13 March 2009 | adeyto-1
for me, most impressive Japanese movie so far.
I saw the movie in a private preview so it might have technically gotten even better since then or the web trailers.
Actually, I am glad that the web trailer is nothing revealing. Let the people get the real thing where they should get it: in the cinemas. I rather hate those movies that pack the trailer with best they have and then there's nothing left than those 30 seconds of glory.
A pity I can't talk about the story to avoid spoilers, at this time I would just explain why it was excellent for me:
*the way Kiriya re-wrote this little piece of history and made a great thing out of it and one worth watching in a movie.
*it has anything that a blockbuster shall have but keeps a pure and decent heart and yes, done at an extremely low budget under one million $.
*the CG is (in my opinion) not intended to look like Iron Man Hollywood stuff but rather like Final Fantasy and I really hope people not being snobs about this because this is not the point. Besides, I never felt that the CG isn't good or not good enough, I didn't even feel it was a CG because the story moves on so fast and takes you in its stream, you don't have the time or need to think twice.
*there are no gaps and goofs or illogical actions in the story line
*the style is very solid: the mix of Asian/Western costume design or architecture is continuous through the entire movie and nothing looks like a mistake or an accident or bad taste. The mix of true historical elements and modern elements (dance, etc) keeps things real while traditional elements (like the firefly) constantly remind us it's also a fairy tale that we are watching.
*you will get to see all martial arts you would dream of and better than that though you will not get tired with repetitive & unnecessary war/fight scenes.
*the cinematography is amazing at all times thanks to the elaborate costumes and architecture but the way that camera moves is one of the best new things too.
*all actors match their roles, great casting and especially the lead actor Eguchi Yosuke is so universally good, he could stand right next to Johny Depp in let's say Pirates of the Caribbean and be as good at it. By not looking extremely Asian, he could be a Latino, European, someone rather easy to identify with for the rest of the world besides the Japanese viewers. Hirosue Ryoko is also a wise choice and quite familiar to us from her earlier international hit Wasabi or the recent Academy Awards winning "Departure"(Okuribito)
Last I shall say, I'm not that much into (Japanese) directors trying rather desperately to impress the (Western) world through their forced/artsy/bloody/cruel/avant-garde/decadent/sexual stuff, I think a nicely shot good story is what we all badly need and this is the hardest part of it to get a thing that will improve human race. I am convinced that Goemon will do.