Monday, May 4, 2009

Next film rating

Снежная королева (1957)
(Snezhnaya Koroleva)
(The Snow Queen)

If I had know when I saw some of this dubbed in English at my cousin's house, I wouldn't have reacted nearly so well, so I guess my ignorance was a good thing. Anyone who knows me knows I hate dubs, and the acting and voices for this in the English version, primarily Gerda's, in my opinion, were quite mediocre.
That out of the way, I had the blessing of viewing this in its original Russian language, and it was quite enjoyable. Though I watched it raw, after viewing it I was actually grateful for this, because while I only know a couple words of Russian, no English subtitles allowed me to better appreciate not only the excellent animation, but the culture within the movie, primarily in the language. While I'll grant you this was adapted from the book "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson, a Dutch writer, this classic animated masterpiece has a genuine Russian feel about it, again, primarily because of the dialogue. I have long had an attraction to Russian culture, but this movie only served to further my interest in and respect for the culture and for the language, which I think sounds quite pretty and unique. This is my first Russian language film, and I hope to find more ones worth watching in the future. On a side note, I read the Wikipedia plot summary along with the movie to help me understand the plot, though I think most is understood without even knowing what the characters are saying. For the Wikipedia page, go here:
This is a good family film, with little content trouble to be aware of. The worst is the elements of sorcery coming from the Snow Queen and about one side character, but I found this notably less offense than say Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". The animation is not far from the quality of the classic Disney movies in fact; again I reference "Snow White". The music is nice and befitting of the movie, and the voices are good as well. I was a little disappointed that Gerda ("GEHR-dah" with a Spanish-like "r") still sounds like an adult attempting the voice of a child, but it far surpassing the English voice actress.
In summary, Snezhnaya Koroleva is a classic animated film that I recommend to almost anyone, not just for its quality, but for its fascinating culture, which can only be fully appreciated by watching the Russian language version. It is a cute and heart-warming story about a young girl named Gerda whose heart, love, and determination help her find and rescue her beloved friend Kay (rhymes with "eye") from the evil eating away at him.
The movie is also only exactly an hour in length, so it's good for those with short viewing time. To see it, search for a torrent, or you can view it in pieces here:

God bless!

Movies Netflix doesn't have

Seeing as Netflix doesn't have every movie under the sun, I've taken it upon myself to give those ratings here on my blog. I'll start with some of the films I've seen in the Gamera series.

大怪獣ガメラ (1965)
(Daikaijuu Gamera)
(Giant Monster Gamera)
(Gammera the Invincible) (US)

The debut film of the Gamera series is enjoyable in its own right, but seemed too much of a Gojira (Godzilla) imitation, and it is a fact that Gamera was originally made to counter Gojira's success. Still, Gamera has a charm of his own, the movie is a classic and a must see for any fan of monster films. Just make sure you see the Japanese version! has Gamera and lots of other rare monster movies, so check it out.

大怪獣決闘 ガメラ対バルゴン (1966)
(Daikaijuu Kessen: Gamera tai Barugon)
(Giant Monster Duel: Gamera vs. Barugon)
(Gamera vs. Barugon) (US)

I've seen the first 5 Gamera films at this point, and this has been the low point of the series thus far. Its greatest short-coming for me is a moderate measure of idolatry and eastern religion. The people of New Guinea in the film believe in gods and curses typical of Japanese films that reference religion and beliefs.
Barugon is a decent first enemy for Gamera, but not highly impressive. Gamera also seems to have many occurrences that are sloppy, inconsistent, and inrealistic even for kaijuu films, such as how Barugon can be harmed by rain, yet when his front end goes into the water while fighting Gamera, he's totally unharmed. Then, when being fully in the water, he's harmed by water again. Only so many things can be blamed on lack of technology and resources available today.

大怪獣空中戦 ガメラ対ギャオス (1967)
(Daikaijuu Kuchu Kessan: Gamera tai Gyaosu)
(Giant Monster Midair Battle: Gamera Versus Gyaos)
(Gamera vs. Gyaos) (US)

The third is so far the best IMO. Gyaos seems like Gamera's Radon (a pteranodon-like enemy of Gojira's) in many ways, but is primarily a bat monster. While its costume is terribly fake-looking, it has been Gamera's most enjoyable, believable, creative, and exciting matchup thus far. Gamera's last fight with Gyaos may go down as one of my favorite kaijuu battles of all time.
I continue to enjoy the Gamera series' kid-friendliness. While not very realistic, I like that Gamera is a wholesome hero for children to enjoy. While Gojira is sometimes the hero, sometimes the villain, and sometimes somewhere in between, Gamera has always been the hero, primarily one that has a particular affinity for children.

More come, let me know your thoughts! God bless!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dubs are evil

I do not want them here or there, I do not want them anywhere.

Dubs kill. Just say no to dubs.

Original language is your friend, and subtitles are its little helper. Have a nice day. XD