Saturday, July 5, 2008

Paprika...brief review...

So my mind has officially exploded. Today is July 5th, and I was bored this afternoon, so I decided to take a drive out to my local video rental establishment. There, I picked up three films. Paprika, In Bruges, and City of Men. Now, while all three are great films, with the best being In Bruges, the one I can't stop thinking about, and the one that surprised me the most was this small little anime film, Paprika.

Paprika is a story about three scientists who work at the Foundation for Psychiatric Research. They come up with a mechanism that can allow the user the possibility to record and watch their dreams, called the D.C. Mini. However, when the device is stolen, the world, or what the think is the world, is flipped on it's ear. Our hero, Paprika, along with the scientists and an emotional cop must then try to saved reality from becoming the biggest nightmare possible.

Now, this film is beautiful. Let me just get that out of the way. Of the anime film's I've seen (not a ton), this may be the most inventive and genuinely out there. This exactly what David Lynch would make if he did anime films, even down to the "woman in trouble" kind of plot. It's got the normal bright pallet that is an anime staple, and the story, while quite outlandish, is completely compelling. I'm not a huge anime fan, so I don't know how it stands up to much of the past few years anime films (I see some every now and then on IFC, and love most of them) but I found it amazing to look at, funny, and completely engrossing. It really made me wonder what was reality and what was a dream, even in the opening, when the story hadn't really begun to flesh itself out. This flick is not for everyone however. Like I said, it's almost a David Lynch film, if he did anime, so you can sort of expect what is to come. I will say that it had it's silly moments, and some of the scenes were too outlandish and over the top, along with some lagging parts in the first act. Also, this is no Pixar film. The story isn't the shining point here. While it is a fine plot, the visuals are really what are on tap here. It's not the greatest anime film I've ever seen (that honor goes to Grave of the Fireflies), but it is one of the better ones I've seen, and I recomend it for any fan of animation. Just be prepared for what lies ahead. Here, watch the trailer to get an idea...

Rating: 8/10

Also, here are the ratings for the other four flicks I've watched in the past two days...

In Bruges: 9/10
Really surprising flick. Everyone is amazing, and the script is the real star of this film.

City of Men: 7.5/10
Not nearly as good as City of God, but then again, what really is?

Paris Je T'aime: 8.5/10
While a few of the films lack, the ones that really shine (Alexander Payne's and Sylvain Chomet's just to name a couple) are totally worth the price of a rental. Hell, Payne's alone is worth a purchase. Even better on multiple viewings

My Kid Could Paint That: 7/10
Not the greatest documentary, but it's solid stuff. Really interesting, even if flawed.

Alright. So come back tomorrow for more news and notes!

Go see something good!

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