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DragonBall: The Live Action Movie 263

Posted by Hemos
from the oh-my-god dept.
mystyc writes "scifi wire has a disturbing piece on how Twentieth Century Fox acguired the movie rights to the Dragon Ball franchise. What is disturbing is that they plan to do a live action dragon ball movie! You'd think hollywood would have learned their lessons from such notable live action anime failures as The Guyver, Fist of the North Star, and others who's names must not be spoken. Then again, hollywood doesn't work that way."
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DragonBall: The Live Action Movie

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  • Who'd have thought that there would have been enough interest in the Motorola CPU that powers the Palm family to make a movie of it? Tron was pretty popular I guess...
  • by alexmogil (442209) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:42AM (#3155395) Homepage Journal
    More like DragonBall ZZZzzzzz.
  • DBZ Movie (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bzk (324778)
    There is already a HK movie version of DBZ and ... it sucks deeply :)
    • Re:DBZ Movie (Score:3, Informative)

      by Alkaiser (114022)
      Who marked this as "Troll"? There is an HK live action Dragonball movie [imdb.com], released in '89, and if the box cover and actor list are any indication, it does suck. I was at DVD Planet last weekend, and I happened to see it on sale.
    • Re:DBZ Movie (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Amen. That flick (HK DBZ) was horrible. If you thought Street Fighter the movie (live action) was bad, that was on par with that level of special effects and plot. Which is to say, none. If this becomes a reality, I hope that it is at least as decent as the Guyever live action flick (with Mark Hammill. Which wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. Come to think of it, all of the anime movies that became a live action film sucked eggs. Like Zeiram and Fist of the North Star. Just my two bits.
    • Re:DBZ Movie (Score:2, Informative)

      by nologin (256407)

      There is already a live action version, which you can buy here [yahoo.com]. I have seen it, and it is horrible.

      How bad is it you ask? Just look for the infamous grenade; the one that blows up but keeps on bouncing off the ground after the special effects explosion went off.

  • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NO!!!
  • Unfortunately hollywood thinks that real actors can
    act much better than measly cartoons.
  • Actually, I thought The Guyver was rather cool. OK, so I watched the first movie when I was 9 or so, but I remember watching the 2nd one when I was about 14 and I actually liked it, even though I realised that the first one was pathetic.

    Of course both of the movies suck by todays standarts, but at the time they were out, I liked 'em pretty much. I heard there was a 3rd Guyver movie in the works, but I think it was never released :/
  • by Cryptonium (189929) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:49AM (#3155418) Homepage
    A movie is barely long enough for one DBZ fight!!!
    • You do realize that (Score:2, Informative)

      by danny256 (560954)
      there have already been about 20 DB, DBZ movies released, don't you? And these movies are all 50 minutes long. With the 1.5 - 2 hours that hollywood likes its movies this one should have ample time for a few good fights.
    • by The Cat (19816) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @06:36AM (#3155532)
      Well, the first movie is the characters powering up. The fight doesn't come until the second movie.
      • by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @09:30AM (#3155874) Homepage Journal
        I dunno - Dragonball: the Magic Begins, is a live action movie of the Dragonball saga (with some of the names reverting to the original Monkey King fables). They had plenty of nifty battle scenes, both two powerful and/or crafty people doing battle and large nameless army guys against a small number of people. Plus it's got a *really* hot 80s chick (in a Missing Persons, big hair, loads of makeup way).

        It's well worth watching just for seeing the damncool actor that plays Master Roshi. It's still for children, a la DB animated and DBZ (both of which I never really could stand to watch), but it's a really good movie to put on with a bunch of friends over, preferably after everybody has had a few. The opening battle scenes are some of the most fun in HK Cinema style battles. Burrowing underground, bouncing from tree to tree and visual gags. Fun, stupid stuff.

        If you like it, try out Lion Man Maru and Master of the Flying Guillotine (both of which I didn't bother to look up the spelling of). More stupid live action battle fun, only a slim notch above an average Ultraman episode.

        --
        Evan

      • Heh yeah it took Freeza what? A week and a half to fight Goku or was it Gohan in that last big battle when the Super Seyan manifested?

        I was thinking GEEZ fight already.
        • Yeah, it took at least four episodes for Namek to "blow up in five minutes".
          • I told you guys once and I'll tell you again.

            Typical Dragonball Z episode:

            Overpowered bad guy threatens to kill good guy sidekicks.

            Best good guy sidekick starts grunting for twenty minutes to build up power. Overpowered bad guy floats there doing nothing. Splice in B story about Goku being somewhere for some reason.

            Good guy sidekick shoots bad guy, with varying degrees of success, mostly bad. Bad guy coughs, spits out something about his eye sensor not detecting such power, but that it was not good enough!

            Good guy sidekicks despair, then, tune in next episode!

      • A movie is barely long enough for one DBZ fight

      Oh, is that what they're supposed to be doing? I thought it was a show about the dreadful curse of epilepsy: long petit mal staring contests with empty space, punctuated by bouts of random spastic motion.

      Seriously, what's the big loss? The censored english dub Dragonball anime is already pre-digested kiddie fare with very little to recommend it. In fact, the only way they could make it worse is have "837 hit combo!" float up the screen, or the Mortal Kombat Voice Guy say "Flawless victory! Fatality!".

      Mmm, actually, that might even make it better...

      I know in this manga/anime era it's old fashioned to care about US comic books, but if you want something to chew over, how about the upcoming live action Daredevil [imdb.com]? The casting is credible, but the director's only previous credit is a film that only got positive feedback from "People Who Capitalize Every Word" and the "all of God's chosen" brigade. Uh oh. Danger, Will Robinson.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are the actors going to be asian?
    I'd hate to see an americanized version
    by square jawed blonde gi-joe look alikes.

    Anybody play Street Fighter then watch
    the movie? The american always gets the
    star role.
    • I didn't realize Jean Claude Van Damme was American...the accent always through me off.
      • I didn't realize Jean Claude Van Damme was American

        His character, Guile, was.

        That character also has the only good line in the film: "This war is not about your personal vendetta. It's about my personal vendetta...".

        Aroo! Aroo Arooouurgh!

        (Err...I mean Cheers, Ian)

        • Guile was american in the game and anime as well. Remember he was on the stage with the U.S. Navy background and you could smash people on the boxes.
          • Remember he was on the stage with the U.S. Navy background and you could smash people on the boxes.

            Oh yes, I remember. In fact, I still play. Guile was always my nemesis - took me ages to work out how to beat him using my pet character (Blanca). Eventually I worked out that if you just dodged his sonic booms, he would eventually come over to you and you could just use the Blanca jump'n'kick routine.

            Cheers,
            Ian

        • It still pisses me off they made Guile the hero of that picture, rather than Ryu. I realize this was a Van Damme flick, and Van Damme as Ryu just doesn't work, but come on. Ryu is the king of Street Fighter.

          I mean, you could make the argument that Guile's Flash Kick has slightly better Anti-Air than Ryu's Shoryuken, but there's no way that Sonic Boom is a better projectile than Hadoken. And that's not even counting Hurrican Kick, for which Guile has no answer.
      • Gail (Gyle, Gile, whatever, I don't know the English translation), although portrayed by Van Damme, was an American character.
        • The original poster was talking about how the actors should be asian, not American. He wasn't really talking about the characters, as much as the actors that will be chosen for the roles of Goku and whta not. I was simply pointing out that in Street Fighter the starring role was played by someone from Belgium, regardless of the fact that the character he played was American.
    • So a lot of people are upset that Hollywood is going to take a popular anime series and turn it into a live action series. My beef (if I cared about DragonBall in the first place) would be with the fact that it is being turned into a live action franchise period - because whether you have Hollywood throwing money and square-jawed blonde dudes at it or Japan throwing washed-up Gamen-rider stars at it, the result would probably be disappointing. What's the last good 'clean' live-action hero movie produced in Japan? There are some good comic->film translations, but they're mostly on the darker side of the spectrum with Uzumaki or (shudder) Ichi the Killer.

      Ideally someone would convince Takeshi Miike or Shinya Tsukamoto to direct a quirky subversive interpretation of it, but naturally that would be unhealthy for the kid fans of DragonBall and would only stay in theatres for a couple of days anyway.
    • Are the actors going to be asian?

      Yes, but only the actor playing Piccolo.

      < tofuhead >

  • by Moonshadow (84117) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:50AM (#3155420) Homepage
    ...how are they gonna do the hair?!

    I'm going to go invest in a hair gel company's stock now...

  • Heh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BJH (11355) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:50AM (#3155421)

    Funny, Japanese fans feel much the same way about this news, if the comments on discussion boards here in Japan are anything to go by. Also, there's a lot of speculation about the casting.

    "Hmmm... is there a Hollywood actor that's green, has regrowable arms and reproduces by vomiting giant eggs?"
  • Ok, I can see that you're disturbed by this. But if you don't want to see the movie, just don't go. It's not like you live in a country where you're forced to see bad movies do you?
  • Dragonballz issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:50AM (#3155423)
    This, like all things that come to the US from more "liberal" countries will be quite controversial. First there is the translation, second is the censorship, and third is the dubbing.

    If you want full frontal nudity in this country, it's easy to find--- try cable tv or your local XXX video store. And there's plenty of it on the net. Besides, what kind of context are we talking about? Nudity per se is not pornography. DBZ has full frontal nudity O__o -- at least in the original Japanese version. Gohan is shown nude after transforming from his oozaru state. And in dragonball, Goku as a child does a fair share of streaking. That's not porno. I've seen my two year old nephew naked, but that doesn't make me a pedophile. Little kids running around naked is no big deal , it happens all the time in real life. Nudity is porno when it is portrayed in a sexually enticing manner, which is certainly not the case in Dragonball.

    the fact that this is America and we have different rules from England, France, Spain, Mexico(and Japan) does not by definition make our rules OK, anymore than it makes theirs better than ours. It's the results of those rules that matter.

    Changing the "delivery" changes the effect of the story. If you don't believe me, ask any director of theater, film, or television. They tell their actors how to say their lines-- precisely because the delivery must be right. When these changes are made, the major plot is still there, but the effect of the scenes are changed---rarely for the better. The removal of blood takes out a lot of a fight's visual impact. When characters get smacked around but don't bleed, the fight seems less "real." (yes, I know it's a cartoon) Blood and bruises are a visual sign of injury. Without it, the characters do not appear to be hurt, so it looks like they're not really playing for keeps. Dramatic tension is lost. The frustrating thing is that it really is not necessary to remove blood (it's just another of those dumb arbitrary rules >:{ ). Blood in a tv show does not necessarily desensitize viewers to violence. In fact, it can have the opposite effect. What makes the difference is HOW the violence and blood is presented. If it is presented in a way that glorifies killing-- makes killing look fun or cool, etc.-- then it may be a problem. But if presented in a way that demonstrates the negative consequences in a fight, than it's all to the good. That's DBZ for you. The good guys fight when they have to, but they pay for it. Boy, do they pay. They get beat up, smashed, crunched, fried, shot. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they watch friends die. Winning comes at a price-- by the time the bad guy is defeated, everyone who's left is mostly just relieved that it's over. That all may be exciting to watch, but it doesn't exactly make you want to join in their battles! If you have to justify DBZ's violence, you could say that it shows that fighting isn't very good for you. ^__~ Unfortunately, FUNi's edits have blunted that effect of the show. As for the nudity, the main problem I have with the cover-ups is that they look to be exactly that. When something is obviously painted in to cover up naughty bits, it distracts from the scene (remember that convienient little tree in front of Gohan's crotch?) And they cut A LOT of material the first two seasons... I think about ten episodes worth, if I remember right. So out of every episode they showed, a sixth of the material was gone. Much of these edits were not made for content, they were done to eliminate as much of the non-action material as possible. Me, I LIKE the non-action material. My favorite part of DBZ is the characters, character development. A lot of that stuff was hacked out. The dialogue.... well, I'll get into that later. By the way, since when is Frieza an "evil homosexual?" I guess since FUNi gave him an old lady's voice and that...ah...suggestive dialogue (Whatever turns you on, big boy =P). Considering the pains they've gone to removing any sexual suggestiveness from the show, I'm surprised they put that in. And since when is Goku a Christian? I've never heard of any religious sentiment coming from him.

    they changed the name because childrens' television producers in this country will not touch anything remotely smelling of religion with a two-hundred foot pole. No matter what kind of hell was represented, somebody would have been screaming about it. If they had presented HFIL as hell, someone would have been pissed that it wasn't fire and brimstone. If the hell had been depicted as fire and brimstone, someone would have been pissed they were "scaring kids" or that they were showing a christian hell and not giving equal time to other religions' ideas. So FUNi changed it, because they knew they just couldn't win. Not their fault, I guess. *sigh* But the point is that Toriyama-san was not trying to represent anyone's idea of hell. Not yours, not catholics', not protestants', NOBODY'S. What he did was to take a variety of ideas on the afterlife from a number of religions, threw them together in a mishmash, and tried to make them as funny as possible. DBZ is not a theology dissertation. Come on, what religion looks on hell as a theme park?? The planet Earth of DBZ is not our Earth. He was not suggesting that this is what the afterlife might actually be like. It was more like, "wouldn't it be funny if..." The whole shebang was A JOKE. SATIRE. NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. Unfortunately, America can't take a joke when it comes to religion.

    . I understand that dubbing does place some restictions on dialogue, as the lines need to fit the lip movements of the characters. However, that does not mean the scriptwriters need to do a total 180 from the intent of the original lines. I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about. I'll compare a scene as it was done in the dub and as it was shown in the manga. I don't have the fansub for that episode, so that's why I'm using the manga. As I've previously noted, the material in the manga was apparently reproduced in the anime almost verbatim, so I expect the lines in the anime to be pretty similar to the manga. The scene is from issue 7, volume 1 of the manga. I forget what episode it's from and I don't feel like checking right now. I think episode 6 or 7. OK, this scene takes place after Piccolo has abandoned Gohan in the wilderness. Gohan's stuck on top of the giant rock pillar. It's night, he's curled up trying to sleep, whining about being hungry. Two apples appear in front of him, and he goes to eat them.(FUNi cut out the part with the thought bubble showing the picture of an apple tree, who knows why. I thought it was cute.) He bites into one and finds it's sour. (another one of those ridiculous edits on the part of FUNi, it was another cute moment. The picture of his face in the manga is absolutely adorable!) Well, he's hungry enough to eat it anyway. As he's eating, the shot switches to one of Piccolo, who's watching from a distance. Here's his line from the dub: "I know it's hard now, but I'm watching over you." A nice sentiment that doesn't quite match his bared teeth.^__~ Anyway, the scene moves back to Gohan, who has finished his apples and gone back to sleep. The camera pans back to show Piccolo again, who says, "Sleep well... my little friend. ARRGH GAG RETCH SPEW---- oh wait, that's me. =P Here's the dialogue from the manga, as translated by Viz--- who, take note, claims not to edit the dialogue at all. Here's Piccolo's first line, as he's watching Gohan eat: "Cursed brat... is there no end to it?" The next line, after Gohan has fallen asleep: "But wot you well, this is the LAST time... if you cannot survive on your own after this, it only confirms that your uses are as limited as I first thought." Now, if you can't see the difference between these two scenes, I'll have to check your lobotomy scars. The change in tone is dramatic, and it completely alters the viewer's perception of Piccolo. The dub makes it look like he immediately cared about Gohan, whereas the manga makes it clear that he initially regards Gohan as a burden and a nuisiance. He has no interest in whether Gohan lives or dies, save as it may impact the coming fight with the saiya-jins. This makes his eventual sacrifice for Gohan all the more striking. In the dub it doesn't seem like it would be all that out of character for him, so it doesn't seem all that impressive. They didn't HAVE to change the dialogue this way. Piccolo was not speaking aloud in this scene, he was thinking. So they didn't have to make the lines match any lip movements. I can't think of any reason why the dialogue was changed so dramatically, except that they must have decided they wanted a kinder, gentler Piccolo. This really makes me mad. I don't LIKE Piccolo kinder and gentler, I like him rougher and meaner. What, did they think we couldn't take it? It's impossible to really appreciate the depth of the change he undergoes if we can't see just how BAD he was at the start. So yes, FUNi has been changing the characters. And this is not the only example I could give you; they have done it to nearly all the characters at some point. The frustrating thing is that in most instances, the changes ruin some of the more striking aspects of the characters. It's the usual efforts of American tv producers to acheive uniform national blandness.

    • I've rarely ever seen anyone write so many words and still stay on topic. Methinks this CmdrTaco likes DBZ. heh

      I have to agree though... I hate it when things get edited like you say DBZ has. I like the pure uncut uncensored version! KABUTO!
  • by Torak- (198078) <<torak> <at> <addict.net.nz>> on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:51AM (#3155426) Homepage
    I've heard that Richard Dean Anderson is being tipped to play the part of an older Goku, with a possible role for Leonardo Di Caprio..looks like Hollywood are pulling out all the stops on this one.
    • Please Moderators, if you are going to MOD this parent up... Please do so as FUNNY, not Informative, for the love of God.
      (ummm... wait... refer to my sig..)

    • these actors sound like they're going for the next complete hollywood fuck-up of a perfectly good working product (unless the put leonardo in the big green costume and don't let him speak too much).
    • Goku is, let's face it, dumb. And he isn't old either. Di Caprio has less muscle in his whole body than I've got in my pinky, so he couldn't fit any role; except maybe Master Roshi :D. Who would I pick to play Goku? I think that Russle Crowe might be able to do a good enough acting job to pull it off, that is, if he can learn the martial arts and instant transmission ;).

      Who am I kidding? DragonBall isn't even really great anime, it's just entertaining. The cheese factor of a live action movie will be way too high, and it will have to be 24 hours long to be true to the original :D. Don't see this one folks.

      BlackGriffen


  • Casting director must be an addicted fan and able to recite each charactors relationship to each other charactor. He/she must be given photographs of all avalable actors, not just super expensive ones that only resemble their part less than 20%.

    Screenwriter must be in the same room as the director of the animated version at least 50% of the time during production, the animated version director must be given a small bat with which to hit the screenwriter when in disagreement.

    The writer of the movie plot must be able to fit it within the animated timeline up till now. introducing charactors for the first time is fine, but no bringing back the dead and killing them in different ways.

    Special effects must be limited to the function of adding to the film, not becomming the entire focus of having 40% of the shots (like in Star Wars 1)
    • The writer of the movie plot must be able to fit it within the animated timeline up till now. introducing charactors for the first time is fine, but no bringing back the dead and killing them in different ways.

      Well, almost every DBZ movie already out there defies that rule.

  • I think the ONLY cartoon to movie that probably COULD NOT be screwed up would be a Star Blazers (Battleship Yamato) live action film. It would be real cool to see special effects for that, as well as hollywood actually being able to romance up something that has romance in it........
  • by seann (307009)
    I myself LOVED the guyver movies, they were awesome. The sounds affects were great (That meyowing buzzing noise when the evil guys would attack things).

    Sure it wasn't the best acting in the world, but it was entertaining and had a semi decent plot behind it.

    Now I'd love to see Dragon Ball Z on film just to see what they could try to do to make it look like the show in any way. Would goko seam as strong as he does on the TV show, who bulma dress in that sexy anime outfit, would they cast simular actors for Goku Gohan, Goten? Would this be in an alternate universe ala Highlander 4, or would they create a "after cell, before majin boo" type deal.

    Anyone with more information, post it!
    I'm more than interested about this.
  • Ya Know... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles actually did well...
    But, that was marketed at an age group were it didn't really matter what was on the screen... As long as the children screamed for them the parents took them there...

    This couldn't work unless the want to bring Z down to the level of a 10 year old.... Which I'm sure would result in some-one attempting to fire-bomb a Fox Studio.

    • Was that a movie first then a cartoon or a cartoon in then a movie?

      That is one of my favorite movies. Funny stuff.

      • Cartoon --> Movie --> Action Figures --> Video Game (Quite entertaining quite frankly) --> Pop Culture --> Ebay [ebay.com]
        • Uh, you left out Comic Book.

          Eastman and Laird's original TMNT was not the happy go lucky farce that it was made by the mainstream media (television and the Archie comics adaptation {still have number 1}).
          Not that I didn't enjoy the cartoon myself.

          But the original comic was dark and intended for adults. Only saw bits here and there but reall enjoyed what I found.

          John Woo's TMNT promises to go back to those dark roots and I can hardly wait.
    • Re:Hey! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tofuhead (40727)

      "...bring Z down to the level of a 10 year old...?" You do know that DBZ is a kid's show, right? That's why Fox is even interested in the idea in the first place.

      Oh, and Japanese 10 year olds aren't sheltered from such things as fervently as same-aged American kids are, so you could say that it's always been at that level.

      < tofuhead >

    • "bring down"??? DBZ is exactly on the level of 10 year olds.
  • Yes, Live action Dragonball will almost certainly suck big-time. It would be denounced by fans everywhere, and would be laughed out of the cinema by any non-anime fans that went to see it by accident.

    But go on - how many anime fans out there wouldn't kill for a chance to appear on the big screen as a super saiyajin, complete with spiky blond hair, glowing aura and throwing ki blasts around? I for one would love an opportunity like that ^_^

    Maran
  • by xpurple (1227) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:55AM (#3155442) Homepage Journal

    There are only a couple problems with this.

    Anime girls are far better ^_^

    Panty shots are just not the same with actors.

    Ever notice how real tits don't 'bounce' right after you have spent most of your life watching anime?

    How are they going to deal with tentacle monsters?

    • by JonWan (456212) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @06:54AM (#3155564)
      Panty shots are just not the same with actors.


      Yeah there were camera angles in Agent Akia that would be impossible in real life.

      Ever notice how real tits don't 'bounce' right after you have spent most of your life watching anime.

      And they would be hard pressed to find an actress in Japan with breasts as big as Bulma's (that cound act standing up anyway).

      How are they going to deal with tentacle monsters?


      In Dragonball Z ???? Did I miss an episode. ;-)
    • Solution: A Dead Or Alive live-action movie.
  • Somtimes works (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mwongozi (176765) <slashthreeNO@SPAMdavidglover.org> on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @05:59AM (#3155455) Homepage
    "The Matrix" was essentially live-action anime, only there wasn't actually an animated version first.

    Still, I can't imagine this will be much better than "Mortal Kombat"...

    • by radja (58949) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @06:12AM (#3155494) Homepage
      what I remember best about mortal kombat: the Utah Saints soundtrack.. I can just imagine the discussion:

      Moviemakers: write us a song.. a soundtrack for Mortal kombat
      Utah Saints: OK.. *makes generic utah saints bleep-bleep music*
      Moviemakers: WTF does this have to do with Mortal kombat?!?!?
      Utah saints: hmm.. you're right.. know what? we'll just yell "Mortal Kombat" a couple of times.
      Moviemakers: ok, that'll do..

      //rdj *sigh*
    • Aww come on we're talking about FOX here. We're going to be lucky if we get away with only a MILD bastardization of DBZ, like "DragonBallZ VS. The Original Cast of Ishtar" I for one can only see Very Bad Things coming from this.
    • "The Matrix" was essentially live-action anime, only there wasn't actually an animated version first.

      The Waschoszki (sp?) Bros. original storyboard for the Matrix was very close to being a manga, however. You get to see bits and pieces of it during the 'making-of' videos on the Matrix DVD. These guys drew a comic and then fit a movie around it.
  • One point that seems to have been missed is that the Guyver had no budget...
    Think Fox will do that with DBZ? When they stand to recoup millions from the rabid preteen DBZ fans, and their elder compatriates?
    I wouldn't be surprised if 30-50 million gets spent on it.
  • Of course you will lose some of the story, but converting a book/comic/anime/etc to movie or television is tricky because of the timing.

    I've only watched DragonBall [and Z] a few times but knowing what I do about it and other anime is that doing live action, translating and such loses a lot automatically.

    Fox, make sure the story is good and then everyone will be happy. You have to do good at one or the other. Good luck.

    I just hope we don't see a DBZ Saturday morning cartoon.
  • by Jagasian (129329) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @06:15AM (#3155501)
    (Bias alert! I am a natural born USA citizen.)

    In the following, by anime, I mean cell animated stories.

    Making live action versions of classic anime in the USA is due to the common USA view of animation in general. As far as the average Joe is concerned, "cartoons are for kids" basically sums up the attitude towards anime.

    One great example, which I recently bumped into is an old review [nausicaa.net] of a classic anime movie "Grave of the Fireflies", where the reviewer has the movie listed under the headline "For Children". Anyone who has seen this movie knows that while it can be watched by children, it has so much emotional content that only a mature viewer could truely appreciate it. While "Adult Film" or "Film for mature audiences" in the USA means porn, it should mean movies like "Grave of the Fireflies". Again, I am not saying that "Grave..." isn't a movie that kids should watch - I am saying that giving it a headline "For Kids" is very silly.

    Anyway, my main point is that in the USA, anime doesn't have the prestige that live action movies have. Somehow, I guess, movie execs think that making a great anime movie into a live action movie, somehow makes it better. Whatever... Its too bad because the average Joe is missing out on some great entertainment such as (my recommendations for the "average joe" slashdotter that isn't into anime but wants an introduction):
    • Ghost in the Shell (DVD): This is a roughly 1.5 hour movie, its Neuromancer mixed with Blade Runner. The English dub of this is good.
    • Serial Experiments Lain (DVD): This is an animated series of around 13 episodes 30 minutes each. It is a great neo-cyberpunk story. I would say its Neuromancer meets the X-Files - though these analogies are very crude. Also, stay away from the English dub of this series. Its awkward to say the least. The DVDs let you choose dub or subtitles, so go subtitles with this anime.
    • Cowboy Bebop (DVD): This is an animated series of (I can't remember how many) 30 minute episodes. Cowboy Bebop has a lot of everything for everyone. Comedy, action, violence, cyberpunk, mystery, drama, weirdness, etc... This is easy watching anime if that makes any sense. Its got style, thats for sure. The English dub is good, and I recommend it. Also, I recommend that you watch at least the first 4 episodes before drawing your opinion on this fine anime. Its not until then that you start to see the deep underlying plot of the entire series. Cowboy Bebop has lots of sugar and spice, bells and whistles, etc... but it also has a nice strong plotline.
    The Blockbuster Video stores around my area rent anime. I don't rent, but buy, so I don't know if their selection is good or not. Its worth renting the above recommendations this weekend, if you haven't already seen them.
    • Oh for heaven's sake, anime in Japan is made for kids, even stuff like Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. I think it is an indictment on American entertainment that stuff like that is considered "adult" here. Don't trust me? Go on, ask any native born Japanese whether it is a good idea to say that you love anime in Japan if you are say above the age of 20. The answer is no, unless you want everyone in Japan to think you are really weird. Just because something is considered too hard for anyone but adults to understand in America doesn't mean that it wasn't made for kids. Manga is a different matter altogether. Manga is for all ages.
      • Manga is for all ages.

        True. A lot of anime is based on manga. Shouldn't the audience be about the same?
        • There is kid's manga and then there are more adult manga.(and novels). And remember adult don't necessarily mean hentai. Anyway, often the manga which are classified as for "kids" tend to more violent and bloody than the anime version. Yes, even in Japan they tone done manga when they convert it to anime which is for kids.
    • Anyway, my main point is that in the USA, anime doesn't have the prestige that live action movies have.

      It is my experience that anime is also mostly reserved for kids (and geeks) in Japan and the prestige lies with American and French movies, select Japanese live-action flicks and Miyazaki's anime. Sure, everyone in Japan reads comics - but when it comes to the theatre or the video store, it's mostly just kids lining up for Pokemon or Doraemon etc.. and teenage boys/awkward adults flipping through Evangelion or porn.
      • ... anime in Japan is actually targeted at a much younger audience than in America. For example Cowboy Bebop was presented by Cartoon Network and targeted at 16-18 year olds (source: cartoonnetwork.com), its Japanese release target a much younger audience of 10-12 year olds (source: Newtypes Magazine). Japanese children are much more mature than american children and they do grow out of anime and manga must faster. I have been to Japan 3 times in the last 5 years and from my time in the anime/manga stores, I can tell you that they definitly attract a younger/geekier audience. Contrary to the belief of many hard core anime fans, anime is indeed generally reserved for kids and geeks. Don't feel bad though, I used to love anime just as much as you, but over the last 2 years (I'm 22 now) I just becan to lose interest. I'm not saying you have to give it up, as I know some adults who still watch anime, but I'm saying there is a good chance you will want to as you get older.
        • Not to mention that a lot of American anime fans don't realise the meanings of the word shounen and shoujo. "Shounen" means boy, not man, young boy. Someone in their twenties is not a shounen. "Shougjo" means young girl, not woman. Take for example Rurouni Kenshin. In Japan it was published in a shounen magazine ie. a magazine targeted at *young* boys. Also, there is this little excerpt from Nov Takahashi who was explaining the differences between Japanese and Western cosplaying:

          These connections > between fandom and criminal activities have led to the current restrictions > on costuming in Japan. Many fans in Japan do not let their > friends/family/coworkers know that they are fans. SF/Fantasy/Anime are > seen as the pursuits of children and to admit that you engage in such > activities is admitting that you are still a child.

    • Man, S.E. Lain would so go over the heads of Joe Moviegoer without a lot of preparation...Hell, I watch way too much anime, and Lain just clips the top of my hair. What I'm saying is that it makes an awful awful introduction to anime. Without an understanding of the fundamentals of what makes good anime, it would leave the first-time viewer alone, confused, and with a nasty, bitter taste in thier mouths.

      Cowboy Bebop, on the other hand, is immediatly accessible, while still demonstrating all that makes anime good. I've managed to suck all nearly all my friends into Cowboy Bebop.

      Oddly, Neon Genesis Evangelion has proved to be a good anime for first time viewers around where I live, too. Though its complex and hard to follow, and more than a little disturbing, it draws you in bit by bit until you can't let go. It's a shocking introduction, but it doesn't seem to turn people off. Lain, though...no, that would just leave people with less of a desire to watch and understand anime than they started with...
  • by dmiller (581)
    Gunhead (gunhed?) was a pretty cool live action Manga - they can be done right, though I doubt that anything could save Dragonball...
  • Great! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anthy (530642) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @06:28AM (#3155520)
    Great. With the release of a movie, I can have even more people cry out, "Hey, they ripped that name off Dragonball Z" everytime I show one of the Japanese versions of Journey to the West (In Japanese this is Saiyuki). Poor Wu Cheng-en. He must be turning over in his grave.
  • Already been done... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    With Dragonball, not DBZ. And it [imdb.com]'s probably older than a good deal of Dragonball/Z/GT fans!

    Of course, it's typical 80s Hong Kong crud, and seems to be unlicensed as most of the characters names and purposes are changed, but still... it'll probably hold up well in comparison to this new version.
  • by mgblst (80109) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @06:41AM (#3155542) Homepage
    ...a movie about a CPU? Or is this the new name for the remake of Tron?

  • Try filming that!
    • Good idea,but that would require a lot of lubrication, ahrm. And I guess that no-one would raise the money needed for what would be nothing more than a complicated pron movie. :)
      • by Genom (3868)
        Sad but true - there's a live action La Blue Girl. Saw it on sale at last year's Otakon. From the pics on the back of the VHS case, it looked to contain quite a few "naughty tentacles".
  • "I have a bad feeling about this".
  • by codexus (538087) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @07:17AM (#3155592)
    I saw it at an anime convention many years ago. IIRC it kind of sucked. It was a fun thing to watch at a convention though,
  • oh shit, (Score:5, Funny)

    by marijne (536748) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @07:31AM (#3155604)
    I'm positive my boyfriend will make me sit through this one. And I already have trouble watching an episode without making cynical comments every 30 seconds on the probability of the story.
  • by rtos (179649) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @08:46AM (#3155757) Homepage
    Looks like that isn't the only one to be made into live action.... Jûbei ninpôchô will too. I shall now blockquote from Yahoo News [yahoo.com]:
    'Mortal' Maven Nabs 'Ninja Scroll'
    Wed Mar 13, 2:31 AM ET
    By Dana Harris

    HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - "Mortal Kombat" producer Larry Kasanoff has bought all remake rights to the Japanese 1994 anime blockbuster "Ninja Scroll [imdb.com]" with the intention of turning it into an f/x-driven live-action feature that will spawn television, live stage tours, video games and music.

    Critically acclaimed as Kawajiri Yoshiaki's [imdb.com] masterpiece, "Ninja Scroll" is a samurai sword-and-sorcery epic in which a masterless ninja for hire joins forces with a powerful female ninja after her team is destroyed by a powerful man-monster. They create a tragic love story that culminates with the overthrow of the Shogun government.

    "Anime is today what video games were seven years ago -- an entirely different style of entertainment that will be mainstream in the very near future," Kasanoff said.

    Kasanoff is chairman and CEO of Threshold Entertainment, whose digital animation and effects subsidiary, will supervise visual FX for "Ninja Scroll," while another unit will create and manage the online presence of the brand.

    Threshold also represents such entertainment properties as Duke Nukem, Mortal Kombat, Playboy, Hellraiser, Pepsi Co./Frito Lay and Ozzy Osbourne, developing brands for film, television and the Internet.

    Jûbei!!!
  • There is also a Scooby Doo [upcomingmovies.com] Live Action movie being made
  • It's been done (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ken Hall (40554)
    It's probably just as well nobody remembers this [imdb.com] piece of crap, but it's out there. Should give you an idea what we're in for.
  • by dbretton (242493) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @09:58AM (#3155998) Homepage
    He said that 20th Century Fox aguired the rights, which, as anyone knows, means to drown in a large tank of water.

    Thank God 20th Century Fox didn't ACQUIRE the rights to the movie...

  • How about a live action Transformers movie [digiserve.com]? I suppose it'd probably be one of those movies that wouldn't be mentioned, although I'd like to see it.

  • by pinkpineapple (173261) on Wednesday March 13, 2002 @01:44PM (#3157469) Homepage
    nuf said. Cowboy beebop cries for a movie Hollywood style. It's all americanized in there, and they can even put as much special effects as they usually like to do. Songs are great and the character names can be pronounced by all the average Joe Sixpack of the States who go to the movie on Sunday and usually are the people responsible for a box office movie success or not. There is enough material in there to cover much ground, as the movie following the episodes took after the hero died without having to reinvent a BS story of a twin brother or resurrection. Totally cool and awesome. So Hollywood, time to open your wallets and do the right thing. And call me if you need an actress, okay?

    PPA, the girl next door.
  • ...is that you can start watching the big fight, miss a few weeks of episodes, and not really miss a thing.

    Lots of AAaAAaaaaaaaaargh...Pant..Pant....superfastpunchin gkickingwhileflying... repeat a few hundred times, then decide to have somebody die after destroying a planet or two.

  • Anyone who knows Hollywood can deduce that they will likely make the Dragonball movie a braindead pure action/fighting/violence movie (and will probably throw in some sex to fit the genre.)
    Thse who know Dragonball(Z) know that this isn't really what the show is about.
    I remember that I resisted Dragonball(Z) for about two years while I lived with some college roommates who were big fans.
    It simply looked cheesy and childish.
    Finally, they forced me to watch a good part of a saga (Dragonball Z is split up into mostly self-contained sagas) and at last I "saw the light." Unlike the vast majority of animated cartoons, much anime' excluded, Dragonball(Z) actually incorporates such concepts as character development, ethics, wisdom, honor, humility, and others.
    Goku, what some consider to be the 'main' character, is exactly what I would want any children that I may someday have to look at as a role-model. Being an action cartoon, Goku is a fighter, but more than that, he has the most unusual personality--he is extremely powerful and respected, yet in the face of the most intense situations he does not become furious, does not get cocky, and makes no action that might be considered a "cheap shot." It is a difficult thing to describe well, so don't take this description too literally as it is not a very good one.
    Different characters seem to represent different 'good people,' for example "Piccolo" seems to represent the meme of "One with great wisdom, discipline, and control."
    Goku's wife represents a good dose of reality that keeps the show from being too fictional. For example, depending on the time in the series, various characters can undergo a small transformation called "super saiyen" which, among benefits such as increased speed and strength, makes their hair turn blonde. (No idea why, exactly). When Goku and his son, Gohan, decide to remain super saiyen so as to conserve the energy required to undergo the transformation, the mother sees Gohan and begins crying because her son has "become a punker" (it appears as though he's bleached his hair and used more hairspray than Marge Simpson so make it look spikey.) While this probably sounds insignificant, it helps the series to remain enough within the context of reality to be believable, insofar as an anime needs to be believable.
    For those of you that haven't given it a good look, I recommend starting with a few video rentals of the "Perfect Cell" saga, my personal favorite so far. It doesn't have some of the attributes that tend to turn people away from the series at first glance.
    Overall, the series is very well written, has very good characters with real personalities that one can relate too (like a good book or RPG), and would not transfer well into a live action movie except by the most exceptionally talented cast and direction.
  • Is there already was a Dragonball Live action movie. [rightstuf.com]
  • Shaolin Soccer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by prator (71051)
    This would be cool if the makers of Shaolin Soccer could get their hands on it. The style of the fights in Soccer seem to fit in with Dragonball to me.

    -prator

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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