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JLind's reviews view profile

More can be said...  
on November 27, 2005 - 2:43 AM PST
  of Seven Samurai (Criterion Collection) (1954)
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful

I think a movie like this deserves a more well thought out and detailed review if it is indeed one of the greatest in film history. It's hard to give such high praise for a movie without it seeming too emotional or biased. One who happens to favor Samurai drama, for instance would disregard other genres and not really give this movie a fair assessment comparable to other movies. So why does this movie not just shine above other similar films, but above all films in general? The answer is because it is a movie about the human soul. It doesn't matter if the movie is a slapstick comedy, a sci-fi action film, a Western; if it accurately depicts the thing inside all of us that drives us, that moves us and defines who we are then it is a great movie. The Seven Samurai is a movie made over 50 years ago and represents a preindustrial period of history. That is quite far from a typical portrayal of human nature in our modern, technological society. Yet everything in Seven Samurai rings true: Sense of security, justice, relationsips and presence of wickedness that always seems to bekon us on our doorstep. When you watch it and think about it afterwards you realize nothing was missed; no major aspect of human nature was overlooked in the film's story. But the continuous, everlasting theme that is hit upon best is the spiritual force within all of us that drives us and allows even the weakest individuals to bond together and overcome the most earth-shattering odds.
The end of the world as we (can't) know it  
on April 22, 2005 - 9:54 PM PDT
  of Kurogane Communications Vol. 1: Wasteland Paradise (1998)

If I would describe what I think of this series so far, not having finished watching the first disc, I would say I'm not disappointed with the way a story like this could go. The premise is that a girl is "supposedly" the last remaining human on earth, which has been taken over by a myriad of robots, big and small, mean and nice. When I think of a plotline such as this I think, okay girl wakes up from some sort of cryogenic sleep with the only memories of her parents shown as evidence that they had something to do with allowing her to live in the grim future under the care of semi-sentient robots. There exist many dangers in her lonely world, but also many things to explore and discover. The first few episodes capture that sense of discovery in a thrilling yet subtle way, with beautifully drawn apocalyptic backdrops and a concise rundown of each of her robotic caretaker's personalities. I hope the story delves deeper into some type of mission the main character must carry out in order to determine her own fate and the fate of humanity. It has definitely captured my interest so far.
This series is very similar to that old anime show...  
on October 30, 2004 - 10:10 PM PDT
  of Kiddy Grade Vol. 1: The Peacekeepers (2004)
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful

I have not seen many Gonzo Digimation studio-produced anime series, but out of all that I have seen this is one of those anime that sets the example of an animation studio that has very high standards in the type of shows they put out. People who are true or dedicated anime fans will usually seek out titles by particular studios, or character designers. So if you are a Keiji Goto or Gonzo fan you should definitely give Kiddy Grade a try. As an introduction to it, I will say that this sci-fi show is very much like both Dirty Pair and Dirty Pair Flash, except it takes a very abrubt and unexpected turn right in the middle of the series. But just look at the parallels between the two pairs of main characters: Eclair is much like Kei from DP and Lumiere would be quite similar to Yuri: A lot of differences too. Also you have this Auditor guy in Kiddy Grade that has basically the same job and relationship to the other characters as the client that was following Kei and Yuri around in DP Flash, hmmm. It is as if Dirty Pair Flash could have been this good if they were actually trying to produce a remake that was even better than the Original.
Not just another look-alike anime  
on October 12, 2004 - 8:27 PM PDT
  of Flame of Recca vol. 1: A Ninja's Test (2004)
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful

Well you have Naruto, Rurouni Kenshin and quite a few others, but I think this series has something that also makes it quite good, charming, exciting and suspenseful like those other two I have mentioned. I had seen most of the first season of Flame of Recca before I realized it was produced by the same studio that brought us Fushigi Yugi and Saiyuki. So the story goes like this: Just like many men who want to find more about their past Recca, the main character, must also protect a girl he likes. Meanwhile he runs into trouble when he finds out he and his mother belonged to a special clan of ninjas with very powerful and unique abilities. The way characters pop up in this series and you're never sure if they're going to wind up friend or very bad foe kind of reminds me of Rurouni Kenshin again but also, in particular, Yu Yu Hakusho. Basically, if you don't mind the same fighting-hero-who-protects-pretty-girl cliches and overused plot lines and instead looking for what sets this anime apart from all the others (I just haven't figured out what that is yet) this is a really kick-butt show.
DVD not packed with goodies but this series shines.  
on January 21, 2004 - 9:32 PM PST
  of Figure 17 Vol. 1: Soul Mirror
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful

It kind of has a quiet, nostalgic feel to it when you start watching it but then you know things are going to start to get exciting and weird. Once the aliens land you are treated to some exhilarating fight scenes and impressive digital animation effects. While little Tsubasa gets a thrill from her being able to merge with her bio-android partner she doesn't seem too reluctant about it, but is kind of passive (as with everything) about her potential duties as savior of mankind. While the aliens aren't attacking, I enjoyed the realism and detail portrayed with Tsubasa learning more about herself and the world around her and the developing relationship between her and her twin "sister," Hikaru.
With episodes that are longer than your average anime series, the animation quality is high but not particularly breathtaking nor filled with lavish backdrop scenery.

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