As a dedicated fan of the games since the original's debut, I knew my seeing this was inevitable. The one definite plus?--It's NAMCO Pictures.
While the plot centers around but a few characters, those who did make it into the movie were voiced, portrayed (and rendered) beautifully--especially Alisa Bosconovitch.
And from what the movie shown, appearance wasn't the only quality true to the life of the games; their personalities seemed spot-on, giving us a better grip on those of main characters in the film such as Ling Xiaoyu, Alisa, Jin Kazama and the Williams sisters.
Xiaoyu's budding friendship with Alisa is among one of the best (and cutest) features of the movie, Anna and Nina are hot as ever, the fight scenes, visuals and sound effects are superb, and the final "Mishima bloodmatch" with Heihachi, Kazuya and Jin is epic as ever.
Now the downsides. After Xiaoyu is recruited by Anna to spy on Shin Kamiya, the scenery around campus often lacks severely in "background action". Also, the general plot revolving around Shin is a bit of a shady stretch from start to climax, and while Lee Chaolan's inclusion of any kind was a plus, it almost seemed as though he was sort of... just there. Lastly, not enough characters made appearances.
Overall, it's probably not the best storyline or movie NAMCO could have delivered, but it's a must for most any fan of Tekken and for those of this type of animation style.
It seems this X-Men movie has become known as the one wherein the subtextual becomes textual, and after watching it, I can definitely see why - the way so many character relationships & how they formed are brought to light is one of the film's best and most fascinating attributes.
It connects very well with some of the earlier films in many places, poorly in others, but knowing the X-Men there will be more additions to the movie franchise within the years to come that will help tie-up the lose ends.
It lived up to my expectations, but I also have to admit it didn't quite surpass them.
The 3D effects and action-oriented nature of the film are rather outstanding, the plot's solid, the characters are all likable (or dislike-able) in their own ways, each with established background stories, and the storyline itself is fantastic.
While many have named this the best film of the series, however, I'm somewhat inclined to disagree. Harry Potter's what the story's all about, I know, but in the later installments especially, some of the characters whom would have been considered "main" became "minor" ones by the end. Also, the film had a slight "scene-jumping" problem.
Nonetheless, it's still a very excellent movie, and the peek into Professor Snape's past coupled with the film's ending scenes are more than enough to grip a person's undivided attention in a very good way.
I was a bit skeptical in knowing this film, unlike the first, was not directed by Alfred Hitchcock, but the fact that it has returning actors (including Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates) was enough motivation for me to give it a spin.
Norman, now declared clinically sane after electroshock therapy has zapped all remaining memories of his mother, is released out into the open where he will attempt living a normal life -- much to the objections of Lila Loomis (Vera Miles) and her supporters, consisting mostly of family and friends of Bates's known victims.
Norman starts a job at the local diner, where he meets a young waitress (Meg Tilly) who has no home to go to after her boyfriend "breaks up with her" over the phone. Lonely, Norman invites Mary to stay at the Bates Motel, and then into his mother's old house. However, a mixture of notes and phone calls from someone claiming to be Norman's "real" mother along with a sudden new string of murders and disappearances begin stirring up an old way of thinking in Norman that isn't quite as gone as he had hoped.
Norman's relationship with Mary is among one of the most interesting concepts of the story, and does seem to explore sides of his character not displayed with Marion in the first film. Sadly, Mary's alliance with her mother, Lila, and the effects of their plans to "drive Norman crazy" backfire on everyone, including themselves.
Near the end, the movie almost has an old-school Wes Craven influence to it due to how fast the bodies begin to drop coupled with the plot's progression from slowly-unraveling-mystery to sheer insanity, and Norman, well... looks like he got his "real" mother back. Sort of.
All-in-all, I thought the film was pretty "okay", especially for a sequel to a cult classic with a different director. For these reasons, it's hard to believe the movie could have been anything better than what it is, though it probably could have been much worse.