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.

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Stephen reviews: Redline (2009)

Redline [レドライン, Redorain] (2009)

Starring Takuya Kimura, Yuu Aoi, Tadanobu Asano, Takeshi Aono, Kousei Hirota, Kenyuu Horiuchi, Kouji Ishii

Directed by Takeshi Koike


Redline tries as hard as it can to be cool. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize that trying to be cool is the fastest way to fail at it. That’s not to say that Redline is a terrible film, but it feels like it spends more time trying to prove how amazingly super awesome it is than actually being good. It feels a little like Kill Bill crossed with something out of MTV’s Liquid Television. Maybe Aeon Flux, except without the crap animation and horrifically ugly character designs. I almost want to call it melodramatic, but that implies a sappy sort of sentimentality. Redline is more about being as intense as it can. I may just have to coin a new term for it. Megadramatic or superdramatic or something. I’ll figure it out later.

I have seen other anime use this style of over-the-top excitement where every scene is filled with dramatic sharp camera angles and close up zoom-ins, and others have reached higher levels of intensity, so the novelty has worn off for me. This style needs to be all or nothing. If you can’t match up with the craziest of them, then you might as well not even bother, and Redline just doesn’t manage the same absurdity of something like Dead Leaves or FLCL. Maybe someone less accustomed to anime insanity would get more out of it than I did.

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