Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Dragon Balls Will Be Active In One Year

It's been awhile since I last wrote about the live action adaptation of Dragon Ball. A lot has happened since then; most notably the film has been pushed back from its release date of August of this year. Dragon Ball will now open April 8th 2009, one year from today. I was pretty disappointed with the date change when it was first announced, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes.

By August the big summer movies are done and the most successful August releases have been R-rated comedies and horror movies. August is not a month for fantasy adventure movies. Now it's being released on the Wednesday before Easter, which depending on varying school schedules, is during Spring Break. I don't see Dragon Ball as being a huge movie but it's much better to get a head start on the summer blockbusters than to be trailing behind them.

Another advantage is that it gives the films' creators more time to work on the editing, special effects, and other touches to try to make the film as good as they can. The extra time comes in handy in another crucial arena: Licensing. The film's production was happening so quickly it was pretty apparent there wasn't going to be a whole lot of product tie-ins. Hopefully by this time next year toy stores will be deluged with little plastic Justin Chatwins.

Why am I even looking forward to this movie? At this point in my life nearly everything I've ever been mildly interested in has been adapted into a movie. Heck in the months right before Dragon Ball opens the movie versions of The Spirit and Watchmen open in theatres, and both of those properties seem a lot more "unfilmable" to me than Dragon Ball. Now when I picture a live action Dragon Ball movie I envision something akin to the live action Dead or Alive movie. That's not really a positive thing. So while I'm excited I think I have my expectations in check. I've been through this process so many times I've long since learned to st back and enjoy the ride. No matter what happens the original property will still be the same series you fell in love with. Besides even the bad adaptations like Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros. can make for harmless goofy fun.

I think a lot of the apprehension around the movie has to do with the fact that it's a Western produced adaptation of an Eastern creation. That does seem like it's going to cause some issues that fans won't be happy with. Still I remain cautiously optimistic. James Wong has said he's a big fan of the source material and it's being produced by Stephen Chow. His movies have insane kinetic action but with a lot of comedy. That's exactly what a Dragon Ball movie needs.

The other thing is we haven't even seen a single frame or official image of the movie yet. You can't really judge anything by a few out of context spy photos. So we have almost no clue as to how this movie will look like. There is however this image at makeup artist Edward French's website. It shows him working on James Marsters' makeup as Piccolo. Marsters' face is blocked but you can still see his outfit. It's not accurate to what Piccolo wears in the anime and manga but it's not un-Piccolo-like. It is however made of black leather. Movie adaptations will always have the characters wearing black leather. It's just something I've come to accept.


Gabriel said...

That James Marsters pic is cool, I had a chance to see some ultra low quality pics of the movie before they were taken down by the people of Fox of course. What I do remember I will tell you, yet even though its incredibly not true to the manga or anime its still quite interesting. Theres one pic I remember of Goku or Justin Chatwin apparently standing in his room with some swords hanging on a wall, wearing a different kind of outfit. I also did get a chance to see Emmy Rossum as Bulma. This one actually surprised me since she looked a bit like Bulma, she even had the right hair, it just isn't blue. The outfit she wears is near close to what Bulma wears I would say. I saw no capsules though. Other pictures I saw was some silver monster dude which looked like something outta Power Rangers. Yeah...anyways. I also saw a Chatwin-Goku stunt man with crazy hair and wearing an orange blackish outfit. Yes no wigs were as I also saw a quote from the director stating Chatwin already seems to have crazy hair. And other pics included some pics of some volcano with some tall looking sybamen type monsters, which seem to be taking a rest.

Gabriel said...

Oh yes and one person I forgot to mention: Ernie Hudson.