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How would you rate this movie?

Excellent
10 (8.9%)
Good
37 (33%)
So-so
25 (22.3%)
Poor
24 (21.4%)
Embarrassing
16 (14.3%)

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Author Topic: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]  (Read 67577 times)

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Offline JoeZeon

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #50 on: December 19, 2012, 10:26:20 AM »
I personally liked the first movie, it was rushed, but all in all it was a good starter. So I was hoping that the second movie would take advantage of this and show more material. Well they succeeded, just not in the way I was hoping.

First off the 100 man fight ranks very high in my favorite scenes list and I was disappointed with how it was handled. First off the build up with Guts and Casca was poorly orchestrated. The dream sequence was an eye sore, it looked bad and was very overindulgent in the noble wailing a way at Casca. But most importantly, Casca doesn't tell this to Guts. It was a big deal in the manga and anime that Casca was willing to share her past with someone who up until that point she disliked. Not only that, but it further strengthens the bond that they'll come to form later down the road. In addition we get zero back story with Griffith, which again pays dividends down the road. The fight itself had its moments when I was very bought in, but it quickly followed up by disappointing me with bad animation. I didn't feel that tension and awe that I felt with the manga or the anime. We're supposed to be impressed with Guts being able to slay 100 men by himself with an arrow in his hand. Also they didn't do enough to emphasize that Guts was doing his best to protect Casca from harm, another nugget that pays off down the road. Having Adon captured and Griffith present I did think was a good idea to move the story along though.

Here I would move on to the Doldrey battle, but something is missing...I can't quite remember what... o yeah THE BONFIRE OF DREAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is what absolutely killed the movie IMO. The Bonfire scene wraps so many threads together, Casca's changing relationship with Guts, more development of Judeau's character, Guts opening up to Casca in response to her doing the same etc. But most importantly it shows Guts considering if he'll leave the Hawks. This scene, above all others, should not have been cut. The story line takes a serious hit by not including this scene.

The Doldrey battle was too damn long. Bascone was not set up well at all and Gennon felt like an add on. On a side note, Griffith mentioned in the podcast how having Gennon's hair changed from black to white took away from his creepyness and overall power as a villain. The scene that was supposed to insinuate that he was a pedophile didn't hack it. I thought they made Gennon look like they pulled Santa Claus out of the nursing home. The duel with Bascone was devoid of any of the tension that made the manga or anime great. I really felt like Guts was done for before Zodd intervened. Instead we get Guts chucking a flag at Bascone and that's our substitute? Really? Guts sword doesn't even break!!!!!
Of course Zodd being cut pissed me off, but I could've dealt with it easier had they included more character development and a better ending for the duel. 

The ball scene I actually liked, Guts and Casca dancing gave me a big ol' smile. But the ball scene is useless without the Queens plot in the background and the assassination of the conspirators that followed. In the end it was just eye candy and fan service.

Guts leaving without being stopped by Casca or going to the tavern with Judeau and Corkus, was another huge blow to the movie. It was almost on par with the B.O.D being cut. By the time I got to the duel I almost turned it off. Unfortunately here is where the film really does its homework and make s a worth while attempt at adapting Berserk. The duel, Griffith having sex with Charlotte, the Hawks being betrayed and the torture room scenes all flow perfectly into one another. But it comes to late to save this movie.

I tried my best to give this movie an unbiased viewing, as it contains many of my favorite scenes not just from the Golden Age but for the whole series. But at the end of the day I was left unsatisfied and just generally uneven about the film. I felt like they spent to much time on the battle's and not nearly enough time on character development. I still have hopes that the third movie will right the ship and end the Golden Age on a good note. (Much in the way Episode 3 did for the Star Wars prequels) But my expectations have been tempered. Until then I'll being waiting for the next episode to arrive.

Offline enjoy

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2012, 09:58:48 AM »
In my opinion the movie , just like the first one , was rushed and important parts were ommitted. I don`t know what Studio 4C was doing but at the beginning of the movie the first battle looked like some cheap CGI cutscene from a video game... It`s really sad that they couldn’t bring out the character development and storytelling that the manga offers.  I think the series suffers from a very short release schedule for all of the three movies.
The Hellsing Ultimate OVAs were released consecutively  from 2006 to 2008. Then there was a long break and in 2012 they continued with the release of the OVAs. The final product did not feel rushed and was engaging and interesting to watch. The same thing can be said about the Evangelion Movies -the first one was relased 2007, the second 2009 and the third is scheduled for 2013. I`m not familiar as of why the OVAs and movies were delayed that much ( financial issues?) but when they finally got released they were really good.  It`s really painful to watch the Berserk trilogy because there are some moments which are very well executed but for the most part the movies are a let down. So much for the faithful adaptation we were promised ( no Bonfire of Dreams, no assassination plot , no Zodd ).


Offline mazinken

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2012, 02:32:04 PM »
In my opinion the movie , just like the first one , was rushed and important parts were ommitted. I don`t know what Studio 4C was doing but at the beginning of the movie the first battle looked like some cheap CGI cutscene from a video game... It`s really sad that they couldn’t bring out the character development and storytelling that the manga offers.  I think the series suffers from a very short release schedule for all of the three movies.
The Hellsing Ultimate OVAs were released consecutively  from 2006 to 2008. Then there was a long break and in 2012 they continued with the release of the OVAs. The final product did not feel rushed and was engaging and interesting to watch. The same thing can be said about the Evangelion Movies -the first one was relased 2007, the second 2009 and the third is scheduled for 2013. I`m not familiar as of why the OVAs and movies were delayed that much ( financial issues?) but when they finally got released they were really good.  It`s really painful to watch the Berserk trilogy because there are some moments which are very well executed but for the most part the movies are a let down. So much for the faithful adaptation we were promised ( no Bonfire of Dreams, no assassination plot , no Zodd ).



Well I did not see any of the movies but remember they wanted to do only one movie before deciding to go with three so of course this whole adaption doesn't make any sense.

I own the old TV series and the 2 video games but for the first time I really don't care about a berserk adaption I will wait and see others feedback on the third movie.

Offline SuperVegetto

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2012, 02:26:20 PM »
Wow, I actually found this movie much better than the first one and not as bad as I expected it out to be.
It would've been much better if they didn't make all the cuts and changes, but still I felt some of the emotions I had when I read the manga, they kept some soul of Berserk, and despite all the CGI rant I found the animation/art beautiful and the music although lacked the awesome tracks the old anime ost had it was pretty decent
I realize they did a lot of things wrong, but I feel that it's good and am rating it as such. Would've been better if they made it excellent ( by following the manga more closely ) though

Offline Kavaron

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #54 on: December 23, 2012, 03:23:33 PM »
1st movie I voted GOOD and 2nd EXCELLENT. I really liked all the scenes and the best one was by far the Griffith's intrusion to the palace with 2nd best the duel between Griffith and Guts and 3rd the Boscone Swing which killed many hawks instantly! Unlike the 1st movie this one gave me the goosebumps many times. Really can't wait for the 3rd one and I can't wait to see the torturer getting stabbed by Guts!

« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 03:56:31 PM by Kavaron »

Offline jackalj

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #55 on: December 23, 2012, 06:38:10 PM »
Yeah the third movie is the one i really want to see, not only how the CGI turns out. But especially to see The eclipse, Griffith's breakout and where it ends... And if they continue it of course :P

Offline SeedofKings

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2012, 06:58:15 PM »
Umm...maybe after all the movies are released we can splice in footage from the TV series and create Besrerk Golden Age Recut?  :rakshas:
Not all who wander are lost...

Offline Hanma_Baki

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2012, 03:01:26 AM »
^We´d still have to include some (well, quite a lot actually) material from the manga to make it completely...complete. That´d be kinda fun though, would be a nice treat for unfamiliars :iva:

EDIT: oh yeah, theres some complaints about the music, I dont even remember it for the most part, except the acoustic version of "Blood and guts" from the first film, it plays during the last part of the 100 man battle when he goes berserk....and dude...am I the only one who LOVED it? Also theres a more subtle version playing to the end credits, loved that one too. I think it fits perfectly. The music is one thing Im actually fully satisfied with about this project.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 04:01:52 AM by Hanma_Baki »

Offline SuperVegetto

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #58 on: December 24, 2012, 10:26:01 AM »
^We´d still have to include some (well, quite a lot actually) material from the manga to make it completely...complete. That´d be kinda fun though, would be a nice treat for unfamiliars :iva:

EDIT: oh yeah, theres some complaints about the music, I dont even remember it for the most part, except the acoustic version of "Blood and guts" from the first film, it plays during the last part of the 100 man battle when he goes berserk....and dude...am I the only one who LOVED it? Also theres a more subtle version playing to the end credits, loved that one too. I think it fits perfectly. The music is one thing Im actually fully satisfied with about this project.

My Brother that played during the battle for Doldrey made the scene really epic, and Son Cauchemar is a really good OST too

Offline Surakemastura

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2012, 10:29:24 AM »
It was pretty awful, if it were anything other than Berserk I would have turned it off halfway. I really don't have anything more to say that has already been posted. Voted for Poor though, since it could have been much worse I guess. At this point the only thing to look forward to is to see how studio 4C will animate the Eclipse.

But hey, by the time movie 3 is done there will be tons of good AMV material to accompany Nomad's music, :cough: Griffith.

Offline Gill

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #60 on: December 27, 2012, 04:36:13 PM »
I think it wasn't that bad, I expected much worse stuff after the first movie... I voted So-so.

There were actually quite a few small details that I really liked.
One of them is the improve in CG, it worked really well during fight scenes, although it looked a bit awkward in the ballroom dance scene, but I wouldn't say it was bad. They managed to create a nice live-action movie feeling by being able to move the "camera" in 3D, and I liked it.
The 100-man fight was awesome.
I also liked the ballroom scene. I missed the assassination plot, but still, I felt like it works, it didn't seem as off to me as many of you said.


Of course, there were more bad stuff than good...

Besides the obvious ones that were already mentioned, like the bonfire of dreams, or the cameos on the ball, what I missed the most was Casca being poisoned while fighting Adon. I think Miura poisoned her to give some comparison for the male readers about how bad those "woman problems" were, because it was said that that poison makes most men unable to fight, but the fact that she still defeated Adon easily while being poisoned shows that having a period is far worse, so she wasn't weak for not being able to fight previously. So the absence of poisoning weakened her character in my opinion. Plus, this lead to the absence of Guts helping her to walk away after the fight, which has bad effects on the character development.

Another small thing was that she did some really weird loop and then standing up on her hands when escaping from Adon's soldiers who tried to rape her... It looked weird, it was unnecessary, her boobs looked like balloons, and I doubt she would be able to do something like that as 2 seconds ago she was so exhausted she could barely move her arms...
But at least when the Hawks returned she was given some bandages and could cover her breasts, which shows that they care for her enough to not let her run around half-naked, while in the manga she had to stay in the torn shirt... Though I guess it could be because her shirt was almost torn off, while in the manga there was just a hole on it.

Also, in the scene when the crowd is celebrating their return, I saw someone crossing himself... I'm not sure, but this symbol doesn't exist in the Berserk world, right? They have the bird shape instead of the cross...
Oh, and Charlotte's voice :magni: I find it really disturbing, but I guess I'm the only one...

But overall, it wasn't a bad movie, I think. It was just somehow flat, because of all the cuts... But at least it looked good, unlike the first one. So I'm kinda excited about the third part now, because if they continue the improvement, it can end up quite awesome :serpico:

Offline Edi

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2012, 05:05:53 PM »
Haven't been too observant of the music up to this point, and I know its the same song as in the first movie but that acoustic version really set the tone. I'm def gonna get the entire OST just from hearing that piece.
Performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in Poland.  :carcus: :ubik:
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 05:19:35 PM by Edi »

Offline DirectDK

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2012, 11:11:39 PM »
I finally watched it, with the subs, on my 1080p hdtv home theater setup with 5.1... and I LOVED IT.

The action sequences were spectacular.  Fluid, brutal, bloody.  The 100 man fight was killer.  The battle for Doldrey was awesome.  Pippin's scream was hilarious and made me smile!  Yes, as established, Zodd wasn't present, and the battle with Boscone changed.  Of course, I wished they had kept that part in, but the battle was still a great watch.  The final duel between Guts and Griff was really well done and edited.  The love scene (I guess this counts as an "action sequence" haha), was pretty damn intense too, and of course, the torturing scene was a great finish.

I'm also pleased to say, the music was fantastic.  Eons better than the music from the first movie.  Watching this whole movie, I never once thought of Susumu... and that is quite telling.  The first movie, I kept longing to hear some of his music, but this one... the music fit right in.  Props to the composer, editors, and orchestra on this one.  I was very pleased!

The CGI is also much improved.  I didn't even think about it.  I think the only time I really noticed it was when Casca falls down to the river.  Aside from that scene, it was pretty much a non-issue.

Pacing was much better than the first movie.  I even enjoyed the ballroom scene.  The Guts/Casca chemistry felt right.  They took some liberties of course, but all in all, it joyed me to see the Hawks dancing and just having a good time... a taste of nobility.  The only pacing thing I didn't like was that it jumped from the ballroom scene to Guts already out on the fields leaving.  I would have liked to have seen Guts talk with Judo and so forth before hand.  Also, of course, the Bonfire of Dreams.  I guess maybe because I already have it in my head, I didn't realize it was really missing from the movie.

Speaking of Judo and the likes... I think the rest of the crew had a few quick bits of familiarity.  To newcomers, they probably wouldn't have been able to learn much about the rest of the Hawks from the first movie, but in this one, I felt their personalities shown through more.  Mainly, Corkus, Rickert, and Pippin.  Judo is the only one that is still lacking.  I hope they do a good job with him in the 3rd movie cuz his death... man, is always a heartbreaker for me.

So yeah, I definitely voted "Excellent", and I know I'm in the minority here, but I stand by it!


Offline SeedofKings

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #63 on: December 30, 2012, 03:53:27 AM »
Wow, you're words give me some hope DirectDK, the first film left me more then a little cold. It felt like one big 76 minute (and why the heck only have that long a running time anyway?) preview, so I hope there is something akin to actual pacing in the second movie. Are you sure the CG was improved? Or have your eyes somehow adjusted. because it was eye popping (and oh so frustrating!) in the first one.

Not all who wander are lost...

Offline SamNeillium

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #64 on: December 30, 2012, 05:20:35 AM »
I personally thought the CG was worse. Well maybe not the CG itself, but the way it was used. The use of it during the battle scenes was fine for the most part, but they used it for close-ups of people's faces and dialogue scenes more than they should have this time around.

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #65 on: December 30, 2012, 05:42:53 AM »
Even if you've already listened to Episode 26 of the SkullKast, where we talk about our feelings of Movie 2, I wrote down my thoughts in a more cohesive review here.

I rated it as poor, which I feel is pretty generous. I rate it higher than embarrassing mostly because there are some notable improvements to the structure and storytelling since Movie 1. That's not saying much, since I thought the first movie was nearly unwatchable. The pacing and cohesion from scene to scene may have been improved, but characters are robbed of crucial development opportunities, and end up skulking about on screen like puppets.  When the Eclipse rolls around, all these bad checks they're writing off as character development are going to catch up to them, and I can only imagine it's going to sound like a wet fart cut loose in the middle of an exam.

I advise everyone watching to turn your brain completely off, not considering the reasoning for changes made. Start down that path and it all unravels (Ex. Gennon: Master Counter-Assassin, and his merry band of cheerfully molested children). One would hope that the staff asked themselves if such changes add or detract from the overall experience. But  most of the time, I simply can't rationalize the decisions being made, and it seems to me that the people designing these scenarios are tone deaf when it comes to Berserk and its characters. They're merely following a check list of scenes, not considering the overall picture.

Despite the overall mess made here, there are a few highlights worth mentioning.

From the planning scene to the victory fanfare, Doldrey was the highlight for me, and it's clear the staff gave it the most attention to detail. I was surprised to see that from the choppy mess of the other scenes in the movie, throughout Doldrey they're able to achieve a sense of atmosphere. We see some cinematic techniques like focus shifting and snappy editing that help foster a sense of big-screen drama. The gravel rumbling as the Purple Rhino Knights charge--that's cool. The slow zoom in to the King's face, locking eyes with Griffith, while the riffraff around them balk at the audacious plan--dramatic, effective and smartly done. It's a small, but rare example of the movie properly accentuating the content of the scene in a cinematic way. The soundtrack also sounds good, thumping the pacing along right up until you start listening to the lyrics ("MY BROTHER, COME JOIN ME, IN BATTLE WE WILL SLAUGHTER." What? Who's talking here? Is it Adon to Samson? No wait, he didn't make it into this movie). But your brain is supposed to be off, so that shouldn't bother you.

The weight of the attacks during Guts and Boscone's duel come across well, but of course any sense of realism is marred by the ridiculous wind-up attack Boscone pulls off, and of course the flag-tossing climax was just stupid and needlessly makes Guts look like a less competent fighter.

Overall the animation seems more fluid, but it's not necessarily better or more realistic. It actually made things worse, by drawing attention to itself, creating an effect of an uncanny valley. I think the fault here isn't the fact that CG is implemented, which I think gets unduly criticized, but the techniques being used to animate the character models. It's simply not lifelike. For example, in one of the first action sequences, Casca dodges an attack with a backflip, but her movements are stilted and her weight doesn't distribute realistically at all. It reminds me of when, as a kid, I'd use my fingers to manipulate GIJoes, making them do flips and such. In fact, Studio4C should hire me, because I have some neat ideas for them in this department, especially if we could license Snake Eyes for Lost Children.

What bothered me the most in this adaptation, aside from the trimming of critical scenes like the Bonfire of Dreams, was a little change they made to Guts' motivations during the 100-man fight. Originally, he's fighting for survival, driven by instinct.  It's one of the first times he acknowledges the fascination he has with combat, which is among the things that sets him on the path to find his own dream. Pretty important stuff. Instead, in this adaptation, he's angstily hacking away at soldiers while sulking over Griffith's stairway speech. This felt completely unbelievable, and untrue to Guts character. Truly an embarrassment to watch for any Berserk fan.

The ball scene is needlessly long, given the amount of action being cut from the source material. Instead of an assassination plot that ends with the queen roasting while Griffith looks on impassively, we're given a renaissance fair dance routine where everyone swings their arms happily into the night. Wait, wait, my brain is off... I should be enjoying this, right? Nope, this still doesn't sit right with me. What the fuck were they thinking? Halfway through that stomach turning dance sequence, the king gives a look, mirroring my own: "Can you fucking believe this shit?"

Much creedence was given by some reviewers to the editing during the final sequence, which splices together Griffith's seduction of Charlotte, a bar scene where Casca seems to smell the sex they're having, and Griffith's subsequent torture at the hands of the king. But somewhere around the time of the penis insertion, I was already checked out. The exaggeration of this scene for purely titillating purposes was simply gross. I honestly am dreading what they're going to do with the Eclipse. Like Charlotte sobbing in Griffith's arms before he twists her nipple, will Casca's rape also be serenaded by a tender love theme before they get down to the action?

While we're talking about uncomfortable things, I'd like to end this review by pointing out that while Zodd got a total of 5 minutes of screen time in the last movie, the entire seduction sequence lasts 7 minutes. In the manga, it's conveyed over the course of 16 pages. Just something to think about when considering this movie's priorities :void:
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Online Griffith

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #66 on: December 31, 2012, 07:08:48 AM »
I finally watched it, with the subs, on my 1080p hdtv home theater setup with 5.1

 :guts:
Anyway, that was a nicely done review, you almost had me convinced and I HATED this movie. =) Still, while it was cool to have the movie appreciated from a different perspective with more emphasis on craft, I did feel like you were basically omitting the negative with a couple of exceptions, most prominently this:

The only pacing thing I didn't like was that it jumped from the ballroom scene to Guts already out on the fields leaving.  I would have liked to have seen Guts talk with Judo and so forth before hand.

Completely agree! It was a very strange and sudden shift in tone from the big dance number to Guts randomly walking in the snow without preface. Then there's this curious statement:

Also, of course, the Bonfire of Dreams.  I guess maybe because I already have it in my head, I didn't realize it was really missing from the movie.

C'mon, you sound like you're suffering from cognitive dissonance. The movie can't be "excellent" if you have to ignore or hurry past such things (Zodd). It's like the wrongs are so egregious they can't even be mentioned, let alone rationalized; it must be ignored, never spoken like a forbidden word that will summon evil. It's the ultimate negative review, literally in contrast to the only nice things one could say of it besides nothing at all. The words you can't say reveal everything! Your silence SCREAMS! JOIN ME, UNLEASH YOUR EVIL, ONLY YOUR HATRED CAN SATISFY ME! :femto:

While we're talking about uncomfortable things, I'd like to end this review by pointing out that while Zodd got a total of 5 minutes of screen time in the last movie, the entire seduction sequence lasts 7 minutes. In the manga, it's conveyed over the course of 16 pages. Just something to think about when considering this movie's priorities :void:

Excellent

Offline Hanma_Baki

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #67 on: December 31, 2012, 08:37:40 AM »
You have a way with words, Walt :ganishka: despite the fact that I should be depressed as hell after your bashing of the movie, its actually quite a fun read, and for the record, I agree with pretty much all that nerd rage. Thanks for sharing, as I've yet to listen to that podcast 26.

That being said, I can sort of appreciate the somewhat more positive tone in DK's review too, and lol at the Darth Vader reference :iva:

Offline Gill

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #68 on: December 31, 2012, 10:42:09 AM »
Instead, in this adaptation, he's angstily hacking away at soldiers while sulking over Griffith's stairway speech.
I think they tried to fix the development of their relationship by this, because they've cut out the assassination plot, so Guts didn't have enough time to think about Griffith and their "friendship". To be honest, I didn't notice this because I rather focused on the animation (probably my brain's technique to protect me from the painful reality :ganishka: )

As for the Boscone fight... I think they tried to use the flag as some kind of metaphore. Guts stared at the flag during the fight a lot, probably thinking about his role in the Hawks and stuff, and when he used it to win the fight, it tried to express that this is his last bit success with the Band, before the flag falls on the ground, covered in dust, just like the Hawks will fall after Guts "throws them away" like the flag? I don't know, this is my interpretation, I think they tried to fix their own mistakes with this, but just ended up creating even more :troll:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #69 on: January 02, 2013, 09:45:16 PM »
Well, it seems a lot of people have posted their reviews by now. When we did the podcast on the movie I figured I'd post my own soon afterwards, but in truth there wasn't much incentive for me to do so. I remember how I cringed when I watched the first film, how I paused it to groan and moan a few times. I really hoped it wouldn't be bad, hoped beyond reason, and so I was really disappointed. With this one things were very different. I'm not one to deny the truth when it stares me in the face, so I just didn't care, since I'd already written off the project as a failure. I watched it completely dispassionately, and when I paused it was only to take notes for the podcast. I didn't feel like putting the effort into writing a review.

But... when I read posts in this thread, all I see is people trying to be nice, doing their best to find things they liked, things that weren't so bad, etc. That is, when they're not minimizing the bad parts or even saying there are ameliorations to the source material. That made me think that maybe uncle Aaz had to tell it like it is after all. And so here are my observations. Not a review per se, just the comments I made to myself as I watched the movie. Enjoy.



I. CAVE STORY

The movie opens up with Guts slaughtering enemies. He's thinking back about what Griffith said on the stairwell. In the manga he does so while they march, right after leaving Wyndham, when it was still fresh. Here they moved it to the battle to gain time, but in doing so they changed Guts' personality, as if it was such a big deal that it'd be on his mind even during a battle, angering him and all (whereas he seems saddened by it in the manga). It's not too problematic here, but becomes so a little later. Moving on for now.

We see a shot of the king and Raban discussing the battle. That's not in the manga, and seems to give Raban more importance than he had originally. We also see that they've changed Midland's flag, but I'll get to that later. Cut to the captains of the BotF fighting. Casca removes her helmet after having trouble with some enemy, instead of it getting knocked off by Adon. A pretty stupid move considering her helmet had just saved her life. Then Adon comes in. Somehow he looks a lot goofier than in the manga, though I don't think they intended it that way. Might be his voice or the 3D model, but I think it's a little bit of everything, his looks, his laugh when offering to take her captive, and the general lack of intensity of that scene as well.

Anyway, as Adon is about to dispatch her, Guts arrives to save the day. Supercharges his biceps à la Chris Redfield to repel his attack, then beats him down. Casca faints and falls, and Guts catches her, but by her cloak, not her arm. A useless change that made me think about how in episode 287 Guts remembers all the times he caught Casca like by the arm that, and how now he can't anymore. Good job there guys! Similarly, Guts catches her with his right arm instead of the left one, so that's two ways in which the scene doesn't work anymore. Not to mention that Guts is right-handed and always hold with sword with that hand.

When they fall, in the manga the battle is shown to continue, not here. It's a loss of perspective on the reality of battle that would have taken nothing to implement. After getting out of the water, Guts throws his helmet away and yells instead of removing it normally and being exhausted. Then he doesn't reanimate Casca who's unconscious even though he throws up water himself. Not very logical.

Griffith's expression is lacking upon hearing what happened to Guts & Casca. He just looks pensive even when the dipshits are making fun of them. Guts' motion is a bit weird when taking care of Casca in the cave. His embarrassment at having to unclothe her and his reaction to her condition are lacking as well compared to the manga, despite the movie mirroring the scenes relatively closely. We see some footage of him cooling her fever, the rain outside, her sleeping that's nicely animated.

Then comes the flashback sequence, in the form of a dream. It's shortened so that it doesn't shed light on how Casca got in that situation. She's just shown jumping out of a guy's carriage and then said guy is trying to rape her. Makes sense! Griffith instead of slashing the guy's ear off and then throwing his sword to Casca so that she can protect herself, throws it like a javelin to cut the guy's ear from a distance. It's a pretty big change in his portrayal. She also doesn't tell her story to Guts, a pretty drastic change that's completely unnecessary. It's a break in the narrative continuity of her life story and her resentment when Guts came into the picture. No mention of Gennon, no character development for anyone, be it her, Griffith or Guts. The scene is there, but it's been emptied of its substance. The depth has been removed. There's gratuitous violence in the form of Casca getting punched in the face by the noble though. Great addition (I am being sarcastic)! It would have been a lot better to cut her already short dream sequence in the manga out and still have her tell her story to Guts. The point was never only to tell it to the reader. It's hard to overstate how great of a loss this segment is.

Casca's reaction when waking up doesn't make much sense because she rapidly seems fully awake instead and no focus is put on her face when she realizes her situation. Casca had lost her sword in the river when fighting Adon, before falling down. But miraculously she's found it again in the cave! And is throwing it like a knife with enough strength to bury it deep in a tree trunk, despite her condition. Ridiculous. And then her combativity against Guts is removed, no fight between them, she just falls exhausted right after crying. That weakens her character. The guitar playing during their talk isn't too bad.

II. THE NON-FIRE OF DREAMS

The dialogue when they're walking in the forest is changed. Guts' tough talk to get her to keep going is gone. The ambush is changed, too. No surprise attack, Guts just detects the guys instead of saving Casca's life. Less cool, less character development, less everything. Now for the hundred man fight. Well it's changed of course, for example Guts & Casca fighting back to back is pretty much gone. All that subtle characterization removed. Casca's fighting prowess is dramatically lessened as well. And Samsong is not featured. One less strong adversary, who was meaningful because Casca couldn't dodge his attacks and so Guts had to protect her (and it damaged his sword, paving the way for it breaking later on). It was also then that Guts originally created a diversion so she could leave, which she refused to do because he wouldn't leave him behind. It had a lot more tension and dare I say awesomeness than him just telling her to leave right away. All that character development, gone (getting used to it yet?). Most of what he told her in the manga is either gone, changed or made meaningless because other parts are missing.

Guts does superhuman jumps during that battle. He also jumps down some huge rock, almost a cliff, no idea why. The enemies are supposed to have the higher ground, with Guts and Casca surrounded. That change in the terrain doesn't make sense. There are crossbowmen down there too, which makes the whole thing even more ridiculous since they'd have no line of sight. What were they doing there before Guts jumped down? Also, the way Guts blocks the arrow aimed at his face makes it look like he's catching it like Silat does in Shet. Only it's through his hand. Could have been done better. The sword-baseball thingie is as ridiculous as it ever was. These are the same guys who hired a sword-fighting expert for the first movie? What's the point when Guts' real move in the manga was already pretty cool? Oh, that's right, in the manga he lunges up to strike a crossbowman that's got the high ground, because that's how things are supposed to be done, especially when ambushing someone.

Meanwhile, Casca's escape is shortened and she's made weaker again, doesn't fight on for nearly as long and doesn't fall down due to exhausion either but is caught by a thrown contraption. She's not nearly as combative as in the manga. And the guy starts visibly molesting her too. Then she tries to flee after stabbing him in the face instead of going for a fight, but still fails. Way to make her as lame as possible. Guts uses a corpse as an arrow-shield, holding it with the tip of his sword with a single arm. Ridiculous.

And then, wow. Griffith present in the rescue party. What a betrayal of the story and of his character. Inadmissible. And it's for no reason either. It adds absolutely nothing. Cut to Guts who's again thinking back to the staircase speech. Now this time it really doesn't make sense. It actually goes completely against what he thinks in the manga, why he's fighting, how all thought goes away, etc. Here they mix that train of thought together with the reminiscence of Griffith's words in a way that changes the scene's meaning. It's a terrible change to his character from the badass, down to earth guy he's supposed to be. He's also supposed to be getting more tired, but we see him outright stumbling about, only then he thinks of what Griffith said and suddenly he's all super pissed off and mowing all the enemies down. Not realistic, not how it should be. The grueling aspect of the battle, how straining it is, that's completely gone.

Adon is thrown down on the ground by fleeing mercenaries and knocked unconscious. That's obvious a cheap trick so that he can be captured, but Adon is supposed to be of a very large stature, towering over the average man, so it's hard to believe something like that could happen.

The fight ends, cut to the Falcons running back to Guts. Griffith's presence is completely incongruous. He just runs there, happy to follow Casca and to not do anything, though they have him call up "Guts" a couple times just to give him something to do, lengthening the time it takes for Casca to spot him in the process. Then he stands back like a reskinned soldier001.3ds as she exaggeratingly shakes Guts for a while until his head drops like he's dead, sparking surprisingly mild reactions from everyone. Then he wakes up and the reactions are equally mild. What they did with Griffith here is downright gross to be honest. It's a travesty.

Then they capture Adon, who's stayed unconscious for god knows how long himself and who they've spotted specifically among all the dead. Now isn't that convenient! No return to the camp, no Bonfire of Dreams. Is it even necessary for me to state how tragic that omission is? Probably, actually, since some people have apparently not been particularly bothered by it. But being such an iconic scene, I feel that any self-respecting fan should already know. It's one of the cornerstones of Guts and Casca's character development. Just like the events at the camp and all the other stuff they omitted (both before and after that point) represent a huge amount of background information, references, development for everybody involved and more. They try to palliate by sprinkling stuff over other scenes (Guts in the cave: "ah, so your dream is to be Griffith's sword!"; then Casca: "what's your dream, Guts?" Guts: "Oh I don't know, I'll think about it while I fight these hundred guys!"), but to no avail. They've killed the characters' personalities and their relationships. Made them into empty shells, crude imitations of themselves. I find it pretty sad that anybody, no matter how much a philistine, could pretend for a second that any version of Berserk, no matter the medium, could be viable in such a state. But I digress, for we are unfortunately just getting started.

III. RETURN OF GENNON

We go directly to Doldrey being besieged. The siege warfare is quite neat, though I wonder where they found an ox in that desolate landscape. The commander of the White Tiger army was transformed from his manga self into a blob-like humanoid (but then again, most 3D models share similar facial non-features so I'm not sure why he stands out). He's also apparently standing in front of the gates, barely out of arrow range, and gets killed like an idiot. Great. Oh and Doldrey is shown to have a moat. Why not, I guess, but I wish they'd spent more time on other things.

Raban replaces another guy at the war council, making him once again more prominent than he is in the manga. The war council feels like it drags on a bit, the juice having been taken from it. It does not focus on Griffith's bet nearly as much, with generals even almost arguing with the king like in the manga. No commentary is provided on the political situation and the reaction to it either.

Gennon's room in Doldrey is downright ridiculous. A spa? Really? And the boys drinking and kissing each other? Not really the ambiance that's supposed to be reigning... Also, a Griffith look-alike? Pfff. Great way to make up for not giving Griffith/Gennon any backstory. That'll do the trick! Changing Gennon's hair color is a puzzling move as well. Harmless but equally unnecessary. Was it just for the sake of changing something, anything? As for making him more effeminate, again was that at all necessary? Oh what an evil homo this guy is, look how girly he is. As opposed to, you know, him being a depraved pedophile.

The dialogue before Doldrey is changed so that the Falcon's lieutenants are finally showcased a bit, but it brings nothing to the table. All the original talk, conveying the tension before the battle, the problem that Gennon being there might pose to Griffith (and Guts not believing Griffith could ever be thrown off like that when seeing his behavior, which foreshadows his belief that Griffith would easily get over his departure), and even Guts' little show off move with the dust, showing he was in good shape, are gone.

Now we get to the infiltration, and it doesn't make much sense. In the manga, Casca and her group used the dust to sneak in close after all of the soldiers had been lured away by the main army. The omnipresent dust was the unique attribute of Doldrey that Griffith thought to use to his advantage, with a plan so daring that the enemy wouldn't even think of it. During such a battle, the gates wouldn't be closed since the enemy would have had no way of passing through and would have normally just not attempted anything of the sort, and the allies needing to retreat/reinforcements needing to come out shouldn't have to wait for them to open. Also, in the movie the infiltrators actually go in there before the battle even begins. So Adon, who never came back from the previous battle, suddenly arrives in Doldrey by foot with 9 soldiers and they open the gate for him. And Boscone doesn't notice? No one questions it at all? That's pretty hard to believe.

We get a view of the battlefield from above that shows horses moving way too fast, like racing cars. The horses are also not depicted realistically, with the hooves being too big and all. I'd joke about them all riding Percherons, but it's beyond just being big horses.

The battle lasts long before Boscone enters the fray, which is both relatively boring but more importantly also pictures him differently than he is in the manga. Not in midst of battle and at the forefront of his charging men. And so he also doesn't get to have an early clash with Guts, and the BotF's maneuver to incite them to follow is made a lot less effective. Instead of a somewhat clever bait that Boscone is shown to be too canny to fall for, it's a futile move, the effectiveness of which is not highlighted at all (specifically the prowess of the raiding team).

By the way, Gennon's lobster coat of arms has been transformed into... Uhh some weird thing. Anyhow, bagpipe starts playing while Gennon tells Boscone he has to pursue... A pretty weird choice. Meanwhile, Boscone hatches a plan with the eyepatch dude. Another great addition, very useful (I am being sarcastic)!

Carcus crosses himself as the enemy troops come at them. Now come on, why put that kind of stuff in when Miura's always purposedly avoided it? The battle goes on, and then it cuts to Charlotte praying in front of a Falcon altar. Neat background, but this scene makes her appear devout whereas her original characterization was different, more romantic and girlish (giving Griffith a token to remember her she'd inherited from her mother, later telling him she had nightmares every night, etc.).

IV. FALLING DOWN

The following battle scenes aren't bad at all. Then Guts introduces himself to Boscone, which feels inappropriate. In the manga Boscone knew who he was because he'd killed a hundred men in battle, and neither of them wasted any time saying hello to the other. They stared, then they swung. That was enough. The depiction of their fighting is alright, but the manga's is a lot more punchy overall, with Guts charging at Boscone for example instead of them just standing there hitting at each other.

Next we see riders charging through the gate, and the infiltrators dispatching the guards just in time. The timing makes you wonder if charging directly without any inside help wouldn't have been enough, especially since only 2 guys are actually intervening, while Casca and the rest still accompany Adon, not doing much. The depiction of Casca beating Adon is pretty terrible. First off she discards her crossbow, wasting time in fighting him instead of focusing on what mattered. Then instead of soundly defeating him like in the manga (he originally had the high ground in the stairs), he's just shown to stumble like an idiot, which undermines her natural prowess as a fighter while not unwell. His bragging afterwards reinforces that sentiment, instead of him playing dirty in the manga like the first time they met. The few comments on her skill do little to counter that general sentiment. Casca falling for "BEHIND YOU!" is eye-roll inducing. Her sword being cut clean off is also hard to believe. Her move to kill him is neat, but it's a meager consolation (and where did Adon get that sword at his waist?). Her original move was quite badass, more spectacular, but also unique to herself, not something another character could have pulled off. And she'd managed it while impaired by poison, too.

Now about Guts. He just falls from his horse instead of his sword breaking. That undermines his fighting prowess. Guess he's just not a good rider? The removal of any reference to Zodd is regrettable, what with Guts thinking back to a time of true despair to hearten himself, and Zodd being there reminding us of the ominous things to come, the underlying thread of things beyond the principles of man creeping in the shadows.

Cut to the random one-eyed guy who'd have been able to kill Griffith in the midst of battle if not for Gennon. That undermines Griffith's fighting prowess. As for Gennon killing the guy it's ridiculous in itself given his complete uselessness as depicted in the manga. Boscone propels enemy soldiers 30 meters up in the air with a single strike, then "laughs" stereotypically, but the sound effect was forgotten. Oopsie! Again, not a flattering characterization for him. So much a bad guy that he can't help but laugh when he kills people!

The kill scene makes little sense. Boscone is about to strike the death blow when Guts throws a flag past him. Boscone is distracted for half a second but still strikes down. His strike raises an unbelievably large amount of dust. Guts dodges the attack and strikes himself, raising even more dust (pretty much a storm at that point) and killing Boscone. Now my problem is that Boscone had a clear line of sight when he hit Guts. The flag didn't actually prevent him from seeing what he was striking. So it makes absolutely no sense for him to not notice that Guts isn't dead (and he'd know just from not feeling his halberd connect with anything anyway). I mean I can see what they intended with this scene: the flag distracts Boscone and coupled with the dust from his attack it gives Guts a chance to kill him, but it's not what's actually shown to us. So to me that scene is a complete failure.

Notice how the changes overall end up making Guts a lot less impressive. He has trouble against Boscone even though his sword doesn't break and ends up beating him through a hard to believe diversion/dodge act instead of parrying his attack at the last moment (and winning through his strength). It's also amusing to see how Boscone stops his horse dead in its track to strike at Guts instead of more realistically attacking him while charging, which is what happens in the manga.

It's the cry for victory and the enemy flees. Seeing the scene of the Falcon soldiers smiling awkward then cutting down some guys, I can't help but think that CG models really suffer when faces are shown. They probably shouldn't use any CG faces at all, ever. The scene where Griffith's horse walks up to Gennon is animated weirdly. Very unnatural. Maybe because of that halved frame rate business. His interaction with Gennon is changed to add the backstory that was previously removed, Gennon mentioning that they had a night together, Griffith saying it was to avoid putting his men through unnecessary battles, etc. But it's too short and comes too late, barely holding a fraction of the meaning and power all the original scenes had. It doesn't do them any justice at all. It seems to just be there to justify Gennon's otherwise strange obsession, but without more background information it does very little else.

The scene with the orgy boys' bodies is truly perplexing. Gennon's gone from a pedophile abusing young boys in the manga to a decrepit old man having orgies with willing young men who died fighting the invader while literally butt-naked, wearing only short togas.

V. I SEE YOU'VE GOT SOME BALL

During the victory parade in Wyndham we see Midland's emblem again and more clearly. The crescent moon symbol has been remplaced with some weird thing that might still be representing the moon but is quite ambiguous and hard to identify. The thunderbolt has also been turned into weird cubic arrows. Even the 3 stars look weird. Needless changes that bring absolutely nothing to the table. And above that we can see lily flowers, the traditional heraldry of French royalty (so totally inappropriate here).

The contrast between 3D and 2D faces is pretty bad. Having Carcus actually lift up some chick and kiss her felt a bit too much. The filler they added during the parade has some nice shots, but again it gives off a wrong characterization, like Casca accepting flowers and such and just blushing as women applaud her. The original conveyed that she was embarrassed by all that display, a feeling later reaffirmed during the ball. And we also have again people crossing themselves while praying on their knees.

Charlotte is not shown at all, as aren't the queen or Foss since the assassination plot was removed from the movie. All that life and background given to the world and setting, giving among other things a measure of Griffith's huge ambition, gone.

At the ball we see some random guys staring at the Falcons while Griffith is surrounded by women right behind them. In the manga, the same commanders who'd been hostile to Griffith in the past are shown resenting his popularity (with Raban & Owen being fair to him) while no one really minds his lieutenants. Senseless change. The Falcons' characterization while watching Griffith is also lost in the process.

The shot of Farnese, Serpico and Azan accompanying some bishops from the Holy See is needless and senseless, as commented on before. Not only does the timeline make this event rather unlikely, but this was a ball to celebrate the victory of Midland over Tudor and in honor of the Band of the Falcon. To put it simply: this is gratuitous fan service and it shows. I'm sure it came from a good sentiment, but clearly not much thought went into it. These characters (Farnese, Serpico, Azan and Guts, Casca, Griffith) aren't supposed to have met each other before later on in the story. What's going to happen in the Conviction arc? They'll recognize the Black Swordsman? "Oh, it was this guy from the Band of the Falcon?" Same with Casca? Same with Griffith? Those are pretty serious changes to the story considering that these characters still currently don't know who Guts nor Casca were before. Deplorable.

Then Guts is shown pushing noble ladies in a way that is rather exaggerated. He certainly wasn't at ease in that element but there's a middle ground between being a dandy and a brute. The scene when Casca grabs him to get away lacks the humor of the general. That's one aspect of the movie worth noting: how seriously it takes itself. It's devoid of the manga's humor, and what few funny moments it features usually fall flat.

It should be noted that Casca's wearing a headdress and a necklace that look on par if not more expensive than Charlotte's... When talking about her dress and all, the little moment of having her covering up one of her scars is a neat addition, I guess. Adds nothing, but at least it doesn't detract from the story either. It's rare enough to be worth noting. Then they're talking about Guts showing up at the ball and because they never had the Bonfire of Dreams talk, the scene is changed to beef up Casca's understanding that he's really going to leave into him telling her more or less directly. Obviously it doesn't have a hundredth of the emotional depth of the original scene (and I'm not even talking about the Bonfire of Dreams scene itself).

Cut to applause as the king arrives. Charlotte's hair looks like it's been cut short because of the angle. The king's costume is notable for how gaudy and unrefined it looks compared to what he wears in the manga. His cloak, like the flag, bears the emblem of the French royalty. Anyways, as he makes his speech, Guts & Casca come in together, since of course Guts isn't staying outside in preparation to having to deal with Elise's kidnappers. There's a lot of stuff removed here, his reflexion on how hard Griffith's plan to appear dead will be on Casca and the others, etc. And of course removing the political plot lessens the depth of the story all around as well as the character development for everyone involved in one way or another (including the Casca, Carcus, Pippin, Judo, Rickert's reaction to his return). But I digress, so Guts and Casca come back, and then Guts leaves her side halfway through for no reason, and he's not even going anywhere in particular. We see some nameless guys being angry again. Carcus throws his hat while yelling, which for someone like him who always minds his appearance and desperately tries to not appear to be a rube is a pretty drastic change (see what he tells Guts during the hunting party or even more to the point when they meet at the bar before Guts leaves). His attitude in the manga is completely different. Anyways, Guts has reached the window at the back of the room, which is obviously just so that he and Griffith can exchange smiles like in the manga. Only it's lost all its meaning and power here, after everything they've excised.

Then comes the dance scene. Some pretty weird dancing moves shown there. Also, the emphasis on a single flute for the music doesn't seem to fit what would be playing at a royal ball to me. Anyways, Casca see Charlotte talking to Griffith (which apparently neither the king nor the queen mind at all) and is jealous. Then Guts comes back and makes a hilariously grotesque face (not kidding, it cracks me up), and they dance together. Notice the extremely dumbed-down relationships between the characters here. The 3D during the dance scene bothers me several times. Of course the faces as always, but also the bodies themselves sometimes, and how they move and are animated.

Anyway, seeing Casca and Guts dance together is very cute. Heart-warming and all (though at some point Guts seems to be talking from the way his lips move, only there's no dialogue). But the problem I have with it is that it's fan-fiction. It's not faithful in any way whatsoever to the characters, in fact it's almost a betrayal of their personalities.

VI. DEEP IMPACT

Then cut to Guts walking off, with a homeless guy cheering for the Band of the Falcon, clearly implying that he's doing it hours at most after the ball ended. Big departure from the events in the manga. Of course all of the events in the manga are again gone here, Casca does not see him and come out, he does not go with Carcus and Judo to the bar, does not reflect on the past, future, his life, etc. Does not talk with Judo... So many things are gone... It's really hard to believe how little credit people give these moments. It may not be as iconic, but what I just mentioned is easily as important as the Bonfire of Dreams. And it's all gone without a trace. Instead everybody's waiting for Guts under the tree. Because they somehow sensed he'd been leaving at that precise moment, not an hour earlier or later (Or maybe they've been waiting all night? After all, Griffith is wearing his night gown.), and they knew exactly what path he'd take, too! In the manga Casca and Carcus knew in what direction he was headed, and he was walking on a road. In the movie he's walking in a field, no road in sight. There's even no city gate showing in the background, meaning he's not taken a straight path after exiting Wyndham. And of course he could have left from any point in the city. But nevermind, they're there because they were meant to be (and they probably teleported, too, as there's not a single footprint in the snow). Giant plothole? One more, one less, what's the difference, right?

Griffith's appearance is still odd though, given that we see Pippin's back, but then when Guts walks past him Griffith is revealed still further back. From the angle it's hard to believe Griffith could have stayed concealed until that moment. But again, at this point, we should probably just be happy that he's there and it's not Boscone or Adon instead, right? Anyhow, Griffith's reaction when Guts confirms he intends to leave feels off to me. The stare doesn't feel right. Guts is also wearing armor when he's not supposed to be. Of course, he didn't leave his old breastplate and broken sword, which Casca won't find and hold after his departure, etc. Same stuff I was pointing out over a year ago. Maybe two years now? Can't remember. So much of it was right too, down to his sword not breaking. Ah well.

Carcus' little rant, while close to the original, feels devoid of its original meaning given how little background it has. He almost feels infantile there to me, even just from the way they animated him and how the voice actor portrays him. The relationship between Guts and Casca is not shown at all, it's in fact inexistent here. I cannot help but mourn for its loss given how great it was. Guts thinking back to Judo's words, Casca's look and her expression of shock as he walks past her without a word. All of that a premise to Griffith drawing his sword. Masterful. And yet just another part cut off from the movie without remorse. Because you wouldn't want to hurt the pacing, right? That's what matters, the pacing! It probably would have hurt the pacing to include it! Am I convincing myself yet? Nope.

Here she just tells him to stop as he's walking off, but it has no depth, emotion or meaning. Then Griffith draws. The perspective for the backdrop, with Wyndham being there even though Guts and Griffith are shown from the side while it was actually behind Guts while he was walking away, bothers me as much as it did the first time I saw that scene. A detail, but at this point why not mention it. The reflexion of everybody, from Judo about Casca to Griffith's thoughts about Guts are stripped down to a lot less than what the acceptable minimum would have been. The scene of the two of them standing still looks as amateurish as always. I can't help but feel that they should have redone it. They didn't convey the subtlety of the swordplay at work during that duel either. The fact Guts actually waited for Griffith's attack and cut his sword from "behind", preventing any form of parrying, and proving his superior swordsmanship. The slow-mo effect was a good idea, but without the previous insight into what Griffith intended I doubt anybody's going to get it. Who cares though, because their swing creates a foot deep crater! Now how cool is that (I am being sarcastic)!

We're also not shown the effort Guts makes to hold his sword back from injuring Griffith, which is another testament to his skill. But we're shown that his sword cut some of Griffith's hair (alright, that's not terrible or anything)! And Guts blows off some steam afterwards (that however isn't so good). In the manga, as Casca tries to touch Griffith, it seems to be that he turns his face away, indicating that he doesn't want to be touched. She then withdraws her hand. In the movie she just does instantly it without him moving or reacting. She's also not shown briefly hesitating before calling Guts' name, and the depiction of the scene in the manga seems to imply she shouted it more forcefully than she does in the movie. And of course, Guts does not reflect on what happened, thinking that Griffith will quickly get over it, etc. Very unfortunate, considering the events that follow and how they were obviously unexpected by Guts.

VII. THE MOANS AND THE GROANS

The talk between Charlotte and the maid is meant to replace some of her dialogue with the queen in the manga. Only a maid shouldn't get to talk to the princess like that... Putting in Anna is cute, though she doesn't feel like her usual goofy self.

Griffith stumbles into the room past Charlotte, walking away until she starts speaking, and then talking with his back turned to her. Not how he's shown in the manga, still smooth despite the situation. The romantic music and general treatment of the scene completely differs from its original portrayal, with Griffith going there on an impulse, staring vacantly while she cries in his arms, then deciding to take advantage of the situation by having sex with her in a rather emotionless manner. But here they've turned it into a love scene, no doubt because they felt a good movie ought to have one. So Griffith looks down at Charlotte and she looks up to him while tender music plays on, they kiss, he twists her nipple and she squeals for 30 solid seconds. Then cut to a bar scene where Casca and the others wonder what Griffith is up to, which brings little to the table because it misses the far more important part where she visits Guts' empty room and holds his sword to her chest. Then they have sex, and while the scene is effectively erotic, I can't help but feel that they went overboard with it, pushing the titillation as far as they could without affecting the rating. Which in itself doesn't bother me beyond the fact it's a bit gratuitous, but it's regrettable that it had to be at the expense of Griffith's emotionlessness, his empty stares and such. It's, again, character development that's gone for no reason, replaced with the dramatic pendulum of the beherit. Same goes for him leaving back the little trinket Charlotte had given him along with a lily of the valley. Small touches like that go a long way.

Meanwhile Casca's again staring at the sky for no reason at the bar, providing nothing of value. Then Griffith is out in the morning. It's a bright day and he's on the pavement, and we hear soldiers running for 5 seconds while Griffith stands there unmoving. In the manga the morning is misty, Griffith is in the some sort of garden and is taken by surprise when the guards emerge out from the mist while he looks back at Charlotte's window. He tries to reach for his sword, but alas has none. This is again excised from the movie. He stands there, hears the captain of the guard's declamation, then is apprehended.

The emphasis put on the Falcons being cold as they stand in the field strikes me as being a bit odd. They've been asked to assemble there and they're unarmed but if it was that cold you'd think they'd have each put on a coat... Then Pippin's warning feels, like most everything, really overdramatic, what with lasting too long, the crows taking flight, the music...

Casca's taking command is kinda drawn out, you'd think things would go more quickly in such a situation, especially with arrows pelting them from all sides. Her reining in Carcus isn't too bad for what it is, but not really necessary in the context. The depiction of the ambush in general is also rather odd, not just that they're all thinking "Griffith!" every 5 seconds, but the way they take heart when Casca rallies them. Not very fitting of the dire situation. And we don't see any of them being wounded, not Rickert, Pippin, and not even Casca... That made for an amazing cliffhanger in the manga, too bad. Having this ambush take place at the same time as Griffith's interrogation also feels a bit strange. You'd think the king would go straight to the offender and the killing of his men, especially considering the time needed for them to be contacted, to assemble and all, would come afterwards (i.e. like it does in the manga).

The king's whipping of Griffith comes a bit abruptly, but I guess that's one element that is not too hard to understand without knowing more of the background. What is, however, perplexing is how Griffith comes right away to the conclusion that the king is having inappropriate feelings for his daughter. It's served to the viewer with very little exposition to the king's character and to Charlotte's life, the court's life, the king and the queen's relationship, etc. A pretty big failure on the movie's part as far as I'm concerned. And of course, Griffith's defiance of the king (that results in his orders to torture him for as long as possible), the king's threat to the soldiers, it's all gone.

Guts coming across Puck is meaningless fan service again. Puck had no reason to be there, especially captive. In the manga he's seen later on when Rickert is found by travelling performers, possibly the same guys he was with when he met Judo, and not in captivity. That's continuity. Here he's prisoner of a cage with bars far enough apart that he could squeeze through if he felt like it.

The torturer grabs off the beherit necklace, but somehow without breaking off the link. Given his size and how it's portrayed it hardly makes sense. The beherit falls down the drain and floats away. The end. How anticlimatic.

Offline SuperVegetto

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #70 on: January 02, 2013, 10:49:55 PM »
 You win the best review for Berserk Battle at Doldrey award :ubik:
Seriously that's really detailed and makes me wonder if you're omniscient about the Berserk world

Offline Jaze1618

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #71 on: January 02, 2013, 11:10:17 PM »
And then, wow. Griffith present in the rescue party. What a betrayal of the story and of his character. Inadmissible. And it's for no reason either.

Don't you mean its because Judo was given so little screen time in the first two movies :judo: that the producers were afraid viewers would be confused as to who the rescuers were if only Judo were to represent the named members the hawks at the rescue?  :ganishka:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #72 on: January 02, 2013, 11:50:54 PM »
Don't you mean its because Judo was given so little screen time in the first two movies :judo: that the producers were afraid viewers would be confused as to who the rescuers were if only Judo were to represent the named members the hawks at the rescue? :ganishka:

I'll admit, as annoying as the fan craze around him was 10 years ago, I kinda feel bad for him with these new movies. Carcus gets the best treatment out of them all.

Offline Roderick

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #73 on: January 03, 2013, 03:31:27 AM »
Much creedence was given by some reviewers to the editing during the final sequence, which splices together Griffith's seduction of Charlotte, a bar scene where Casca seems to smell the sex they're having, and Griffith's subsequent torture at the hands of the king. But somewhere around the time of the penis insertion, I was already checked out. The exaggeration of this scene for purely titillating purposes was simply gross. I honestly am dreading what they're going to do with the Eclipse. Like Charlotte sobbing in Griffith's arms before he twists her nipple, will Casca's rape also be serenaded by a tender love theme before they get down to the action?

Yeah, I sort of take back my more positive slant on that scene in regards to how Griffith's motives were depicted in that scene.  In the manga and even the TV anime it is depicted as a seduction/rape scene.  In this film, we get what appears to be a more consensual sex scene that goes out to titillate, while the manga's scene is definitely more uncomfortable.  While it's not something one would notice having never read the manga, it does alter Griffith's (and Charlotte's) character in this movie along with changing the tone of the whole scene.

Offline Oburi

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc II: Capture of Doldrey [Review]
« Reply #74 on: January 03, 2013, 03:54:02 AM »
Quote
That made me think that maybe uncle Aaz had to tell it like it is after all. And so here are my observations. Not a review per se, just the comments I made to myself as I watched the movie. Enjoy.

Uncle Aaz telling it like it is! Enjoy it I did haha  :guts: