Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Free cinema!

Never one to turn down free stuff, I was at the cinema last night. Somehow, my partner had scored freebies to a showing of Cowboy Bebop in Leeds. It was something to do with the Leeds Young People's Film Festival. So what they were doing letting a brace of 30+ year olds in I don't know. Anyway, to complain would be churlish.
The first thing that struck us was how lax things are at the Vue cinema at Kirkstall. Nobody was checking tickets, so we could, theoretically, have wandered into any screen and had our fill of the cinematic treats therein. But we stuck with our original plan as we actually wanted to see that.
Before the main picture was a French short; Pour de Rire. If you can ever get to see this, do. Filmed with a cast of primary school kids, it's a gangster/cop flick with the single most fantastic car chase in cinema history. To say more would be to spoil, so I shan't. Just see it.
Cowboy Bebop, then. It's a Japanese manga anime job about a group of bounty hunters who get themselves involved in something way bigger than they would expect. It also features Russell Brand as a baddy (see the link above) and a rubber-limbed computer-geek savant, which is always good. It's a good story. If it had a darker name and was live action, people across the globe would be raving about it. As it's a subtitled cartoon, it will only ever get a small audience. And that's a damn shame as it's a rattling good tale that cracks along at a pace. The characterisation is good, the story strong and stops yay far short of moralising too much. The animation is typically Japanese - cheap looking and jerky - but the film loses nothing because of this.
Additionally, Bebop, the craft these bounty hunters travel in, looks like a cock and balls when viewed from above. Most hilarious.

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