February 13, 2006
Starring: The Sum of a Society's Dreams and Nightmares (Plus Some Puppets)
Man, I just saw the weirdest movie tonight. Luckily, I can describe it to you perfectly using Movie Math™:
The Neverending Story + Dark Crystal + Spirited Away The Great Yokai War
From the SF Indie Fest description:
Only Tadashi the Kirin Rider and his sword can save the world from this menace, with some help from his Yokai friends!
What it doesn’t quite tell you is that this movie is like a super-concentrated dose of pure Japanese-ness. Seriously, if this were, say, a British movie, it would be about King Arthur and Robin Hood on a quest to save Queen Elizabeth from fairies. And Oliver Cromwell. And America.
Unfortunately, the plot and characters of The Great Yokai War are a little below the standard set by its classic DNA. But even so, it’s worth seeing if it comes to your neck of woods, or to DVD — if only to appreciate the way the director (apparently all his other movies are total gross-out horror flicks!) combines actors, puppets, and computer graphics in a way that is, if not seamless, then at least shameless. It’s a gung-ho effort.
And seriously: SO JAPANESE.