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"Lilah: You're a remarkable man, Angel. Angel: Yeah, and you're an evil bitch."
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December 10 2008

Dragonball Evolution - High Definition trailer released. The trailer for Dragonball Evolution ( In which James Marsters plays Piccolo) premiered on Japanese TV yesterday. ign.com has the exclusive on the high def version.

First official look at James Marsters as Piccolo. The film opens in Asia in March and worldwide in April and James recently confirmed that Fox are sending him and fellow cast members on a world wide press and publicity tour in spring 2009.

Looks kind of terrible.
And yet, I will go see it.
I think it looks kind of fun.

It's cool that Japan gets the world premiere. That's as it should be.
I like Justin Chatwin, who was Tom Cruise' son in War of the Worlds and has shown a lot more promise in other bit roles on TV (he was in a Locke episode of Lost and I recently got into Weeds and he was in the pilot). There're a few other good actors in there too. I doubt I'll see it in theatres unless someone else really wants to go, but I'll check it out on TV at least, it might be fun and not terrible.
Nearly 1/2 million views of the youtube trailer; looks like someone will be going ;-) Actually, it is fun to read the fanboyz posts - equal number of squees (with strange exclamations and discussion of one's own body parts exploding) and disses (with precisely the same colour commentary).

[ edited by baxter on 2008-12-11 02:35 ]

[ edited by baxter on 2008-12-11 02:38 ]
It doesn't look much like Dragonball at all, but it does look very entertaining.
My fears are confirmed more and more anytime we see something new about this movie...
I think it's looking OK (at the very least, I'm sure we can look forward to a sweet villainous performance from James). As a DBZ fan, I really don't care about the story changes - right from the start, I expected a loose adaptation storywise. What I want is for the battle style to be recreated faithfully in live-action, and I'm hoping we'll get that. At the very least... Ka-Me-Ha-Me-HAAAAA!!!
Oh God. This is going to be awful.

And, in all seriousness, I would be surprised were it to be successful at the box office. Though that is more likely than it actually being good.
Adaptations to a new medium always lose or change at least something, so I wasn't at all unnerved by what we've heard so far. I think this trailer makes it look entertaining and fun. You can't please everyone. I mean, there are people who hated LotR solely based on the fact that the movies didn't include a few random scenes that didn't further the plot but were in the books. Some things just don't translate well, like I imagine Puar and Oolong wouldn't have. They took the basic heart of it, and they made it into a MOVIE. I shall see it and enjoy it for what it is.
I'm surprised so many people here are so lenient about the movie departing from canon like that -- after all, if we were to have a Buffy movie, I'm sure the tune would change, right? And then it wouldn't matter how the heart of it would be there. The more little things are changed, the more it adds up, at least to a sort of fan who pays attention and falls in love with the little details, y'know? Just saying.
The difference LiLi is that we would expect a buffy movie to be a continuation, while this is a live action adaptation of a fairly old school anime. There's no real way to adapt something like dragonball perfectly to an american live action film without it seeming completely ridiculous. Like cookiepartier was saying: some of the odder things (like Puar and Oolong), which work fine animated, probably wouldn't translate well to live action. A CG shapeshifting pig-man would look fairly ridiculous next to real actors.

This might be an argument for not making a live action adaptation at all . . . but that's a whole other issue.
I don't think it would be too ridiculous within the context, considering the leaps and bounds we've made in seamless CGI integration in the past few years. Not to mention the fact that Dragonball is really supposed to look that ridiculous. That was part of the fun of it. I mean, side by side you have overblown muscley short guys with hair bigger than their bodies, an entire race of sentient slugs with musical instruments for names, and a guy who wears a turtle shell on his back and constantly pervs on the teenage super-genius girl for comic relief. Now that's the DB/DBZ I like. And I'm a little saddened that I'm getting the short end of the stick here when it comes to a faithful adaptation on the big screen. At least Whedonites had Serenity. :(

Though I suppose this is the difference between making a movie for fans and making a movie for mass consumption. There's going to be a dilution of source material to appeal to the lowest common denominator, which is understandable. I'm sure it'll be an okay-ish movie, but it won't be a good Dragonball movie, if that makes any sense. Or a Dragonball movie at all, at least to me. I always wonder where we're supposed to draw the line at canon changes when it comes to this sorta thing. Y'know, what are the deal breakers and what are the things you're okay with TPTB changing for a movie, and when does a movie stop being Dragonball and start being "we had an idea for a special effects laden movie and wanted a built in fanbase to go with it."

For the record, I'd expect a Buffy movie to have an all-new cast and take place in the not-too-distant future, perhaps somewhere after the S8 comics. But either way, a Buffy movie would be safe because Joss would (I'm assuming) have his hand in that, or at least his people, people he would trust to treat his baby well. And that's all I really want for any fandom I'm in -- for the property to be treated well and to have its canon respected. I know Marsters fought for his character to be uglier and that he's at least seen the series. In the end, I'll probably end up watching the movie for him.

(Sorry about the length. I was a DB fan long before I was a Whedon fan, and I think it's showing. ;)
I'm a little disappointed with the lack of faithfulness to the show too. I mean, the trailer was all high speed action! I want to see Goku and Picolo charging up in a face off for the whole trailer! That'd get me to watch it! Hopefully all the high speed action was in the trailer, and the rest is talking (with intensity), charging up, and flying (possibly while talking with intensity).

But fer reals. An adaptation needs to be an adaptation. If it were a continuation (like Serenity) I would certainly expect it to appear more faithful to the show in regards to the details. But if it does indeed stay true to the heart of the show then it should be a good adaptation and fun and entertaining.

Bad example: My understanding of Smallville before it premiered was that it would be Clark Kent the high school years, and more or less fit in to canon (which canon? good point, I said it was a bad example). When I finally watched it last year (all the way through in a short span of time, very tiring!) I realized it was not so much a prequel as an adaptation of the mythos. And as a whole, this reimagining is very cool. But I say a bad example cause as a show it isn't very good. But very popular, so I give it mad props.

But the best adaptation of the Superman concept is "It's Superman" by Tom De Haven

I don't expect Dragonball to be a terribly good adaptation, but it does look more or less entertaining.

Hm, I got all talky.
Most anime make big changes when adapted from the original manga too, but for the most part people still enjoy the anime adaptations. A Buffy movie would be a live action movie of a live action show, there's not much that wouldn't be possible. But just like anime often has to add filler that the manga didn't need as a medium, a live-action movie of an animated show needs to do a lot to not only fit the condensed time restraint, but also to fit what can and can't be done or would make the entire movie just look ridiculous.

I mean if we want to be really "faithful" to Dragonball, we'd have a five-year old toddling around with talking anthropomorphic pigs and flying puar-what-its and the entire effect would simply look dumb as a live-action. The producers are doing this whole project to make money, just as much (if not more than) to see the original transformed to the big screen, and not everyone's going to have seen or fanboy'd over Dragonball. This way it's more adult, more action-packed, and it's open to both fans and those unacquainted. A fanboy's dream would probably end up being a cheesy movie suitable mostly for those who love Dragonball and children, which is not nearly as audience-open and productive.

It's like the Buffy comics issue some people have: if you don't like it, ignore it. But I'd rather have something else out there to experience than simply nothing at all.

[ edited by cookiepartier on 2008-12-11 05:56 ]
That's exactly what I was trying to say cookiepartier, only your post actually made sense :)
What you said made sense icallitvera, and it's nice to know I'm not the only one here on this side o' the fence.
Opinion seems wildly mixed but it's certainly generating a lot of buzz. The youtube version of the trailer is close to racking up 3/4 million hits and over 7,000 comments since it went online yesterday!

It's not the type of film I'd usually go to see but hey, it's James and it looks like fun, though I may need to borrow a teenager to explain it all to me .

[ edited by debw on 2008-12-11 14:54 ]
I like the preview (very fun, looks like good entertainment), but I'm not a DBZ fan. In fact, I bet I'll see this with my family.

The fact that I know who Piccolo is I'll only share after the movie... see if they can guess first. ;)

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