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Over the Hedge
Eggbert at 3:01PM, May 26, 2006
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Oh my god. This movie was good beyond all of my expectations. I mean, really. The previews for this movie make it look awful. It's not! It's fantastic!

I consider this to be the first truly great Dreamworks movie since the original Shrek. The animation was beautiful! Such nuance. The characters were fantastic. The finale was one of the most jaw droppingly hilarious things I've seen in a long time, it's amazing how far some of the gags went.

In stark contrast to Dreamwork's usual pop culture gag fests, this movie had some really classy references. I caught a Citizen Kain, A Streetcar Named Desire, and a Hannible reference. Awesome.

It's official! Dreamworks is good again! Go see Over the Hedge!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Terminal at 3:36PM, May 26, 2006
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I was expecting it to be crap, now I think I'll go see it.

.: Myxomatosis :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:09PM
ccs1989 at 7:08AM, May 27, 2006
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Huh.

Well, I now have a movie to see this weekend.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
Eggbert at 2:04PM, May 27, 2006
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Only Japan makes serious CG movies.

Try Appleseed. It's done by the ghost in the shell guy. It might be good.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Terminal at 2:25PM, May 27, 2006
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There is this other serious CG movie that caught my attention, Dear Annie.

Hmm! That is interesting!

Thought I really hope the movie does something, you know, visually fantastic. Cuz the trailer doesn't show anything that couldn't have been just as good or better with live action.

.: Myxomatosis :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:09PM
ccs1989 at 2:33PM, May 27, 2006
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Saw Appleseed. Didn't like it at all. The animation looked half assed and the story didn't keep my interest.

I'm gonna see Over the Hedge tonight.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
Ian Jay at 2:20PM, May 28, 2006
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I tagged along with my sister and a couple of her friends the other night and saw this movie. Overall, it wasn't mind-blowingly innovative, but it was better than I thought it would be.

The movie's strengths lie not in its plot, or even in its visuals (which were, admittedly, very lush. It's flippin' hard to do a CG forest realistically, but they pulled it off well), but its comedy. Hedge, in a trend that seems to run through many other Dreamworks CG movies, is filled with sardonic wit and pop culture references, unlike Pixar, which tries to keep its movies from being “dated” and “over-cynical”. However, I think that Hege is set apart from the other Dreamworks CG films in that it has a very strong social commentary as well: it criticizes the crass consumerism and selfishness of suburban Americans today. At a time when global warming and environment destruction has become a hot-button issue, this movie could become… dare I say it?… culturally significant to the next generation.

Beyond that, though, there were a few problems. The actual given moral of the story– what the characters learned after their trials and tribulations– basically consisted of a bunch of after-school-special words strung together in no particular order. “Family… togetherness… friendship… teamwork… yyyeah….” In fact, the entire plot of the movie was basically the same plot that animated movies have been using since 1973. I saw the twists coming from miles away. The villain characters were just too “evil-y” to be realistic. (Though the Homeowner's Association president did remind me of the one in my neighborhood…) And can someone tell me why Avril Lavigne was casted to be in this movie? It was a bit disconcerting, in the middle of all this talented celebrity firepower, to hear somebody so obviously inept at acting that you roll your eyes every time her character comes onscreen. …Oh, and I didn't like the soundtrack, either. It sounded like Jack Johnson on a bargain-basement budget.

Overall, I'd say that it's probably not worth ten dollars to go see in theaters. But it's worth a rent, and– who knows?– it might even have enough rewatchability for you to buy. I say, give Hedge a chance. And that's my two cents… on the issue!

~IJ

PS: You know what movie Hedge reminded me of the most? During TCM's month-long Miyazaki festival last February, I saw this film called Pom Poko, made by one of Miyazaki's students, about a bunch of raccoons trying to save their environment from destruction. (They fail in the end.) The two have the same “woodland creatures versus man's progress” sort of theme. However, I enjoyed watching Over the Hedge, while at the end of Pom Poko I was ready to buy a plane ticket to Japan, hold the director of the film at gunpoint, and demand a full return on the two hours of my life I spent watching that humorless, pompous, and syphillitic piece of filth. It was that bad, and I felt no sympathy for those raccoons when the bulldozers crashed through their forest. No sympathy at all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
ccs1989 at 2:34PM, May 28, 2006
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Well, I saw the movie. If I had gone to see it expecting it to be terrible I would have really enjoyed it, but if I had expected it to be terrible I wouldn't have gone to see it. Therein the problem lies.

It wasn't a GREAT movie per se, but it was funny. Not incredibly funny, but really funny. It also didn't try to be all over the place, which was opposite to the vibe you got from the trailer. Anyways, it a decent 3-D animated movie, and better than Dreamwork's usual stuff.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
isukun at 10:39PM, May 28, 2006
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I saw this film called Pom Poko, made by one of Miyazaki's students

Other way around. Takahata was directing and producing films long before Miyazaki. The two were friends who worked together on many projects since the early 60's, usually with Takahata as the director and Miyazaki as an animator. Much of Miyazaki's directorial style, from the attention to detail and quality, to the themes present in his films can be attributed to Takahata. Miyazaki requsted Takahata's guidance when making Nausicaa and from there both were involved in the creation of Studio Ghibli.

I have no idea why the translation made them “raccoons” and their testicles “pouches”

Localization. Racoons are more recognizable in the West and furry animals beating construction workers with bloated testicles is a little harder to swallow for an American audience (also harder to give a PG-13 rating to).

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
isukun at 10:51PM, May 28, 2006
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I'm aware of that, but I mean why they couldn't have released an unchanged version.

One of the subtitle tracks is a more literal translation of the Japanese dialog.

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
isukun at 1:48AM, May 29, 2006
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The Studio Ghibli films are more mainstream than other anime (what other anime can you pick up at Costco?). In the US they appeal to a lot of people who aren't anime fans or who are looking for family fare.

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
ozoneocean at 2:10AM, May 29, 2006
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isukun
In the US they appeal to a lot of people who aren't anime fans or who are looking for family fare.
And those people should be hunted down and killed.
We can use the Ghibli films as bait…

Why in the world did they have huge balls anyway? And why attack people with them? That'd hurt them more than anybody else. That's insane…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
isukun at 9:24AM, May 29, 2006
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It's a Japanese cultural thing. In this particular context, the large scrotum is a symbol of good luck and has very little to do with anything sexual. Really, this is something which doesn't translate well to Western culture since we don't associate nonsexual meaning with genetalia.

They were probably chosen as the primary weapon choice simply because in legend it was the one part of their bodies which could easily be expanded or stretched. Plus, in the legend, it is the scrotum which has that ability, not the testicles.

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
Hawk at 11:30AM, May 29, 2006
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On the doorstep of many Japanese homes it's common to see a tanuki statue. This statue will not only have a gigantic scrotum, but a big wallet and a flask of Japanese whisky. One could say that he was the happiest animal ever.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
isukun at 8:35PM, May 29, 2006
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Because of their gluttonous nature, love of sake, and their willingness to spend money (although fake according to legend), the tanuki have become common icons outside restaurants and bars. At one point they were used as icons for good luck outside the home in gardens or at temples. While they can still be found at temples, they aren't commonly found in or around people's homes.

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
Ian Jay at 9:01PM, May 29, 2006
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Whoopee. Anyways, I just caught wind of a BREAKING NEWS UPDATE!

Ian Jay (earlier)
…Oh, and I didn't like the soundtrack, either. It sounded like Jack Johnson on a bargain-basement budget.

Turns out the movie's soundtrack is by Ben Folds. Yes, the Ben Folds, solo artist and founding member of the former Ben Folds Five. Again, I think the filmmakers just wanted to get the same music-fan draw that Johnson did for Curious George (though, honestly, I think Johnson's soundtrack for the movie has been way more popular than the movie itself), but they didn't advertise Folds's involvement with Hedge very well. And, apparently, they got him to change almost all of the lyrics to his hit “Rockin' In The Suburbs” so that it would be “family-friendly” enough to play during the credits.

Ben, I'm sorry, but writing the soundtrack to a kid's movie? For others it might work, but, let's be honest, it just isn't you. Stick to your angsty piano ballads about breakups, and we won't throw plastic cups at you and call you a sellout.

~IJ
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
ozoneocean at 9:02PM, May 29, 2006
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Now this sheds a whole new light on the idea for me, thanks for that.
So basically, in the west this film was made out to be some kind of typical poor old woodland creatures loosing their habitat kind of film, while originally it was about a bunch of culturally significant old-world mythological creatures losing the battle to the encroachment of the new-world?
Much more interesting…

So the alteration they did to it would be akin dubbing a movie like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, changing things around so the two protagonists were no longer an unhappy prostitute and gigolo, but a pair of bored wealthy socialites… That would completely ruin the point of the story.

Hmmm, I’m thinking that kind of vandalism is quite detrimental to the reputation of the creative team behind the work. At least with something like Robotech it’s made extremely obvious that Harmony Gold were responsible for the end product and not the original Japanese teams on those shows.
Ian Jay’s comments seem to suggest that things are not the same in this case.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
Ian Jay at 9:06PM, May 29, 2006
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…I just didn't like Pom Poko. I didn't like it at all. And this whole “old-world mystical beings vs. new-world technology” thing is just so unbelievably obvious that I don't like it even more now. It just adds a little more weight to the gigantic hammer of morality that the movie tries to smash you into the ground with.

Sorry, guys…

~IJ
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
ozoneocean at 9:17PM, May 29, 2006
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But was it really saying the old way’s were better? Maybe that's just how the translation made it seem… I don't know, I haven't seen it. All I know is that movies can change significantly depending on the dialogue. :wink:

Ah, Ben Folds. He lives in Adelaide in South Australia now I think… You think writing kids songs is bad? We had a reality show called “My restaurant Rules”, where groups of people competed to build and run successful restaurants. Ben Folds was the diner entertainment for the Adelaide restaurant on their opening night. That was bizarre.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
jalford at 10:59PM, May 29, 2006
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There's been way more CGI family films in the last few months though. There was Hoodwinked in Jan., then that Doogle movie which was apparently done by the same studio came out just a month and a half later. Then that shitty Disney ripoff of Madagascar. They're doing some other movie this summer called Monster House about a living house which could've been a decent horror flick if they hadn't insisted in turning it into a “whimiscal adventure”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:06PM
ccs1989 at 12:59PM, May 30, 2006
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Best. AMV. Ever.

Aside from S.T.E.A.M the Movie.

“Some Terribly Elaborate Acronym Ministry”
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM

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