ONMYOJI is an interesting Japanese movie taking place during the Heian period (794-1185 AD) where Gods, ghosts, and demons
walk the Earth. There are Onmyoji, an order of people who deuse the supernatural arts to protect the kingdom. The Emperor
is expecting the birth of a Prince, and that birth sets forth an effort to destory the Emperor and his heir. The most skilled
of the Onymoji, Seimei, is called on to stop the forces that are at work. Semei and Hiromaki (a court official)
work together to solve the mystery and they have help from a woman who hasn't changed in 150 years (due to eating a piece
of merman) that has the task of making sure the spirit of a dead Prince isn't freed from his tomb to exact his revenge on
the Emperor's and his family.
The movie is an interesting fantasy tale to watch with compelling characters to some elements of unrequieted love to great
sacrifice for the greater good. On another level, I could imagine that the cast from Mystery Science Theater 3000 would have
a great time making fun of this movie from the period costumes (and the hats everyone wears) to Seimei laughing all the time.
The movie does suffer towards the end from too much CGI (and some bad CGI too).
ONMYOJI has a 16x9 widescreen transfer that is rich in color with great picture quality. The audio is great too with an
excellent music score, but the English dubbing is a little out-of-sync during the last 30-40 minutes(there is also a Japanes
audio track with English subtitles on the final release version- hopefully Pioneer fixed the sync problem with the English
Special features amount to two trailers of the movie- a one minute trailer and a three minute trailer in Japanese, and
filographies for the main cast members and the director. ONMYOJI isn't a bad movie to watch on DVD.
this review is (c)2-26-2004 David Blackwell and this review can't be reprinted without permission. send all comments to
email@example.com and look for site updates (and additional content) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia
DVD Review: FREDDY VS. JASON
by David Blackwell
I decided to borrow the FREDDY VS. JASON DVD from a friend, and I have to say the movie isn't a total waste of time since
it is a build up to a pretty cool fight between Freddy and Jason in the last 30 minutes of the movie. If it wasn't for the
fight between the two, the movie would be one of your typical Hollywood horror movies (that are made too often these days,
but there are exceptions) where you have zero scares, lots of scenes to just shock you with how many different ways you can
kill a person, and characters you don't care about (and the character you do care about gets killed early in the movie while
another character makes fun of Freddy in a great scenes before being killed by Jason). There are some interesting concepts
like the hypnocil drug (that surpresses dreams), but the story is just an excuse to get Freddy to fight Jason.
The movie is presented in full frame and 2.40:1 widescreen versions with an option of a commentary track by director Ronny
Yu, Robert Englund, and the stunt guy who played Jason this time around (and not Kane Holder like fans have hoped). There
is a "Jump To A Daeth " option on the first disc if you ever want to just jump to the death scenes in this movie.
The second disc has some interesting stuff on it and some not so interesting material. It is fascinating seeing some of
the scenes that were cut. I do think some of the cut scenes (or parts of the cut scenes) should have been left in the movie.
I do like the original movie better because it shows things are normal at the end of the movie before you have the final surprise
before the end credits roll (the film's final ending with Jason coming out of Crystal Lake holding Freddy's head in one hand
with Freddy giving a wink to the audience (in the last moment) just takes me out of the movie). I do liek Monica Keena's character
saying "Freddy Vs. Jason! place Your bets!", and I have no clue why test audiences didn't want that included in the movie.
Included in the delted/alternate scene section is optional commentary explaining why the scenes and the alternate ending (and
alternate opening) were cut from the movie.
I did love that new Line put all the TV spots and the original theaterical trailer on this DVD release. The pre-fight conference
between Freddy and Jason that was held for the press is funny, but the little feature on the world premiere of Freddy Vs.
Jason is just taseless (and something I wish New Line hadn't included on this DVD).
I looked at some of the production and visual effects featurettes, but the special feature better than all of those has
to the reprint of the Fangoria article word by word (including the original article pictures) telling the whole story of Freddy
vs. Jason through all the different scripts that were written for the movie before they got to the one that was filmed. everyone
took a crack at the movie as it went through 17 scripts with writers on various drafts by David Goyer, David Schow, and Star
Trek writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga. The only really interesting production featurette was the short one about
how Freddy Vs. Jason was in development hell for seven plus years. The rest of the production featurettes are too long. The
visual effects featurettes tell what hoops the production put the visual effects guys through.
FREDDY VS. JASON just disappoints me as a DVD that could have been much more if they paid more attention to the length
of teh featurettes and provide more interesting extras other than the Fango article, the deleted scenes, and the promotional
stuff. The movie could have been more than just a lead-up to a fight between the two title characters. I hope the sequel actually
is better and have characters you care about.
this review is (c)2-28-2004 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and look for additional content (and site updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia