Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Advent Children: The Postmortem

Too many loose ends to count! Here are my top ten quibbles:

1. The Shinra thugs care more for the sick kids than Cloud or Tifa, who are just self-absorbed teenagers. Denzel spends so much time on his own; perhaps only Marlene adopted him.

2. Not much is rebuilt, but there is a monument to Meteor, of all things.

3. How come the Forgotten City is now just a cycle-ride away? If it is on the same continent as the North Crater, then it would take a boat or airship to get there. Right?

4. The general population wears only gray, black, and tan. There was an awful lot more color only two years ago. Were bright fabric dyes destroyed by Meteor?

5. Reno easily scrambles up walls, but Rude can’t. Why would Rude even attempt it if he really cannot?

6. How did wheelchair-bound Rufus learn to fall so slowly? I want to learn; it would ease my acrophobia.

7. Why are there only three mutants? We clearly saw that Hojo was a busy little mad-scientist, with many pods full of man-creatures. Apart from their obvious androgyny, why are these three so different from Cloud? What makes them the “larvae” of future Sephiroth incarnations? And who bore them? These guys are hot stuff, clearly enjoying themselves, so maybe their host-mothers didn’t pine away and die, but rather gloried in their roles. Mutant Ma Barkers, so to speak?

8. I adored Barrett, Cid, and Red XIII, although the last looked like a motorized Muppet, his very cultured voice notwithstanding. He needed more to do and say; they all should have had longer parts. I personally would have been happy to sit through a longer, more detailed show, just to watch the two men banter and bicker.

9. One the other hand, I still despise the Cait Sith portrayal. What a waste of CGI and sound track. I would have greatly preferred even a short cameo of Reeve over all the scenes with the mouthy, hyperkinetic little toy. Reeve himself sounds almost like a Texan, so what’s with the Highland accent?

10. Steam-punk Bahamut still trumps everything for being totally out of place, design-wise. The absolute low point of the whole show. Of all the wonderful variations of it throughout the entire game series, why that silly rendition?

Just kidding, mostly. If you’ve seen Advent Children, you’ve already formed your own impressions. I’m not here to change your mind. These are all just quibbles. Before I began to pick it apart, my first viewing was a lot of fun. And I loved watching the second disk; the extras were interesting and informative. For me, it is nothing shy of wonderful to be able to finally see and hear the Geek Gods who put this stuff together. I was glued to the screen, in awe of their prolific imaginations and ever-expanding skill. They always raise the bar in just about anything they try. Can’t wait for their next trick!

We are not worthy! We are not worthy!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Penultimate Post on AC

If you scroll down, you will find quite a few posts on Final Fantasy: Advent Children. Overall, I'm satisfied that I got my money's worth. But tonight I will watch it one last time, before I stow it for future reference. The short voice-mail cuts interest me the most this time. They are perhaps the greatest ties into the original game, and I thought they were rather artfully inserted.

Please, no more about the bloodlessness of the movie! There is never much blood in FF games. The extensive splotching trail left inside Shinra HQ was simply quite literally that: a trail allowing the gamer to move on to the next scene. It's silly to expect bloodiness in a game/movie that's rated T for Teens.

My next project is already in progress: a complete review of Final Fantasy 8, perhaps the most universally hated installment of the series. Not my least-liked choice, but certainly in the lower echelon. In fact, I haven't much played it. I find the side-quests dissatisfying and, except for the trio of bully cadets, the characters don't grab my interest or empathy. I was never a bully myself, but have sometimes had success in converting my tormenters into, well if not friends, at least less hostile truce-keepers. There is always some sort of redeeming characteristic in everyone, and bullies are no exception. I found Fujin and Rajin endearingly loyal to Seifer, who was almost innocent in his fantasy of becoming a Knight.

Final note regarding AC: does anyone have the translation to the song played after the credits, with Cloud driving his cycle through the countryside?