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Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door

(return to disc)

Content rating: 7
Posted 2003-06-19 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by Cacophanus on 2003-06-26 13:41:00

I saw the movie at my local art-house theatre last night. This review is based on that show, not a DVD.

I hate to say it, but when the lights came up at the end of the movie, I was just a little bit disappointed. It wasn't bad, but I guess I love the CB series so much that my expectations were unrealistically high. Sigh.

The main characters -- Spike, Jet, Faye, Edward and Ein -- are true to their roots in the series; I have no problems there. The root of my discontent lies in the villain of the piece: Vincent, a ex-soldier who was used as a guinea pig by the Martian military. He has fled the service, taking a very dangerous piece of technology with him, with which he threatens to wipe out the population of an entire city. The writers would like us to sympathize with Vincent, just a little bit; and while I can see their point, I just didn't buy it. Maybe it was the voice actor, maybe it was the nearly empty way in which he went about his business (to be fair, his dispassionate state of mind is largely a result of the military's experiments), but I just didn't care very much about him. I just didn't see why he wanted to kill so many people. And, at the very end, I wasn't convinced by his short little speech to Elektra. It felt, well, sort of rushed, or forced into the movie to wrap things up in a neat little package.

On the other hand, I did appreciate the way that his actions at the darkest moment of the movie (you'll know what I mean when you see it), which seemed really, really nasty, turn out later to show the little bit of his good side which remains. We the viewers are left largely to figure it out for ourselves later on, and I like that.

There are plenty of good moments: Edward steals just about every scene in which she appears -- yay! We are given more than a peek at Jet's softer side: something which was always a bare hint in the series, here drawn out clearly for all to see. I liked it. In one scene, we listen to Spike open up and actually talk about his thoughts and feelings; again, perfectly in character and appropriate under the circumstances. Rah! (I could have done with a much shorter version of the "Spike-the-great-pilot" sequence, though).

Faye, I think, draws the short straw. She isn't given much to do, really, and we aren't granted any additional insights into her character. Sorry, Faye. My memories of you will still center on those heart-string-tugging final episodes. Sniff.

Music -- great. The backgrounds are terrific, too, though occasionally the character animation is a bit jerky. This is definitely a movie to watch on the big screen, if you get the chance. I would have preferred to hear the original Japanese dialogue, but the version distributed in the US has English dubbing. Oh, well. At least it's by the same voice actors who do the TV series; I think they're a fine group.

Equipment used when writing this review:
240-inch movie screen, European arty atmosphere, a short person in the seat in front of me.

Content: 7 Video: 7 Sound: 8 Packaging: N/A Menu: N/A

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Other reviews of this disc:
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door by rgmoore (Rating: 10.00)

The Cowboy Bebop Movie is everything that a fan of the original series could possibly want. Everything about the TV show that made it so great is there, but in a true big screen experience. Watch it in the theater if you get a...(continues)

Content: 10 Video: 10 Sound: 10 Packaging: N/A Menu: N/A

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door by Cacophanus (Rating: 10.00)
One of the upsides of living in Japan is that I get access to new anime before most mortals. This means I can go to the cinema and check out all those spiffy new anime movies ("Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" included). Naturally when "Tengo...(continues)
Content: 10 Video: N/A Sound: N/A Packaging: N/A Menu: N/A

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door by banksie (Rating: 8.20)

As one of the features on the disc says, what's not to like about this movie? R4 is graced with the, now seemingly inevitable, movie tie in to the anime series which in Bebop's case always was going to be an interesting given the...(continues)

Content: 9 Video: 9 Sound: 9 Packaging: 7 Menu: 7

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door by KingDead (Rating: 9.00)
I'll admit it. I got this movie from Morpheus. For those of you that demand a pound of flesh, it'll be in the mail courtesy UPS. But it was worth it.

Mea culpas aside, given recent events the basic plot would be enough to postpone...(continues)

Content: 9 Video: N/A Sound: N/A Packaging: N/A Menu: N/A

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door by Nicholas D Wolfwood (Rating: 9.67)
This movie takes place on Mars just before halloween. Faye is in her zip craft on the trail of a hacker worth 5 million wulongs, when the truck he is supposedly in crashes and catches fire. She sees a man in black walk away as it...(continues)
Content: 10 Video: 10 Sound: 9 Packaging: N/A Menu: N/A

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door by MsGeek (Rating: 9.60)
Note: the title on the Region 1 DVD is "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie". Apparently Bob Dylan got a little peeved about them using the title of one of his songs as the title of the movie. One wonders if the resemblance of bad guy Vincent's...(continues)
Content: 10 Video: 10 Sound: 10 Packaging: 8 Menu: 10

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin on Heaven's Door by hakujin (Rating: 8.40)
This is a tail of a very stupid guy who had a credit card. It starts with me being so bored at work, checking out various sites. I was still riding high on my CB kick and had just got the perfect sessions and still wanted more. Lo and...(continues)
Content: 9 Video: 10 Sound: 8 Packaging: 9 Menu: 6

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