January 26, 2011

GANTZ Live Action US Release Movie Review Part 1

Last week I had a chance to see the US premier of the GANTZ live action movie via satellite broadcast courtesy of Fathom Events.

This is part one of a two-blog post series. This post covers general information about Fathom Events, as well as describing the pre-show leading up to the main event, and the live event introduction.

This was my first Fathom Events experience and I very much enjoyed it. I liked watching a live event in HD on a large screen. The movie was fun to watch, even though it was English dubbed (not my favorite), and it was neat to see the two main actors in a live broadcast as well.

For those that are not familiar about Fathom Events, they happen at movie theaters around the US and are venues for live programming via satellite. A good example of a  typical type of Fathom Event: Live New York Metropolitan Opera performances can be seen at Fathom Events, without having to actually be there.

Interestingly enough, I was considering going to an Anime related Fathom event in 2009, and then I was going to make it my first blog. The event was the movie version of Eureka Seven (English dubbed) followed by live commentary and QA by the English voice actors. Too bad I missed it.

Now, a year and four months later, I finally got to a Fathom Event, and my plans of writing a blog post about it have finally materialized.

The GANTZ event I went to had 4 segments: A pre-show,  a live introduction from the Mann Chinese theater in Hollywood, the HD presentation of the film with English dubbing and a Q&A session following the film with the two male lead actors Kenichi Matsuyama and Kazunari Ninomiya.

Before this event, I was already familiar with the GANTZ franchise after renting the first season of the GANTZ anime DVDs from Netflix several years ago.

When I found out about the Fathom Events GANTZ live action showing, I became excited at the chance to see the movie in the US.

Segment 1 was the pre-show, which I only saw about half-of since I arrived 15min before the main event.

The pre-show was well done and featured Fathom commercials, and information about the upcoming events. I thought the quality of this pre-show was better than FirstLook, the pre-show that runs before regular films at some movie theaters. Incidentally, the parent company of Fathom Events is also the parent company for FirstLook: NCM Media Network. (NCM stands for National CineMedia).

Compared to what I am used to with FirstLook, The Fathom pre-show seemed slower paced and less “spastic” in that the transition between each segment was calmer, more focused, and there were only commercials related to Fathom Events.

The pre-show ended with a transition to a full-screen title for the GANTZ “World Premier”. This full-screen title (full-quality HD image) then faded-in to a live video feed of the actual movie theater screen at the Mann Chinese theater, and a small stage in front of that. Soon after the fade-in, Patrick Macias, Editor in Chief of Otaku USA magazine, came to the stage wearing a dark blazer, and aGANTZ t-shirt. He made a spirited introduction to the film, gave the obligatory “no photos” warnings with a cool otaku-twist, and then welcomed the actors Matsuyama and Ninomiya to the stage.

I have been familiar with Matsuyama’s work since about 2007, when I saw him on the Japanese comedy/drama TV show “Sexy Voice and Robo”. I will write a blog about his work that I am familiar with later on.

The comments from the two stars started out with Ninomiya, from the popular J-Pop group Arashi, giving some brief introduction and welcoming comments all in English. Matsuyama also gave some comments in English. Both speeches were charming and admirable considering neither of them can speak English fluently.

After the introduction, the screen faded back into the full screen GANTZ title, then the TOEI Film corporation animated logo came to the screen.

End part one.

Watch for part-two of this blog series soon.

For more information, please see the following links.

Eureka Seven Fathom Event

Gantz Information

Filed under: Arts and Entertainment — Brad @ 10:20 pm


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