Anime Vice News

That's a Good Sign: No Anime Razzies This Year!

Huzzah for no "awards"!


 Just Missed!
 Just Missed!
Nominations for the annual Razzies-- a tongue-in-cheek award given to the "Worst Picture"(/Actor/Actress/etc) --have been announced, and I'm betting that quite a few of you will be surprised that Dragonball Evolution wasn't nominated for a single "Award", despite coming out in the appropriate year. Actually, that's probably a bad sign: unlike predecessor Speed Racer (which was nominated for "Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel" of 2008 but didn't "win"), not even enough people went to see DB:E to get it nominated.

But I am happy to see that Astro Boy didn't somehow find its way onto the list, probably because it came out so late in the year, and that no one found a way to make fun of Ponyo either (but Miyazaki-sensei, as much as I enjoyed the film overall, you're lucky there's no "Worst Ending" category...oh, who am I kidding, even if there was it'd be full of plenty of other garbage).

So, maybe 2010 and/or 2011 will be the year we start to see some decent adaptations?
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 1, 2010 at 11:19 a.m.
  That's hilarious. It did so poorly there weren't even enough people to nominate it as a bad movie.
 
@Gia said:

" So, maybe 2010 and/or 2011 will be the year we start to see some decent adaptations?"


 I certainly hope you don't have money on that hope. That's pretty much the definition of a sucker's bet.
giaon Feb. 1, 2010 at 12:56 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: Your optimism, as always, is a shining beacon of light in the dark, endless night of my life. :)
Black_Roseon Feb. 1, 2010 at 1:03 p.m.
It didn't get any nomination, but it was in almost every pre-nomination list. 
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 1, 2010 at 2:18 p.m.
@gia said:
" @FoxxFireArt: Your optimism, as always, is a shining beacon of light in the dark, endless night of my life. :) "
Hey, do you go to the horse track and put money down on a horse with a 0-20 record? If you would. I want to play poker with you.
giaon Feb. 1, 2010 at 6:51 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: I dunno where you got the idea that I was betting on ANYthing, much less the success of anime movies-- optimism of this sort happens to come cheap. ;)
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 1, 2010 at 7:21 p.m.
@gia: 
I'm just using betting as a metaphor. Live action versions of animes that are made by Hollywood have been so consistently bad. It's almost as if it's as constant as gravity. The odds are stacked so vastly against any hope of ever seeing even a decent one.
 
They make one anime based live action and it's bad. They make yet another one and it's bad. So on and so on. The pattern is consistent. If you repeat the same action over and over and always expecting a different result. It's pretty much an act of insanity. There is a fine line between being optimistic and delusional.
It would be different if I was to ever actually see any evidence that Hollywood knows what the hell they are talking about when it comes to anime and manga. Even Kafuka Fura would have a hard time finding a bright side.
 
Would I like to be proven wrong on this? Yes. 
Will I? HIghly, highly unlikely.
 
Astro Boy doesn't count since it was animated with computers. It's not live action.
giaon Feb. 1, 2010 at 8:17 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: You state so many things as fact that are opinion, so for the sake of anyone reading I'm going to point out that not everyone feels the same way about past movies. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but Speed Racer, for example, was really NOT that bad a film-- it suffered from screwy expectations due to some poor marketing tactics, but it wasn't a "bad" movie, in my opinion. This year's Astro Boy was also pretty enjoyable, if not particularly amazing.
 
So, since in my opinion there's been at least one decent Hollywood flick based on an anime, and there have been two big-budget movies (Imagi Studios is based in Hong Kong, not Hollywood, but they had Hollywood names in it) that I enjoyed-- wouldn't it be illogical for me to assume that all future non-Japanese live-action movies will be terrible? ;)
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 1, 2010 at 9:36 p.m.
@gia: 
Seeing how the vast majority of these live action based anime movies fail to make a profit. That is a pretty set example of a failure that extends past opinion.
Speed Racer
Estimated Budget: 120 Million
US Boxoffcie:  44 Million (gross)
 
Dragonball Evolution
Estimated Budget: 45 Million
US Boxoffice: 9 Million (gross)

These are the gross income from these movies.  It doesn't even list what was actually earned in net profits. In the US alone(the target audience for these movies) they failed to even make half the money back.

Hollywood's idea of what makes an anime based movie just encourages and reinforces some of the worst stereotypes of anime and manga. Seeing the changes they always make always makes me wonder if they even know what the hell they are writing about. They changed Goku from an innocent happy person into an emo loser who's desperate to be popular. If you can't even keep at least the lead role in character, what's the point?
 
They cast people like Keanue Reeves to play a character like Spike. He has never shown to have the talent to play the style of character of Spike. When I first heard that Keanue Reeves was being cast as Spike. I thought someone was just making a bad joke by naming possibly the worst possible choice. It became even less funny when it turned out to be real.
It is illogical to expect anything positive out of Hollywood when it comes to the hope of something. The only decent live action equivalents I've seen have come out of Japan. Even those are hit or complete miss at times.
 
I'm sure there were people who actually liked that Catwoman movie starring Haley Berry. It doesn't change the fact that it was a horrible adaptation of the character it was based upon it. Catwoman isn't some resurrected homebody who's murdered and brought back to life for some reason by stray cats.  The same could be said for that Dead or Alive movie. Someone probably enjoyed that film. Doesn't make it good.
There could be some people who are 'entertained' by some of the anime based live actions. Even taking that into consideration you are going from a 99.9% failure rate to at best a 95% failure rate.
giaon Feb. 2, 2010 at 8:46 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt: You're only looking at the US income for the movies? The reason why DB:E is getting a sequel is because it made its money back on the *overseas* take. :) You're right on Speed Racer, though, which only made $93 million back of its estimated $140 million budget. But DBE made back more than its estimated ($35 million) budget just overseas-- $48 million foreign gross. So clearly SOME people liked it ;) Also, domestic take-- or even world-wide take --is really not a sign of whether a movie is good, but also how well it was marketed. I remain firm that Speed Racer might have done reasonably well had it been marketed properly instead of banking almost entirely on the Wachowski bros' names, of all things.
 
But really, to say that "i t is illogical to expect anything positive out of Hollywood" is completely illogical in and of itself, because it posits that NO good movies are ever made in Hollywood. Perhaps you yourself have never enjoyed a Hollywood film, but surely you wouldn't suggest that the sales numbers of all Hollywood films suggests that they're all terrible-- would you? 
  
And if you offer that you were only referring to adaptations of anime/manga, let me suggest this: has Hollywood ever made a good adaptation of ANYthing? Books (Gone with the Wind, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Fight Club, Shawshank Redemption, etc)? Even adaptations of foreign materials (Lolita, Doctor Zhivago) and comic books (the most recent Batman flicks, Spider-Man 1, Iron Man)? I would argue that yes, they have. So isn't it illogical, then, for me to assume that it's impossible for Hollywood to adapt something well? I mean, what's so amazingly different about anime and manga that Hollywood just can't handle it?
 
If I may suggest, why not just embrace that you're a pessimist, rather than justifying it with numbers? It's one thing to feel that Hollywood will never succeed at adapting a manga or an anime, but continuing to push it as a solid fact just seems irresponsible for someone as intelligent as you.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 2, 2010 at 10:01 a.m.
@gia: 
Still, you are counting gross and not the net profits. Who knows how much was actually lost once other expenses were included.
Even if there were sone that liked the DB:E movie. Also, there are some out there that actually think Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian qualify as actresses. You are always going to find someone to like something. No matter how bad it is. That doesn't make it good.

It's illogical to expect any decent live action anime/manga movies based from Hollywood because time and time again they have shown they don't even seem to know what they are talking about. They show no commitment to the style or the story.
This pattern isn't just regulated to anime and manga. That Catwoman film must be one of their worst things ever printed on film. How do you screw up something as simple as a Catwoman movie? In the movie Jurassic Park: the Lost World. Out of that entire movie there were maybe three scenes like the book.
 
Hollywood has made good adaptations of novels. When the director and people working on the projects have actually shown they know what the hell they are doing. Chris Columbus, director of the first two Harry Potter films, he was facing pressure from Warner Brothers to make the first Harry Potter movie just about the first three books. He refused. He knew that would be horrible and wouldn't make any sense, and was determined to try and make the first movie fit the book. Sure there were minor things that had to be moved or changed for time, but that first movie is one of the closest adaptation from a book I've ever seen.
Peter Jackson didn't just make the Lord of the Rings movies. He lived them. He would fight with studios to make the movie right. He even had the scale set of Baggend, Bilbo's home, stored  so he could have it rebuilt in the back yard of his home. I don't know if you have ever seen the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings DVDs. In those they have commentaries with Peter Jackson and many of the cast. You learn soooo much about what happened with the making of these movies. You also learn that Peter Jackson really didn't want to show magic. He wanted things to look more real.
As reported by Babs on ComicVine just recently, the Kick-Ass director, Matthew Vaughn, is taking a real risk by making this movie stick closely to the violence of the series it's based upon. It would of been easy to go PG-13, but he's not looking at an R or possibly worse.
 
Actually, the Spider-man adaptations were not very good. The first one was half-way decent, but then they were steadily getting stupid. From what I have been hearing. Sam Raimi didn't want Venom to be in the third movie, but was pressured by the studio. I think it was Ethan(Red L.A.M.P.) that mentioned that on the Comic Vine podcast recently. There is a reason why they are rebooting the series and going back to square one.
The Batman movies were starting to become ridiculous when they pulled further away from the source material. Directors were getting silly and making things so campy. They rebooted and brought the hero back into reality. The same with Iron Man. Certainly didn't hurt that they got a class A actor in Robert Downey Jr. to play the lead. He looked the part and played the character right.

I don't see any reason to hope Hollywood will make a decent anime live action because unlike with comic and novel adaptations. At least with comics and novels the pattern is hit or miss at best. The pattern with the manga and anime is consistently bad. They can't even keep the characters right. The movies they make bare little to no resemblance to what they are suppose to be based upon. If you can't keep the characters motivations or personalities correct, what is the point in basing it off the property in the first place? It's as if Hollywood studios think that all they have to do it slap the title onto the movie and the fans will come rolling in no matter what they do. 
 
Japan has done some good live actions based on anime/manga. The creators are involved and they seem to have a love for what they are working on. There is a commitment to being accurate
 
There are just some series that should never be made into live action. They don't translate well. The Gurren Lagann movie is awesome, but if they tried that in live action it would most likely look silly. Somethings just only work in animation.

What is the purpose to be optimistic just for the sake of someone not thinking of me as a pessimist. The pattern I see is bad after bad. If one surprises me in the end. So be it. I don't mind ending up wrong one day on this.
 
The audience at large sees these movies and they think that this random idiocy is what manga and anime is. It perpetuates the negative stereotypes of the genre and holds it back. As if there is no story to be found. Ghost in the Shell is a really deep story that really questions what is a soul and what qualifies as life. The live action movie will more then likely just focus on the action and forget there is a story to tell. Instead pushing over the top effects.
 
It's basically the Micheal Bay way of making movies. Just base a lot of splashy effects.
giaon Feb. 2, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt: I suppose there's no point rehashing my arguments, which remain more or less uncountered, so I guess I'll just go on my happy-go-lucky path and you can go on your...angry one? ^_^;
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 2, 2010 at 12:45 p.m.
@gia:
It isn't anger. I'm just advocating that they stop screwing up what should be relatively easy.
 
Just by the laws of probability they should be capable of making one good movie at some point. It just seems that they are likely to make 1 decent movie for every 20 they do poorly. I'm not just going to accept what they make because it's the only option given.
 
At best Hollywood adpatations of comics and novels are sporadic. I can't look at the pattern on anime based movies and pretend I don't see one bad cliche after the next. They twist the stories into something that bares little resemblance to the original. It makes me wonder why they even bother to give it the same title. Just as I can't keep bashing my head into the wall and pretend one day it wont hurt. I can only see so many consistently bad anime live action movies before I stop expecting anything else.
Japan does them right because for the most part they stick to the story.  The Death Note movies didn't try and make L into someone he wasn't.
 
If they prove me wrong one day. More power to them. I just feel that wont happen any time soon. Especially with actors like Keanue Reeves, the monotoned wonder, playing Spike.
giaon Feb. 2, 2010 at 5:10 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: At risk of devolving into a high school-level argument, you can tell me that it's "easy" to make a good, high-budget film-- based on ANYthing --that people will go to in droves until you have successfully done it. I think you'll find yourself surprised and frustrated at how difficult it is to put together a film that is accessible to the mainstream, palatable to fans, sellable to producers (who have thousands upon THOUSANDS of film projects to choose from), and good enough to actually draw those kinds of crowds.
 
Here's an example: Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki, did an anime version of Ursula K. LeGuin's Tales of Earthsea, called Gedo Senki (Tales of Ged). He had pretty much the best resources you can imagine having for an animated film short of being Pixar, had a truly beloved classic novel to base the film on, and you can bet he busted his ass trying to make a solid, good film-- Studio Ghibli does NOT take shortcuts just to appease the bottom line or to dumb down their films.
 
But by most people's accounts, including LeGuin's, he failed rather badly. That's because it's really, REALLY not easy. ;)
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 2, 2010 at 6:18 p.m.
I said "relatively easy". They already have a narrative and a direction written out for them from the start. Including an audience ready. Most films start off based on little to nothing. Even using a term like "relatively easy" was probably just a poor choice of the term in that context. It did seem to give a false impression of the point I was trying to make.

In their attempt to branch out and reach a wider audience, past the fans, they more often end up reaching no one. These properties are often only famous in the US because of the support of the fans.
 
It's about staying true to the characters and the heart of the story. The Sherlock Holmes movie was far from a super accurate tale of the Sherlock Holmes novels, but what it did keep was the personalities. The heart of the story. Throughout the entire film I spotted little nods to many of the novels. When Holmes was pointing out the small details that he found on the watch at a crime scene. Those were the same reasonings used in The Sign of Four where Holmes used the watch that Watson's brother had sent him to tell him things about his brother.  Touches like this were littered through the movie. These touches were nice for an avid Holmes reader to spot.
If you watch old attempts of film makers to create literal Holmes books into movies. The Sherlock they presented was more like some stuck up professor. He had little to no personality. Holmes in the novels had a lot of personality. At times he could be rather off putting and shocking. That was shown in this recent movie.
 
While it may be possible that Hollywood may one day make a decent anime live action movie. It's no better odds then winning the lottery. Possible, but highly unlikely. Time and time again I have just been trying to point out that there is little reason to have any hope in Hollywood when it comes to anime/manga. How can I look at  a movie like Dragonball Evolution, or Keanue Reeves as Spike and not see failure ahead? These are examples of what Hollywood thinks anime movies should be like.
 
Even this coming Death Note movie wont have Light, but some facsimile called Luke. In a culture that can accept P. Diddy and Eminem as proper names. They can accept Light.

Your example just seems to point back to my assertion that some things shouldn't be made into live action. I just can't understand why there is this obession to make live action movies of animated themes and characters. Why not just make more animated movies?
Dream moderator on Feb. 2, 2010 at 6:29 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: Direction wise, it was quite obvious that Sam Raimi wanted to make Eddie Brock/ Venom as much of a hated character as possible compared to the sympathetic versions of Dr. Octopus and Sandman that he made. I actually thought the first Spider-Man was pretty faithful to the source material in terms of capturing its spirit and the character backgrounds. They even shown Norman's inner demons against the Green Goblin at some points instead of making him a one-dimensional baddie. It has the best quality of the Spider-Man trilogy while the second one was 'meh' to me and the third one tried cramming in way too much.
 
Still, I'm surprised DB: Evolution never got nominated for Razzies considering how heavily panned it was by critics.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 2, 2010 at 6:50 p.m.
@Dream: 
Yet as the movies got further away from the first. Characters were becoming less and less accurate to the source material. Such as having Sandman be the real killer of Ben Parker. They were already stretching things by having Mary Jane be the girl next door. That was Gwen's character. They lost the fans and things became so absurd that everyone else was just as confused. Now they are rebooting.

The reason I tend to believe that Raimi didn't want Venom in the movie. If you listen to the commentaries on the second Spider-man movie. They talk about how Black Cat was originally intended to be in the movie, but was removed because it would of made things too complicated. Though, if you play the game based on the movie. Black Cat is still there.


I believe that Dragonball movie fell into the category of just so bad that it wasn't even worth mocking further with a Razzie, or just so horrible that everyone tries to forget it ever existed.
John_Martoneon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:19 p.m.
... *looks up and down the list, squints*
 
@FoxxFireArt:
@gia:
You guys having fun?
lanaswifton Feb. 3, 2010 at 4:42 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: Dude, don't be unrealistic. The built-in audience for something like even a live-action Ghost in the Shell is NOT enough people to cover the costs of the movie. And a GitS movie with a budget that that audience WOULD cover would fucking suck. Also, the personalities of Sherlock Holmes and Watson were nothing like they were in the books-- Holmes never devolved into a gibbering idiot staring at a hot chick, that's for sure. That movie was strong because it had strong characterization, but not because it was true to the original books.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 3, 2010 at 5:58 p.m.
@lanaswift: 
Point one, profanities are uncalled for.
 
Past that, the reason they are even making a Ghost in the Shell movie is because it is famous and popular. It became famous because of the support of the fans. You lose them, then you lose your built in audience.
A good model for a Ghost in the Shell movie could be along the lines of Tom Clansy based stories. Both political intrigue and intense action in the mix. Patriot Games, Hunt for Red October. I would hardly say such movies "%^$%#% suck".
 
To make a movie that doesn't follow the actual story or origins would be like making a Spider-man movie, but renaming Peter as David and altering the origin of how he got his spider powers. Say a magical spider, or it was his own experiment. Do you honestly believe that Spider-man fans would actually support a movie like that? Many fans stopped buying Spider-man comics completely after the BND/OMD event. Even now Marvel publishers have been back peddling on that unwise decision.
 
I'm a devote reader of Holmes. Holmes was taken with Irene. Not because she was "hot", though that seemed to be your focus. He didn't care about her beauty. It was because she proved him wrong. Something none had done before. Even if they did make him a bit goofy around her at first. Such a minor change can be forgiven. Seeing how Irene Adler only appeared in A Scandal in Bohemia. There was never an official story written after that to show how he reacted to her.
Watson was jibbering when he was first around Mary when they really met in The Sign of Four. He was completely taken with her and unsure how to move. I can even tell you the chapter where Watson tried questioning Holmes if he was interested in Mary like some sort of love sick boy. The versions I read are the anoted versions by one of the most respected Holmes scholar. Holmes would at times be manipulative of Watson. In Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes sent Watson alone to investigate when really Holmes had followed them all and had been secretly watching them for weeks. Watson had spent the entire trip thinking Holmes was in London. Really, he was staying in a shed the next town over.
Holmes also did take part in street boxing matches. In The Sign of Four, Holmes sent Watson out to get a dog to track a sent. I believe at the time it was 3AM. The only reason they got the dog at that hours was because Holmes had defeated this brawny looking guy in a boxing match.
The movie had a secret cult. There was a cult behind the events in both A Study in Scarlet and Valley of Fear. The movie started out giving the impression that events could have a super natural reasoning, but Holmes points out that it was all science in the end. Such as he did in Hound of the Baskervilles
I could go on pointing out the similarities between the movie and the actual novels. Many of the original US publications altered content. Most US readers had no idea that Holmes was a frequent user of a 7% solution of cocaine. Something Watson spent years trying to get him off of.
John_Martoneon Feb. 4, 2010 at 11:55 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt: But wait, wasn't that speed racers US return, or was that global. Besides, this age has showed us that DVD sales are so much more important to returning profit.
 
With people like the brothers doing it... I'm sure they don't "Need" huge profits as motivations, since they banked hard on their other movies. If they could be content with a movie that will at best barely break even, but be a great movie, then I say it was worth doing. Anyway, it revitalized the franchise enough that it made doing a new cartoon (which is terrible) worth it, so obviously its impact goes beyond just a box office release.

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