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Review: Cowboy Bebop

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the faye-faye dept.

Anime 286

Fans of the excellent Cowboy Bebop anime series have been eagerly awaiting the movie, released on Friday in major U.S. cities. The critics seem to like it overall, and, skimming through the reviews, the ones who dislike it seem to do so for the usual reason: it's a cartoon.

First impressions: It's quite good, good enough to show even non-anime fans. Visually very pretty, plot is perfectly adequate, entertaining yet moderately deep, it's about all I ask for in an anime movie: it's fun.

The movie is strongly reminiscent of the animated series - if you lengthened and filled out one of the standard episodes, boom, you've got a movie. All of the Bebop crew are present, which would put it, time-wise, roughly in the middle of the series. Each of them plays a significant part in tracking their latest target, a bio-terrorist who plans to unleash an unpleasant plague on the population of Mars, but as in the series, they work side-by-side but not necessarily as a team, rather as a loose affiliation of, err, cowboys. The plot is simple but reasonably compelling. The antagonist's motivations are laid out; I didn't find them particularly sensible, but, ignoring that, the actions of the characters make sense and everything pretty much holds together.

The movie is significantly prettier than the series. Instead of the computer-generated beauty of Spirited Away, there are quite a few exquisitely drawn backgrounds. Most of the action takes place in a city on Mars which bears a strong - very strong - resemblance to modern-day New York City. Shadows are rendered with great care, leading to a number of scenes where the shadows play as much of a part in the scene as the character casting them. Although the rendering of Martian daylight is not, perhaps, very realistic (Mars is going to get a lot less light than Earth, even if it's massively terraformed...), the artists do take the opportunity to show us several beautiful sunset shots. The movie is worth watching for the art alone, IMHO.

Fans of the series will know that it's known for its jazz (or maybe jazz-like is more descriptive) numbers. The movie still has some jazz, but there's a lot more rock, leading to a more fast-paced feel. The soundtrack is quite good without being overpowering and without losing the feel that "made" the series. The voice acting is as good as the series, which is not surprising.

At least two of the showings in the movie theater I saw it in were sold out. I imagine that won't continue, since this is a bit of a niche market and the movie hasn't been advertised at all that I've seen, but perhaps it will be enough to get a wider U.S. distribution for the movie, and Spirited Away picking up an Oscar shouldn't hurt either. It's worth seeing in the theaters, I think, assuming there's one near you. If you've ever wondered what sort of beating Spike can dish out when he's really upset at someone, this movie will answer that question. :)

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I disliked it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673836)

I felt it lacked most of the elements of Westerns I've come to love over the years. Not enough horses, and definitely not enough Indians.

Re:I disliked it (0)

Draconix (653959) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673843)

Har dee har har. =P Well, I can't wait until it comes out. I mean... it's CB. It's a masterpiece of writing ans animation.

Re:I disliked it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673868)

No, it's a cartoon. And not even a particularly good one at that.

first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673837)

:-D beat baggy

YOU ARE THE FAILURE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673854)

bitchtits.

One thing (4, Insightful)

koh (124962) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673839)

One thing I liked in Cowboy Bebop was the sad ending. No happy ending, no hollywood crap, good japanese drama :)

Re:One thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673869)

how can sad endings be good? I paid $9 to see a movie and then I leave the theater feeling like crap?

Lame.

Re:One thing (1)

adamruck (638131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673898)

so what? ever read romeo and juliet? Everyone ends up dying in the end but its still a fantastic peice of reading.

Re:One thing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673918)

Yeah, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes were excellent in it.

Re:One thing (1)

Kong the Medium (232629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674066)

You really have to read your Shakespeare in the Klingon original ;-}

Re:One thing (3, Informative)

packeteer (566398) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674175)

Romeo and Juliet does NOT have a sad ending. Before you just read the cliff notes and think you can BS like you did in high school maybe you should go back and read the actual book.

The ending of Romeo and Juliet is TRAGIC but not entirely SAD. Romeo and Juliet as well as a few more minor charecters do die and in a very tragic way but there is a reason. Two families are at war and it takes the death of the sons and daughters of the family (Romeo and Juliet being the final deaths they can take) to create peace. If Romeo and Juliet didn't die how they did the families would still be at war and they would have probably both ended up dying anyway.

Although this comes off as a sad ending, you do feel sad at the end, the ending is actually quite happier than i expected when i read it after hearing so much about it my entire life.

Read some Shakespeare... its a lot more complex than most people realize and is a thrill when you find all the hidden goodies.

Re:One thing (2, Informative)

kal-el (138664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673876)

Yeah, but that seems the norm for Japanese Anime. Its always some sort of mixed ending. Usually a sad ending, and if not, its not a happy ending.

Re:One thing (3, Informative)

koh (124962) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673906)

Yup, most modern and good anime have not-so-good endings indeed. Older anime like Harlock, Grendizer or *shrug* DBZ did have more happy endings.

IMHO this also applies to most of Japanese art, including good movies like Unagi for instance. Of course, as another poster said, this kind of trick is not appreciated by some people, to whom entertainment should rhyme with happy endings.

This is probably linked to the fact that Manga and Anime are recognized as high-level media in Japan. Most of the good novels I've read don't have happy endings. Most of the classics have awful endings. This, also, is part of entertainment.

Re:One thing (3, Interesting)

deadsaijinx* (637410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673889)

I have yet to see the movie, but I have always loved the show. It has just enough dramatic-art elements to it to really highlight the excellent story telling. However, I didn't even know that the movie was being shown in American theaters, and that makes me a bit upset. Why, because the American corporations don't support the animes. Then they say, "HEY, these animes don't do well, let's not put any money into more releases." Of course, then some of them are such great film acheivements (Spirited Away comes to mind) that the companies suddenly realize that they CAN make bucko bicks off of the animes, without doing any of the work. Hell, they don't even put that much money into advertising them. Yet they pour millions of dollars into some of the biggest peices of crap that they can produce. I am sick of people saying that anime sux just because it's a cartoon. Luckily, with releases such as spirited away, and films heavily influenced by anime (The Watchowski Brothers loved Ghost in the Shell and Arkira [as do I]) I feel that more and more people will appreciat anime as another form of cinematic art, and not just some little kiddy thing.

Long Live CB! 0_o

Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673908)

for giving it away, schmuck.

just kidding, i think most of us could have guessed as much

Re:One thing (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674004)

I didn't. I like a sad ending usually, but the problem with CB is they didn't develop the characters enough. 26 30-minute episodes wasn't really enough to flesh it out. The same ending after a 52-episode run would have been better.

Re:One thing (1)

Cappy Red (576737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674040)

It ain't just Hollywood... as Oscar Wilde wrote in The Importance of Beiing Earnest:

Cecily: I hope it did not end happily? I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.

Miss Prism: The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.

Rather more seriously, the "happy/sad ending? that automatically sucks!" attitude really chaps my ass. I respect storytellers for not tacking on a happy or sad ending just for the hell of it... just to satisfy the masses that may only see it if it has an uplifting happy ending, or an important sad ending. Deus ex machina to achieve either end has killed more good stories that I care to count. Not to mention that the very idea is total crap. I've felt uplifted by sad endings, and found some of those "hollywood crap happy endings" to be very important.


*honk*

Sad Ending? Try ambiguous (Was Re:One thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674209)

It wasn't a "sad" ending. "You will always suffer from not-knowing [whether he is alive or dead]." Any time they want they can bring it back (though they likely won't).

cowboy (2, Funny)

jeepee (607566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673841)

is this Cowboy Neal girlfriend

Re:cowboy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673919)

Yeah like Cowboy Neal could find a female of any species who would even talk to him.

Re:cowboy (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674160)

No silly, its his boyfriend. That would be Cowgirl Bebop if it was his girlfriend. Sorry Neil just couldn't resist.

anime sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673842)

MY NUTS!

Quibble (5, Interesting)

LordSpaz (642874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673849)

My only major dislike of the movie was that the two new characters (the villain and the chick associated with him) were a little underdeveloped - they remained a little unclear to me even after the third viewing. The movie had fantastic action scenes, though, far outweighing any in the series, and as the reviewer says, the art was fantastic.

Re:Quibble (1)

LastToKnow (449735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674069)

I'm not so sure. Electra certainly got more development than Julia (but then, I think the lack of development on Julia is intentional. She's not supposed to be a character in the series, she is there because of the meaning she has for Spike). Without getting into spoilers, I think that one of the most moving scenes in the movie was between her and Spike. And similarly, the scenes that Vincent and Faye have together are very revealing (no, not that way. boo).

waiting for wide release (1)

zaren (204877) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673852)

This is one of only two movies I've ever downloaded (it was even a sub, not a dub)... and my hard drive promptly crapped out soon after, before I had a chance to watch it. Karma's a bitch, innit? :p So now I'm sitting here in Ypsi, waiting for it to come this way... A Spirited Away / Bebop double feature would rock, I think :)

Re:waiting for wide release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673873)

I can mail you a copy on CD-R. Just post your address.

Re:waiting for wide release (1)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674078)

Uhh yeah, you think you could send me a copy. My address is down below.

Cmdr Taco
935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20535


Thanks!

Cowboy Bebop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673855)

I bet this professor [purdue.edu] likes Cowboy Bebop!

Cowboy Bebop is *real*? (0)

product byproduct (628318) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673859)

I thought it was a fake Slashdot anime name based on "Cowboy Neal". It certainly doesn't sound Japanese.

Quite So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673997)

unless you'd like to tell thousands of fans they are delusional. Think of it in the context of the "engrish" picked up by the Japanese youth. And the show does actually blend the two concepts fairly well. "Cowboy" in that the main cast is a group of bounty hunters, "wranglin'" outlaws for profit. "Bebop" is a jazzy type of music from the 40's and 50's, which can jump around in tempos and such. For more on Bebop, check AllMusic.com [allmusic.com] .

Re:Quite So (4, Interesting)

spike hay (534165) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674246)

"Bebop" is a jazzy type of music from the 40's and 50's, which can jump around in tempos and such. For more on Bebop, check AllMusic.com [allmusic.com].

The title actually makes quite a bit of sense. The famous jazz musician Yoko Kanno does the music for Bebop. In addition, she actually had quite a bit of influence in the series. One interesting thing, is that during the opening credits, in the background, there are a few sentences about the creation of the bebop jazz style in New York in the 40's.

Re:Cowboy Bebop is *real*? (1)

spike hay (534165) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674225)

I thought it was a fake Slashdot anime name based on "Cowboy Neal". It certainly doesn't sound Japanese.

Never heard of Cowboy Bebop? It's one of the best anime TV shows ever made. (The best, IMHO) Dowload the series off of Kazaa. It's wonderful.

Watch the episodes (4, Insightful)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673862)

The movie was good, but the episodes have more variety. The movie, I think, tried to be serious and funny, but I find that it's nicer when one or the other prevails. Compare Jupiter Jazz to Cowboy Funk; in one you have some very serious stuff, in the other you have a hilarious cowboy named Andy.

What I'm saying is, see the movie. But if you want some real fun, see the series too.

Damn critics... (4, Insightful)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673866)

The critics seem to like it overall, and, skimming through the reviews, the ones who dislike it seem to do so for the usual reason: it's a cartoon.

Man, I just don't get it. Cartoons are great for anything with a fantasy element.

Why?

'Cause you can do anything you want with cartoons...cheaply!

Live action has certain drawbacks. Sure, you can have beautiful people at which you can stare, but some things are difficult or downright impossible to do with live action.

The people who don't like cartoon movies are just snobs. Beautiful things can be done with the medium.

To simply deride something because it's a cartoon is so shortsided.

Re: Damn Critics (0)

maomoondog (198438) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673894)

I dunno... check out the onion AV club [theonionavclub.com] for a review that didn't like it for good reasons.

I mean, we should be happy about this. Anime is finally getting reviewed by the same standards of story composition and directing that "real" cinema is. And I've got to agree with them -- the Bebop movie had some great scenes and animation, but it felt like one more episode, and not one of the best. The series ending captured the whole point of the show so well....

Re:Damn critics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674000)

the ones who dislike it seem to do so for the usual reason: it's a cartoon.

The ones who approve of it seem to do so for the usual reason: it's anime

Re:Damn critics... (1)

neurostar (578917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674042)

To simply deride something because it's a cartoon is so shortsided.

It's only shortsided to you because you *like* catroons. Some people simply don't like cartoons. And that's fine. It doesn't make their views shortsighted.

neurostar

Re:Damn critics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674134)

Some people simply don't like cartoons.

Which makes their reviews prejudiced, by definition, and therefore irrelevant.

Re:Damn critics... (2, Insightful)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674141)

Some people simply don't like cartoons. And that's fine. It doesn't make their views shortsighted.

It does when you are a critic.

A critic's job (IMHO) is to judge a movie's merits within its genre. If you are a critic and don't like cartoons, to deride a movie on that basis alone is a failure to provide any useable insight on the movie's qualities to those who DO.

If a critic can't seperate their personal likes and dislikes from their reviews (and what I mean is stuff like "I don't like horror movies, therefore all horror films get a low rating, no matter how well it is produced") -- then they are a poor critic.

Re:Damn critics... (1)

neurostar (578917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674184)

A critic's job (IMHO) is to judge a movie's merits within its genre. If you are a critic and don't like cartoons, to deride a movie on that basis alone is a failure to provide any useable insight on the movie's qualities to those who DO.

Agreed. However that means a critic shouldn't be reviewing movies in that genre. But to disregard someone's personal opinion as "shortsighted" isn't right.

neurostar

Re:Damn critics... (1)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674232)

What I meant is that it's shortsighted to dismiss a movie *simply because* it's animated.

Take two movies, equal in all regards. Same script, same production value, same director, same actors (one live action, one as voice overs). Two equally great movies. It would be shortsighted to dismiss one simply because it's a cartoon.

I'm not talking about comparing Rainbow Bright: The Movie with Forrest Gump. I'm talking about shortchanging a great movie based on one of its many facets.

Re:Damn critics... (2, Interesting)

GreenHell (209242) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674180)

Don't take what the slashdot editors have to say about it, read the actual negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Something pops up fairly quickly: Most don't dislike it because it's a cartoon. Many of the bad reviews go on about how good the artwork and visuals are. (Most of the time anyways, as a few also complain about the lack of coherency in the quality in several scenes.)
Most of the bad reviews dislike it because they found it long, drawn out, and boring.

Now think about it for a moment. Put aside all the "They hate it because it's a non-Disney cartoon!" stereotypes. Think about it.
Have you seen the movie yet? I have, and I'm afraid I can agree. It's not a bad movie really, but it is slightly more drawn out than it needs to be.

semi OT (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673867)

the The Perfect Sessions [amazon.com] is alot of fun; you can get 20 something episodes for $35 (used). that's great fun at $3/hour, which in most cases is cheaper than the movies.

the season has a overall theme, but not all episodes progress the storyline -- some are just w, well, OT. i liked this series far better than any of the 20 other anime movies i've ever seen

Re:semi OT (1)

Nalanthi (599605) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674092)

Wow, I didn't know that amazon stocked illegal Chineese imports. The 35 dollar set on ebay is an illegal import. Don't bother buying it. If you are going to pirate published anime (which I don't approve of) at keast dupport you local fansubbers and download the divx version for free. Nalanthi

Re:semi OT (2, Informative)

Blackbrain (94923) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674227)

Watch out for the cheap copies of Perfect Sessions. They are nasty pirate copies being passed off a new. A better bet is the Amazon exclusive package [amazon.com] which contain all the DVDs from the Perfect Session collection without the soundtrack.

Inquiring minds want to know... (0, Offtopic)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673872)

Is Cowboy Neil named after Cowboy Bebop? I always suspected he might be.

Now, if we can just figure out what kind of crack Malda was smoking when he came up with "CmdrTaco" :)

Re:Inquiring minds want to know... (1)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673935)

In one of his books (I think it was called something like "Scratch and Claw Your Way to the Top"), Dave Barry gave "Commander Taco" as an example of a name of a low class restaurant. I think that may have something to do with it.

Re:Inquiring minds want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673967)

I assumed it was related to the idea of a "Burger King" and KFC's Colonel. He picked another fast food place (Taco Bell), and picked a rank. Commander Taco was born! Personally, I would've gone with Admiral Pizza, but maybe that's just me.

Yeah! Let's talk about anime (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673875)

So all you pedophiles can get your jollies.

Re:Yeah! Let's talk about anime (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674029)

You are very confused. While Cowboy Bebop is done in the style of classic Japanese animated pornography, it is not pornography. Don't judge this execellent animation by the fact that most anime is dirty trash.

Re:Yeah! Let's talk about anime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674096)

Does it have any tentacle rape? I only watch anime that has tentacle rape.

Go back to Africa (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673884)

Anime is for AIDS-spreading niggers

what about disney stuff then...? (3, Insightful)

thadeusPawlickiROX (656505) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673887)

This is the one thing I don't understand: Why do critics continually put down anime style artwork but eat up Disney stuff? There's nothing wrong with a Disney "cartoon," but if it's anime, a critic often has some kind of prejudice against the anime movie.

I'm an avid anime fan, and it bothers me to see such meaningless reasons as to why the Bebop movie isn't good. The Cowboy Bebop movie does not have the best stand-alone plot (it goes well with the entire series), but I still think that it's a good movie for a one-shot and the animation did not get as much credit as it deserved in the negative reviews.

However, it is nice to see that a majority of the reviews of the film are mainly positive. It's not like everyone is against it, but the one's who are against it seem to have poor reasoning.

evidence: Spirited Away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673992)

The critics ate up this anime film over two of disney's movies. And this is the conservative, "we give awards to ourselves" Hollywood we're talking about, not Sundance "we hate Hollywood" types.

If the academy awards giving an anime an oscar means the critics don't like anime, I don't know what I'm talking about.

Re:evidence: Spirited Away (1)

neomiasma (639496) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674080)

Hate to break it to you, but Disney slapped its name on Spirited Away [go.com] , thus making it a "Disney" film in the eyes of the critics and the Academy. I guess animated films can't get any Hollywood cred without the Disney seal of approval.

Re:evidence: Spirited Away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674260)

Pfft. That's a bunch of crap. Disney distributes Ghibli films in both the US and Japan. And you claim the only reason Spirited Away won was because it said Disney? What about Treasure Planet and Lilo and Stitch, true blue Disney films?

Regardless, the academy awards are so self serving it's sickening. It's not their job to find the best films in the world, you submit yours for nomination. And then if you know all the guys on the board you make it to the awards. After that you bribe all the judges and you might win the oscar. If Spirited Away made it all the way up there then it's got a helluva lot more credibilty below that. Anime is definitely main stream in America. You just like deluding yourself that it's still an elite subculture.

Re:what about disney stuff then...? (0)

Trespass (225077) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674022)

Xenophobia.

Re:what about disney stuff then...? (3, Interesting)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674072)

Actually, being an anime fan, and actually having read a good number of those "bad" reviews. I think there is an incredible bias here.

A majority of the reviewers who say that hte show is bad are right on the button why the movie isn't great. They don't even bring up the animation, other than to praise how well it is done. No, rather, most of them comment on the sheer episodicness of the movie, and the lack of what they considered a coherent plotline.

As well, I could understand a few of them being really confused because they don't really understand the "cowboy bebop" universe.

There was one reviewer who said it was "Just a Cartoon" and even then he was just pointing out that the plot, the storyline, etc. were just not that good. It's very similar to another review saying that a movie is "Just another movie", this Cowboy Bebop movie is "Just another cartoon". He's not attacking you, or your absolute love of anime, he's just saying that he wasn't thrilled, excited or stunned by this movie.

Accept that people don't like thing you do, and that they have perfectly legitimate reasons to. Not everyone who doesn't like the movie is 'against it', and I can say a majority of the ones who did say the movie was not that great had perfectly legitimate reasons to say so.

Curse ye, Cruele Fate (1, Funny)

Nemus (639101) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673901)

Here I am, a huge fan of the series, and I'm stuck in Nashville, TN which is about the last place in America this will get shown I'm sure. It was the same with Sprirted Away, and any other full length anime release that cruel geography and dumb luck managed to deprive me of. Excuse me now, I'm going to go weep bitter tears in the bathroom.

Oh well, theres always DVD.

Re:Curse ye, Cruele Fate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673943)

I'm in exactly the same boat. Or ciyy. Yeah, city; Nashville's not a boat. Anyway, at least Spirited Away was at Green Hills for a few weeks in October. And it's in a couple theaters now, too, I think. I just hope Bebop makes it around here sometime soon. I've seen a downloaded fansub a few times and really want to see it theatrically. I wish there was somewhere to find out when/if it will come.

Re:Curse ye, Cruele Fate (1)

danny256 (560954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673952)

Oh well, theres always DVD.

There's always Kazaa.

Re:Curse ye, Cruele Fate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674172)

You know, you "there's always Kazaa" people are so full of shit, it is astounding. Kazaa blows.

Why the fuck am I going to spend the entire day dicking around with "waiting for more servers" when in 30 minutes I can have the DVD playing in 5:1 stereo splendor?

Oh, so I can watch a crappy-assed ultra-compressed version with a monochannel soundtrack at 320x240 resolution? Yeah. That'll compete.

Re:Curse ye, Cruele Fate (1)

El Camino SS (264212) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673957)


Stuck in Nashville too.

Although, if "stuck" means living in a pretty good city for the size. I noticed that there was not one listing in the Midwest short of Chicago, or other places like that.

Anyway, have a good one. Hermitage, Tn, out.

Re:Curse ye, Cruele Fate (1)

kaworu-sama (608217) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673989)

You ingrate..:] I live in the boondocks about 120 miles north of you in southern kentucky. Hell would freeze over before it came here anywhere near where I lived. Mostly because we don't have a theater! At that, the closest *decent* on is 30 miles away.

"What's a nice nerd like you doing in a place ..." (1)

BerntB (584621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674145)

What's a nice nerd like you doing in a place like this? :-)

Only joking. I'm laid off -- for a Perl/C++ job I'd move to country (shudder) Mecca, too.

(On the other hand, this autumn I'm going back to university to study nerdy interests I always wanted to learn about. I'm lucky this happened before I got too old to do more math (-: I hope! :-).)

Read the reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673902)

And please point out one (never mind "most") that didn't like it solely because "its a cartoon". "Boring" or "overcomplicated" or "too episodic" do not mean the same as "it's a cartoon".

Just because people disagree with your opinion doesn't mean you should just disparage 'em.

Theaters? (1)

womprat (154589) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673954)

Does anyone have a list of cities and/or theaters it is playing at?

Nevermind... (1)

womprat (154589) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674120)

It's on the sony pictures site. Now if only I could get flash to work for me...

not your cutsey anime (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673956)

"MPAA Rating: R for some violent images. " from movies.yahoo.com holy shit. :-p -Anu

And this is why.... (5, Insightful)

DisKurzion (662299) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673960)

anime will NEVER become mainstream. As much as I would love to see it happen, I KNOW that the american culture is too pompous and ignorant to let it happen.

People have become way too dependent on what critics say about a movie. They go watch what other people tell them they should, possibly because it costs way to much to see a movie. Critics who diss the movie for poor animation and "Speed Racer" style action obviously never went to see the movie, and instead opted to read some online summary and diss what they do not understand.

So ignore (the vast majority of) the critics, and go see what is a GREAT action movie that actually has a plot.

Re:And this is why.... (2, Insightful)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674088)

anime will NEVER become mainstream. As much as I would love to see it happen, I KNOW that the american culture is too pompous and ignorant to let it happen.

<sarcasm>That's right. And this internet thing will NEVER become popular. No one will EVER use a personal computer. And as for this new technology called "calculus", it's NEVER going to be accepted by the masses.</sarcasm>

As for me, I'm going to keep using linux, watching Anime, and using GPG to sign my email messages. The rest of the world be damned. They can catch up if they want, but I'm not going to wait for them.

I mean, do you wait for something to become mainstream before you jump on the bandwagon? Then why are you complaining that it is not mainstream?

Re:And this is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674097)

Too many Kimba the White Lion flashbacks.

Re:And this is why.... (2, Insightful)

SlashdotLemming (640272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674142)

Critics who diss the movie for poor animation ... So ignore (the vast majority of) the critics

I think you picked the wrong "ignorant masses" template to use for your reply. If you actually read the post and the links, you'll see that there are mostly positive reviews for both animation and the movie overall.

I see that this is your first post to Slashdot. You didn't follow the links, so that's good, with some more practice you'll fit in well here. The capital words for emphasis are good, however your spelling needs work. Too many correctly spelled words. As I said earlier, you need to select a better message template. I suggest one of the ones that go something like "Even though [insert topic] is criticaly acclaimned, the stupid masses will still ignore it because american culture is too pompus and ignorant to let it happen". That has a nice blend of spelling/grammar mistakes and still portrays you as one of the few who "get it"

Re:And this is why.... (1)

Z4rd0Z (211373) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674214)

That's one of the best posts I've ever read on Slashdot.

Re:And this is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674188)

anime will NEVER become mainstream.

Two words: Academy Award

Thanks for playing.

(By the way, there is no such thing as the "mainstream." Don't believe the hype.)

Ignorant? (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674240)

I'm not ignorant, I just plain don't like it. Tried watching Bebop, Excel Saga, and Hellsing. Sorry but it doesn't hold my interest. Now The Maxx is a whole different story...

Not continuity-bound (3, Insightful)

Omniscient Ferret (4208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673970)

A common problem with a movie based on something episodic is that it gets tangled up in all of the continuity; you have to know about all of the storylines to make sense of the references dropped into the movie. This didn't happen with Cowboy Bebop. I haven't seen all of the episodes yet, and I really enjoyed the movie. There were a couple of references I missed, but friends assured me it wasn't major plot points, such as, say, Spike's life having Indian influences, or an apparent cameo that got a cheer from the audience.

actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673971)

Some of the naysayers are right on as far as the bebop movie goes. It does start off very nicely, but it devolves into another episode or another anime film. At one point I didn't know if I was watching Cowboy Bebop or Macross Plus or what. After a fun intro and some nice technique it really just falls into the motions of being "just another anime."

Some of the sourness current critics could be because most people might think the creators are capitalizing on the whole terrorism thing, but actually this movie was made before Sept 11, 2001. It might actually have come out very shortly after it in Japanese theaters (IIRC). A lot has happned in America since then regarding terrorism, biological weaopns, and diseases. When you watch this film remember that at the time there was no Sept 11, no anthrax scare, no SARS, no Iraq "weapons of mass destruction", no North Korea nuclear programme, and to most of us, no Osama bin Laden and Al Queda. It's really not the same world as when this movie was made and it's a shame, at least for Bones (the creative team behind the Bebop movie). And it goes without saying the rest of us, too.

Its just a long epsiode (5, Interesting)

baronben (322394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673973)

While I love Bebop, my biggest problem with this movie is that it was just one long episode. It didn't really do anything new or exciting, they just relied on the tried and true Bebop formula, Spike being cooler then Jesus, good fight scenes, good action scenes, and kick ass music (see the movie for the music if anything, Yoko Kanno is a goddess.)

That being said, most anime movies based on TV shows aren't usually that good. Escaflone the movie was fairly bad, and the Eva movies will never, ever, see a US theatrical release. However, Bebop was still a decent movie, and some of the scenes, such as the last fight scenes with the fireworks and butterflies, just demand being scene in a theater.

Re:Its just a long epsiode (1)

Forkenhoppen (16574) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674126)

Personally, I loved End of Evangelion. Gotta love the sploosh! (sploosh.. sploosh....)

That, and Komm Sutter Todd is an awesome song.

You're definitely right about Escaflowne, though; that was a real pile of trash. If you want to watch something that makes a similar amount of sense, but at least it doesn't make you want to go slit your wrists... I suggest you check out the Utena movie. Wonderful music. Prettier too, imo. A bit of nudity, but that's to be expected of any movie that deals with sex and gender roles.. while dropping acid..

[OT] series (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673974)

Okie, slightly off-topic. But I'm curious :)

At the very end of the series, did Spike survive? Is there going to be another series? It'll be a shame if that's all there is, because it's such a great show! And these days that's unusual.

Re:[OT] series (1)

LordSpaz (642874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5673991)

From what I can recall, he did - but others didn't. *refrains from mentioning spoilers* However, I doubt that there will be another series... it's not really in anime style.

Re:[OT] series (spoilers?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674028)

While it's pretty obvious Spike died in the end, that's not stopping creative writers from fixing that. Add some more cyber body parts and we're ready for another 100 episodes.

Cowboy Bebop is pretty popular, but this kind of masculine anime is not so popular in Japan anymore. The demand is driven by a small but dedicated fan base that is not getting any bigger.

As they showed us with the Bebop movie, if they wanted to add more episodes they could just do it before Spike died. Make some prologue, some pre-prologue, some in between episodes. A few movies here and there. A spinoff series. But I don't think they want to do that IMO, they're too "bad ass" for sequels right now. Maybe when the economy gets worse and they've got to return to profitable franchises they'll remake Bebop on a lower budget with less talented writers, but in short don't expect a "glorious return" of the series within the next 10 or 20 years.

Re:[OT] series (1)

ebassi (591699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674031)

At the very end of the series, did Spike survive?

Okay, since you ask... :-)

Yes: Spike does die, at the end of the series.

The ending song, with camera that pans right through the sky, ends on a star that just grow dimmer and dimmer, until it just fades out; as the indian chief tells to Jet, when a star fades out from the sky, a great warrior is dead.

[SPOILER!!] (4, Informative)

LastToKnow (449735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674038)

[LOOK OUT!!! MASSIVE SPOILER!!]

No, he didn't. That, in my opinion, is the beauty of bebop. They had the nerve to kill off the main character. They said "This is the end. No more Bebop."

I said "No he didn't" pretty finally, and all there is is symbolic proof, but I think its pretty solid. The flock of birds flies up as the camera pans; they used that a couple times to signify death, most notably when Julia died. The lyrics of the song that plays is "I'm ascending" (good news; he went to heaven). And most importantly, in the very last shot of the series, looking at the stars, there is that star that fades out, just as Old Man Bull says happens when someone dies.

I think that the series up to the last 3 or 4 sessions is good, but it is those last 3, where everything comes crashing down for everyone, that really makes Bebop great.

Holy shit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5673983)

Seriously, not being a troll, I hate all those anime things. Yet being news for nerds, this stuff does not matter.

And "Cowboy Bebop" is a ridiculous name.

But the pacing was so bad... (3, Interesting)

WolfEel (191902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674008)

I enjoy the television show, but I suppose I realize now that a big part of that is the fast pacing they are forced into by the 30 minute episode length. While I did enjoy the movie, there were many times when it dragged. And the fighter sequence with Spike in his jet... not only did it have nothing to do with the plot (only an excuse to show his jet) it was soooo loooong.

And was anybody else disappointed that the credits song from the TV show was missing? That is consistently my favorite part of the show.

What???? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674020)

The critics seem to like it overall, and, skimming through the reviews, the ones who dislike it seem to do so for the usual reason: it's a cartoon.

It's a cartoon?! Why does nobody tell me these things!

Kierthos
(And here I thought it was a documentary....)

TMNT (0, Offtopic)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674041)

Is Cowboy Bebop the bad guy from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? That was a good cartoon.

one good cartoon (1)

astrovltv (640570) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674044)

I maintain the usual opinion that anime's cartoonness is its main weak point; I mean, think how cool it would be if someone actually pulled it off without animation? But I have to admit, Cowboy Bebop would gain nothing with live actors and setting. The city scapes were impressively beautiful, and the plot and characters' powers were realistic enough that I soon stopped caring/forgot it was animated. Anime such as Princess Mononoke doesn't impress me nearly as much; shooting an arrow and taking a guy's limb off is just ridiculously unrealistic and brings its cartoonness to full attention.

Not just for kids? (2, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674053)

I used to live in Japan, have a number of Japanese friends, and so on. I'm not going to claim cultural expertise, but it's a pretty obvious fact that 95% of anime & manga flatly aims itself at the teenager or younger set. A more mature audience than Disney, for sure, but the constant posts that in Soviet Japan, anime is mainstream and created for adults is stretching the truth. American anime fans are, in general, older than Japanese anime fans.

Cowboy Bebop doesn't come off as particularly adult. The characters can be described with 2 or 3 adjectives, Faye is around mostly to show off her animated ass, and in general it's not as intelligent as an Hollywood action flick.

Call it a night cowboy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674062)

You will win tomorrow! [googlefight.com]

How come only shit anime is mentioned on /. ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674083)

Maybe the mods like wallowing and eating shit.

Reinforces stereotypes about anime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674094)

I've never watched the series. I saw the movie in a Saturday matinee in Toronto. There were about 60 people in an auditorium that seats about 500. Most of the attendees were Comic-Store-Guy clone guys like yours truly. (One noteworthy exception was the young woman with a couple of kids around 4-7 years old who seemed more interested in shouting than paying attention to the movie. I question the judgment of anybody who would expose kids of that age to material this violent. Oh wait, it's a cartoon, so it *must* be suitable for kids.

On to the movie itself: A few of the action scenes were interesting, but for the most part I thought it was pretty boring. I don't agree with people making a big deal about the art. I appreciate the art in the same way I appreciate banjo music: I know it takes skill to pull it off well, but if it doesn't grab my interest, why should I care? I thought the scenes were very drab for the most part. It was effective at creating a mood, but it got pretty monotonous. If you enjoy being bored, as long as thing boring you purports to be sophisticated, then feast your eyes!

The plot was typical anime fair: a mystery/thriller trying to have an epic feel, but falling short, and stirring in some pointless metaphysics that don't translate well from Japanese (unless you're a fan of people like Dr. Phil McGraw, in which case you'll probably lap it up).

We also get another staple of anime that contributes to its lack of mainstream acceptance in north america: the obligatory highly-sexualized-female-facing-immediate-threat-o f-rape scene. I realize not all anime have this element, but the point I'm trying to make is that non-fans who come into this with an open mind may very well walk out saying "Gee, I guess Jimmy Swaggart [or whoever] is right about this garbage".

Another element is the yawn-inducing smugness of Spike's fight scenes. I get it. Nerds will see this and wish they could be so cool. Again nothing wrong with this, but it's sooooooo typical. People who percieve anime as wish-fulfillment for nerds will not have their opinion changed by this movie.

The one thing I will grant you is the music. The opening credits were probably the best part of the movie.

People familiar with the series will probably enjoy it more than non-fans. The scope of the movie doesn't allow sufficient time for us to really get to understand the characters as anything other than cardboard cutouts.

I've seen another post argue that "it's an action movie, don't prejudice yourself against it just because it happens to be a cartoon". My response: it's an action movie (and a mediocre one at best), don't place it on a pedestal just because it's a cartoon.

Excellent timing... (1)

slashmonkey (664188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674116)

Riding on the wave of Spirited Away? Is there a rennaisance in far east animation?

Fark this Shit. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5674130)

Am I the ONLY person on slashdot who can't farking stand anime? Goddamnit. Why are the japanese taking over the world with their shitty animations and even shittier dubbing (or subtitles!).

AHHHH!

Posted as Anonymous Coward because I feel some negative moderation coming on.

And since I'm already risking a down-mod, let me get off topic too...

All moderators that use the -1 "overrated" are fucking idiots. "Overrated" should be abolished. Its used by mods who don't want to get negatively metamoderated... because you can't argue with something being overrated, hell, it very well could have been.

Obligatory Rant (1)

LastToKnow (449735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674144)

.. about having to watch it in English in the theater. Bla bla bla, I hate the dubs, bla bla, not the same feeling, bla.

You know, my heart doens't seem to be into this rant today. I don't think there's a showing near me anyway. But the sooner I can pick up the DVD, the better.

bebop? (3, Interesting)

joenobody (72202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674161)

I've seen it, and the nicest thing I can say about it that it's not Cowboy Bebop. Ed is messed up, grapically and character-wise. The computer animation is pretty poorly integrated. Jet's barely in the movie and spends most of it moping around like a schmuck. Faye's top is cut open for no particular reason. Spike's at least about right, but Ein is painfully obvious.

The villain is some kind of nihilistic joke who can't even keep continuity -- he survives, without disfigurement, exploding a grenade in his hand that blackens and twists a nearby metal seat, but takes one bullet in the climax and dies.

Speaking of which, the entire story around the contrived love interest is incredibly hammy, and if anyone didn't see that twist at the end coming you'd best get your eyes checked. Ugh.

I didn't expect the world from this movie, but it didn't come close to matching up with the worst episode.

Because its a cartoon? (1)

Photon01 (662761) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674183)

The critics seem to like it overall, and, skimming through the reviews, the ones who dislike it seem to do so for the usual reason: it's a cartoon.

I disagree.

Although some of the reviews that were linked to did appear to take the view that 'its a cartoon, it cant be good', there were just as many that said it is just a bad anime film, not that it was bad because its an anime film.

I'll still be checking it out anyway though, i'm a fan of the series, and there were more good reviews than bad.

Knockin' On Heavens Door (1)

kolombangara (419845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5674242)

Manga dudtilted vs. US Realease (Exclsv Engmnt)?

The subtitles on the original was pretty lame/goofy, but not too bad. I enjoyed the play on words warped between translations from Japanese to engrsh.
Personally I liked Spikes voice much better in the original. It sounded really cool. I bought this movie on ebaY from Hong Kong over a year ago under it's original title Knockin On Heavens Door. Also note a vintage 80 year old Power Mac G3 in a scene.
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