Terra Formars

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colinr0380
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Terra Formars

#1 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:48 pm

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Arrow Films wrote:The ever-prolific Takashi Miike, the director behind the likes of Audition, the Dead or Alive trilogy and Blade of the Immortal, returns with this intergalactic epic in which a team of space explorers find themselves pitched against a horde of oversized anthropomorphic cockroaches.

In the mid-21st century, humankind has been forced to look to colonising other planets as a means of combating overcrowding on Earth – their first stop, Mars. With a population of cockroaches having been introduced on Mars some 500 years prior to help prepare the way for human colonization, a manned mission sets out to the red planet with the aim of clearing away the bugs. Upon arrival, however, they discover that the roaches have evolved to huge, vicious creatures capable of wielding weapons.

Based on the popular Manga series of the same name, Terra Formars is an action-packed space adventure brought to life by one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary filmmakers.

Production Year: 2016 | Region Code: B | Running Time: 108 | Number of Discs: 1 | Language: Japanese | Subtitles: English | Audio: 5.1 / Stereo | Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 | Colour: Colour
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA options
Newly-translated English subtitles
The Making of Terra Formars - feature-length documentary on the film’s production featuring a host of cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
Extended cast interviews
Footage from the 2016 Japanese premiere
Outtakes
Image Gallery
Theatrical and teaser trailers
Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Tom Mes
Released: 1st April 2019
Trailer

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colinr0380
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Re: Terra Formars

#2 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:14 pm

I must admit that I was a bit more interested in seeing the 2014 anime series over the live action feature, but it could be fun! This also stars Rinko Kikuchi (probably best known for her roles in Babel and the two Pacific Rim films) and of course the potential for this to be Takashi Miike's crazed take on Prometheus (crossed with his more kid friendly superhero titles, and with the potential for the film to turn into a boy band music video part-way through in the vein of Andromedia!) is quite enticing too!

M Sanderson
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Re: Terra Formars

#3 Post by M Sanderson » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:34 am

It appears unpromising- however, upon seeing that Miike is the director... well, he normally injects something of his personality into his films, and often does something g strange or subversive. I’ve not seen loads of Miike admittedly, but I’ve yet to see anything routine by him.

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: Terra Formars

#4 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:41 am

I actually thought this was one of his better recent films. It mostly leaves behind the bigger budgeted pop-star headlined anime/manga adaptations, and isn't afraid to be weird or gory. No music video though Colin, I'm sorry to say.
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From memory, this felt more like Miike's take on Starship Troopers, maybe without the media satire though.
Last edited by Adam Grikepelis on Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Terra Formars

#5 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:29 pm

I will definitely give the film a try, though it is a shame (but not entirely unexpected!) that there is no surprise boy band music video to match the astonishingly bizarre tonal shift that occurs in the middle of 1998's Andromedia! (That is what inevitably happens when your film is built around the dual casting of a girl band, Speed, and the boy band, Da Pump, I suppose!) It almost makes Christopher Doyle appearing as the baddie seem understated!

(And now just because they were in a Takashi Miike film I have found out that Da Pump is still going strong and is now up to seven members (and a few re-castings) with a new album out at the end of last year!)

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: Terra Formars

#6 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:39 pm

Despite (apparently) having seen over 50 of his films, I’ve yet to see Andromedia. You’re definitely making it sound more interesting than the reviews that convinced me to give it a miss!

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colinr0380
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Re: Terra Formars

#7 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:31 am

Sorry for diverting the thread off track for a bit (I think I was led in this direction by the cover to Terra Formars having a dozen or so people on it, which made me think of boy bands and dance numbers!), but I kind of like Andromedia though you have to be prepared for it to be a teen-focused commercial work rather than anything particularly violent, though that makes it strange and bizarre in a different way than Audition-primed reviewers in the West were probably expecting! I wrote it up in more detail here, and would not casually recommend it as a first Miike experience but it is still worthwhile for fans of the director, especially in the early death of the heroine which seems to anticipate one of the early deaths in One Missed Call (a similarly teen-focused commercial film, though of course more horror based!) and the rather melancholy beach-set ending that is a bit like Full Metal Yakuza's!

Plus its better than Johnny Mnemonic! Christopher Doyle seems very much in the same kind of role that Takeshi Kitano was in that film, and is chewing the scenery with gusto, which comes across even though his voice is electronically dubbed into Japanese!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: Terra Formars

#8 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:09 am

I'm not sure anyone's too upset over the diversion, as it's pretty much just the two of us posting ; )
Unfortunately, Andromedia seems a lot less available than it was a few years back when I decided to give it a miss. Maybe one day. While I'm glad that most of his new films continue to get english-friendly releases, I do wish someone would go back and manage to fill in at least some of the gaps left during the peak of his Western popularity.

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colinr0380
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Re: Terra Formars

#9 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:18 am

I think the negative reviews for Andromedia really came about because of confounding built up expectations of Takashi Miike film always equalling 'extreme'. Plus it appears that few at the time of the Pathfinder US DVD release picked up on the girl band and boy band casting aspect of the film, which might have caused some negativity in terms of wondering why there were so many characters all systematically being given their moment in the spotlight, along with the narrative break for the music video performance! A bit like criticising the Spice World film for having five main characters, without at least acknowledging that they were a girl group!

At the moment I'm most interested in seeing the slightly more recent Miike films Shield of Straw and As The Gods Will, though since I have begun playing through the Yakuza series I would really like to see 2007's Like A Dragon at some point, since that is based on the first entry in the game series (though I need to play the recently released on PC remake first, so I'm in no hurry!). I see that it stars one of Miike's early go-to actors, the impossibly handsome Kazuki Kitamura, in the role of Kiryu too (he's in Young Thugs: Innocent Blood, Andromedia, Ley Lines, Dead or Alive and has a really good character arc in Full Metal Yakuza. Like A Dragon appears to have been his last role for Miike until the recent Blade of the Immortal)

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: Terra Formars

#10 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:59 am

While I'm still waiting for this conversation to be rerouted to a Miike thread, I've seen two of those three you mention, though I really can't remember much of anything about them other than to say Shield of Straw was decent, but I found Like a Dragon to be a bit underwhelming. Though, looking at his filmography, I realise I haven't truly loved anything he's made since Gozu other than 13 Assassins & Over Your Dead Body; yet he's still an interesting enough filmmaker that I keep coming back for more. I'll admit I do like the more extreme period he went through, but it's far from the only thing I enjoy about him as a filmmaker. It's funny, I remember walking out fairly early on a festival screening of his Graveyard of Honour remake due to feeling like it was just the same old yakuza schtick that at the time felt oh so tired, yet now I really like the film.

Somewhat like Jess Franco, I find despite perhaps having seen a number of underwhelming films that he's made, there's almost always scenes, ideas, characters, or moods that he creates that make each new film full of potential. Well maybe not Jess Franco after the early '80's so much...

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colinr0380
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Re: Terra Formars

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:36 am

I would agree with your appreciation of Miike's films as often being less interesting for their, often standard, plots than their "scenes, ideas, characters or moods that he creates" that often move into interesting and idiosyncratic areas. The weird 'regression into childhood' that happens to one of the bad guys at the end of Andromedia for example is an interesting take on the cyberspace film trend of the mid-90s. A film that I like a lot is Full Metal Yakuza which takes a really goofy premise (rather cowardly yakuza wannabe with an idol complex about his gang boss ends up getting shot to pieces as well when the boss is assassinated and then gets patchworked back together with parts of his boss cyborg-style (by Tomoro Taguchi from the Tetsuo films!) before going on a roaring rampage of revenge) and makes it surprisingly interesting, both fun, disturbing and surprisingly moving at times! As well as riffing on the standard yakuza film template (and notions of masculinity and idol worship that are very similar to Gozu) in amusing ways.

Takashi Miike does seem to be in that vein of 'studio system without a studio' directors who seem to want to be constantly working on films and working with pre-existing material to mould a film out of (remakes, anime and computer game adaptations, yakuza films, even One Missed Call at the height of the Asian horror trend kicked off by Ring and Ju-On!) rather than cultivating particular passion projects, though he seems a bit less prolific in recent years compared to when he had the potential to make many films in quick succession for the straight to video market in the 1990s and early 2000s (I suppose we have not got 'straight to internet' films yet to fill that niche! Or rather I suppose that the area has gone 'prestige' instead with Netflix et al!). Its one of the reasons why, having enjoyed previous work, I would probably be curious to see any "Takashi Miike" film over the content of a particular film itself. Even Ninja Kids!!! (though that might be pushing it! I'd be more likely to pull Jellyfish Eyes out of my kevyip first before tracking that one down!)

I like that Jess Franco seemed to have the model of finding sympathetic patron producers (who defined particular periods of his career, with more or less money involved), and even in the decline into straight to video, straight up sex films and eventually into almost private 'home movies' shot in and around his house, seemed to retain that distinctively unique 'Franco-ness', even if the films never reached any kind of audience. (Kind of the same trajectory as Ken Russell in some ways, though of course Russell hit higher heights!)

I have always found it interesting that this kind of director is almost existing outside of a need to have their work seen and assessed by an audience at all. Presumably as long as they are providing the required or expected elements that the financiers are looking for (and the content that audiences will pay to see), there is a bit of leeway to then do their own thing with the general story or tone of the film. They really seem like the type of director that the auteur theory seems to most benefit, as that approach allows for an easy highlighting of particular themes (or camera framing, length of shots, locations, favourite actors, etc) in otherwise disparate works by suggesting a certain guiding sensibility (Though of course the danger of total adherence to the auteur theory is that it has the potential to turn the accidental and haphazard nature of filmmaking into a career that appears to have been pre-planned and carefully mapped out from the very start. Though the best work through the auteur perspective often tries to show the vicissitudes of fate even on the greatest directors: Orson Welles being the prime example!)

I guess we could add Woody Allen into that area of a prolific, 'industrial' director who is almost creating entirely to keep themselves working at this point (even Clint Eastwood, though he does have old-school studio patronage with Warners), at least until recent events, though Allen has a narrower range of film that he appears able to make (narrower even than Eastwood, who has been more experimental than ever in recent years with historical dramas, musicals, true story films, and so on), despite the couple of attempts at doing musicals. You probably would never see Allen doing a gangster film, to kids film, to horror, to sci-fi, to opera adaptation, etc in such a short space of time!

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