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Old 2009-03-06, 12:13   Link #81
lubczyk
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Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
Well, I'm looking forward to try see this flick because there's Kikuchi and Kuriyama doing VA roles but...



Yeah, judging from some Japanese films usually being shown on the late-night WOWOW slots (by experience of many nights till dawn), are art-house, made for an intelligentsia audience, who like very deep philosophical themes and read websites like The Midnight Eye, try to keep awake while watching (maybe not once but three times), ponder and analyze the problems of war, violence and conflict, and Sky Crawlers fits right in as well.

In short, this flick will require me a huge mug of coffee.


If you want intelligent, Read War and Peace, not watch this. Don't try to pass off a couple instances of probable symbolizes and a pacifist message as intelligent. Just because one can commit their thoughts to audio, text or film does not make it intelligent.

Intelligent and philosophical are two things the Sky Crawlers is not.

Spoiler for My Thoughts:

Last edited by lubczyk; 2009-03-06 at 12:30.
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Old 2009-03-06, 12:19   Link #82
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Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post
If you want intelligent, Read War and Peace, not watch this. Don't try to pass off a couple instances of probable symbolizes and a pacifist message as intelligent.

Intelligent and philosophical are two things the Sky Crawlers is not.
So, this movie isn't for me, right? Okay, dropped.
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Old 2009-03-06, 13:56   Link #83
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Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
So, this movie isn't for me, right? Okay, dropped.
Eh? Don't say you won't watch it just because of something someone said. Give it a watch and make up your own opinion on if you like it or not.
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Old 2009-03-06, 19:05   Link #84
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Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post
If you want intelligent, Read War and Peace, not watch this. Don't try to pass off a couple instances of probable symbolizes and a pacifist message as intelligent. Just because one can commit their thoughts to audio, text or film does not make it intelligent.

Intelligent and philosophical are two things the Sky Crawlers is not.

Spoiler for My Thoughts:
Well, again, if "war and peace" is all you saw in this movie, then the limitation is as much yours as the movie's. In my very first post in this thread after watching it, I've already described The Sky Crawlers as a whodunit — a mystery based on sci-fi concepts (the original novelist is known for being a detective-fiction writer) — rather than as a "war movie" or an "action film".

To me, the central idea is about Suito Kusanagi, rather than about the war itself. The war provided a backdrop for a series of character studies leading to an inevitable conclusion. If it's philosophy per se you're looking for, then this movie will of course disappoint — Oshii had been very tame about applying philosophy to this movie as compared to, say, Ghost in the Shell. That's why, all along, I've been describing The Sky Crawlers as his most accessible film to date — it's accessible because of its relative lack of moralising, which Oshii is usually fond of.

The "war" in this movie is peripheral. That you see it as the central theme suggests that you've entirely missed its point, so it's no wonder that you dislike it. You wanted a different movie which you didn't get, so whose fault is that? False advertising, perhaps.
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Old 2009-03-06, 19:57   Link #85
lubczyk
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Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
So, this movie isn't for me, right? Okay, dropped.

Watch it if you want to. It's okay, very laid-back type of show. Just don't expect the next epiphany on the meaning of life or whatnot. Think of it as merely entertainment and not a message.
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Old 2009-03-06, 19:59   Link #86
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Well, again, if "war and peace" is all you saw in this movie, then the limitation is as much yours as the movie's. In my very first post in this thread after watching it, I've already described The Sky Crawlers as a whodunit — a mystery based on sci-fi concepts (the original novelist is known for being a detective-fiction writer) — rather than as a "war movie" or an "action film".

To me, the central idea is about Suito Kusanagi, rather than about the war itself. The war provided a backdrop for a series of character studies leading to an inevitable conclusion. If it's philosophy per se you're looking for, then this movie will of course disappoint — Oshii had been very tame about applying philosophy to this movie as compared to, say, Ghost in the Shell. That's why, all along, I've been describing The Sky Crawlers as his most accessible film to date — it's accessible because of its relative lack of moralising, which Oshii is usually fond of.

The "war" in this movie is peripheral. That you see it as the central theme suggests that you've entirely missed its point, so it's no wonder that you dislike it. You wanted a different movie which you didn't get, so whose fault is that? False advertising, perhaps.
What is the central message of the movie besides "War is horrible?" Please, I must have missed it. It feels like a type of movie that is praised for it's pacifist message even if that message is only skin-deep and superficial.
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Old 2009-03-06, 20:18   Link #87
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
When it comes to anime, movies or TV programmes, it's very hard to make a show that is both intelligent and entertaining. Usually, most go for the latter: It's easier to entertain people than it is to make them think. That's the exact same problem Oshii suffers as a film-maker. He makes intelligent, but extremely boring, movies. So, yes, I don't blame anyone for hating The Sky Crawlers for being a tedious show, because it is. It expects too much of its audience and it proves that, in the end, it's hard for a leopard to change its spots: Oshii remains very much a self-indulgent storyteller.
I think some people are forgetting that Oshii's movies, Ghost in the Shell (1, 2), Twilight Q and Angel's Egg for examples, can be boring for many but for others immersive and absorbing not because of the pretentious 'intellectual' content, but because of their aesthetics. It seems utterly stupid (personally) to highly rate something you found boring, let alone extremely boring.

<---haven't watched Sky Crawlers yet
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Old 2009-03-06, 20:22   Link #88
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Originally Posted by lubczyk
What is the central message of the movie besides "War is horrible?" Please, I must have missed it. It feels like a type of movie that is praised for it's pacifist message even if that message is only skin-deep and superficial.
I've already explained what I think it's about here.

Of course, you're welcome to disagree entirely and think that I'm a load of bollocks. That's what differences in creative opinion are all about, and I don't mind having a robust debate over interpretations. I'd merely like to point out that seeing The Sky Crawlers as nothing more than a "war-is-hell" movie will of course lead one to judge it a failure, for the very same reasons you've pointed out.

Expecting The Sky Crawlers to be a war movie is not very different from expecting Ghost in the Shell to be a manual on advanced cybernetics (which was what Masamune Shirow originally intended it to be, but Oshii happily went ahead and reinterpreted it to suit his own inflated ego).

The Sky Crawlers might be philosophical, but its message is more about existential angst — Oshii's favourite theme — rather than "war and peace".
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Old 2009-03-07, 02:20   Link #89
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I've already explained what I think it's about here.

Of course, you're welcome to disagree entirely and think that I'm a load of bollocks. That's what differences in creative opinion are all about, and I don't mind having a robust debate over interpretations. I'd merely like to point out that seeing The Sky Crawlers as nothing more than a "war-is-hell" movie will of course lead one to judge it a failure, for the very same reasons you've pointed out.

Expecting The Sky Crawlers to be a war movie is not very different from expecting Ghost in the Shell to be a manual on advanced cybernetics (which was what Masamune Shirow originally intended it to be, but Oshii happily went ahead and reinterpreted it to suit his own inflated ego).

The Sky Crawlers might be philosophical, but its message is more about existential angst Oshii's favourite theme rather than "war and peace".
Oh that!!! I found those topics to be merely window dressing since they don't seem to contribute to the plot at all. They're never discussed and do not make an appearance behind sudden exposition. The Kildren could be war orphans or robots or aliens and the plot wouldn't change at all.

You're making up your own depth since the show doesn't have any at it's core. It's "you" who is thinking a show has substance when it does not. You're doing the emoting yourself since the direction can't be arsed to do it himself in his own film. "Angst" is not a substantive subject with real backstory and real consequences that this movie does not have.

It's like people think that adding cybernetics and clones and a war setting and angst wil make the show deep. They don't, since they're merely window dressing and inconsequential.
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Old 2009-03-07, 06:55   Link #90
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^ That's fair enough. gaguri said he doesn't understand how something can be both aesthetically pleasing yet boring at the same time — well, Oshii proves it's possible. He consistently produces movies that look deep to some, but smell like shit to others.

So, what can I say? It's all in the eyes of the beholder. Arthouse films work the way they do because they require their audience to derive their own conclusions. What conclusions they are able to deduce in turn depends heavily on what personal experiences they can draw upon.

That's why its an incredibly self-indulgent process. High-brow "art" assumes too much from its viewers. It's like looking at a postmodern painting, filled with seemingly random splashes of ink and paint — that look like the work of a chimpanzee — and calling it art, when to most other people, it's overglorified crap.

Either way, your opinion is as valid as mine.
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Old 2009-03-07, 07:23   Link #91
monir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post
If you want intelligent, Read War and Peace, not watch this. Don't try to pass off a couple instances of probable symbolizes and a pacifist message as intelligent.

Intelligent and philosophical are two things the Sky Crawlers is not.
So, this movie isn't for me, right? Okay, dropped.
lol... at least make your own mind rather than relying on any opinions and then form your own. Otherwise they will scam you with pyramid skims. The movie is definitely not about war. "War" is merely a by product. Notice how war is enclosed in quotation mark.

P.S. Good attempt TinyRedLeaf! I also got the same message as you that the movie is anything but, "war is evil." Besides, it's always an utter waste of time at trying to convince anyone about anything just because two individual can reach to two sets of entirely different conclusion based on one set of premise. I liked it. You liked it. Lubczyk hated it. Life goes on!
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Old 2009-03-07, 08:20   Link #92
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
^ That's fair enough. gaguri said he doesn't understand how something can be both aesthetically pleasing yet boring at the same time — well, Oshii proves it's possible. He consistently produces movies that look deep to some, but smell like shit to others.
I am well aware of how one work can appeal differently to others. What I don't understand is (more like I don't approve of), as I've said before, how someone can find anime boring and still rate it highly just because it seems intelligent. You claimed that Oshii makes intelligent yet extremely boring movies, and my opposing opinion is that he makes pseudo-intelligent-bordering-on-pretentious yet immersive and absorbing movies.
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Old 2009-03-07, 08:33   Link #93
lubczyk
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I am well aware of how one work can appeal differently to others. What I don't understand is (more like I don't approve of), as I've said before, how someone can find anime boring and still rate it highly just because it seems intelligent. You claimed that Oshii makes intelligent yet extremely boring movies, and my opposing opinion is that he makes pseudo-intelligent-bordering-on-pretentious yet immersive and absorbing movies.

I can agree with that. Aesthetically pleasing yet boring. Yeah that's a good trade-off I guess.
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Old 2009-03-07, 08:48   Link #94
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One thing that really bugged me about the movie was even though it was passing off WW2 set piece vibes with the propeller planes and war scenarios and people speaking English and Polish it had at the same time computers, real-time color news castes and tactical displays along with night vision. It's like the director wanted to make make a WW2 set piece but couldn't be arsed to do some in-depth research on the WW2 era.

Whatever plot holes or inconsistencies were possible in the WW2 vibe going on would just be explained away with genetics, color tv, computers or other technologies. Basically the director or writer wanted their cake and eat it too without putting any actual thought into making the setting stand out. All the uniforms, planes, flags and cities of both sides were some indistinguishable mishmash of German, English and other European armies of the WW2 era.

It didn't feel surreal, it felt lazy.
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Old 2009-03-08, 04:39   Link #95
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Well, I finally watched it - yeah, I actually gave it a miss while it was screening here but it got 'pushed in front of me' quite literally - and well...

It could've been much worse?

Spoiler for I don't think there's any spoilers but I dunno what I'm writing so:
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Old 2009-03-08, 11:06   Link #96
TinyRedLeaf
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Spoiler for sound direction:
I'm glad that I'm not the only one to notice the superb sound direction in this movie. From what I recall, Production I.G contracted engineers from Industrial Light & Magic to produce the sounds, from the terrifying roar of The Teacher's Skyly fighter to the creaking steps of the base's dormitory.

Listening to the sounds on PC or a home-entertainment system doesn't do quite enough justice to the movie's aural ambience. If you had watched it in a cinema, the high-quality sound production would have been far more noticeable, trust me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wao
Spoiler for the soundtrack:
When I first heard it, it reminded me instantly of Seirei no Moribito's soundtrack. Kenji Kawaii seemed, at first, to have rehashed many of the same themes from that OST. But the more I listened to The Sky Crawler's soundtrack, the more it grew on me — and it became only the second anime soundtrack I fell in love with even before I had watched the programme (the first being Haibane Renmei's). I had become so immersed in the music that it actually affected my ability to enjoy The Sky Crawlers during my first viewing, because I had already imagined how the scenes would fit the tunes.

I especially loved the jazz track, Sail Away, which played during Kannami's first meeting with Fuuki (the social escort). Other evocative tracks include Adler Tag (which played during the massive air raid) and Blue Fish (Orgel) (the haunting harpischord-and-chimes track).

Finally, whenever I listen to the movie's main theme, I'm reminded of my favourite poem, W.B. Yeat's An Irish Airman Foresees His Death. The movie's main theme evokes a sense of wide-open space hiding an undercurrent of impending doom, reminiscent of that poem's dominant image: "A lonely impulse of delight/ Drove to this tumult in the clouds"

Quote:
Originally Posted by wao
Spoiler for 3D animation:
For my part, I liked the 3D animation, which I felt melded quite well with the 2D animation. Maybe it's because I like warplanes in general, and WWII propeller fighter planes in particular, so I greatly enjoyed the details made possible with computer animation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wao
Spoiler for story setting:
And I'm surprised that viewers take issue with the re-imagined WWII setting. It didn't occur to me that Oshii was striving to recreate an authentic version of real WWII planes, but I can respect the reservations of history buffs who dislike his interpretation of that era's technology.

As for why the world of The Sky Crawlers uses propeller fighters instead of, say, modern-day jet figthers more congruent with the supposed existence of highly advanced communications and biological technology, I presume it's an aesthetic choice. The era — and romance — of aerial dogfighting reached its apogee in WWII, particularly during the now famous Battle of Britain, where Churchill's celebrated Few went up against the Luftwaffe juggernaut.

In contrast, the art of dogfighting is pretty much dead in today's air combat, where advanced avionics make it possible for a fighter pilot to shoot down enemies with long-ranged missiles even before he could see them. It's all very scientific and efficient, but such combat makes for very boring reality TV.

So, if a couple of hypercorporations are engaged in the business of producing entertaining reality-TV based on aerial warfare, it doesn't take a great leap of logic to see why they would choose to base the war around late WWII-era fighter planes. And who's to say that the world of The Sky Crawlers is actually set in the real-world 1940s? For all we know, time has "stopped" for this world since its equivalent of our 1940s. Since then, its technology might have progressed while its society stayed static. If you think about it, that would be in keeping with the movie's theme.

And I'm sure most people know by now that the Battle of Britain was the same inspiration for Star Wars' Battle of Yavin, featuring heroic X-Wing fighters (the Royal Air Force) versus evil Tie fighters (the Luftwaffe). If Star Wars fans don't complain about space-age fighters lacking correspondingly advanced avionics (why were pilots even necessary, for that matter; couldn't they have used droids instead?), I don't see why people complain about comparable anachronisms in The Sky Crawlers. But then, to each his own. I can't argue against personal opinion, certainly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk
One thing that really bugged me about the movie was even though it was passing off WW2 set piece vibes with the propeller planes and war scenarios and people speaking English and Polish it had at the same time computers, real-time color news castes and tactical displays along with night vision. It's like the director wanted to make make a WW2 set piece but couldn't be arsed to do some in-depth research on the WW2 era.
And it doesn't take a lot of personal research to find out that the planes in The Sky Crawlers are based on real-world airplanes. The Teacher's Skyly is loosely based on the Focke-Wulf Ta 152, while Kannami's Sanka figther is spun off from the Kyushu J7W1 Shinden. Both the real-world airplanes were designed to be high-altitude interceptors against bombers such as the B29 Superfortress and, by extension, one can imagine the Skyly and Sanka fighters fulfilling similar tactical roles.

Contrary to the claim of lack of in-depth research, the animators imagined how an technically advanced society might have improved on these propeller designs to create even more powerful fighters, and the results were the Skyly and Sanka fighters. Notice, for example, how both fighters make use of counter-spinning duo propellers to eliminate torque pull, the same way a helicopter would.

What's the point of making a movie if you can't make your characters and props look cool (if unrealistic)?

So, I don't know what you're looking for, actually. Hyper realism in a work of fiction? Then we might as well watch a WWII documentary.

=========

Finally, to end on a lighter note, I found these promotional skits long ago and I thought I'd share them now:



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Old 2009-03-08, 14:51   Link #97
Shiroth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
When I first heard it, it reminded me instantly of Seirei no Moribito's soundtrack. Kenji Kawaii seemed, at first, to have rehashed many of the same themes from that OST.
For me, Kawai's work for Sky Crawlers is like both Seirei no Moribito and GiTS scores together as one. That's was my instant thought after hearing the main theme, and one that grew as i progressed with the movie, hearing each piece.

Either way, another masterwork by Kawai.
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Old 2009-03-08, 20:12   Link #98
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I have one question!

Spoiler for Dialogue:
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Old 2009-03-09, 02:28   Link #99
TinyRedLeaf
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I have one question!

Spoiler for Dialogue:
In a word: No.

It's used only in radio chatter.
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Old 2009-03-09, 17:38   Link #100
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In a word: No.

It's used only in radio chatter.
Ah I see. It kinda reminded me of Stranger with it's random Mandarin.
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