TakuChat http://www.takuchat.com Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:47:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pacific Rim 2 Gets A Release Date http://www.takuchat.com/pacific-rim-2-gets-a-release-date/ http://www.takuchat.com/pacific-rim-2-gets-a-release-date/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:47:03 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27780

After a long and awkward silence surrounding the future of the series out of nowhere we get a release date, the date was oddly enough provided by Legendarys twitter account, view the tweet below- PACIFIC RIM 2, the follow-up to … Continue reading

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After a long and awkward silence surrounding the future of the series out of nowhere we get a release date, the date was oddly enough provided by Legendarys twitter account, view the tweet below-

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Rumor:Gears of War Getting Visual Remake http://www.takuchat.com/rumorgears-of-war-getting-visual-remake/ http://www.takuchat.com/rumorgears-of-war-getting-visual-remake/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:39:48 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27777

According to Polygon and their “sources” Gears of War will be the next game to receive a visual overhaul for the Xbox-One. This is by no means definite though, way back in March, Black Tusk Studios boss Rod Fergusson denied … Continue reading

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According to Polygon and their “sources” Gears of War will be the next game to receive a visual overhaul for the Xbox-One.

This is by no means definite though, way back in March, Black Tusk Studios boss Rod Fergusson denied that the studio was working on a “Marcus Fenix Collection”. He also teased other gears of war news coming at E3.

Allegedly Polygon was also shown stills from the cinematics of the remade game. Whether it is true or not all we can do is wait and see.

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The Witcher 3 Gets A TV Spot http://www.takuchat.com/the-witcher-3-gets-a-tv-spot/ http://www.takuchat.com/the-witcher-3-gets-a-tv-spot/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 09:42:26 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27775

The Witcher 3 is only a few weeks away from its release, and now of course we get to see its first TV Spot, check it out below- The Witcher 3 releases on May 19th on PC, Ps4 and Xbox … Continue reading

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The Witcher 3 is only a few weeks away from its release, and now of course we get to see its first TV Spot, check it out below-

The Witcher 3 releases on May 19th on PC, Ps4 and Xbox One.

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Shadow Of The Beast Gets First ScreenShots http://www.takuchat.com/shadow-of-the-beast-gets-first-screenshots/ http://www.takuchat.com/shadow-of-the-beast-gets-first-screenshots/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:35:51 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27767

Heavy Spectrum has finally released the first screenshots of the Shadow of the Beast reimagining for the PlayStation 4. The screenshots don’t show to much, but that is to be expected of first reveals, though it does appear that the … Continue reading

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Heavy Spectrum has finally released the first screenshots of the Shadow of the Beast reimagining for the PlayStation 4.

The screenshots don’t show to much, but that is to be expected of first reveals, though it does appear that the game is 2d.Expect more news soon,view the pictures below-

View post on imgur.com

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Star Wars BattleFront Trailer and Release Date http://www.takuchat.com/star-wars-battlefront-trailer-and-release-date/ http://www.takuchat.com/star-wars-battlefront-trailer-and-release-date/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 11:01:35 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27762

Well EA finally gave us a sneak peak at Battlefront 3, sadly the trailer is a rendered cinematic, while the trailer is engine you should be warned that it does not equal the quality of gameplay graphics, check it out- … Continue reading

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Well EA finally gave us a sneak peak at Battlefront 3, sadly the trailer is a rendered cinematic, while the trailer is engine you should be warned that it does not equal the quality of gameplay graphics, check it out-

Star Wars Battlefront is going to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Pc on November 17th.

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Sayonara UmiharaKawase + Confirmed for April 21 2015 on PS Vita http://www.takuchat.com/sayonara-umiharakawase-confirmed-for-april-21-2015-on-ps-vita/ http://www.takuchat.com/sayonara-umiharakawase-confirmed-for-april-21-2015-on-ps-vita/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:45:07 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27750

  Agatsuma Entertainment Co., Ltd. is proud to confirm that video gaming history is set to be delivered to a new generation of North American video gamers on April 21, 2015with the digital launch of ‘Sayonara UmiharaKawase +’ on PS Vita. … Continue reading

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Agatsuma Entertainment Co., Ltd. is proud to confirm that video gaming history is set to be delivered to a new generation of North American video gamers on April 21, 2015with the digital launch of ‘Sayonara UmiharaKawase +’ on PS Vita.  The game will also launch in Japan and Asia (both boxed and digital versions) on April 23, 2015, with the European version (digital only) available soon after.

Easy to play, difficult to master, ‘’ is a totally unique ‘Rubbering Action’ physics based puzzle platform game with over 20 years of gaming history.

Developed by the creators of the original game (Kiyoshi Sakai and Toshinobu Kondo) and available for the first time globally on the PlayStation Vita, this cult classic was a Japanese indie smash hit before the rest of the world knew what a cult classic was!

Completely re-worked for the PlayStation Vita, play as `Umihara Kawase` – a 20 year old backpacking Japanese sushi chef armed with a fishing rod, a rubber fishing line and a fishing hook. Avoid fish-like enemies, conveyer belts, spikes, watery pits, time travel and more. The deeper in to this dream-like game players venture, the more challenging the solutions and the greater the time pressure becomes.  Along the way, look out for shortcuts and secret exits and unlock bonus levels.

As a special bonus for fans, the first ever title in this gaming franchise ‘UmiharaKawase’ has also been included. UmiharaKawase was originally released way back in 1994 for console.

It is the elasticity of Umihara’s rubber fishing line that has always set this franchise apart from all other rope games, giving unprecedented levels of mobility and discovery. Tightening the line or giving lots of slack can be the difference between success and failure. The bungee like nature of the fishing line allows the player to stretch down to otherwise unreachable areas or be catapulted upwards.

Key Features:

  • The latest version of this classic 20-year old franchise
  • Now 60fps
  • 60 new and re-envisaged classic stages
  • Includes the original ‘UmiharaKawase’ game – this was the first game in the franchise, released in 1994 for console
  • Created by programmer Kiyoshi Sakai (also programmer on ‘The Mosquito’) and character designer & illustrator, Toshinobu Kondo – creators of the original game.
  • Unique 1970’s Japanese visual style
  • Additional bonus levels available once the game has been completed
  • Global time ranking
  • New enemy placements
  • Unlock bonus features including some brilliant KAWAII style art and nostalgic audio with bonus sound track from the original game
  • Total of 4 playable characters, each with their own special abilities

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Title: Sayonara UmiharaKawase + 
Players: Single Player
Platforms: PlayStation Vita digital
Genre: ‘Rubbering Action’ Physics Puzzle Platform
Publisher: Agatsuma Entertainment Co., Ltd
Release Date: April 21 2015 – North America
MSRP: $19.99

Sayonara UmiharaKawase + Confirmed for April 21 2015 on PS Vita

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Star Ocean 5 Announced http://www.takuchat.com/star-ocean-5-announced/ http://www.takuchat.com/star-ocean-5-announced/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:10:21 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27744

The latest issue of Famitsu revealed that Star Ocean 5 is now in development. Along with that we got some info and a handful of scans and two screenshots. You can view some of the trasnlted info here and the … Continue reading

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The latest issue of Famitsu revealed that Star Ocean 5 is now in development.

Along with that we got some info and a handful of scans and two screenshots. You can view some of the trasnlted info here and the screens and trailer below-

Here are the screenshots-

Star-Ocean-Integrity-and-Faithlessness_2015_04-14-15_001
Star-Ocean-Integrity-and-Faithlessness_2015_04-14-15_002

 

Series Trailer-

And finally here are the scans-

Star ocean 5

Star Ocean 5 Announced

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Dissidia Final Fantasy Update http://www.takuchat.com/dissidia-final-fantasy-update/ http://www.takuchat.com/dissidia-final-fantasy-update/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 22:11:01 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27730

First off lets start with the best news. That of course being that fan Favorite character Ramza is appearing in the game, below you can view the characters art. Now for the other news- Co-developed by team Ninja Game currently … Continue reading

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First off lets start with the best news. That of course being that fan Favorite character Ramza is appearing in the game, below you can view the characters art.

Now for the other news-

  • Co-developed by team Ninja
  • Game currently has 50 characters
  • Runs on PS4 hardware
  • May get ported One year after being in Arcades

New footage-

Trailer for Y’shtola-

The official site has some info on the gameplay but it is in Japanese, so you can visit here to read it in English.

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Conker’s Big Reunion Gets First Gameplay Trailer http://www.takuchat.com/conkers-big-reunion-gets-first-gameplay-trailer/ http://www.takuchat.com/conkers-big-reunion-gets-first-gameplay-trailer/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 21:57:34 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27727

Microsoft has finally released the first trailer for Conker’s Big Reunion, the upcoming Conker game that was built using Project Spark. The game releases on April 23rd for $4.99/500 tokens within Project Spark or For $9.99/1,000 tokens which gets the … Continue reading

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Microsoft has finally released the first trailer for Conker’s Big Reunion, the upcoming Conker game that was built using Project Spark.

The game releases on April 23rd for $4.99/500 tokens within Project Spark or For $9.99/1,000 tokens which gets the game as well as the Conker Creation Pack.Check out the trailer-

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Halo 5 release date announced http://www.takuchat.com/halo-5-release-date-announced/ http://www.takuchat.com/halo-5-release-date-announced/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:06:05 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27721

Microsoft announced that Halo 5:Guardians will be getting released on October 27th 2015. Along sinde the release date we got two new trailers, check them out below- Agent Locke- Master Chief- More from TakuChat Halo 5: Guardians Debut Gameplay Xbox … Continue reading

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Microsoft announced that Halo 5:Guardians will be getting released on October 27th 2015. Along sinde the release date we got two new trailers, check them out below-
Agent Locke-

Master Chief-

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Tekken 7 brings in Jin,Devil Jin and Josie http://www.takuchat.com/tekken-7-brings-in-jindevil-jin-and-josie/ http://www.takuchat.com/tekken-7-brings-in-jindevil-jin-and-josie/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:24:24 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27718

for some crazy reason Jin hadn’t been confirmed for the playable roster before this and now he finally has, aside from him we get the new character Josie. Josie is apparently a a Philippines-born model and martial artist. Her design is … Continue reading

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for some crazy reason Jin hadn’t been confirmed for the playable roster before this and now he finally has, aside from him we get the new character Josie.

Josie is apparently a a Philippines-born model and martial artist. Her design is done by by Mari Shimazaki, who designed Bayonetta. Check out the trailers below-

Jin

Devil Jin

Josie

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Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae Impressions and Discussion http://www.takuchat.com/final-fantasy-xv-episode-duscae-impressions-and-discussion/ http://www.takuchat.com/final-fantasy-xv-episode-duscae-impressions-and-discussion/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:55:36 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27707

So Final Fantasy Type-o finally came out after all these years of waiting, and much to the surprise and dismay of some it was an HD port rather than a Vita or PSP localization, with this awesome HD-Port came something … Continue reading

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So Final Fantasy Type-o finally came out after all these years of waiting, and much to the surprise and dismay of some it was an HD port rather than a Vita or PSP localization, with this awesome HD-Port came something that has oddly enough over shadowed Final Fantasy Type-o, and that is of course the Final Fantasy XV Demo.

So with that in mind Takuchat is having a discussion page about your impressions of the Final Fantasy XV demo!

The Director of Final Fantasy XV, Hajime Tabata, has said on multiple occasions that the feedback for the demo will change the final release of the game, so did you notice something horribly awkward? Did you like something a lot and want it kept? Or do you just want a place to share your awesome screenshots? Well this is the place to do it! So go ahead!

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DragonBall: Xenoverse Review http://www.takuchat.com/dragonball-xenoverse-review/ http://www.takuchat.com/dragonball-xenoverse-review/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 08:55:31 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27655

Been itching for a good ol Dragon Ball z game but feel jaded and afraid from all the previous horrors that have been dropped upon us? Well fear no more! Dragon Ball Xenoverse is here and it is a grand … Continue reading

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Been itching for a good ol Dragon Ball z game but feel jaded and afraid from all the previous horrors that have been dropped upon us? Well fear no more! Dragon Ball Xenoverse is here and it is a grand step back into those awesome beat downs we’ve been missing!

The Story

Here is the quick synopsis of the story-

The Dragon Ball universe has spiraled into chaos as time-traveling villains create temporal distortions in an evil plot to alter the course of time. Players must create their own avatar and travel through time to revisit all the most iconic battles and events in Dragon Ball history and save the world from a dire future. Come face to face with all the most powerful Saiyan warriors and fearsome enemies in fast paced and frenzied Dragon Ball battles on current gen consoles for the first time!

So basically you are summoned by Shenron to help out Trunks, you create your character and go throughout time beating the crap out of everyone to make sure the timeline doesn’t get screwed up.  While basic the premise does allow for some pretty fun circumstances, and depending on which race you choose to create at the beginning of the game the villains/characters will have different dialogue and reactions to you which is a nice touch that makes the games world feel more reactive and alive.

Trunks-Xenoverse-1The characters in the game are of course Dragon Ball Z characters, and they most act like their later series selves, which is a bit strange. Other than that there are the characters that are created for the game its self, which include a new Future Trunks, the Supreme Kai of Time, the villain Demigra and a few others. These new characters are decent enough, they aren’t super memorable or anything but they work well enough to move the story missions along.

My main issue with the story was the art of the animated cutscenes and the direction felt rather awkward at times and very much unlike DragonBall Z to me, but that was not all the time and was mostly during certain parts. Over all though I fond the games campaign mode to be pretty fun.

The Visuals

Here’s Goku looking all sorts of awesome.

The games graphics are pretty impressive, while it wont win any awards for its visuals I would definitely say they are more than satisfactory. Like the previous Dragonball games the game features your typical DBZ characters Goku, Krillin, Vegeta and all the others. There are also your created characters, depending on how well you make them they can look pretty awesome or pretty weird, that is up to you.

Outside of characters there are the environments which have a handpainted feel to them and they manage to have a very Dragon Ball feel to them which is obviously needed for a DragonBall Z game. The only complaint I have for the visuals is that sometimes the flying animation can look odd when you fly backwards, besides that the animations are pretty awesome and manage to carry over the grand and over the top feel of DragonBall Z very well.

The Gameplay

Now for the most important part of a Dragon Ball  game, and that of course is how punching each other in the face feels and thankfully Xenoverse does not disappoint. The combat in Xenoverse is similar to that of the Tenkaichi series, the control scheme is a bit different but if you played the previous ones you should get a handle on this game rather quickly.

The biggest difference with this new game from previous Dragon Ball games is the fact that you can play in battles of 3 vs 3, yes group battles are finally here! No doubt some people got worried when they heard group battles were implemented, but don’t worry 1 on 1 is still there and it still feels great, but the dynamic is completely different than the group fights which can be completely chaotic and intense.

The Online play-Of course with this being a modern Fighting game there is online play, there is both VS and Co-oop for players to do, the versus plays very smooth without lagging or many issues from what I experienced.When  you fight online in group fights it is best to have a group that can work together, if you don’t and the enemies do, then you will die and it will be fast and painful. Then there is the Co-op missions, with these you can split up and conquer multiple groups at once if you are brave, or you can play it safe and attack together. If your team works well together you can quickly destroy even the most powerful of enemies, but if your teamwork is weak you will die.The variety in combat and missions is a nice step up from previous DragonBall Z games, much to my surprise I didn’t get bored with the game quickly, instead I found that the games combat has tons of small things to learn and it can be pretty deep if you want to put in a little time to just learn it, while I would prefer a bit more combos the game does provide a decent amount of them. With the amount of things to do and learn, you can play this game for quite some time without getting bored.

Outside of combat and fighting you have your basic Hubworld, which you can enter online or by yourself, if you go in by yourself there will be tons of NPC characters, but if you go in the online one there will be 100 players there, most of which will be running about acting crazy. In here you can find people to play with or you can act like everyone else and just be completely insane and do weird poses together. It is interesting to say the least.

 

Make your Character-One of the things that is very important to the combat in Xenoverse is how you make your character, when you begin you choose your race, all of which fight very differently and from there you make them look pretty as you’d like. From then on out you start your basic missions and gain experience points, you level pretty quickly and will soon begin to earn points that you can drop into things like your Ki blast or you punch strength. Then there are skills and abilities, you can learn things from masters or you can buy skills from shops. There are a ton of different abilities that can greatly change the way your character fights.  While there is a rather good amount of customization for your character I can’t help but want more, much like with Destiny I feel like the game would have been a bit better if it had been on PS4/X1 only rather than Cross gen.

My character is a Saiyan named Pieza of course, I also made a member of Freezas race, I was honestly surprised to see that I could make one of them and it made me happy to play as one of those shiny headed guys. While I haven’t unlocked  many outfits I have seen people who look completely different than I am even though our initial builds had been the same. So in short there seems to be a ton of items out there to collect and wear. Below are some examples of characters from the Takuchat community-

The Sound

Very early on when you start the game you are greeted with something familiar, something strange. Being that this is Dragon Ball Z that of course is Cha-ha-la. Beyond the obvious Cha-la the games music is surprisingly good for locations and certain parts of the story, one thing is lacking is more intense music for the scenes where people are fighting, instead of having more intense battle music many times the game just continues its calm or normal sounding music which is a bit jarring.

The noises during combat are for the most part good, they sound like Dragon Ball z and when you unleash a furious combo to some poor foes face, each hit leaves a very satisfying sound that makes the attack feel much more intense. many of the ki blast have similar noises as they did in the Anime, which is nice. On occasion the sounds will sound muted though, it is usually caused by everyone blasting each other at point blank which is slightly horrifying.

My main problem with the sound is some of the lip syncing is off, this isn’t just a sound issue but rather a animation one as well since the lip movements can be a bit odd. While it is normal of a Dragon Ball or even an anime game it still bothers me.

Overall

After having sunk in a pretty good amount of time in the game I can easily say I am satisfied with my experience. The combat while not perfect does have a satisfying feel to it, and while it isn’t as deep as I would like it does provide a decent amount of depth to it and the story  while simple and awkward at times does provide some fun with you being able to fight and fix the DragonBall Z timeline. If you’re a fan of DragonBall Z you will most likely enjoy this game, or if you want a fighter that’s a bit different, you should consider checking this game out.

Dragon Ball XENOVERSE is available for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360 at a MSRP of $49.99 and PlayStation®4 and Xbox One at a MSRP of $59.99. The game is also available on STEAM for $49.99.

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[Saint Patrick’s Day contribution] [Reviews] Movie Review: Once http://www.takuchat.com/saint-patricks-day-contribution-reviews-movie-review-once/ http://www.takuchat.com/saint-patricks-day-contribution-reviews-movie-review-once/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 04:20:42 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27681 A romance broken down to its basic elements, rebuilt with the utmost conviction, and then given a much more forward-thinking ending than you might expect: this is Once, a modern musical set in Dublin where intimacy is expressed through devotion … Continue reading

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Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - movie poster - from http://www.moviepostershop.com/once-movie-poster-2006

A romance broken down to its basic elements, rebuilt with the utmost conviction, and then given a much more forward-thinking ending than you might expect: this is Once, a modern musical set in Dublin where intimacy is expressed through devotion and attention, not through shed clothes. Two people become acquainted, spend time with one another, work hard to create something greater than what either could have done alone, and respect and appreciate one another no matter where their lives happen to lead. And sometimes that’s all a movie needs to be an utter success.


Words fall through me

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - Glen Hansard singing - from http://www.reelworldtheology.com/review-once/

A street musician is playing a rousing song on his guitar in the middle of the day, when a smoker stops to tie his shoes and then runs off with the guy’s property. The musician is right to have panicked, making for an action-packed start to what is otherwise a very gentle movie, but he does eventually get his items returned amicably. Like most of the characters in this film, he (real-life Irish musician Glen Hansard) is not named, nor is his eventual co-lead, played by Czech musician Markéta Irglová. The character count is small and manageable either way, and most of these people feel important to the story and are fun to watch.

While “Glen” is performing another song during the late evening, a girl walks up to him and applauds. She apparently sees him every day, but he never plays this particular song–why not? During the day, the man sticks to songs people will know, so they’ll give him money for playing. He’s not a slacker or a wish-fulfillment vehicle, though: the son moved back in with his father after his mother’s passing, and the two men work diligently in the elder’s vacuum-repair shop. Likewise, she isn’t one to take advantage of another’s generosity, insisting on paying her new acquaintance for his repair work. Though some events feel a bit contrived, such as the girl of course having a vacuum that needs fixing, this is a movie that avoids cheese, where opportunities must be worked for and don’t just fall into the laps of the desiring.

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - Guy and Girl, with flowers - from https://reelclub.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/with-obstacles-come-opportunity-handheld-camerawork-on-a-budget-in-once/
Flowers here have a pragmatic purpose–the girl sells them as part of her living.

Catherine is the girl who got away; our hero loved her, lost her, and devotes much of his music to her, but he’s not quite sure if he wants her back. Despite being generally absent, she remains important to her ex’s developmental arc and is never discarded as romance fuel for the budding couple the film spends much of its time on. The Girl’s father taught her the piano before he died, and she plays as beautifully as her new friend does. She demonstrates a bit of Mendelssohn for him, and the camera makes his look of enchantment plain to see: the film’s rather minimalist storytelling style keeps the dialogue free of clutter.

They then begin to play Falling Slowly. “Oh, how cute,” I think to myself. “It’s been a while since I’ve heard that song.” That version was probably one of the many covers, as this song was written by this film’s stars and earned an Academy Award. Hansard and Irglová share a beautiful harmony; they both put all that they have into their singing, and for Hansard this can sometimes give his voice an extreme intensity that sounds almost like yelling. A misunderstanding of intentions nearly leads to disaster for their growing friendship but sows the seeds for the rest of their story.


The little cracks, they escalated

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - Guy and Girl on a street, apart - from http://whysoblu.com/once-blu-ray-review/
Scene composition is excellent and leaves room for audience interpretation without derailing the plot.

The girl introduces the guy to her mother and to her daughter, Ivonka. The women speak Czech to one another, and the lack of subtitles forces the audience to depend as much on these girls for friendly and genial translation as the guy does. The older woman does think her own daughter’s new friend is handsome, though. Fortunately for the younger, she has an opportunity to write lyrics for said friend’s new song.

Much of Once’s music is laid over scenes of people simply living their lives, as these characters don’t just randomly break out into song and dance in public. Dublin as seen throughout the movie is simply beautiful, to the point where even scenes of people walking around late at night become fine art, and if dimly lit cities and colorful daytime stores are something you find romantic, you will devour this movie’s cinematography. The camera’s lack of steadiness makes the film almost feel like a home movie, and while some songs go on for slightly too long, the two leads are consistently excellent. The music also sounds amazing over headphones, as the main girl’s voice sounds like she’s actually in front of the viewer, while the guitar and other instruments play in the viewer’s ears.

The film keeps its central romantic and musical relationships growing, eventually gaining the involvement of a financial loan and a recording studio. Despite this, other than an important twist every so often, there isn’t really a plot, nor is there any epic, high-stakes drama or third-act collapse that forces some sort of race against time to avert catastrophe. Instead, some lovely party scenes showcase various random individuals singing songs of their own choice, including a number of traditional pieces; after the abrupt beginning, the movie as a whole greatly benefits from its persistently gentle demeanor. Some stories establish grand story frameworks and immensely detailed worlds, yet they distinguish themselves on the strength of a few small-scale but exquisitely written moments. Once is built on those moments, and while few of them feel unique, many of them feel special.

Other than a massive number of F-words and a few other profanities clumped erratically throughout the film, the dialogue and character interactions are a joy to behold. This is a romance built not on shallow sensuality–which is actually brought up and dissected–but on the responsibility that both of the story’s leads are given for not tearing apart their own lives just to be with one another. This man and woman are not perfect people, with the former treating his father’s motorbike irresponsibly and the latter raiding her daughter’s piggy bank to buy batteries, but they deeply care for one another and each other’s well-being. The girl’s arc is especially commendable since even in the midst of her deepest anguish, she does not run from her difficulties but does everything in her power to correct them. The movie’s unexpected ending powerfully evokes suspense and a desire for closure before leaving the audience an amazingly sweet present.

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - the two, staring at the water - from http://screenrobot.com/movie-musicals-beginners-guide/


Conclusion: Someone to fall upon

Once feels almost like a case study of how to design a classic romance, even as certain subtle details take its approach far away from the ordinary. This is not a movie that feels like it throws away the potential of its story or characters just to force a particular outcome.

The narrative seems to truly challenge the audience, which is something I always welcome in romantic stories, since they can otherwise risklosing their value if their establishing events seem too convenient.

The soundtrack is of course wonderful, and the low-budget production values are given wonderful use. Despite some content issues with language and the occasional weird sexual reference (the Fair City mini-scene feeling like a particularly random advertisement for that soap opera), Once really does feel like a mature movie that accepts its protagonists as imperfect people but continually encourages them to learn and grow, and for that, this little piece of Ireland is quite a remarkable treat.


Image sources (property of Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films)

Movie postersource
Glen singingsource
Man and woman, she with flowerssource
The two, distantsource
The two, staring at the oceansource


This article was originally written and published for my movie-review blog, Projected Realities.

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[Reviews] Movie Review: Persepolis http://www.takuchat.com/reviews-movie-review-persepolis/ http://www.takuchat.com/reviews-movie-review-persepolis/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 03:40:33 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27677

If you love foreign animated films like Studio Ghibli’s fare, Persepolis will be right up your alley. An adaptation of co-writer/director Marjane Satrapi’s biography, this hilarious, heartbreaking, and wonderful film tells the story of the young ‘Marji’ as she grows … Continue reading

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Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - movie poster - from http://www.impawards.com/2007/persepolis_xlg.html

If you love foreign animated films like Studio Ghibli’s fare, Persepolis will be right up your alley. An adaptation of co-writer/director Marjane Satrapi’s biography, this hilarious, heartbreaking, and wonderful film tells the story of the young ‘Marji’ as she grows up during Iran’s Islamic Revolution and its aftermath.


Life is precious; embrace each moment

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - young revolutionary Marji - from http://www.reelingreviews.com/persepolis.htm
She is a handful, and may she always be.

Marji is an adorably excitable little girl who overflows with energy, loves Bruce Lee, and wants to be a noble prophet someday. How will she make sure old people don’t suffer? By “forbidding” it, of course! This is Tehran, 1978, where women don’t have to wear veils, and friends can dance to music, at least when they’re not calling for the removal of the shah, Iran’s king.

Much of Persepolis is a frame story, told by an older and less idealistic version of its heroine, and viewers also receive a short history lesson about Iran’s politics and how other nations end up getting involved. Iran becomes a modernized country, but what few freedoms and civil rights her citizens enjoy largely go out the window. Eventually, soldiers with tanks and gas masks begin shooting and killing protesters, and the movie shows us a silhouette of a person bleeding out. His fellows use him as a rallying banner. Marjane’s parents narrowly escape the fighting, and she is sent to bed; eventually the shah’s statue is pulled down, his palace surrounded. These sequences and the film at large are presented in a beautifully unique style of animation that doesn’t quite look like any form of cartooning I’ve ever seen. Most of the movie lacks color but more than makes up for it with a vibrantly detailed black-and-white contrast.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - Marji and Grandma - from https://bokunosekai.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/persepolis-a-controversial-animation/

Marjane is a complex little girl who one moment has to hear about an ex-prisoner’s torture and the next is playing silly if slightly morbid games with her friends. Having not even begun her adolescence, she has no comprehension of what a “communiss” is, why a number of them have been killed, and what is really going on in the world just outside her door. Yesterday’s domestic enemies have become the new heroes, Marji’s uncle Anoush boldly encourages her curiosity despite having just been released from prison, and elections are coming soon. Surely the people will defend their freedom no matter what.


Moments are short; fill them with meaning

Nearly the entire country votes for the Islamic party. Half of Iran is illiterate, and only nationalism and religion can unite her. One person has to flee danger alongside family members; another person visibly drowns himself in his bathtub. Yet another person’s sister is killed. Numerous events leave Iran’s army weak, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq takes the opportunity to strike. Using a foreign enemy as an excuse, Iran’s government begins abusing and killing its own people, and laws become much more oppressive in just a few years. Girls must now wear full veils and salute the fallen martyrs. Notably these characters each have different faces, which given the simple art style is really impressive.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - bombed Tehran - from http://www.tboake.com/443_osama_f11.html

It is now Tehran, 1982. The veil means freedom, women are told, and yet they must hide themselves from the eyes of men. People are dying over ideas like these. Several young students are sneaking in pieces of foreign cultures such as ABBA records. More powerfully, when one man is perversely rude toward Marjane’s mother, she stands her ground while this lack of freedom becomes the new norm. Stranger still, some old women–whose stark attire reminds me of the character No-Face from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away–treat Marjane rudely and act as though their harsh yokes are long-held traditions. The world-building in Persepolis’ early stages is convincing and oppressive, especially with heartbreaking sights like a 14-year-old-child being tempted to fight and die in war for the sake of heavenly women; some of the “police” are hardly older. Another family gets arrested over, basically, playing cards and alcohol, and the nation’s “health care” prompts me to be thankful for my blessings.

Remnants of normalcy exist, such as people watching Godzilla, which looks amazing in this style of presentation. Persepolis’ moods are every bit as high-contrast as that style, and any given moment can be striking, such as when Marjane repeatedly deconstructs her teachers’ heavily idealized treatment of the new regime and its policies, or heartwarming, like when Satrapi is talking with her grandmother and receiving valuable advice for how to treat the less scrupulous people she will meet. Ultimately the time comes for Marji to leave Iran–in tears, despite her parents’ optimistic outlook–and this marks a big turning point in the development both of her own story and of the movie that tells it.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - ABBA - Dancing Queen - from http://www.reeldc.com/persepolis.htm


Life is meaningful; learn from every experience

Persepolis then narrows its scope and makes more of an effort to emphasize Marjane’s own personality and how it changes with each passing event. She winds up at a Catholic boarding house, not hugely superior to the lifestyle she had to leave. She then meets a bunch of smokers and punks, some of whom introduce her to ideas such as nonchalance and nihilism, along with unfamiliar kinds of music that prove quite an acquired taste. Through all of this, the movie’s general refusal to preach to the audience pays dividends, such as when Marji is delighted to simply gaze upon fully stocked grocery shelves, while some of her new acquaintances complain about “having” to spend Christmas with their families.

The heroine continues from home to home, in some cases due to returning one evil treatment for another and being kicked out, and while this doesn’t always make her look like a sympathetic character, the real-life Satrapi deserves a great deal of credit for not “whitewashing” her own life story. She’s stuck trying to assimilate to Western culture despite not really understanding it, so she studies a lot of philosophers and begins building her own maturity. Her puberty sequence is hilarious, with different body parts inflating to extremely exaggerated degrees, but she ends up being a really pretty young woman. Somewhat understandably, she hesitates to talk about her Iranian heritage because of the negative ways that too many people around her think of Iran in general and her people as behaving.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - starlight romance - from http://www.moviemail.com/film/dvd/Persepolis/

Many of Marjane’s most questionable behaviors pop up in her approach toward romance. Her relationships are very hit-or-miss, but from an artistic standpoint, some of those scenes make use of animation in incredible ways to do things that could never happen in real life or would look silly. Unfortunately, even though many of her breakups are not her fault, Marji doesn’t really seem to learn from her string of failed relationships, in terms of what actually makes these kinds of interactions stable and healthy.

In the bigger picture, the movie doesn’t completely forget the importance of its context, showcasing the immense tragedy of war as well as a commonplace lack of understanding for why the conflict started in the first place. Iran in the film is said to have had thousands of political prisoners, many of whom choose death instead of renouncing their ideas. Many streets and avenues are named for these martyrs, but for their families, street names are all they have left. A giant mural of a woman holding her war-dead son looks like Michelangelo’s Pietà.

Through all this, Persepolis finds opportunity to be happy and even humorous without making its dramatic reason for being feel trivial. “Eye of the Tiger” gets a cameo. Marji tears off leg hair. She does athletic dances. She draws a very lewd caricature of her art teacher, who’s showing off a censored version of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, and mood changes only rarely feel abrupt or inappropriate. That being stated, it’s definitely understandable that some authors dislike the movie’s Marjane-centric change of focus. While the later aspects of her story can sometimes lose grip on their important context, Satrapi’s own narrative does remain interesting and is marvelously told throughout, regardless of the consistency of her motives or behavior.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - anti-American mural - from http://www.gamespite.net/toastywiki/index.php/Media/Persepolis

The movie’s production values are usually incredible, boasting a wonderful soundtrack complemented by a truly distinctive art style that arguably rivals some full-color cartoons even in the midst of its own simplicity. If there is a low point, it’s the quality of the English dub–while passable, the voice acting isn’t great compared to the original French and is nowhere near Ghibli quality, even as some viewers may appreciate that the dub is sometimes less crude than the English subtitles. Some depictions of fierce profanity, sexual innuendo, and especially depressing violence (including a few brief mentions of rape, take note) feel a bit intense for the rating but not ridiculously so. Young girls might get more from this movie than might boys, due to frank and intimate discussions of topics including breast health. Still, viewers of both sexes can learn from Marjane’s pragmatic approach to tearing down arbitrary and sexist policies in the society around her.

One of the story’s most interesting thematic decisions is its treatment of God and religion. Cynical for most of the film, if sadly understandably so, this treatment changes without much explanation late in the story and seems forgotten about by the end minus some slight and unexpected comedy. The bigger problem is that the movie’s straightforward application of a “be true to yourself” message feels self-defeating in a story that includes villains. One scene accidentally deconstructs this by proving some arrogant individuals to have shallow and not ideological motivations, but this is otherwise a message the film doesn’t seem to know what to do with. Beyond this, Persepolis ends on a solemn but high note, having told behind it a rich story and leaving the audience with few answers about Iran yet not a lot of room for questions. The end product feels at times unique and familiar and is certainly a fine choice for viewers looking to be challenged by their entertainment.


Conclusion: Experiences are powerful; fill them with blessings

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - Marjane standing tall - from https://bokunosekai.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/persepolis-a-controversial-animation/

Little remains to be said about Persepolis. It is for the most part a wondrously crafted film with likable heroes, deplorable villains, memorable scenes, and perhaps every kind of human emotion from laughter to anguish and back. Marjane Satrapi’s story feels somewhat like an epic film told in reverse, but even as her fellow Iranians could have received more attention in this children’s-length but well paced film, Marji’s story never loses its impact and importance even in its silliest moments.

Freedom is a jewel to be cherished. It comes with a great and heavy price, and many that pave the way for it to be shared never get to experience it in this world. This story is not universally “about” feminism, extremism, government, economics, different cultures, or any of the other numerous themes that are brought up, but all of these aspects serve to show just how precious and fragile liberty really is.

Despite what you may have seen on the news, the Iran of Persepolis is not a country of nothing but tyranny and violence. Life goes on as it has and as it will, as much as it can, and many of these people continually show that one of the hardest things to take from someone is an idea. This is a movie full of ideas, some of which lie outside the story’s own grasp, and in the end, the story and its heroine-author give the audience an implicit mission–not merely to live, but to work so that others also can, and to value that life without worry of cost, so that all the world will know that it is precious.


Image sources (property of 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others)

Movie postersource
Young revolutionary Marjisource
Marjane and Grandmasource
Bombed Tehransource (some spoilers)
Classic recordsource
Starlight romancesource
Mural on wallsource
Marjane standing tall – as Marjane and Grandma


This article was originally written and published for my movie review blog, Projected Realities.

The post [Reviews] Movie Review: Persepolis appeared first on TakuChat.

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