Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Naruto Movie Reviews - 1, 2, & 3!!!

(Warning - potential series spoilers, but no film spoilers)

I'll start out by saying that by now, if you've watched even just a part of the Naruto series, you've probably realized that the whole theme seems to be that with a little guts and determination, offered by Naruto, a down and out individual or team of same can do about anything, and thus defeat the foe that faces them. Of course traditionally this takes place over several episodes, and on the rarest occasion, in the case of Sasuke when he leaves for Orichimaru's, but who really didn't know), this doesn't even work as Sasuke's story is, according to him, sadder than Naruto's, which as always is up for debate. Regardless of that however, the films almost all, and I mean all!!!, encapsulate this idea, sometimes even three times, as I counted in the third film. So, really the plot descriptions will be short, because that's basically the idea, it's just a question of who is Naruto inspiring to fight their own battles this time.

Naruto Movie 1 - Ninja Clash in The Land of Snow

Plot = Kakashi, Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto (the usual bunch) are hired by a film company to serve as guards for their trip to the Land of the Snow. The feature character, Fujikaze Yukie, is a temperamental actress, who just seems down on life, and really only seems to shine in her acting. The part she plays is that of a proud princess, that charges into battle, inspiring the others. However, when we find out that she is indeed an actual princess from the Land of the Snow, which becomes the setting for most of the film, her movie seems to come to life, only with Yukie resistant, while a hidden past surfaces, and enemies arise to meet the film troupe and their guards.

What's Cool = The setting obviously, but not just literally. In fact, I love when Naruto and the others get a chance to get away from Konohah, if only because the setting allows for only much of the same, yet the frigid magnificence of the Land of Snow, acts as a perfect backdrop for battles, and heartfelt struggles.

Not Cool = Well, if you watch this first, then not much. Indeed this remains my favorite even after watching 2 and 3. However, you'll get tired of the resistant/whiny characters that need Naruto's inspirational talks, even if, in my opinion, they continually touch your heart somewhere.

Movie 2 - Great Clash! The Illusionary Ruins at the Depths of the Earth

Plot = You ever have one of those missions that just goes completely off of the original plan? Yeah, don't you hate that? Well, for Naruto and company, what started as a mission to return a ferret, developed into a mission to save hundreds, if not thousands of innocent people everywhere. Of course, that's what happens when, as Naruto discovers, puppet suits of armor aren't easy to kill, and confused dreams of utopia aren't easy to understand. Gaara and Kankuro discover this too, and thus join Naruto, Saukra, and Shikamaru in the fighting.

What's Cool = Sorry Sasuke, but it's good to have a change of pace, and adding Gaara, Kankuro, and Shikamaru to the mix, well, made your absence worth it. Likewise, for any who've seen the Fullmetal Alchemist movie, these armor suits are like those in the FMA film, only stronger, and thus cooler. Likewise, while this one also has a character much in need of a Naruto pep talk, the film takes it's time with this, and thankfully so to allow for more fighting.

Not Cool = I'm sorry I ever doubted you Sasuke, you deserved to be in this... eh, who am I kidding. Seriously though, I always wish for a little more action, especially in the case of Gaara, who I do realize really, along with the others, still only have so much power, but it just seems like since he became un-evil, (Wow, that's great diction...) he also seems to have lost some edge. I guess all in all I understood.

Naruto the Movie 3: The Animal Riot of Crescent Moon Island

Plot = Kakashi informs Naruto and Sakura that they're taking an A-class mission, along with Lee, to escort the prince of the Land of the Moon, and his son Hikaru (grandprince anyone?) safely to their home. During this short time, Hikaru, who is indeed a bitter, and just spoiled individual let's say, finally gains some respect for, and from Naruto, leading to the first of three pinky promises. However, much to my surprise the film was only a third of the way over. What awaits Naruto and the others is a surprise coup (aren't they always) against the King, thus forcing the would be visitors, and the royal family, to hide from the aggressors, and hopefully, allow them time to eventually take back the kingdom with the help of Naruto and the others of course.

What's cool = Once again, with Sasuke out of the picture, another character, in this case Rock Lee, is given the opportunity to fight, and look cool doing so. Also, the concept of a movie worked much better with this film, then episodes would have, allowing for a few more cinematic aspects to add to the general cool factor of this film.

Not cool = First of all, I almost hated this movie a third of the way in because I thought a) it was over, and b) that the only focus was helping Hikaru overcome his selfishness, and find some of happiness and inner strength. The latter part is true, but thankfully there was plenty more fighting to be done before that could happen. Lastly, three pinky swears? I know it's orginally a concept from Japan (so says wiki), thus it's not rare, but three? I think planning would've led to one very powerful pink swears, even though I understand the off-the-cuff pinky swears usually have more emotion behind them.

Oh gosh, what am I saying; I have gone crazy, but either way, I've done the reviews, so see what you think, comment back tell me I was wrong, I'm an idiot, both, or hey maybe you even thought my reviews were useful, and I love hearing that too, in fact much more then the idiot comments. Well, see you next time, and I have absolutely no idea what I'll have in store, so this'll be a mystery for both of us!!!

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