Wednesday, June 24, 2009

20th Century Boys, NY Premiere

I got down to the big city this past Sunday to catch the New York premiere of the first two chapters of a planned trilogy of live-action 20th Century Boys films. The movies were shown as part of the New York Asian Film Festival, at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village. It's an involved process for me to get to lower Manhattan, but 20th Century Boys was well worth the trip: the movies were fantastic. The first chapter, especially, was riveting; the 2.5 hour run time flew by. The second film was a bit slower, and rapidly multiplying plot threads came dangerously close to causing the whole thing to come apart at the seams, but it still managed to entertain while setting up a third chapter that is going to be epic. Part 3 comes out in Japan in August, and the IFC people promised to try to bring it over as quickly as possible.

New York area fans who missed the first showing of the 20th Century Boys double feature will have another chance next month. There will be a repeat performance at the Japan Society on July 4, with complimentary food and beer during the intermission. The films are eminently worthwhile: Naoki Urasawa's sprawling tale of reluctant heroes, evils cults bent on world domination, pop nostalgia, and persistent childhood traumas has received an adaptation that does the original justice. You simply will not see better summer movies than these this year.

No comments: