Stephen reviews: Sin: The Movie (2000)

sin_1Starring Kouji Ishii, Kikuko Inoue, Kaori Yamagata, Akio Ohtsuka, Ayako Kawasumi, Hiroya Ishimura, Masako Katsuki

Directed by Yasunori Urata


Sin is one of those most dreaded of cinematic experiences, a video game adaptation. Oh, dear god! But wait! this one doesn’t completely suck. In fact it’s better than most video game movies I’ve seen. All right, that’s still pretty insulting, especially when you take into account that I generally avoid video game movies in the first place. Still, Sin manages to be entertaining at times, especially at the beginning when the generic plot hasn’t revealed itself yet.

It opens with a surprisingly compelling sequence that splices together a scene of the main character attending a funeral, with one featuring the final moments of the dead guy’s life. It actually worked really well at making me care about the situation and wonder about the reasons why the shit went down. Of course it helps that the dead guy was infected with some weird goo monster that took over his cells and turned him into a monstrous… um… thing. In fact, the monsters in this film are pretty good and creepy looking. They’re probably one of the film’s strongest points.

Continue reading Stephen reviews: Sin: The Movie (2000) →

Stephen reviews: Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2010)

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works [フェイト/ステイナイト Feito/sutei naito] (2010)

Starring Noriaki Sugiyama, Junichi Suwabe, Kana Ueda, Ayako Kawasumi, Hiroshi Kamiya, Jouji Nakata, Tomokazu Seki, Nobutoshi Kanna, Atsuko Tanaka

Directed by Yuuji Yamaguchi


I came to this film without knowing much about it. It was something of an impulse buy fueled by nothing more than a gut feeling. All I knew about the Fate/Stay Night series is that it had a blonde woman with a sword and medieval armor on its promotional art. I heard that this movie was a retelling of the original TV series with amped-up blood and violence. It sounded like a good jumping on point to see what, if anything, I’d been missing. After watching the film, I’m doubtful there’s a whole lot worth seeing in the series, but Unlimited Blade Works itself was well worth watching despite some flaws.

It has a very generic setup. Some crazy supernatural tournament is going on, and the winner gets to keep the Holy Grail as a reward. A bunch of people called magi control magical servants to battle for them. Then, surprise surprise, our poor main character Emiya gets unwittingly sucked into it and finds out that he too can use a servant and participate in the battles. It’s the same premise of a million other bland anime titles out there. Then there’s the irritable pretty girl who gradually falls in love with him despite constantly getting angry at him. It’s a tag team of the two most common anime clichés.

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