You know, a significant part of me wishes I was a gorilla, living in some secluded forest unknown to man. That would be the way to go. Because it's much harder to be a hermit human, what with all the ridiculous particulars humans need to survive. As a gorilla in a good location, I'd likely only have to worry about food, shelter, and occasional territorial disputes, but I imagine, in my imaginary locale, that there'd be plenty of space for all the gorillas--oh! I'd want some fine female gorillas around as well, jiggity-jiggity.
Anyway, that line of thought sort of begs the question; why the hell do I seem to be revelling in my capacity for abstract thought, so to speak? Why all the words and representative images, like this one you're looking at now? I guess my fervent belief that there's more to life than living comfortably has sustained my utter disbelief, lately, in the spiritual and supernatural. Don't know why. Maybe I feel that a spiritual achievement counts more if you don't believe in spirituality, or some fool thing.
Sunday, I watched Final Fantasy: Advent Children. Released just a couple months ago in Japan, this is a cgi direct to video movie sequel to Final Fantasy VII that is, among other things, a better movie than Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Most reviews insist that Advent Children requires you to have played Final Fantasy VII all the way through in order to have any idea what was going on. However, even though I have beaten Final Fantasy VII, I even still found Advent Children to be rather muddled and perplexing at times, in a variety of ways. The action sequences, while consisting of beautiful characters in beautiful surroundings using amazing uber-martial arts, were nonetheless difficult to follow at times as the director frequently seemed unable to find a focus and displayed a bad sense of timing with his cuts between close-ups and wide shots. And then the dialogue was bizarre and, at times, laughable. As when the villain says something to the hero like, "I'm going to find out what you care about most and make you suffer!" and the hero replies with something like, "You're pathetic! I care about everything!" before launching into his ultimate attack. The movie’s filled with exchanges that seem like, at some level, they do have meaning, but that meaning is rendering insubstantial by lines that seem more like isolated statements floating on the surface of the same pool rather than exchanges of words.
But, there are some definitely good things--the characters look really good. The Japanese voice acting is nice, and the movie has a number of amusing Japanese gangster types, going so far as to promote thugs Reno and Rude--minor characters in the game--to two of the foremost stars of the movie.
The environments look wonderful, and the internal conflicts of the characters were even emotionally resonant, when you can get past the dialogue. Final Fantasy VI's darker, somewhat more melodramatic story was partly inspired by the death of the directors' mother and so, to a lesser degree, was Final Fantasy VII's story. Final Fantasy: Advent Children took that little seed and ran with it until it was a full blown main theme and it's clear throughout the movie that both the heroes and the villains are looking for their mothers without ever finding them.
So, it's a decent couple hours of cgi.
Ah, good, I've made it to a healthy 4:30am. Now I'll sleep.