Death Note Live Action in US

For the past 2 nights, select theaters around the country hosted a special viewing of the "Death Note" live action movie. For my long time readers, you may recall my coverage, back in December 2006, deeming this movie worthy of picking up despite its shortcomings - wonderful casting, but fairly choppy. Though I've seen "Death Note" several times since then, I found myself among the crowd last night having won 2 free tickets myself just the other day. How could I not redeem my prize?

I'll have to admit, I wasn't planning on covering this event on my blog, largely because I've already reviewed both "Death Note" movies. But the turn of events was just too infuriating not to note.

Though a part of me knew what to expect, I was hoping for a miracle. But alas, no "light" came. My biggest concern was, of course, the language track. To my dismay, however, it was English dubbed. Strike one. I say again, the live action movie does an exceptional job with casting, but with the English language track, it turned serious scenes into laughable ones. It's no wonder the crowd chuckled at the most inappropriate times, making it obvious I was the only one who had seen this movie. But since I made the trip here, I vowed to stick it through. My biggest motivation was the big theater screen.

The movie is very headline-driven. Makes sense, since Light's main source of information is through the news and of course, Kira's activities will spark some newspaper coverage. What doesn't make sense is the absolute lack of subtitles. Strike two. You have moments where the screen flashes one headline after another for a good minute, and not one subtitle accompanied it. With my mediocre Japanese reading skills, I could barely make out a few words here and there. So I don't think anyone else faired any better.

Though this is through no fault of Viz or "Death Note," my third strike would have to go to the audience, more so, to the one person in the back that took laughing at the wrong time to extreme levels and who thought it appropriate to "awwwwwwwww" after every scene. I felt like I was at an anime convention with only the novice present. But I guess my fellow long time fans, probably already saw the movies a while ago as well. I usually love watching anime with an anime-loving crowd, but I guess that just wasn't the night. Despite all these hurdles, the night didn't feel like a complete waste, but it did make me want to hurry home and watch "Death Note" in its perfect original version. I'm just sorry for anyone in the audience that may have been turned off from the movie because of all these extenuating circumstances beyond our control. Ii is a great movie definitely worth watching, especially for any "Death Note" manga and/or anime fan. And lastly, I leave you with one last question, the real strike three in my count, why on earth did the ending theme have to be replaced with "Dani California???"


Médina said...

Pertaining to that one individual who laughed at the most inappropriat e times and who said "awwwww" after almost every seen, if you are reading this...do the world a favor and stay home! And no one appreciates you eating sushi either - it's a movie theater for goodness sake -- unless perhaps it's your first time out of the house, then disregard my comment.

Now with regard to the movie, the concept is great, the cast is great, and I agree, the English version sucked and made certain scenes corny - I can't wait to get my hands on the original Japanese version. And I loved the ending of this...can't wait to see the second.

Javakat said...

Just so you know, when you go to an anime movie in the theaters the fandom is going to be there. It was the same way with the Naruto movie and the audience interaction is what made it memorable.

But when the audience interaction is not the positive kind but jeering or inapropriate laughing, I can completly understand why you would have been misrable...I would have been too..because I would have tryed to enjoy the movie unlike those who set low standards for it.

Also I am not of an anti-dubbing nature, so from what I saw of the trailer I though it sounded fine but I saw the movies before so I didn't go see it in theaters.