Sunday, April 17, 2011


Directed by Shinsuke Sato

Kenichi Matsuyama - Masaru Kato
Kazunari Ninomiya - Kei Kurono
Natsuna Watanabe - Kishimoto

     Kei Kurono and his friend Masaru Kato who die in a train accident and become part of a semi-posthumous "game" in which they and several other recently deceased people are forced to hunt down and kill aliens with a handful of futuristic items of equipment and weaponry.

     I have actually seen some of the anime this was based on and read the first volume of the manga as well, so when I found out there was going to be a live action movie I had to see what they would do with it. The thing about going from anime or manga to live action there is always going to be some loss in the material no matter what or a change in the pacing due to time constraints. Some times it's not a bad thing as this could mean a part where something slows down in the source material is thrown out and speeds up the story, but at the same time it also usually throws away character development that happens during that time. So adaptations are always a mix bag and sometimes past knowledge of material can sometimes hurt going into a movie.

       While watching this I kept going back in my mind about the original source and how mean, vicious, and perverted it was and was wondering what happened with that. There was no snide, nasty comments about the other people made by Kazunari Ninomiya's Kei Kurono and I was saddened by that fact. part of the reason why the original was interesting was seeing how low and repugnant people can get. I don't mind the fact that the film makers washed away most of the sexuality for the live action movie, but part of what made the character of Kei is his maturing from a horn dog that doesn't mind seeing people die just so long as he get's his release sexually, into someone that actually becomes a leader that actually somewhat cares in a screwed up way about the other people around him. The same can be said about the other characters in the movie, as you can tell something is missing in each character as most of them seem somewhat flat even though back stories are hinted at, yet no real time is spent exploring those backgrounds of the three leads.

     As far as the transposition of the source material to the big screen I was quite surprised by how well it looked and translated. The body suits and weaponry looks just like the drawn and animated version do and act just the same as well. The aliens are perfect and varied throughout and at times funny. One thing that can be said is that the violence is still intact, as this movie gets wet and messy when ever the games begin with only destruction being the end result of each battle, and usually on a larger scale. Even when the action becomes more large scale, with each new alien the special effects never falter nor does the camera work fail to keep up with what is happening on screen nor does the camera try and hide what is going on.

     This was quite a surprise as this movie translated better to the screen than I thought it would and was acceptably done sci fi movie that tries to translate a dense story into a fast paced action movie that works amazing in some parts yet fails in others. If there is one complaint I truly have, it's the disservice the dubbing company did with Gantz. The voice actors performance is lifeless in most parts and the timing of speech to lip movement is just horrendous in most other spot. If you can see the subtitled version, do yourself a favor and watch that one instead. Yet I'm not going to discredit this movie for that as the movie gets better as it moves forward. The translation of source to film is one of the better ones I've seen and if you get a chance watch it enjoy it for what it is as it's better than most other sci fi movies being made at the moment.

     The very wet and sloppy death of Onion.

     What doe the scores mean?

     Hiroya Oku, the creator of the manga, first thought of Gantz's story when he was in high school.

     The idea for Gantz came from the Jidaigeki television program Hissatsu series and Robert Sheckley's Time Murderer novel.

     This is the first movie of a two movie story.

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