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Perfect Blue back to product details

Turn off your brain when watching
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written by thingstodo January 26, 2006 - 6:49 PM PST
2 out of 8 members found this review helpful
I don't mind a movie throwing curve balls as long as I feel that the narration is at least on my side. But when everything in a story is conspiring againt me as an audience, it just makes me feel that the director has either lost control of the story or just being confusing for nothing else other than its own sake.

Kinda dishonest, really.

After three or four of these "Psyche! It was all a dream. Nah nah nah nah nah nah..." switches I reached a point where I don't even CARE whether something is "real" or not anymore.

The end is even more preposterous that I don't even want to get into, spoiler or otherwise. When these "relevations" are done correctly, they make you think "Oh YEAH! Of course!" But when it's a cheat (like this one), you just go, "Where the hell did that come from?" If it was revealed that it was Elmer J Fudd with a sketch pencil drawing all this, the effect would've had the same effect, if not even better, than what this story chose to end with.

I guess I'd like a puzzle, but not one that cheats.

If you want an anime that messes with your mind (but technically done much better), try "Ghost in the Shell Innocence." Otherwise, there are many others that deal with shifting realities much better than this one.

As for the sex and violence, if you're into that type of stuff, well, there are a lot of better ones out there, too.

Skip this one.

May not play in your DVD player
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written by RickN June 7, 2005 - 1:22 PM PDT
4 out of 10 members found this review helpful
This DVD did not play in my DVD player even after I requested a replacement copy from Greencine. I don't know if it's because I have an old DVD player (it's a Panasonic, about two years old) or what, but it gave me a DVD-ROM error and wouldn't start. However I was able to watch it on my computer's DVD player. Just a warning.

Regarding the movie itself, it definitely requires two viewings. The first time through it's hard to determine what's actually happening, what's part of a character's delusions, and what's part of the movie-within-a-movie. I'm still not entirely sure about that for every scene. Still, it's an intriguing psychological thriller.

Bad, bad, bad
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written by obonin June 4, 2005 - 12:59 AM PDT
4 out of 15 members found this review helpful
I'm not sure who likes this kind of animation. It is simplistic. The story is not original, and it seems that it's about trying to show that girl defense-less and several times she is exposed naked and scared. Like if the director enjoyed portraying women in such a fashion. The drama is not believable and seems to only be there to put that main character in this disturbing erotically charged situations. Soothing the audience's fantasies?

Scary, horrifying, and unsettling, but engrossing throughout.
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written by JTurner1 March 30, 2005 - 11:45 AM PST
9 out of 10 members found this review helpful
Japanese Anime is interesting in that while there are commercially driven movies and series made simply to sell toys and merchandise, amid the glut of such mainstream productions exist more daring, ambitious experiments which can nonetheless be considered great works of art. Satoshi Kon's directorial debut, Perfect Blue, is one such Anime. It is very rare to see an adult-driven, psychologically frightening suspense-drama that we would mostly get from directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, and the creator of The Sixth Sense and Signs, but Satoshi Kon proves that, if given the proper treatment, animation can be used to not only entertain, but to strike emotional chords and leave a lasting impact on even the most jaded of viewers.

First and foremost, Perfect Blue is ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. This is an extremely dark and occasionally bloody thriller that will probably leave young viewers traumatized for weeks. It's about a Japanese pop idol, Mima, who decides to abandon her longtime J-Pop status with her performing group, CHAM, and become an actress. This doesn't sit well with her fans, particularly one deranged, creepy looking schmuck who stalks her from the shadows for a large marjority of the film. Matters take a turn for the worse when Mima takes part in a sexually-charged psycho-thriller series (which requires our heroine to shoot a disturbing rape sequence). A fan-made website details Mima's activities... even her most intimate ones! (She even starts to get hate mail from her fans.) Things get even more out of hand when her "virtual identical twin" (or something along those lines, who still wears the pop idol dress and has a deceivingly cheerful smile on her face) emerges from the website and taunts the young ex-pop idol about her "tarnished reputation." In addition, her friends and associates become the targets of a mysterious imposter posing as Mima.

If there's anything going against Perfect Blue, it may be the second half. While the first half is carefully cultivated and plotted, the latter part of the film becomes a little difficult and confusing to follow, as director Kon switches between "real-life" events and "dream-like" events, leaving viewers struggling to figure out what's really going on and what isn't. Suffice to say, this isn't a film for everyone, but what ultimately makes Perfect Blue is how engrossed we are with the film, even when it starts to get more complicated (not in a mind-numbingly incoherent way like, say, Neon Genesis Evangelion), risque (in addition to the aforementioned rape scene--which, although obviously artificial, is quite disturbing to watch--we see shots of Mima posing nude for a perverted photographer as well as a classic scene involving Mima kneeling in her bathtub, clutching her knees, screaming her frustration over participating in such stuff), and violent (there are quite a bit of bloody scenes at points--not extraneously sickening like in Ninja Scroll, Wicked City, or Akira, but shown for the horror that it is--including one person stabbed repeatedly to death in the eye, hands, back, etc., and occasional shots of brutally wounded suspects via letters containing bombs). I normally cannot stomach these kind of films, but this one is an exception. Primarily because Kon makes us feel Mima's plight and compels us to root for her in order to avoid being killed herself. Of course, I was very puzzled at points in the film, but perhaps that is the point Kon is trying to make--some scenes give us the information we are asking for, but with others, we are simply required to interpret them ourselves.

This certainly seems to be the case with the (absolutely unexpected) surprise ending. I won't give it away, but it will take one a lot of viewings to truly comprehend the meaning of the last scene.

MANGA ENTERTAINMENT has done a top-notch job with this title on DVD, presenting a solid visual transfer in addition to a well-adapted and adequately performed English track courtesy of the folks at AniMaze, inc. In particular, Ruby Marlowe and Wendee Lee really stand out, and it's nice to have strong supplementary extras as well, the best of which are interviews from the voice cast and director Satoshi Kon himself.

Perfect Blue is disturbing and violent, yes, but as an animated horror/thriller tale for grown-ups, its kinetic direction and dramatic staging is unparalleled.

DePalma as Anime
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written by whump October 13, 2003 - 10:18 PM PDT
12 out of 13 members found this review helpful
If Brian DePalma wrote and directed an Anime about idol singers, he would had made this movie.

In you've got confusion over memory and identity (reflected in the soap opera where Mima, an idol singer turned actress, is featured), and the dark side of fandom, where a slack-jawed otaku's world goes haywire when his fantasy poppet leaves the squeeky-clean world of the idol for mainstream pop culture.

If you're not into anime, but love Hitchcock and DePalma ("Body Double" comes to mind as a influence on this movie) you'll probably enjoy this.

J-pop psycho thriller
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written by hneline1 August 13, 2002 - 12:04 AM PDT
17 out of 18 members found this review helpful
Classic psycho thriller about the j-pop industry. Good animation, good characterization. I would have liked it more if I were into j-pop. Beware of nudity, attempted rape and murder. However, besides the normal girl-descending-into-madness story, this film explores a historical niche by depicting how people reacted to the internet when it first started -- Mima knows nothing about the internet until someone gives her a URL to a fansite, where she discovers that a fan is writing a fake diary about her intimate thoughts. She's fascinated, then angry, then descends into madness when she stops separating reality, acting and other people's images of her. BTW, she's using a Macintosh Performa 630 all-in-one with both CD-ROM and floppy drives, and she's using NETSCAPE. Remember the good old days? ;-)

This disk also contains some insightful interviews with Director Satoshi Kon, the Japanese voice actress who plays Mima, and a few English voice actors.

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(Average 7.05)
688 Votes
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