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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for February, 2011

AFTER THE LONG GOODBYE

After the Long GoodbyeA few years ago, I had mapped out rough drafts of reviews for Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society with the intention of possibly even tackling a critique of the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Unfortunately, I didn’t back any of those files up, so those reviews died along with my Compaq’s hard drive. Someday, I hope to revisit at least one of those films and maybe even write a review, but until that day, perhaps I can at least “atone” for their disappearance with this mini-review of Masaki Yamada’s After the Long Goodbye, a literary prequel of sorts to Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

Perhaps in a bid to stave off a nervous breakdown, I’ve been trying to read things from my collection that have nothing to do with my dissertation. After all, it’s about time I catch up on the many, many books that adorn my shelves, but have yet to be cracked open. One such book is the aforementioned After the Long Goodbye, which was purchased at the height of my interest in the popular Ghost in the Shell franchise.

First published in Japan in 2004 and later translated by Yuji Oniki and Carl Gustav Horn for publication by Viz Media in 2005, the novel takes place shortly before the events of GITS 2: Innocence, and is told from the perspective of Batou, the primary male character in the Ghost in the Shell franchise. A soulful cyborg working for the counter-terrorist task force known as Section 9, Batou still carries a torch for Major Motoko Kusanagi, his female superior officer and, as I interpret it, his unrequited love. I would explain what happened to Motoko in the first movie, but I don’t have all day.

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LoveHKToys: SHAOLIN

ShaolinAndy

On their homepage, Dragon Models, Ltd. has announced that figures based on characters from Benny Chan’s Shaolin (2011) are “coming soon” to toy stores, presumably in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Since I live in the currently snow-covered town of Ann Arbor, MI, I’ll have to rely on my friends overseas to keep me informed of the actual release date.

In the near future, toy collectors can look forward to ponying up some serious dough for super-detailed figures of warlord-turned-Shaolin monk Huo Jie (Andy Lau), Cao Man (Nicholas Tse), Wudao (Jackie Chan), Jing Neng (Wu Jing), Jing Kong (Xing Yu), and Suo Xiang-Tu (Hung Yan Yan). Two of these figures even come with horses to play with, so I suppose when you’re tired of re-enacting your favorite scenes from the movie, Andy and Nic can take Barbie and Skipper for a ride. Click on the thumbnails below to get a slightly better look at all the figures in the proposed series.

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THE KILLER 2011 in 3-D and Smell-O-Vision!

Killer

“Jung Woo-Sung, huh? I’m holding out for Colin Firth.”

While composing a review for the surprisingly good remake of The Karate Kid yesterday, I happened upon the news that John Woo’s The Killer is also being remade — in 3D, no less. A Moment to Remember’s John H. Lee will direct and Korean star Jung Woo-Sung will headline the film. John Woo himself has apparently given the project his blessing, as he, along with his partner Terence Chang, will be serving as a producer on this 3D, Los Angeles-set re-imagining of his 1987 classic. How involved he’ll actually be remains unclear.

Personally, I like Badass Digest writer, Devin Faraci’s idea that Woo is basically taking a John Carpenter-style approach to the remake, as the legendary horror director (Halloween, The Thing, They Live) served as a producer on the updates of The Fog and Assault on Precinct 13, but really didn’t have anything to do with the creative process. If I remember Carpenter’s words correctly, he had no problem with remakes, “as long as the check clears.”

As some of you will remember, there was an earlier remake of The Killer planned by Walter Will in 1992, set to star Richard Gere and Denzel Washington in the Chow Yun-Fat and Danny Lee roles. According to Christopher Heard, however, some American producers balked at the seeming homoeroticism between the two male leads. Homophobia, it seems, derailed plans for the 1992 version. That was almost twenty years ago. God, I feel old.

Anyway, what do you think of the prospect of a Killer remake? Are you excited about its potential? Angered at the heresy? Resigned to the fact that every movie you ever loved will be remade in 3-D? Whatever your take, you can read the full press release under the cut.

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