Tuesday, January 29, 2008


So, I'm proud to say that I've finally watched my first Blu-ray movie. Pretty cool, huh? I probably could have gotten around to watching it a couple days earlier, but I kept getting distracted. But, I'm distracted no longer.

Anyways, I watched this anime movie called Paprika. If you haven't heard of it, all I can say is that it's about dreams, I think. There's also some weird plot about stopping this evil old dude from taking over both dreams and then reality too (I think). I think there might be some themes involving being true to yourself and maybe even some sort of questioning science as a tool for understanding philosophical endeavors.

In short, this was way too intelligent for me. I'm tempted to try to watch the commentary, but I'm not sure I really want to know what the filmmakers are going to say. It seems like the type of movie that both demands someone to explain it to you and requires you to form your own opinions at the same time.

Visually, of course, it was stunning. I get the feeling that watching movies in high definition, while not bothering to wear glasses or contacts, might be kind of a waste of time. On the other hand, it looked really good, so I assume the high definition stuff was doing it's job. On the other, other hand (we're back to the right hand), this is animated so there isn't as much detail anyways. I'll probably need to wait until my first live action Blu-ray movie gets around to arriving at my doorstep (err, mailbox, but you get the idea) before making a final decision on whether watching stuff in HD requires my eyesight to be at 20/20 for me to enjoy it (and, if it is, then I'll finally have to find the motivation to go out and get my prescription checked for the first time in, like, 4 years).

Ironically, I think I was most impressed by the sound in the movie. The music during the dream sequences (which were the majority of the movie, especially once reality and dreams started getting blurred... and no, I'm not really sure when that happened since the line was pretty blurry from the beginning) really captured sound in dreams. Personally, I think dreams are really noisy. Many times, I will actually wake up from a dream because the cacophony of noise in my head simply got to the point that I had to wake up just to make it shut up. And the moment I open my eyes, suddenly all that noise is gone. But, since of course none of it was real noise, I could never hope to describe the noises that were overpowering me only a second earlier.

The music in the dream sequences is the same way. Except that it's music and not just noise. The two pieces of music we hear most in the dreams are this heroic anthem and parade/marching music. The anthem has a fun little J-pop beat going on while the marching music has lots of drums and horns. That would be the music part of it. The dream part is the voices. The voices are really short samples of different singers singing completely unrelated songs, but when put together it somehow magically works fits with the instruments. I'm sure it helps that I don't actually understand the language, but the result is this sense of confusion as I can't explain exactly what I'm hearing. While I'm hearing it (and I've got it on repeat right now while I describe it to you...I think I'm going to go crazy), I can almost piece together the variety of different voices I'm hearing, but the moment they go away, they're gone, just part of the beat. So, yeah, it's dream music.

That's impressive to me.

Well, in summary, I liked it. It was pretty good and it wasn't as weird as I was worried it was going to be. That Richard Linklater movie, Waking Life, was definitely not nearly as good as this. On the other hand, that movie might have been even more intelligent than this one (albeit, with about a quarter of the plot, which is extra impressive considering that I'm not totally clear on how much plot this one even had). So, yeah, I'm happy that Blu-ray is working out. It looked good.

That is all.


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