Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Apple Boy

By Chase Kahn

I saw the new, extended trailer for David Bowers' Astro Boy, a manga/anime series adaptation being given the big wide-release fall-schedule distribution by Summit Entertainment on 10.23.09.

First off, the teaser trailer made the film look decent enough, so I wasn't exactly primed to hate this new trailer as much as I did, but there you go -- I hated it. It looks, animation-wise, to be good enough, although I kind of hate that plastic-soft look that makes everyone's head look like the surface of a red delicious.

Furthermore, it's made plainly evident that the plot revolves around nothing more than an evildoer attempting to round up the 'freak' science experiment, where Astro Boy has to not only survive, but save the day. Humor looks amateurish in that Dreamworks kind of way -- butt jokes, giant robots with soft voices, etc.

Then I began thinking of what a crazy, scattershoot studio Summit has become. They have a surefire Best Picture nominee in Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, an inevitable teen-friendly blockbuster in waiting with Chris Weitz's New Moon, and this is on top of Sorority Row releasing this friday plus Push, Knowing, The Brothers Bloom and Next Day Air being released earlier this year, among others. Talk about a random movie grab-bag.

I just think of Summit as being a kind of shoddy, halfway-there kind of studio. They decided to release The Hurt Locker in the summer (why?), their handling of the Twilight movies is almost barbaric in its haste and the rapid-fire genre turnstile just keeps on flipping -- "lets try animation, fantasy, action, drama, teen horror, shitty Nic Cage movies, anything!"

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