line If you're a fan of old-school '80s mecha, you owe it to yourself to pick up Hades Project Zeorymer. It still stands on its own against most of the newer mecha titles. Links AIC's Official Hades Project Zeorymer Homepage (Japanese) Reference Anime News Network
The Big O
areaseven posted a topic in Anime or Science FictionThe Big O (THE ビッグオー) Sunrise/WOWOW/Cartoon Network/Bandai Visual, 1999, 2002 Bandai Entertainment, 2001-2002, 2003-2004 Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama (Those Who Hunt Elves, Argento Soma)Written by Chiaki J. Konaka (Armitage III, RahXephon) Created by Hajime Yatate (pseudonym for unnamed staff members of Sunrise) Running Time: 25 minutes per episode Rated 13-Up for violence, mature situations and mild language. "Cast in the name of God, ye not guilty." Cast (Japanese) Mitsuru Miyamoto (Hubb in Wolf's Rain, Itsuki in RahXephon) as Roger Smith Akiko Yajima (Rickert in Berserk, Tsubasa in Figure 17) as R. Dorothy Wayneright Motomu Kiyokawa (Fuyutsuki in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Walter in Hellsing) as Norman Burg Tessho Genda (Daijiro in Voltes V, D in Project A-Ko) as Major Dan Dastun Emi Shinohara (B-Ko in Project A-Ko, Sailor Jupiter in Sailor Moon) as Angel Unshou Ishizuka (Guld in Macross Plus, Jet in Cowboy Bebop) as Alex Rosewater Shinpachi Tsuji (Musashi in Getter Robo Armageddon, Shusaku in Kaze no Yojimbo) as Big Ear Katsunosuke Hori (Futagami in RahXephon) as Michael Seebach/Schwarzwald Houchu Ohtsuka (Yazan in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Chibodee in Mobile Fighter G-Gundam) as Beck Gold Issei Futamata (Shinshi in Patlabor, Yusaku in Maison Ikkoku) as Alan Gabriel Goro Naya (Zenigata in Lupin III, Dawson in Golgo 13: The Professional) as Gordon Rosewater Cast (English) Steven Blum (Spike in Cowboy Bebop, Celestine in Ah! My Goddess: The Movie) as Roger Smith Lia Sargent (Hand Maid May, Milly in Trigun) as R. Dorothy Wayneright Richard Barnes (Delaz in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, Gomez in Macross Plus) as Norman Burg (season 1) Alan Oppenheimer as Norman Burg (season 2) Chuck Farley as Major Dan Dastun Wendee Lee (Faye in Cowboy Bebop, Antonia in Heat Guy J) as Angel Alfred Thor as Alex Rosewater James Lyon (Briareos in Appleseed, Duke Red in Metropolis) as Big Ear Michael McConnohie (Norris in Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Dawson in Golgo 13: The Professional) as Michael Seebach/Schwarzwald Robert Wicks (Gene in Outlaw Star, Hubb in Wolf's Rain) as Beck Gold Crispin Freeman (Alucard in Hellsing, Togusa in Ghost in the Shell: SAC) as Alan Gabriel William Frederick (Aramaki in Ghost in the Shell: SAC) as Gordon Rosewater "Big O! It's Showtime!" Synopsis Paradigm City - a metropolis with a lost past and an uncertain future. Among its citizens is Roger Smith, a negotiator who solves the city's problems not handled by the military police. When problems escalate beyond human control, he calls upon his Megadeus known as Big O. Along with his butler Norman and a mysterious female android named Dorothy, Roger keeps the city safe from crime while trying to solve the mystery of lost memories from 40 years ago. "Big O! And, Action!" Story: B+ Imagine Batman: The Animated Series mixed with Giant Robo, and you have The Big O. It has a mix of film noir and giant robot action, along with a complex storyline. You also have a host of characters that come straight out of Batman. Most obvious are Roger and Norman, your typical rich hero and his butler. Some of the villains like Schwarzwald and Beck act like stand-ins for the Joker or Riddler. Season 1 ended with a cliffhanger, which prompted Cartoon Network to step in to help produce season 2 by popular demand. And like many newer anime titles, The Big O's ending was rather anticlimactic, as it was a variation of the "pushing the reset button" scenario used by Neon Genesis Evangelion. At least this one made more sense. Animation: A So why does this anime look a lot like Batman: TAS? Simple: the same animators worked on it. Slick character and mecha designs by Keiichi Satou (Mazinkaiser) give life to the retro backgrounds. And even though the Megadeuses are big, lumbering machines, the battle scenes score up there with Giant Robo and Kishin Corps. Soundtrack: A+ "Big O! Big O, Big O, Big O!" Toshihiko Sahashi (Full Metal Panic!, Steel Angel Kurumi) supplies one of the most underrated anime soundtracks ever composed. It uses classical and jazz with shades of John Barry (Dr. No and most of the James Bond 007 movies), Jerry Goldsmith (The Twilight Zone, Star Trek) and Danny Elfman (Batman, Darkman). The opening theme by Rui Nagai has Queen's Flash Gordon theme all over it. And it's one of those songs you'll be singing all over. Sub vs. Dub Surprisingly, the English dub blows the Japanese version out of the water with its excellent voice acting and script. Perhaps it's because The Big O looks very un-anime. DVD Extras: B Each disc comes with text interviews with staff members, creditless opening and ending sequences, and production sketches. The Bottom Line Still underrated to this day, The Big O is a must for any anime or sci-fi afficionado. We have come to terms. Links Bandai Channel's The Big O Homepage (Japanese) Bandai Entertainment's The Big O Homepage Cartoon Network Adult Swim's The Big O Homepage Reference Anime News Network
The "Real" Giant Robots... by Fred Patten
Gubaba posted a topic in Anime or Science FictionI like most of this, but I'm sorry that Zambot 3, Ideon, and the J9 Trilogy didn't make the cut. http://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/the-real-giant-robots/