Jump to content

Cowboy Bebop - US live action series - 19 November 2021


JohnC
 Share

Recommended Posts

Excuse me while I go retch.

 

On a broader note: it's like someone watched the anime, and didn't understand anything about what was good about it. Like, it's a big thing in the series that all the characters are often listless and lazy when lying around the ship, but not in a "face down in the dirt" kind of way. They're not drunks. That comes across as hopeless rather than listless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've watched the first one and I thought it was great. I love the aesthetic of it, I don't think it looks bad at all, in fact I think they've done a good job with the spacecraft and overall design. They've pulled off a trick where the ships look like physical models, which gives it a really tangible feel. I thought the performances were fine - everything a little heightened (except Spike of course), but this is totally in keeping with the tone of the anime. All this coming from someone who considers the original to be the best anime series evar. On the evidence of one episode I believe they've done it proud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The overuse of Dutch angles is only one aspect of how cringe the cinematography of the show is. Fish-eye lens close-ups on campy facial expressions (actually, fish-eye everything); slapstick tracking; bouncy, cartoonish zooming; the way everything is centred and symmetrically framed at the most boring distances from the subjects, and from unimaginative or outright unflattering angles; the way groups of characters arrange themselves into stiff, unnaturally posturing tableaus.

 

These aren't just failed attempts to faithfully mimic stylistic aspects of a particular anime (since Cowboy Bebop never really possessed any of the above-mentioned characteristics in the first place); they are an overwrought pastiche of anime in general. When done with love and care, there's nothing wrong with this approach (e.g. the Wachowskis' Speed Racer). However, this is either the work of incompetents, or of people who condescend to anime as a medium. And if this is how these filmmakers interpret anime as a medium, then I wish them all short and ridiculed careers. Fucking hell, this doesn't even take into consideration the dialogue, the acting, the (mis)use of the music.

 

This show is as close to objectively bad as I can imagine an adaptation of Cowboy Bebop being. Aside from well-deserved praise for the three main actors (who did the best they could with a script that failed to grasp their respective characters), this is indefensible as an aesthetic object and I will add this to my list of litmus tests for people with poor taste.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@yakumo add me to your poor taste folder. I neither know nor care about the source materials, or anime in general tbh, but I watched the first two episodes of this and really enjoyed the show. The character in the Tweet above hadn’t appeared yet though, so we’ll see. But ‘cinema direction 101’ concerns aside, it was a fun diversion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, really enjoyed episode 2 as well. Can see myself getting through these quite quick. Surprised to hear people knock the visuals, as to my eyes it looks great. Obviously not massive budget, but they use what they have really well.

 

very pleasantly surprised by this, after seeing the Luke warm reviews.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really struggle to understand why someone would choose to watch this if they haven't seen the original, when the series is right there, on the same streaming service.

 

It's not like it's in a different medium, like reading a book or something. It's just another set of moving pictures, that you watch with your eyes.

 

So the only reason would be some irrational dislike of animation, which just means I dislike this show even more for giving people the option to not expand their horizons.

 

It's like being given the option of eating a good chocolate cake, or a cake made by someone who heard of what cake is and tried their best to approximate it, then choosing that instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Benny said:

It's like being given the option of eating a good chocolate cake, or a cake made by someone who heard of what cake is and tried their best to approximate it, then choosing that instead.

 

This is just the equivalent of an American Hollywood remake of non-American films and it'll probably have a larger audience too, which probably explains why such things keep on getting greenlit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, One Eye said:

 

 

Jesus. That is terrible. What director could ask for that from an actor and go, "Yes, that's fine"? Ed was lively, not a loud idiot from a children's tv show. The OOT poses trying to match animation key poses. It's all too awful to contemplate.

 

Baffling. Maybe when it's like when some 'serious' actors did an episode of Trek and either over-acted because sci-fi, or underacted because sci-fi and they couldn't give a shit.

 

ACTOR: How should I play this?

DIRECTOR: Seen Pee Wee Herman? That.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This feels a bit like Ghost in the Shell (the Johansson vehicle). There's an overt reverence for the original, to the point that it's copying scenes wholesale, but at times it just turns into referential bingo and anything goes (compare the three old guys vs. the pepper/noodle scene). I kind of get the need to redo Faye's intro, but weirdly enough, while the anime was a more subtle "pick up the pieces as you go along" story, Spike is very much explicitly explained upfront as if this is a Japanese live action series (might be a clue...) and his character will just be a template instead.

 

I mean, god. Yes. The rose. WE GET IT.

 

That said, I don't hate it like Ghost in the Shell. There are genuine fun moments and the characters work (I'm now surprised Jet wasn't always a man of colour in the anime, it just feels right), but some of their lines are just god-godawful (never mind that Ed bit). It's very clear they're making the most from a series budget and it's fine in presentation, often great. That said, the need to extend this to one hour episodes really takes the energy out of it despite them trying to hit all the usual anime beats.

 

I'm conflicted, because usually this type of stuff gets shot down because it's not enough like the anime, or not different enough from the anime. Sometimes both at the same time and that's how I feel about it right now. It's not enough Cowboy Bebop and simultaneously too much Cowboy Bebop at the same time.

 

Yoko Kanno is still a goddess though.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I watched the first episode and then went back to watching the anime - not sure I’ll go back to the live action once I’m through tbh unless I get really desperate for a show to binge. The anime is excellent! We’re doing the comic at work, based on the live action tho so hoping that turns out ok…licensed comics are usually great, right..?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I watched the first episode (fell asleep more due to work tiredness). What I did see though had me thinking the three leads did a very admirable job of portraying Spike, Jett and Faye.

That clip of Ed above has put me right off though. Quirky child characters can be a massive annoyance in anime but I think Edward is one of the good ones and they've utterly blown it by the looks of it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, taurusnipple said:

I think she’s giving that character life, she’s my standout.

 

Liking the show myself, I watched the anime 2 years ago so still pretty fresh. Shame there’s people not giving this a chance and want to hate on it, there’s a lot to like (on episode 5)

 

I feel they messed her character up in tone, Faye was cool and flirty but also a huge loser.. She was a n emotional trainwreck with existential crisis hiding behind her femme fatale persona. In live action she's this quirky zany female and more similar to Ramona Flowers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.