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Cowboy Bebop (Netflix live-action remake)

Started by Mister Six, October 19, 2021, 05:07:15 PM

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mothman


MojoJojo

Feeling a bit more hopeful after watching the trailer - although it could still go either way. It's actually out now, will watch this evening.

MojoJojo

Trying to get hints from reddit. Trying to filter out the stuff from fans who were never going to like. Seems like the main cast are good, but have some bad dialogue.

MojoJojo

I've watched the first couple. I quite like it. It looks good, and the jet/spike interaction flows ok*.

It's not brilliant but I want to watch the next one so it's doing something right.

(*comparing to the original, I've realised I've only watched it dubbed, and the new ones dialogue is much better than that. I really should try subs on the original)

C_Larence

I've watched the first three episodes. Some of the dialogue is pretty cringe inducing, but when it works it works well.  Can't say I'm enjoying the addition of the Vicious and Julia storylines, but I understand why they did it and hope that it pays off.

Alberon

The couple of reviews I've seen for this slate it in comparison to the original anime.

I've not had the chance to see it myself, but I'll give it a go.

bgmnts


Alberon


bgmnts

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

The first episode was... okaaaaay. Mustafa Shakir is the highlight so far, although I have a feeling that's just because he's the closest to his animated counterpart.

For a jazz inflected show, there was a distinct lack of spontaneity to the action scenes. It felt like they'd accidentally cut in footage of the rehearsals.

C_Larence

Quote from: bgmnts on November 19, 2021, 10:59:59 PMNo Ed or Ein?

Not for me, Clive.

Spoiler alert
Ed is apparently in the last episode. A clip was floating around online and reactions to it were extremely negative so i'm a little apprehensive
[close]

Mister Six

Re: Ed...

Spoiler alert
Ed clip here. It's... not good. Performance makes Lazytown look like a Dogme film.

https://youtu.be/g-0CF_Ch0DI
[close]

Pink Gregory

Yeah, that sealed it for me.  Generally I thought the casting was quite good but that just...it's like someone's won a competition.

Just shows that it really doesn't have the courage of its convictions to make the live action show work by maybe toning down some of the stuff that clearly wouldn't work live action.

MojoJojo

Eh, I can see that working as a character introduction/weird end is season scene

MojoJojo

Quote from: Pink Gregory on November 20, 2021, 05:26:10 AMJust shows that it really doesn't have the courage of its convictions to make the live action show work by maybe toning down some of the stuff that clearly wouldn't work live action.

You make it sound like they don't want it to be good? I think one thing they've got right is balancing the more cartoonish stuff, but I don't think that comes across well in the clips.

Faye's only been in the first episode, but I like what they've done with her. She's still recognisably the same character without the ludicrous outfit, and she's less of a screeching brat than the anime, and a more believable bounty hunter because of it.

I'm using this thread to procrastinate, I'll stop now.

Pink Gregory

Yeah reading that back I don't make a lot of sense and crucially I haven't watched it.

I also appreciate that Faye learned how to dress appropriately for space, but I don't think seemingly copy pasting Ed from the anime is a good way to go.

Probably will watch it eventually, the casting in particular looks very good, just what I'm hearing online is that it isn't confident enough in itself to not loudly draw attention to the sillier elements that go unremarked in the anime.

Of course Ed is only one of four of the cast, but ugh...it just looks like a cosplay, and having an actual person act like that isn't that endearing.

MojoJojo

Yeah, if Ed's like that all the time it will be unwatchable. I have some confidence they'll tone it down most of the time.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Three episodes in. Yeah, this is pretty naff. I suppose it's possible he's just interpreting the character differently from the original, but I'm pretty sure the bloke playing Vicious is actually just rubbish.

Mister Six

Yes, he's shite, as are most of the cast outside of the main three. Only seen the first episode, but it was dismal. Dialogue was appalling; it looked cheap and poorly lit (not even garishly cartoony like that specially shot trailer, just shite); direction was workmanlike at best and outright bad at worst (and the only memorable shots were just bits taken from the anime but done worse); editing was leaden and clumsy, and slowed down the already poorly choreographed, graceless and flatly directed action scenes; the actors could neither give nor receive convincing punches; the repeated flashbacks to Spike's past were the precise opposite of intriguing; some of the CGI was on a par with a PS1 pre-rendered cutscene; the additions to the story were clunky and over-explained everything, the exact opposite tack to the enigmatic original. Unbelievably ugly, charmless, boring and dull.

All the young women were well fit, and John Cho's got a rockin' bod, though, so that was nice.

Mister Six

Oh, and I liked the casting on the three old men.

MojoJojo

None of that rings true to me. Yeah, it's not great or anything, but it's mostly fine. It doesn't really feel like you've gone in with an open mind.

Could you give a timestamp of a PS1 cutscene bit of CGI?

bgmnts

Mostly fine doesnt make me want to watch it either to be fair.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

I thought the effects were actually pretty darn good. The only outstandingly naff thing was the off-the-peg fractal texture used for the hyperspace tunnels.

I tried to keep an open mind, but the show didn't make it easy. I'd welcome the changes - an exact translation would have been redundant - the problem is they were crap for the most part.

One bit I did like was the scene in which Jet was watching his daughter's dance recital while Spike was having a fight in the background. That felt like it captured the spirit of the original.

Mister Six

November 21, 2021, 02:33:09 PM #53 Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 02:45:47 PM by Mister Six
Quote from: MojoJojo on November 21, 2021, 09:58:22 AMNone of that rings true to me. Yeah, it's not great or anything, but it's mostly fine. It doesn't really feel like you've gone in with an open mind.

Bit insulting, that, to be honest. I went in wanting it to be good, not least because I was watching it with a friend who'd never even seen the anime.

QuoteCould you give a timestamp of a PS1 cutscene bit of CGI?

I'll see if I get time, but my wife's changed the Netflix password and I can't get into it on my phone right now. It's towards the end, I think when Spike is approaching the outlaws' ship. Just a brief shot as he rises into view through a porthole or something - it seemed to not have quite enough frames, maybe, or not have the appropriate lighting. But the green-screening was dreadful throughout the end of the gun battle - when the ships take off, it looked dismal.

I was watching it on my mate's fancy projector, which may have exacerbated the issues, but it doesn't change the shite action direction. If you're doing a Cowboy Bebop show and can't direct hand-to-hand combat or gunplay, what are you doing? Especially when it's the opening episode.

EDIT: By PS1 cutscene, I mean a pre-rendered cutscene, not giant cardboard box polygons. Just a slightly too floaty, not-quite-right look to the thing.

popcorn

Watched the first ep of this with a mate last night. It was naff and boring. Kept noticing how much of the dialogue didn't need to be there at all. Bad pacing and editing. First scene felt less like Cowboy Bebop and more like shite Tarantino. Music still great (and seemingly much the same as the original) but didn't blend with anything that was happening.

I haven't seen the original series in years but I recall it kind of being an awful lot of style and not much substance - dull characters but an audiovisual sensation. This version doesn't even have the style to back it up.

Mister Six

The style is the substance, baby!

(There are some genuinely emotional moments in the anime, but it doesn't like to labour on them, and it has a distaste for over-explaining things that can make it seem thin, but the worldbuilding is robust, and personally I find it preferable to the live action version having everything explained in depth all the time.)

Quote from: popcorn on November 21, 2021, 02:53:55 PMMusic still great (and seemingly much the same as the original) but didn't blend with anything that was happening.

God yes, the music being replicated but kind of buried under what's going on rather than complementing and elevating the visuals was awful too. Criminal!

Anyway, PS1 cutscene visuals - 41.10 onwards: outlaws' ship flying through space; 41.22: Spike's ship taking off; 41.43: Spike's ship flying away from camera; 42.26 (the worst offender): Spikes ship flying into shot through the window of Asimov's ship.

Also, with regard to the fight scenes, watch the bit at 37.53 where Jet and Spike take on Asimov. None of those huts really seem to connect (on him or them) and there's absolutely no fluidity or grace to the direction. It looks like phone footage of a dress rehearsal.

Look at this, too, the fight between Spike and Faye - https://youtu.be/H79bFPHv4Bc - the slowness and clumsiness of their movements, the way their positions change between shots so she can kick him  in the back of the knee, that awkward pause so we can see her punch dagger, the awkward crawling movement and weird framing so we can't even see the blade she's waving at his legs (and all the shots around it that are presumably supposed to disguise the fact that the actors are not actually in any danger at all of connecting with one another), that awkward moment they pause while the woman reverses her vehicle for a full second... and this ought to be a thrilling fight where two of our protagonists show that they are both skilled, dangerous and equally matched. Instead, it looks like two actors without any combat training flailing about (because it is).

Meanwhile, here's what Banshee was doing five years or more ago, and in episode 3 of season 3, not even a big season climax or sweeps episode or something: https://youtu.be/tteRVQ7Z9qE

(That's been edited by the uploader to remove some flashbacks that were intercut with the fight, if it seems a little choppy in places.)

Or here's the opening fight from Into the Borderlands: https://youtu.be/8Qt3EZ19s_Y

Or this fight scene from The Punisher show: https://youtu.be/d2M5ObsKw4Y

They're all different in tone, but they all show the importance of hiring good fight choreographers and good stuntmen. Hits that have impact, sequences that have flow, fights that have tension, speed and excitement. Bebop doesn't have to be that brutal, of course (although the cartoon was bloody sometimes), but it should have a vibrancy and spectacle that this lacks.

Shit, look at the framing on this fight from the first episode of the anime - even before the fight begins we're getting a bunch of different shots from every angle, mapping out the arena in which the two are to fight. And then a mixture of shots to bring dyanmism and texture to the punch-up - characters move into the camera, out of the camera, move left, right, close-ups of impacts, close-ups of feet, a long shot from above to show how Spike manoeuvres around the space to keep Asimov on the back foot. It's interesting even when the limited budget is showing in the slightly choppy animation.

MojoJojo

Quote from: Mister Six on November 21, 2021, 02:33:09 PMBit insulting, that, to be honest. I went in wanting it to be good, not least because I was watching it with a friend who'd never even seen the anime.

Sorry. I thought the CGI was pretty good, so found that criticism a bit weird. If it was one scene that was bad that makes a lot more sense.

Mister Six

It's better near the start of the pilot, but from the airhanger scene onwards (at the very least) it gets really ropey. Maybe they were running out of time when those scenes were being rendered, or they had to redo them at the last minute due to some kind of problem or something.

There are timestamps in the post just above yours, if you want to see the exact bits I'm talking about.

MojoJojo

Yeah, sorry, wrote my post before you posted yours. I had a quick look on mobile and didn't think the CGI was bad, although the direction and lighting could be better.

I don't think I disagree with you anywhere, I think I just have lower standards/expectations.

popcorn

Quote from: Mister Six on November 21, 2021, 04:15:39 PMLook at this, too, the fight between Spike and Faye - https://youtu.be/H79bFPHv4Bc - the slowness and clumsiness of their movements, the way their positions change between shots so she can kick him  in the back of the knee, that awkward pause so we can see her punch dagger, the awkward crawling movement and weird framing so we can't even see the blade she's waving at his legs (and all the shots around it that are presumably supposed to disguise the fact that the actors are not actually in any danger at all of connecting with one another), that awkward moment they pause while the woman reverses her vehicle for a full second... and this ought to be a thrilling fight where two of our protagonists show that they are both skilled, dangerous and equally matched. Instead, it looks like two actors without any combat training flailing about (because it is).

I agree with all of this. I was noticing stuff like this the whole time - dodgy edits, characters repositioning or speeding up or slowing down bizarrely, unnatural pauses etc.