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David L ReinkeNov. 24, 2013 - 11:46AM JST
Actually, this is not necessarily a bad move. This is story telling and some stories work better as multi-episode series. Even at 3 hours, many stories are truncated and compressed to such an extent that they lose their impact, to say nothing of their poetry.
The BBC series I, Claudius is a prime example. Based upon two novels (I, Claudius and Claudius The God) the 13 part series did a wonderful job of bringing this story to life. An earlier attempt at a feature film (with Charles Laughton as Claudius) looks quite intriguing (what few scenes that were filmed and survived) but I have my doubts it would have done justice to the books by Robert Graves.
Likewise, the David Lynch film of Dune, while visually quite stunning and though featuring an excellent cast, presents more of a Reader's Digest version of the book by Frank Hurbert. Many might argue that the SCi-Fi channel's version is not as artistic as Lynch's film, but the series does do better by the story itself.
Episodic TV allows the story teller time to unfold and develop the story and the characters, time that a feature film simply will not allow for.
Now, do not misunderstand. I love going to the cinema and sitting in the dark before a HUGE screen and being enveloped in sights and sounds. A film like Return Of The King or* Stars Wars* would seem much diminished even in HD on a 60" monitor. However, by the same token, a 3-hour feature film of Rome or Game Of Thrones, really does not work either.
In the end, it is all about story telling and the teller must select the medium that works best for his story.
I do agree that Sony would do well to invest some of its money in writers, in making better films, for it all starts with the script. It will be interesting to see just where Sony takes this new initiative and what fruits their efforts bear. As always, time will tell.
Posted in: Sony to make fewer films as it shifts to television
David L ReinkeNov. 20, 2013 - 02:11AM JST
Other than the title and a few character names this has nothing at all to do with the Ako Ronin or the historical events that we now know as the 47 Ronin Story.
That said, there is little point in arguing "history" as every adaptation of the event, be it for the puppet theatre, kabuki, comic books, and the numerous films, have taken liberties with the story. This new film is perhaps the most "fantastical" take on the story and for those unfamiliar with any early version it will no doubt be a lot of fun.
For those schooled in the kabuki play, Chushingura, or fans of the 1962 film by Inagaki, this new 3D film will be something of a shock and likely a disappointment. Ah well...
Oh, and 3D ... Bah!
Posted in: Keanu Reeves explores world of samurai
David L ReinkeNov. 05, 2013 - 09:08AM JST
Yes, I did read that Toshiko-san, but I was hoping they would have more information on this drug's efficacy with regard to Type 1.
Ah well, we shall continue to live in hope for an effective alternative to insulin injections.
Posted in: Researchers move step closer to oral diabetes treatment
David L ReinkeNov. 04, 2013 - 03:10AM JST
And what about Type 1 ...?
Perhaps I missed it, but the article does not state if this oral drug will be effective for Type 1.
Once, while assisting my grandson with his insulin injection (he was diagnosed last year at age 11 with Type 1) my injection technique had obviously caused him some pain. I apologized for hurting him and he replied, "It hurts. It always hurts. It always will."
There is very promising work being done in Finland that might lead to a vaccine, but a cure .... who can say how long that will take.
David L ReinkeAug. 04, 2013 - 09:53AM JST
They do call it "show business" for a reason, however, that fact does not change the truth of what Clooney has said.
Frankly, I'm not surprised After Earth and White House Down failed -- indeed I'm surprised they even got green lighted for production. Of course what looks promising on the page does not always turn out to be so in film.
Star Wars was turned down by every studio in Hollywood until Alan Ladd Jr. took a risk on it, and even then 20th Century Fox was not happy with what George Lucas was doing. They have since changed their tune.
No doubt more BIG films will fail this summer and next, but we can also hope there is another Argo waiting in the wings.
That a film ever emerges from Hollywood, even a mediocre one, is miraculous. That occasionally it rises to the level of art is truly amazing. (Seven Samurai, Ran, Les Enfants du Paradis to name but a few.)
We can hope for more art among the weeds that choke our local cinemas.
Posted in: George Clooney takes aim at Sony investor Loeb over spin-off plan
David L ReinkeAug. 03, 2013 - 09:25AM JST
3D ... Bah!
Posted in: Cameron to release three 'Avatar' sequels
David L ReinkeJul. 28, 2013 - 01:33AM JST
"Summit Entertainment’s “Divergent” and “Ender’s Game” and Sony Pictures’ “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” are all aimed at the lucrative audience of young adults."
That description applies to almost every film made in Hollywood. (With the possible exception of films by Woody Allen.)
Posted in: 'Hunger Games' ushers in era of dystopian young adult films
David L ReinkeJun. 28, 2013 - 09:33AM JST
This is very common in Hollywood.
When Cameron's Abyss was released there were two other underwater adventure films (Deep Star Six and Leviathan).
Likewise there were three films about Alexander the Great in development at the same time. It just so happens that Oliver Stone's film got into principle photography first, so the plug was pulled on the other projects (films by Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann). There were doubts the market would support three expensive films about Alexander, great though he may have been.
Hollywood hates taking chances, they love a sure thing, hence the similarity in the films we see every summer.
Posted in: 'White House Down' director unfazed by 'Olympus'
David L ReinkeJun. 09, 2013 - 12:49AM JST
Posted in: New Godzilla movie to feature Oahu scenes
David L ReinkeMay. 08, 2013 - 11:07PM JST
Games are good for you.
And not just video games -- Board Games also serve to reinforce social interaction that has been sown to have beneficial impact on mental functions.
Play More -- Play Often.
Posted in: Videogames slow, reverse mental decay: study
David L ReinkeApr. 13, 2013 - 12:12AM JST
Kabuki in 4 & 8K --- Mattemashita!
Posted in: Sony to release two models of 4K TV
David L ReinkeMar. 27, 2013 - 09:11AM JST
We can hope that the new US made Godzilla film revives the box office fortunes of this venerable cinema icon.
Of course, that all depends upon both the story being told and, more importantly, just what the new Godzilla looks like. I want to be optimistic, but if recent history is any guide, Godzilla may be in trouble and his fans in for a big disappointment.
That said, until we see some actual footage we can do little but hope for the best.
Posted in: Doraemon topples Godzilla's audience figure record
David L ReinkeMar. 22, 2013 - 11:24PM JST
Watanabe Ken = Good 3D = Bah!
In fact the entire cast looks good, but that doesn't matter -- it's all about the monster. If Godzilla doesn't look right then it is all down hill from there. The Sony Godzilla had several problems, but it was the monster that did them in. It was not Godzilla.
Posted in: Ken Watanabe joins cast of Hollywood's 2nd go at 'Godzilla'
David L ReinkeFeb. 20, 2013 - 09:38AM JST
His book on the films of Kurosawa is still the gold standard. A fascinating scholar and writer -- he will be missed.
Posted in: Japan expert, writer Donald Richie dies at 88
David L ReinkeFeb. 11, 2013 - 09:22AM JST
“If Sony wants to win it, they need to show some killer games to get people to go out and spend a lot of money for the core game experience,” Hickey said.
Just as Sony stated at one of the very first E3 conventions: It's The Games.
That truth has not changed. Will sony return to that wisdom? As always, time will tell ...
Posted in: Sony faces challenge with new PlayStation
David L ReinkeFeb. 08, 2013 - 01:13AM JST
Thinking back to the earliest E3 conventions, Sony had a tag line that said it all: It's The Games.
That's still true today. $430 for the basic system? Add in a few accessories and you pass $500 in the blink of an eye. For that kind of money the games better be great, and then in lies the rub. Sony is still looking for that "must have" killer game that drives hardware sales.
PS3 has several games I like, but not the must-have killer game. At least, not that I found. Perhaps that game is waiting for the PS4.
Posted in: Sony to announce launch of new PlayStation
David L ReinkeFeb. 05, 2013 - 12:21AM JST
I first saw Danjuro perform in 1978, on video tape, when he was the rising young actor named Ebizo. Even in the relatively 'small' role of the Noodle Seller in the play Sukeroku, Danjuro took the stage by storm and more than held his own on a stage already filled with major kabuki stars including Onoe Shoroku playing the title role.
Danjuro was an actor of immense talent & energy -- a true powerhouse of an actor. He will be missed.
Posted in: Kabuki star Ichikawa Danjuro dies after leukemia fight
David L ReinkeJan. 19, 2013 - 01:24AM JST
Hollywood and History have a "checkered" relationship. As writer/director John Sayles noted:
"If historical accuracy were the thing people went to the movies for, historians would be the vice presidents of studios. Every studio would have two or three historians."
(Past Imperfect -History According To The Movies c1995, p22)
It is amusing to watch all of the "sound & fury" whipped up by Argo and Zero Dark Thirty and the concerns with their lack of historical accuracy, when many of these same people see no problem with the historical distortions in films like U-571, Gladiator, 300, Saving Private Ryan or even Henry V. In the last case the distortions began with Shakespeare himself.
Of course, one man's action film is another man's travesty. The Greeks took offense at the portrayal of Alexander in Oliver Stone's film Alexander, while the Iranians were incensed by the treatment of their ancient king in Zack Snyder's 300. That film was noteworthy for it's visual artistry but totally worthless as history.
As Darryl F Zanuck observed: "There is nothing duller on the screen than being accurate but not dramatic." (p238)
This is somewhat ironic given that Zanuck's own film, The Longest Day, is still the most accurate Hollywood feature film about that 20th Century event. (Spielberg's own Band Of Brothers was an excellent corrective to the fiction in his film Pvt. Ryan.)
Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are exciting films, but they are not history. Views should always be concerned when a film starts: Based On A True Story. Yes, it's all true .... except for the parts we changed.
Posted in: Fact or fiction? 'Argo' fuels debate over 1979 hostage crisis
David L ReinkeJan. 12, 2013 - 12:48AM JST
"But you can pick it up off the table, unhook the power cord and lay it flat for games of “Monopoly.”
Hmmmm .... We can do that already -- it's called a Board Game.
I can see where this might have some efficacy for a game like Axis & Allies, where the rules can be more complex and you spend as much time interpreting the rules as you do figuring out your strategy. Having the computer play Rules Sherif and Bookkeeper would help. However, to make it worth while you would need a tablet the size of a 55" monitor. Sounds like yet another amusing CES widget with a very limited audience.
Posted in: Lenovo to release giant 27-inch 'coffee table PC'
David L ReinkeJan. 04, 2013 - 11:59PM JST
Interesting idea, but film selection is key or this could go south rapidly. Imagine doing Schindler's List, or Zulu, and while 1984 would avoid some of of the other film's thornier issues, it might not be much fun to live through. On the other hand, The Wizard of Oz or Fantasia might be a lot of fun, and so too Star Wars, if a bit obvious.
Posted in: 'Secret Cinema' smashes through the screen
Dec. 12, 2013 - 10:00AM JST
Posted in: Swimming Santa
Dec. 12, 2013 - 09:59AM JST
I'm sure if he said "pretty please", she would have had a change of heart.
Posted in: Chiba policeman arrested for stalking ex-girlfriend
Dec. 12, 2013 - 09:58AM JST
because it represents the unknown and the very real fear of nuclear disaster.
Or rather, like…
Posted in: First trailer of Hollywood remake of Godzilla released
Dec. 12, 2013 - 09:56AM JST
Also worthy of note, is the absence of a Japanese representative at the funeral. Anyway back…
Posted in: Sign language interpreter at Mandela memorial a fake
people who don't feel bad to some degree wouldn't bother going.
im going to go out…
Posted in: U.S. envoy Kennedy visits Nagasaki atomic bomb site