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This is my review of Dragonball Evolution  Piccolo   Are you sitting comfortably??

O-kay…  Those of you who know me, already know I’m a film buff from wa-a-a-a-y back – think aged 6 going to see Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan (the best!), then averaging 70-80 films a year through my teen and early adulthood and occasionally around 100;  you get the idea.  I don’t see as many nowadays as the quality of films has diminished quite a lot over the years somehow, maybe I’m losing interest!  But I still go once in a while – and always for James Marsters, baby!
Anyway, i'm hard to please, very cynical and can tear a badly made film apart in 10 seconds.

I was surprised, and delighted, that the majority of people at the 3.40pm session today were NOT little kids but mostly middle to late teens with a sprinkling of more mature adults (though I’d hazard a good guess I was the oldest there].  Oh there were a couple of mums with small youngsters but I think the mums had come to see it, not the littlies…   bg   Quite a few young men of the late teen/early twenties type came on their own.  The film is on all the way through the long weekend and i'm pretty positive there will be a lot more people going then;  i lucked out today.

I expected nothing of this film, not being a fan of Dragonball,  manga or animé, but I have to tell you I enjoyed every minute of it.  Dunno what the fanboys are frothing at the mouth for…. So what if Goku’s hair isn’t two feet high and makes him look like Sonic the Hedgehog [as one critic called him!]; it is spiky enough.  There’s a lovely little vignette of him sleeking it down, only to have it spring up with a life of its own!  *giggles*   And Piccolo is pretty green

There was just enough explanation to give you some storyline to make sense of it all, without boring you to tears.  Lots of splashy colour and noise,  bangs and explosions, fight sequences to satisfy the fan-boys and not too much to make the girls fall asleep in their seats.  The story moves along at a fast clip once Goku sets out on his quest and doesn’t flag. 
All the actors, with the exception of Chow Yun Fat and James, were new to me and I have nothing to compare them to.
Justin Chatwin does a very creditable job of Goku and has a nice comedic touch.  He’s very easy on the eye without being a pretty boy and very believable in the fight sequences, all that training paid off.  This boy could go far.
Chow Yun Fat did a lot of the story telling and lends his considerable talents and charm to this tale, without trying to overshadow his co-stars.  He doesn’t have to, he is after all a super-star to half the world.   
Joon Park swaggers through his role as thief & adventurer and really doesn’t have a lot to offer, except an interest in Bulma – what’s with the hair, man??  Blonde semi-dreadlocks?  Eeewww!  This does nothing for his good looks or his beetling brows…  Out of character in real life, he looks much better than here.
Of the girls, Emmy Rossum [Bulma] has the largest part, Eriko [Mai] the meanest & toughest and Jamie Chung [Chi-Chi] the ‘girliest’ as Goku’s romantic interest – what a little honey she is too…  Emmy has to work hard to impress me, sometime in the future, when she has a part where she gets to act – dressing up and waving a gun don’t cut it.
Eriko is suitably menacing and athletic as the assassin Mai [have to say I loved her], Piccolo’s hench-maiden but barely utters a word.  Jamie smiles sweetly and bats her eyelashes, then fights with Mai a couple of times.  Again, hardly a stretch in the acting stakes but when you look like that, who cares?
And last but by no means least, James Marsters.  I was way too interested in the story to stop and count the minutes or the times that he appears.  In brief scenes, mostly in the first half of the film, he does enough to colour the story and give a taste of things to come and then building up in the second half, to the climactic fight with Goku.
I can see why that took about a week to film incidentally, very complicated!  I did feel it would have benefited from being slowed down to half speed, at least in part, so we could see more of it.  It was a very fast moving piece and when it comes out on DVD, I’m going to do just that quite a few times.
James has a superb knack of getting just the right amount of menace and sheer presence to his villains and Piccolo is no exception; he’s wonderful.  love  I doubt anyone else could have sustained the charisma of Piccolo with so little to say through the film for 1½ hours to the final fight and Justin is right, the part belongs to James.  Yeah, I’m biased but I have to say my fellow cinemagoers enjoyed him just as much as I did, no lie.
I understand the dismay of fans when a favourite series/book/film is not portrayed to their satisfaction and I’m sure my lack of knowledge has stood me in good stead, because if they are planning on two more to follow and develop the story [and please, LOTS MORE PICCOLO], I for one will go see the next two very happily. 
As a stand alone film, I think it deserves to do well and make a shedload of cash.  I’m sure the DVD sales alone will make back any possible shortfall but I’m pretty certain they’re not going to loose money on this one.
Finally, I sat through the credits at the end of the movie as I always do, but also because I know it is a favourite trick of some directors to pop a scene on the end and yes, there was one.  All the people who charged out as soon as the credits rolled, have completely missed this little one.  I was wondering what happened to Piccolo – Roshi’s pot didn’t appear to work and sure enough, there he was…   Piccolo *delighted grin*
Go see it, guys, not just for James but as a happy 1½ hours of slightly noisy entertainment.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
I'm so glad that you saw it and I enjoyed your review. I'm getting sick of the acne faced whiner brigade rip the film to shreds! I like you , haven't watched or read the original DB and will be watching the film without bias. I'll be going to see it tomorrow, and hey.. go me... I've actually got Paul to agree to watch it too! Give me a high five for getting him to see a film with James in it *sniggers*
I had to laugh earlier, a friend watched it today (lives in the US) and she said that Piccolo's ship looks like a giant floating penis! She said that while she found it watch-able, she wouldn't go back and see it again. Horses for courses I guess. If we all liked the same things, life would surely be dull!

I'll let you know my views tomorrow. Take care xxx
Apr. 10th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
'acne faced whiner brigade', i like that! :D
This is what annoys me, they are hating it BEFORE they actually see it, in a lot of cases! "My friend says it sucks, so i hate it too" Forget that they haven't actually seen it themselves - save me from weak minded idiots!
The funny thing is that most people who have seen it, over the age of 14, actually like it a lot. All the people who saw it with me did too. Yes, the purists don't like the lack of detail but just how much of 12 YEARS of anime do they think you can put in 1.5 hours???

i think Paul will enjoy it - remember, Piccolo doesn't really look like James much. Oh, we can see it is but the makeup is good. i wouldn't go back and see it again in the cinema but i will buy the DVD when it comes out, so i can watch James again - and like i said, slow down the final fight sequence to see it better.

i sort of get the flying penis bit but as it has a lot stuff sticking out from the side, it wasn't something that occured to me. ALL rockets/space ship do, except for the Enterprise!

TPTB have officially green-lighted #2 and James was given permission to say so - check out my latest post - so it has made enough money already for the Suits to be happy.

Have a great weekend, petal!
Apr. 10th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
Well, we've just got back!

Paul didn't come with, made his excuses and stayed home.

It was the first showing at our nearest cinema and I expected it to be quite full, but was taken back when it was literally empty. There was possibly 20 of us there! We took the rear seats so we had the best view. The audience was mainly the acne faced whiners, Luke being the only child under 10.

I really enjoyed the film! It was action packed, the fight scenes were well choreographed and like you, I was glad that they explained the back history for non DB fans. James did a fantastic job. At the point of the film where he announces that he'll destroy the world, Luke looked at me with tears in his eyes and said that he didn't want him to destroy earth... made me snigger while saying awww.

I only wished that they had payed more attention to the flow of the film. Also, I thought that 'Chi-Chi' was a useless part as was Joon Parks... neither really added anything to the film in my opinion.James' parts could have been expanded. I didn't think his ship looked at all phalic.. maybe my friend just has a one track mine lol.

As a film, it's watchable and was entertaining. Jade and Luke thoroughly enjoyed it, as did I. I wouldn't go to the cinema to see it again but will get the dvd when it is released. I'll look forward to the second one and can only hope that Piccolo gets more screen time.

Apr. 11th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
i thought you might enjoy it and i'm pleased that Luke & Jade did too. i'm even more pleased that the 2nd movie has now been greenlighted and James was given permission to tell the press when asked.
In the latest interview, he says he is going back into training as soon as the May events are over, so i'd say they will start filming soon. Which, i think, is a good idea.
They must have been happy with the amount of money it has made so far - without any UK or USA money added to it! Lets hope there's a lot more Piccolo in it, yeah?
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