Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Not-So LNN:MM

Wherein My Nerd-Cred Slips to Nil.

After my last Late Night Netflix: Movie Mania, I learned a few things:

  1. The result of doing reviews that way is a two-day hangover with only about half the fun of getting there.
  2. I really limited my material by going only with streaming. I know there’s a lot of streaming, but I do get DVDs too.
  3. I don’t want to post that much reactionary stuff again. I certainly do want to post my initial reaction comments, but I want to write something slightly more substantial

Congratulations, The Asylum. You gave me a learning experience. So, I’m changing things up for this edition of LNN:MM.

  1. I’m obviously doing this earlier than midnight.
  2. This movie is on DVD
  3. Less notes! More actual content!

Now I know this is only my second one of these and I’m breaking my own pre-established rules, but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I damn well please! Besides, this is all meant for entertainment and sharing the things in the fantasy kingdom that is my brain.

Speaking of fantasy kingdoms, that brings us to tonight’s movie: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, an all CGI affair brought to us by the beloved Squeenix. I’m not going to lie to you; I’ve only managed to stomach ten minutes of this so far. But I’m prepared to try again. For you. You torturous, hateful sadists…

The DVD menu, like any DVD menu that has an animated loop with soundtrack, if left on too long will make you want to punch a nun. This choir singing the name “Sephiroth” over and over again is pretty annoying. My options are: Play Movie, Languages, Scene Selections, and Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII; all pretty standard options, except that last one. That just sounds weird. Let’s just play the movie:

  • This opening is boring. There’s a ton of action and all of it off screen. This is followed by one of the Peanuts children expositing by offering the plot to FF:VII. Way to go movie. You’re not even five minutes in and you’re boring me.
    • Also, this sequence seems to be where they pulled all of the action from the DVD menu from.
  • Everything in this movie so far has been muted and gray.
  • And a cut to an even grayer wasteland and the Square-Enix logo. Is it too late to turn back now? It is? Shit.
  • In the same breath we’re introduced to our hero, Cloud Strife; a man whose hair looks like a variegated star (Thank you, Nikolina) and whose outfit looks like it was rejected from Mad Max.  
  • And now we have three guys all dressed alike speaking very weirdly about mothers and big-brothers, and telling each other not to cry. Creepy.
  • Cloud just got cold shot in the face and he just winces? Either I’m very confused about physics and/or biology right now, or that dude is effing hardcore.
  • And Cloud’s first actual lines are a whiny and petulant “I’m leaving!” Our hero!
    • Followed soon after by “Too bad. I’m a delivery-boy now.” Cloud, buddy… looking like you do, that line does not sound as badass as you think it does.
    • And our hero walks away with a mighty “Not interested…” Truly, stalwart and mighty is he.
  • Ok, this action scene between Tifa and one of the creepy-trio is actually fairly decent, and has the first real bits of color I’ve seen in the movie.
  • That said, creepy-guy #3’s cell phone rings and the ringtone is the battle victory music from FF:VII. It’s a cute piece of self-referential humor; however, it’s ruined by the fact that his phone keeps ringing. It goes from a cute chuckle to insanely annoying very fast.
  • The three creepy guys are rounding up children in a glowing forest and talking about healing them. Pedobear would be proud.
  • We come into another action scene which is trying so hard to be epic; full of guns and super powers, swords and martial arts. The problem is, between all the zoom shots and the pale lighting, you can’t tell what’s going on at all. It’s pretty disappointing.
  • And now we’re introduced to “Vincent” who sounds like Wolverine after smoking a pack of cigarettes and apparently owns Spawn’s cape. He and Cloud have an exchange about what the creepy-trio are up to, which is apparently resurrecting Sephiroth, the big-bad from the game. Well… ok.
  • This plot makes no sense. They want to resurrect Sephiroth because “Mother” wants them to, but they don’t have any real plans after that. No world domination (of course!), no conquest. Just, bring back the old big-bad. Why!?
    • Creepy guy #1 summons a giant monster. It blows up a pillar.monument and then leaves. Well. That was necessary. Just had to get that “Summon” in there?
    • And this is followed by a really lame fight sequence.
  • Creepy #3: “You meanie!!” … Really, movie?
  • We’re a little over halfway through this movie and you want to pack in five more characters? Movie, I know you want to make sure you get all the favorites in here, but come on. Especially when these guys are as much comic relief as the two jokers from the last lousy action scene!
  • Oh, finally our petulant hero returns! And cue a relentless action sequence involving eight heroes and one giant monster where you cannot possibly tell what is going on.
    • By the way, unless you’re familiar with the games, you’re never told who half these people are. Way to go, movie!
  • And a guy in a wheelchair from the beginning didn’t need a wheelchair after all, had “mother” the whole time, and threw it off a tall building. WHAT A TWIST! M. Night would be proud!
  • Movie, when your motorcycle chase/ action-packed fight is full of muted grays, to the point that the audience can’t tell what’s happening. it is not exciting.
    • Though, to be fair, the part where creepy guy #3 throws his motorcycle with his legs and Cloud cuts it in half is pretty badass. The rest of the action kind of sucks, though.
  • Ok, I’m getting bored with this. Let’s wrap this up. Cloud fights Creepy guy #1 to no avail; they have a fairly impressive sword fight (only fairly because of several moments of “what the hell just happened!?”); Cloud’s friends babble incessantly and don’t help AT ALL; creepy guy #1 changes into Sephiroth, the two have a really boring Dragonball Z style fight with Sephiroth quipping away the whole time; Sephiroth almost wins, but Cloud, through the magic of the world, or friendship or some crap overcomes; Creepy guy #1 returns and it starts raining and he dies in Cloud’s arms; The rain heals everyone in the world, everyone lives happily ever after… until Creepy guys #2&3 return to shoot Cloud and blow up the building they’re on top of(WHY ISN’T THIS OVER YET!?) and Cloud gets…. kicked out of heaven and back down to Earth? I think? His friends surround him and we live happily ever after. Friendship babble. Roll credits!

THE END!

GAH, this movie is terrible! I know this is a grave taboo to fan-boys the world over, but this movie just is not good at all. The characters are boring, or just plain unlikable. Characters got shoved in just because they were in the game. The villainous plan has no point, other than to resurrect a dead evil guy for no other reason than “because we can!” The three creepy villains are supposed to have a comic element to them that just falls flat. Sephiroth shows up for an epic battle that does nothing and ends on an absurdly confusing note.

Speaking of confusing, that sums up the action in this movie. Between constantly muted colors, or fighting going on in areas with bad lighting, IE everything is awash in blue light, and the constant zooming shots, the action is just… confusing to watch. I had no idea what was going on most of the time.

Advent children was also just… aesthetically unappealing to me. I don’t care for straight CGI in the first place, but when all of your colors are gray and muted, everything looks boring, dull, and waxy. The end credit sequence and one fight with Tifa looked so much brighter and vibrant than the vast majority of this movie.

All I can say is this: This was made for the fan-boys. If you’re a huge FF:VII fan, then you might like this. But as someone who just kind of picked this up? This movie was horrible and made me want to set bunnies on fire.

Netflix Assumptive Rating: *****
Actual Rating: **

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