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So, I finally watched Dragonball Evolution I don't see what was so bad about it....

#1 User is offline   Matt PNiewski 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:29 PM

Some people have criticized me for not being able to turn my brain off and just enjoy a stupid movie. I claimed that I just couldn't do that. Now I see that I am wrong. Rather, I do not believe it is my job to turn of my brain for a stupid movie. The movie has to do that for me. I can't sit back and enjoy a movie without a critical eye, it's not in my blood. Perhaps a bad movie has to announce right at the beginning that this is, in fact, a bad movie.

Dragonball starts with our hero, Goku training with his grandfather. In the battle, Goku manages to kick a beetle down his grandfather's throat (from an amazing distance). The battle ends with CG wind mimicking the force of a punch. You see, for some reason that is only explained as far as "It works because of Ki", Goku and his Grandfather can throw wind at each other.

After our labored first act, that sets up a backstory about seven mystical balls that, when brought together, will summon a magical wish-granting Dragon, Goku ends up on a quest to save to world. You see, there is also the evil Picollo (played by a shockingly silent James Marsters) who wishes to use the magical orbs to take over the planet earth.

Instead of questing for the Dragonballs, we wait for a third of the movie for Picollo to find them all, and set us up for a final confrontation. The wait, of course, is filled with, you guessed it, martial arts. With out even the benefit of a training montage, Goku fights through nameless adversaries in some of the better choreographed fight scenes of recent memory.

The movie is disjointed, choppy, and very loosely strung together. Characters are introduced quick enough to be given a name that would easily be forgotten by anyone unfamiliar with the source material. Still, it's a fast paced, fun, flashy adventure film that is worth a look. That is, if you have a few friends and a twenty four pack ready.

If you are looking for a classic, rent a classic.

** 1/2 out of ****

Now, why do the fans hate this movie? I thought it captured the spirit of the show in every way. Sure, they changed things. They always do. But as far as a "Saturday Matinee" is concerned, this one ain't bad. I made a night out of it after my Stepdad rented it. I had him keep it out another day, invited friends over, and it was a blast.

Compare to what we had as a kid- The Power Rangers film would be equivalent. This is a MUCH better film
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#2 User is offline   Keiichi-chan 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:51 PM


Now, why do the fans hate this movie? I thought it captured the spirit of the show in every way.

probably because it didn't. i mean, i (using the term loosely)enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn't dragon ball. it was any random, generic teeny bopper action movie with a few dragon ball tropes and namedrops. changing goku from an upbeat, oblivious kid to an angsty, totally forgettable teen completely changes the feel of the series. changing bulma to a gun-totting poster child for 'in your face' GIRL POWER completely loses her original personality as goku's spunky, unlucky, self-absorbed sidekick. NO KRILLEN. yamcha was okay, although you can barely tell it's him from the costume. roshi was okay.

the story was a mess, but dragon ball was never a story-driven series; it's about the characters and they were all marginalized or completely changed here. the costumes were laughable, special effects were okay. the fights were about as mediocre as mediocre gets, in my opinion. the only other aspect of dragon ball was the adventure, which is okay here, but on a MUCH smaller scale than it ever is in any story arc of the series. there are a TON of decent nods to the actual series, but it's more like they were making a decent dragon ball adaptation ON TOP OF a horrid, generic made-for-tv popcorn film.

filmmakers don't seem to get that a big appeal of manga and anime as opposed to western cartoons is the vague line of good and evil; most of goku's allies were his bloodthirsty rivals of questionable morality. they, of course, ditch that and turn it into a surfninjas good v. evil showdown. lame. as for fans, it probably helps that american audiences are way, way more familiar with dragon ball z than dragon ball, which the film is based on. dragon ball is much more adventure-based, genuinely fun, and lighthearted than the slightly cheesy, hardboiled action you get in dragon ball z.

it's a bad movie with enough fluff from the actual series thrown in that it SHOULD have placated fans who're just seeing it because they love the original anime show or manga. not as good as speed racer, much better than streetfighter: the legend of chun li.

**1/2/ *****

This post has been edited by Keiichi-chan: 25 July 2010 - 12:11 AM

#3 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:58 AM

So I wish I could remember enough of the movie to offer paragraph after paragraph or awesome critic but I can't. However what I do remember is the fact that it was laughable. As a stand alone movie based not at all on the Dragonball franchise, It was probably passable as something good. But putting it in comparison to the anime series that mainly brought my generation into loving anime, was stupid. For starters, as was pointed out above, the characters are so horribly changed to make them "relatable" that they don't stick at all to the original concept. Point 1 being Bulma. Never was she a bad@$$ crime fighter that showed Goku up. She was a whiny complainy gear head. Second - Chichi and Goku. Excuse for remembering correctly but goku never had a crush on Chichi let alone knew who she was! As the show portrayed, Chichi suddenly appears next to Goku - both as kids - and starts demanding that he change to be a presentable husband. Goku, fearful and confused, runs off. Thirdly, and finally - the LAMENESS that was both Kamehameha and Shenron. Kamehameha was an awesome attack that could destroy mountains. Yet in the was practically a gust of wind. Excuse me?! And Shenron...the giant dragon whose tail wrapped around the world....was about 1/16th of his actual size.

Not to of course mention that Goku's hair was not a giant unruly mess, Bulma's hair was not a teal stringy mop, Picollo was grey and the giant ape that Goku becomes was the bad guy that worked with Picollo....(among other things such as Goku being in high school...)

Now maybe, these things bother me more than the story because I'm a nitpicker for details - especially when the details are clear to see. I understand, when a book turns into a movie there is no drawn detail of how the clothes should look, the attacks should strike or how the settings should stack up, but when an animated series takes its place on live action, these details ARE present and with modern CG and skill are not too hard to achieve. Therefore it seems either lazy or an intentional middle-finger to the original, to not take the few extra bucks to add the details that made the show what it was...

And now I'll stop because...well...I feel like I'm ranting
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#4 User is offline   Scott 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:29 PM

I liked the movie as well Matt. :thumbup: Dragonball/z wasn't exactly know for story anyways, so I think it worked just fine.

#5 User is offline   Professor_Hojo @_@ 

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 01:25 AM

I remember this movie just being bad. I rented it hopefully it would be lulzy bad, but to me it was just bad. I liked the Asian version from the early 90s alot better. It had a better feel for the original series and you could tell who the characters were supposed to be. But it was a fun movie. I liked it alot more than the dreck that is DB Evolution.
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#6 User is offline   sentinel28a 

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 04:42 AM

I only caught the tail end of DBE--ironically, the night before ACen this year. I'm not a Dragonball fan, so I've never been all that into the mythos or the characters. To me, it didn't look horrible or unwatchable. Good MST3K material if nothing else.

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