Boring, pretentious, ridiculous, unimaginative he must have got lucky with Ghost in the Shell because this is, well there's nothing to see here, move along. The best bit about it is the front cover and the concept, the rest is nonsense filled tripe! Stray Dog is dreadful too and Avalon just scrapes by. Save yourself the sadness, Oshii can't make live movies.
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As a fan of Mamoru Oshii's action-packed, yet intellectually provocative anime films, like "Ghost in the Shell", "Patlabor", and "Jin-Roh", I was expecting something interesting from his live-action films. I started by watching "Avalon," which lived up to my expectations. I then decided to watch "Red Spectacles" next because it takes place within the same alternate world of "Jin-Roh". While "Red Spectacles" starts off with a full-color live-action shootout that could've been straight out of "Jin-Roh", that's about as far as the similarities between "Red Spectacles" and its animated kin go. What follows the opening credits is a sepia-toned black & white genre-bending tour de force reminiscent of Jean-Luc Godard's "Alphaville". Veteran anime voice actor Shigeru Chiba plays Koichi, a former member of the elite Kerberos police unit who has returned home after spending several years in hiding only to discover that the world he left behind has totally changed in his absence. "Red Spectacles" is constantly shifting genres, from action to slapstick to thriller to tragedy, and though these mood swings can be jarring at times, the film always maintains a surrealist tone. Oshii uses the language of film to cinematically convey Koichi's confusion and paranoia as he fights to uncover a government conspiracy that still wants him dead. I won't give away the ending, but I will say that the last 5 minutes were visually breathtaking. The cinematography is especially remarkable at the end and Oshii introduces a metaphor in the final frames of "Red Spectacles" that he explores in detail a decade later in his screenplay for "Jin-Roh". However, I must warn people who are expecting an action flick; "Red Spectacles" will probably bore and/or confuse you. I personally appreciate avant-garde film, so I loved "Red Spectacles", but my bloodthirsty anime "otaku" friends spent the whole film scratching their heads and begging me to fast-forward. The next film at the top of my "To-See" list is Oshii's 1991 live-action sequel-of-sorts to "Red Spectacles" called "Stray Dogs: Kerberos Panzer Cops" (aka "Jigoku no banken: kerubersu").
Genki2 Oct. 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
A very interesting movie. All over the place. Not what you are expecting. It is like the director is playing a prank on the viewers. Fun stuff.
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
oH MY GOSH!16 Oct. 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I love Oshii's anime work. I was expecting Jin Roh the live action movie...I got it for about five minutes at the beginning of the movie(The suits looked awesome..very WW2 super soldier.) Then the bottem fell out. A drudging crawl of a satire about fascism and the... oh whatever... Buy the poster instead and you won't be disappointed. I'm a little biased in that I really wanted a cool Jin Roh live action movie following the actions of the Kerboros...it is not here. If you are a film student studying Oshii...go for it!
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Case of, " I Don't Think So"29 Dec. 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
As I appreciate the last author's attempt at putting some clarity into a film with a try at intellectual ambiance, this film is best suited to calm down mental patients at a psych ward, because that is what the viewer will be subject to when they sit down to watch this chaotic, loonytoons esque movie.
True enough, the movie starts off as a side-story from Jin Roh. Black,vintage German like stormtrooper armor clad soilders, that just busted from freedom, on their way to get out of harm's way. Even then, the only thing that looked decent enough, were those soilders --- for some reason, its the intent of whomever it was that held the Yen to fund this one, to make the bad guys look like out-of-work mimes armed with machine guns.
After this half-way normal scene, one is then dropped into a very long and drawn out movie with cute cartoonish representation in the form of a real live film. I dare someone to lie and say they absolutely could follow this twisted meltdown of events and turns, along with sporadic characters that are thrust upon you with cryptic dialog and a strange sense that it changed from a movie to a very shoddy theater show. Once in a while, the movie jumps back to a stable story someone could follow but otherwise, its overly jumpy as if the director couldn't make up his mind as to when to end a scene and begin the next.
People who are bracing themselves with a B grade movie about a very good Anime will be severely mistaken --- I am not even sure this would be a good point of interest for a film class either --- but hey, a broken clock is right twice a day.