Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dragonball Z Movie Thoughts (Ft. Brayniac)

Time for a look at the Dragonball Z movie series... and by that, I mean the 13 movies that seemed to, weirdly enough, take place concurrently to the series without being a part of the series. Things happen in these movies that are never referenced in the series and aren't actually possible within the series timeline (with a couple of exceptions). They're still a potentially fun watch, however.

For this look at the DBZ movies I'll be joined by longtime buddy and frequent commenter Brayniac, who will bring an older perspective to the proceedings to counteract my childish rantings. We'll be grading each movie on a scale of 1 to 10 Raditz, with 10 Raditz being the best a DBZ movie can be (but as fans of DBZ Abridged know, it's still inferior to Vegeta). Keep in mind that this isn't my normal ratings scale. A 10 here doesn't equal a normal Perfect 10. It just means it's a 10...for a DBZ movie. As good as it can be expected to be.

Movie 1: The Dead Zone 

Jericho: I watched this one when I had...well...a dead zone with nothing else to do on a trip. And thus began an odyssey of DBZ movie watching the likes of which I haven't engaged in since Ever.

So, does this movie take place before DBZ starts? Seems like it, with Piccolo being all "rarr Gokou and I must fight". Plus, it was actually treated as something close to a big deal that some guys ran over Chichi and Mr. Ox like speed bumps. Garlic Jr has to be one of only a couple villains in the whole DBZ-verse to actually succeed in utilizing the Dragon Balls for nefarious purposes.

All in all, this movie was alright, kinda odd. Don't remember ever seeing it before. Cool seeing Chichi fight for once. ...or start to, anyway. Speaking of Chichi, after the latest episode of DBZ Abridged revealing what she gives Gokou for Christmas, I think it's safe to say we now know what the hell "Head Cha La" means.

4 Raditz

Brayniac: I laughed in the beginning when Ox King said that Chichi told him he was only supposed to give Gohan books as presents. Since Piccolo is just about equal to Gokou, this movie is somewhat like the Raditz fight, except Garlic Jr. doesn't no-sell all of their attacks. He only no-sells death.  The stuff with Chichi in the beginning was cool, The World's Greatest Gohan is sans-song but still weird-ass, and Kuririn gets peed on.  By far the most shocking thing about this movie is that GOHAN WINS.  BY HIMSELF.  ...and he can't even fight yet.  I give it a 6 as it's a fair start for the film franchise.

6 Raditz 

Movie 2: The World's Strongest

Jericho: This was really good. Better than Dead Zone by a mile. Don't think I ever saw this one before either. Dr. Wheelo being a brain in a glass case makes me think of Mega Man. Or perhaps Metroid. The video game culture is alive and well in the anime-verse. This movie has an interesting story going on with Wheelo needing a new body (explaining the title, as he wants the strongest body available). Also interesting that his goons use electric and ice weapons that seem designed to trap rather than kill. Seems some thought went into this one. The only problem is that no one made love to Bulma, who acts like she hasn't been made love to in like two years. I have some real issues with the fact that no one is making love to Bulma in any of these movies.

7 Raditz

Brayniac: I've always said that this was the best of the first three movies, and that's probably still gonna hold up.  The biggest shocker for me was when they editted out the I Love Mr. Piccolo song.  Normally I would expect this, but in the first dub of the movie it was still there.  In a weird way though, Gohan's dream is even more bizarre without the context of a song to go with it.  There's not too much funny here, but this movie excels in the action.  Gokou's fights are all really good, and this is probably the last time we get to see Master Roshi be important.  The structure of the last battle is waaaaay too similar to the Vegeta fight, not unlike how the whole Gokou/Ginyu confrontation closes mirrors the Nappa fight.  All things considered though, this is one of the better films.

8 Raditz

 Movie 3: The Tree of Might

Jericho: Notice how most of the scenes used in "Rock the Dragon" were from the first three movies? Kinda funny considering they used it for the show. Tree of Might was the first DBZ movie I ever saw, and it's admittedly one of my favorites. There are a few nonsensical things about this movie, like the Tree of Might just magically disappearing after Turliss dies. They were linked? And there are some pretty awkward cuts, like when Turliss goes from being in his spaceship to being next to Gohan a few seconds later. It's pretty cool to have a Saiyan villain at this point, too. It sucks that the good guys get pretty much owned for most of this movie, but...well, it happens sometimes.

8 Raditz

Brayniac: Well!  This one turned out better than I remembered. It's one of the longest movies I've watched on this run yet and has it's share of time stretching to fill it out.  Gokou does take out all of the goon squad by himself which is pretty lame, but the olde school crew still had a lot to do in this movie and some decent fights, which I liked. Turliss isn't that bad a villain actually, what's holding him back is looking like Gokou for no reason.  The movie would be a whole point higher if he had a unique appearance.

6 Raditz

Movie 4: Lord Slug

Jericho: What in the good name of Jeffrey Dahmer is up with the musical bit at the beginning of the movie? Gohan and Icarus shaking their asses to Middle Eastern music was perhaps the greatest scene in the history of DBZ (if you're high out of your mind), but...what the hell? And then we get this badass rock music that kicks in as a METEOR FLIES IN... already this movie has more music than the first three. After the meteor crashes, my first thought is "well, that was a short movie." 

This movie features The People of Earth, who only occasionally show up in DBZ. There's a reason for that: The People of Earth are incredibly stupid. "Ha ha, I'm not afraid of a guy named Lord Slug!" "Slugs are gross!" Yep. If there's one constant throughout DBZ, it's that the common people are about as intelligent as boulders. 

You know what? I wish Buu had been just MARGINALLY smart, because that's all it would have taken to win. Boom, show over. Everyone's happy! 

Lord Slug himself is a total punk. I'm surprised he never took on Freeza, since he probably could have given Freeza a decent challenge and since he's a Namekian. Then again, he probably couldn't care less about his home planet. Turliss also probably could have given Freeza a go once he ate a bunch of fruit. ...what am I going on about, none of these guys were really all that canon.

The most noteworthy thing about this movie is the abundance of licensed music. When "Stupify" by Disturbed started playing in the middle of a battle, I nearly fell out of my chair.

6 Raditz

Brayniac: This is the first film with licensed music, which I think was a great way to spice up the films.  Whether or not I like the songs, they're all DBZ-appropriate.  I personally enjoy the Deftones and Disturbed tracks myself.  I found it amusing that Lord Slug did two things right out of the original Dragon Ball, wish for eternal youth like King Piccolo, and became giant like the current Piccolo.  Icarus and Gohan's dance number sure was weirdass, but at least they worked it into the film somewhat logically.  Oh, and Chichi actually took out a jobber! How often do you get to see that?  Gokou goes fake-SSJ which isn't too bad, then beats Slug with the world's fastest spirit bomb.  Good stuff all around.

8 Raditz

Movie 5: Kooler's Revenge

Jericho: Is it Cooler or Kooler? One of the big questions surrounding this movie is... Gohan has a tail? What? In any case, this is a really good one, with a formidable villain in the form of Kooler. The goons are okay too. Saiza and company are like Ghetto Ginyu Force, and I wonder if he's equal to Captain Ginyu. Kinda doubt it. I'm a big fan of Kooler. I sorta had an issue with how Gokou waited so long to go Super, though. Got his ass whooped for a while, and it was unnecessary. This is more of a general DBZ problem than a problem with this specific movie.

The final battle sure is quicker than the Freeza fight. While Gokou Vs. Freeza dragged on for over 890 episodes, Gokou Vs. Kooler is over in a few minutes. The music is good in this one, especially the end credits music. This movie surges based on the strength of the antagonist, and it's very interesting to see another Freeza type being (what is their race called, anyway?) with slightly different powers.

8 Raditz

Brayniac: This is the first time I've seen this one, and boy was I impressed.  Cooler is pretty active even while his goons are about, and Piccolo's slaughter of the goon squad is great.  I never get tired of watch him bail out Gohan, which is probably why he does it in nearly every movie.  Seeing a form beyond Freeza's final was a good idea (even though Cooler called the standard one form 3... not sure why).  The downtime moments of the movie were pretty entertaining and mostly made sense (flying on Icarus to avoid the scouters picking them up), but I don't know why Gokou's so obsessed with animals all of a sudden.  He's not Juurokugo.  Him being a little bit out of character there is one of the two problems I had with this movie, the other being how long it took Gokou to go SSJ.  Even with that though, it's still one of the least ridiculous (and not entirely already-done) endings to a movie in this series, and blasting Cooler into the sun was just awesome.  I was going to give this movie an 8, but then when Gokou went SSJ one of my favorite songs played ( and added a whole point. This one gets a 9 out of 10, and I'm curious to see if anything will top it.

9 Raditz 

Movie 6: Return of Kooler
Jericho: It's difficult to say whether I like this or the previous movie more. They're a good one-two punch as far as DBZ movies go. In this one Kooler goes all Trapper Keeper/Skynet and it's creepy as hell. This is probably the scariest DBZ movie... then again, that's like being the toughest male model. Great to see Gokou and Vegeta doing a Marvel Team-Up, though Vegeta pretty much just gets his ass kicked. Still, there's a definite cool factor here (no pun intended) and the battle is fast and furious. Metal Kooler is a fearsome brawler. He looks awesome, too. The problem with this movie is that it's a bit on the slow side... and perhaps too creepy for its own good. I can dig the seriousness though. I'll give the previous movie the edge.

7 Raditz

Brayniac: Pretty cool seeing New Namek, I wonder if this was before it showed up in the series.  There's no licensed music in this movie, and the music that is there... is boring.  No matter how action packed things got, the music didn't keep up.  Metal Cooler is sort of a combination of the bad guys from both Terminator 1 and 2, but connected to some vaguely Death Star/V-ger like space thingamajig.  I have no idea why Oolong, Master Roshi, and Yajirobe came along, or even why they needed a spaceship in the first place when Gokou could just teleport the needed people to the planet.   ...but hey, Vegeta's finally in a movie!  Don't know where Trunks is, but I guess it would have been bad if both Trunks and Vegeta made their movie debuts at the same time.  Gokou gets to be the star once again, but he's still about on the same level as Veggie here which is good.  There's some cool stuff in this film, but none of it really grabbed me, and the music kinda added to the boredom factor here.

4 Raditz 

Movie 7: Super Android 13

Jericho: After the Kooler duo-gy, this is a real step down. "I was programmed to kill your ass!" might well be the greatest line in the movie. I'm surprised they're allowed to say "ass" on DBZ. A lot has changed since 1997 I guess. It's weird that Android 13 is stronger than any of the other androids in the series, including his goons #14 and #15. They did the same thing with 16-20. #16 was the strongest of that lot. I don't particularly like this. The numbers ascend with time, so it isn't like they're counting backwards. It's somewhat nonsensical. Shouldn't the higher numbers be more powerful?
T-800: "Not like me. He is the T-500, an advanced prototype. Liquid metal."


They waste a lot of time in this movie, more so than usual. Why is Android 13 a redneck? The short android is a stereotypical black dude, too. Wow, DBZ. Just wow. Look at all the 'tude and style! For a series which, for 90% of it, has a  cast of black guys that consists of Mr. Popo... yeah. I guess Uubu appeared at the end there to balance things out.

The final battle of this movie redeems it somewhat, as Android 13's final form is extremely badass and he takes on three Super Saiyans. This is a first in the movieverse. It's too bad the rest of the movie so slow and plodding.

4 Raditz

Brayniac: This one was pretty disappointing.  The funny scenes didn't click for me so I can't give it much credit there.  Kuririn is usually goofy, and I love him for it, but he spends the whole movie falling on his ass and I got tired of it.  On the action side, the film has a huge problem regarding Super Saiyan-ness.  Our heroes take forever to actually transform, and once they do their fights become cake, meaning they were just wasting time before.  A lot of time.  That's the big problem with the movie, but they also keep falling out of SSJ all the time and taking unnecessary damage because of it.  The finale wasn't too bad, far less of a "they can't do that" than the first Broly movie was.  Probably the best part of the movie was the "Red Ribbon Redneck" saying to Gokou that he was gonna "whoop his ass."  You can't say "ass" on DBZ, what the hell!  Oh, I think they said "hell" too.  I give this movie a 2 out of 10.  If you took out the problems with the SSJ it'd be a 4, but the entire time they were getting beat up I was all "go SSJ" or "go SSJ you retards" or "God even Vegeta is this stupid what the hell?" It's DBZ, I expect my time to be wasted, but when I feel like it's wasting my time even moreso than usual, that's really bad.

2 Raditz

Movie 8: Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan

Jericho: Time for the most overrated DBZ movie of all time. "Hot Fight! Super Violent Fight!" say the opening credits. And that's pretty much the gist of this movie. It isn't as good as it has a rep for being, not even close. I do like the BGM in this, it seems to portend that the movie is serious business. However, one unforgivable event takes place in this movie that really brings it down: Roshi and Oolong fooling around. Roshi rubs his face on Oolong's feet while mumbling something about how he's "baby soft" and it is THE CREEPIEST DAMN THING EVER. Just when you think it can't get any worse, Roshi starts licking Oolong's feet! MAKE IT STOP!

I...don't know what the point of this is, or why it had to be in the movie. For that matter, I don't know what the point of Oolong is, or why he has to be in so many DBZ movies. He must have had some dirt on Akira Toriyama.

Broly shows up and commences beating the tar out of everyone for the entire movie. It's... boring, and it's no fun seeing the good guys getting totally owned with barely any offense getting through from their side. That said... I almost hate to say it, but I can see Broly's appeal. He's like, pure violence incarnate. But yeah, boredom set in with this one, and I ended up playing Startropics while I watched it. Even sub par DBZ movies are good when you have something else to do or play. DBZ and video games are two great tastes that taste great together, just like whipped cream and girl. 

Like most of the DBZ movies, this one picks up towards the end. I liked the slow-mo when Gokou and Broly were locked in combat. Probably the best use of slow-mo that I've seen lately. This movie certainly has some appeal, and as a great man once wrote, Broly's power is Maximum. The problem is simply that the good guys are so ineffectual for 96% of the fighting here.

6 Raditz

Brayniac:  This one is kind of boring.  Vegeta's a baby almost the whole movie, the bad guy is completely invincible until they beat him with a made-up thing our heroes can't actually do.  Broly is basically Goldberg because you feel like everyone is being made to job to him as opposed to getting a real fight.  Kinda funny seeing Piccolo still saving Gohan in the movies even when Gohan is stronger than him though.  The comet plot is retarded as any one of our heroes could destroy it at any time.  The movie does sport a Pantera song though, and I'm a supporter of licensed music in these films... when the songs are good.  My favorite part of the film is in the beginning when Gokou and Chichi are going to the equivalent of a parent-teacher conference.  Chichi is really cute in this one. There's not as much funny stuff as Bio Broly and the fights aren't really that good because they're so one-sided.

3 Raditz

Movie 9: Bojack Unbound

Jericho: Let me start by saying that this is hands-down the best DBZ movie. Now for the criticism, minor as it is. It's hilarious how it's the first movie Gokou is dead for, and he's THE FIRST Z FIGHTER WE SEE. This guy knows how to go away about as well as Buffy did. You can't miss a character if they don't actually go anywhere while dead.

Tien gets to beat Trunks up. That doesn't happen every day. Also noteworthy: Mr. Satan looks like he changed ethnicities from the show. He's got some kind of mega tan here. Another downside: This movie takes longer to get going than The Wrath of Khan. And once again... I swear, the Regular People in DBZ are pretty much the dumbest people I've ever seen in anything.
Nexus Leader Wade Bojack... he's a step down from Broly in power, but he's a lot more interesting. He works with his goons as opposed to just throwing them at our heroes, which doesn't happen often in this series. Aside from the Gokou punch that Brayn will go into, good movie. It was awesome to see Future Trunks and Young Gohan in action one more time, and the battles taking place in a stormy city-scape made for some pretty bad-ass scenery. Definitely a lot better than the usual wastelands that most of DBZ takes place in.

Since it's about as good as any DBZ movie will get, I give it...

10 Raditz

Brayniac: I remember this one as being the best... and it's true.  The early part of the movie stays entertaining with the Mr. Satan hijinks and the various tournament bits, and once things pick up it gets even better.  Nearly everyone gets a good fight in.  Bojack is miles better than Broly as a villain, and he has the best goon squad in the series.  The film breaks the normal routines with lesser baddies.  Trunks kills one early on, then the rest stay together (and thus stay alive) until the end when Gohan ERASES THEM FROM EXISTANCE.  Gohan is badass as all getout at the end, and the only downside is that it was sparked by the biggest bullshit I've ever seen.  Gokou, the very DEAD Gokou, somehow comes back long enough for one punch and to make sure Gohan doesn't get all of the credit.  That's Majin Buushit (the highest level of bullshit), and would be enough to dock this movie a point.  However, the 1-10 scale being used regards a 10 as the best a DBZ movie can be, and this movie is exactly that. 

10 Raditz 

Movie 10: Broly Second Coming

Jericho: DBZ sure got lazy with the villains later on. We got Broly, who just grunts and growls and says "KAKARAWWWWWT". We got Janemba, who is some kind of pokemon and says his name. We got Buu, who makes monkey noises. Basically, it's like they ran out of Dialogue Wad after Cell. At least Bojack has some personality. In any case, Broly returns for this movie, and Gokou no-sells death again in this one. It's back to the status quo after the awesome Movie 9.
Gokou and Gohan sharing the spotlight at the end of the opening credits is great. Trunks is hefting around quite a sack of balls, as this movie is the debut of the power kids. "I'm gonna wish for my very own amusement park!" Kid Trunks says. Wow, the world really is totally at the mercy of the cast on this show. Good thing most of the DBZ world consists of insanely stupid people who don't know anything about anything. Be that as it may... there's one thing that really needs to be mentioned: Broly gets peed on in this movie. It's almost like cosmic payback for the beating he laid on the entire cast two movies ago.

Gohan Vs. Broly is actually good, nice to see someone sorta holding their own against Broly for once. Though why he doesn't go SSJ2 is beyond me, since he's still clearly outmatched. In SSJ2 he could probably overpower Broly (assuming Broly is SSJ 1.75 like Trunks, only tougher) so WHY NOT, DAG NABBIT? Regardless, the finale of this movie has one of the best beam tug-o-wars in the entire DBZverse, in my view. It's pretty great, and Gokou being involved actually makes a tiny bit of sense in this case. Trunks gets to play the Vegeta role and distract Broly long enough for Gohan/Goten/Gokou's beam to overpower his. Not bad at all.

7 Raditz

Brayniac:  I don't care much for Broly as a villain, but Videl, Trunks, and Goten kept me watching until the plot started.  Our heroes are after the dragon balls again. Trunks wants his own Cartmanland, Goten wants food (of course), and I guess Videl is just there to babysit.  She does a pretty lousy job of keeping them in line, but we can't all be Mr. Popo. There's a lot of silliness even after Broly shows up, like Trunks peeing on his head.  Yeah.  I thought once Gohan showed up we'd have a good fight, but it was the same one-sided slaughter as the last Broly fight.  Still, the Son Family Kamehameha was a great scene, and since the dragon balls were used I can't even really call BS on it.  It's a good thing they didn't blow up the sun!  Trunks even got to recreate his father's part at the end of the Cell fight. Oh, and Kuririn shows up just in time for a great parody on the whole "Piccolo saves Gohan in every movie" bit. Action-wise I didn't like this one too much, but the kids and Videl ensured it was at least funny.  I give it a 7 out of 10 just for that.

7 Raditz

Movie 11: Bio Broly

Jericho: Because "Broly: Third Coming" would have been redundant. So what do you get when you give Broly DNA to a bunch of DBZ scientists? Even though DBZ scientists are far smarter than most DBZ Regular People, they're still only about as smart as peacocks. So of course they create a Broly Clone, mess it up, and have him go out of control and get unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. One high point of this disaster is that one of the scientists has pretty nice boobies for a cartoon character. They were clearly lovingly drawn. I give this movie a point just for that. She looked weirdly happy, the way women usually look after they spend some time with me. That's when I shoo them to the kitchen to get me some food, while the political capital is high.

I really wasn't into this movie. Probably my least favorite overall, with Dead Zone and #7 being close behind. Part of it is the way none of the major characters are involved in this one. It gives the kids (and Kuririn's Okamaaa Sex Robot!™) a chance to shine, at least. The Mr. Satan has a big part too. But the lack of the main characters takes away from it for me. I can only assume that they were all off having sex with their wives (or in the case of Piccolo, sporing).

For some reason I thought this Broly was what was left of him after getting blasted into the sun, but it's just a clone made from blood. The fact that this one is a clone (and only even looks like Broly for a minute) takes some heat away from it. The Bio-Warriors are pretty creepy, and remind me of Ninja Gaiden 3 on the NES. Point for that. The psycho dog getting eaten up by the acid pool was some disturbing, Original Evermore Script type shite.

Would have been great if they went "Hasta la vista, baby" when they blasted the petrified Broly. Missed opportunity. Kuririn was nice enough to carry the sexy scientist out of the place. I'm guessing the rat bastard is going to try and talk her into a threesome with his Okamaaa Sex Robot!™ (Now with Real Wrestling Action!)

3 Raditz

Brayniac:  Broly's more of a Gooper Saiyan in this.  He was a super-pathetic foe, but at least he didn't no-sell the Destructo Disk.  Props for that.  Pretty much the only characters in the movie are Trunks, Goten, Juuhachigo, Mr. Satan, and Kuririn.  Gokou only has a small part at the end.  That's pretty ballsy of them, I guess the only reason they used Broly was to give the movie more cred... except he hardly counted as Broly at all, whatever legacy the guy had got crapped on during the whole thing.  Which is appropriate considering that he spends the whole movie covered in crap.  Still, the movie is pretty funny at times, and a lot of it focuses around Mr. Satan.

6 Raditz

Movie 12: Fusion Reborn

Jericho: They might as well have called this one "Movie 12 – Gokou and Vegeta's Spring Break Hell Vacation". 

Am I hearing things, or did they mention Gokou fighting Broly at the beginning? WTF. Was it part of the tournament? Why would Broly take part in a tournament when he's a psycho killing machine? He's never shown, so it might just be something they made up in the dub.

Think this was the second one I ever saw back in '99 or so, after Tree of Might. I jumped waaaay ahead and watched the Japanese version, wanting to see what things were like later. One thing that always stood out to me is how Gokou and Vegeta totally have a boner for each other in this one. Note the lack of plural on "boner". THE WIT! Because, you see, this movie is all about Gogeta.

Having Hitler in this movie is...weird, and I'm surprised they could get away with it. The whole thing with the ghosts being unleashed on the world is a total ripoff of Ghostbusters... except Ghostbusters did that scene waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better. Pikkon is acting totally out of character here compared to his earlier, series appearances. Weird.

Seriously? The barrier of goop breaks when negative emotional energy is thrown at it? This is a total ripoff of Ghostbusters 2! ...except in that it was positive emotional energy.

SSJ3 Gokou Vs Janemba 2 was a pretty awesome fight. Janemba uses some moves that nobody else in the series uses, like his method of teleporting. Gogeta is awesome, and this is the only time we see him in the whole Z series... isn't it? Too bad that battle only lasts for like 30 seconds. Just like both their wedding nights! God took days and days to create the world, yet they created Goten and Trunks in a combined minute! As for Gohan...well, that wasn't even Gokou's doing. Let's just say Turliss was a busy bee way back when. He got around... round and round! Tupacalypse Now don't stop for Chichi!

I liked this movie. It was weirdass as hell, but it was good. Kind of an epitaph to Gokou and Vegeta's forbidden love. Not even in romantic terms, but I honestly believe that at this point in the story they were extremely attached to each other on a competitive yet codependent level. It's a situation where neither of them can really get by without the other. Yep, they need each other, probably more than they need their wives.

8 Raditz

Brayniac: This is the goofy one.  I give it high points for Gohan one-shotting Freeza, Goten and Trunks wiping out Hitler's armies (yeah), and the cool later parts of the Janeba fight.  Vegeta gets to shine a bit here, with the whole "I'll die before I'd fuse with you" "...but you're already dead!" bit.  Even moreso when talking about how he was in hell before, and that he was going back there after everything went back to normal.  Plus the ending is funny: I give it a 7 out of 10 purely for the comedic strength, just like movie 10.

7 Raditz

Movie 13: Wrath of the Dragon

Jericho: This movie has its moments of near-greatness, but for the most part falls short. Gokou pulls an Ultimate Hyper-Attack out of nowhere to win the entire thing, but whatever. I liked the stuff with Tapion and learning how Trunks got his sword (wonder how he got it in the original future. Probably from John Connor's FIRST dad). Problem is, none of this stuff really makes sense. It's cool, but it doesn't jive with what we know. Unless it's a different sword than the one he got originally.

The latest personality-less villain just made a lot of noises, as usual. Hirudegarn was seriously loud and obnoxious and I got sick of hearing him growl for like 15 minutes straight, which the movie actually loses a point from (in addition to the Dragon Punch being totally outta nowhere).

Not to lust after cartoon characters too much, but Videl looks really hot in this one. Bulma is sporting a fetching dress for most of the movie too. Come to think of it, this movie has more sex appeal (for the men) than any other DBZ movie out there. Videl's got the Hot Posing down, too.

All that said... my God, the heroes of DBZ have to be some of the most gullible characters I've ever seen. An old guy who is clearly nefarious shows up and wants us to open this mysterious, magically sealed music box for him. Let's do it, guys!
6 Raditz

Brayniac: Videl doesn't wear pants for the entire movie.  10 out of 10.

....okay, there's more to the movie than that.  Most of it doesn’t work for me.  The heroes stupidly help the obvious villain right from the start.  They seem to be suggesting that this is how Trunks gets his sword, but that doesn't make any sense.  ...and why does the spaceship Bulma makes at the end for the alien elf dude look just like Future Trunks's time machine?  It seems like another nod like the sword is, but that thing is cramped as hell compared to the normal Capsule Corp spaceships.  It works for a short zap through time, but a long journey through space?  Dumb.  ...oh, and Gokou makes up some new move to win the final battle even though Gohan is much stronger than he is at this point.  It's Wrestlemania 9 all over again.

5 Raditz 

Thanks for contributing, Brayn. Time for some DVD bonus material, as I give my thoughts on the four DBZ TV Specials. No ratings for these, as they'd need their own ratings scale since two of them blow most of the actual movies away.

The World of Dragonball Z

Turns out that this is basically a 20 minute recap of DBZ's story (with some Dragonball thrown in) up to Trunks' arrival. It's pretty good for what it is, and I was surprised to hear some Original American Version BGM (namely when they see the space pod fly by on Namek). Don't know who did the BGM back then but it was pretty cool, and completely lost after the show got sold mid-Ginyu. 

There's...not much else to say here. All I can say is, I wish this were another movie where the characters were going camping at the beginning, only this time they had Oolong rotating over the fire with x's for eyes. That would be awesome.

History of Trunks

Oh boy. I don't know what's up with the intro music here but it's some kind of DBZ Club Banger Intro Theme that sounds like it belongs in Persona 3's Club Escapade. Weird.

The music gets weirder, too. There's some Persona Rap type stuff in this movie, which is fine, but it comes at the most inopportune moments. As opposed to Bulma, who never... er, never mind.

Well, this is a good one. It's really good. It's the only time in the DBZ-verse where it rains. It's definitely on the upsetting side though, what with all the heroes getting killed.

The question is, why did the androids take what appeared to be about 17 years just to dismantle ONE CITY? Dear God. Maybe they dismantled lots of others off-camera, but they were on that one city for ages. It makes little sense, considering Piccolo one-shotted THE MOON when he was vastly less powerful than the androids. They must just kill people really slowly and one at a time, or something. Still don't know what the deal is with the future androids and present androids having such different personalities/powers either.

Either way, some things not making any sense aside, I commend this movie for respecting the sanctity of death and not having Gokou jump down from heaven to save the day.

This both ties in with the series AND manages to be really good. Hooray for TV specials. If Trunks wasn't over enough with the audience on his debut, this would do it.

Bardock Story
This is probably the best side-story in the whole DBZ-Verse. It trumps everything else, even Movie 9 and Trunks. Good to see some historical Saiyan stuff here. King Vegeta is oddly absent. This manages to be a story about good and evil... with no good characters. The hero, Bardock...well, he almost reminds me of a Nazi who refused to follow orders. He isn't a "good guy" at all, and only turns on his bosses when he has visions of them screwing him over. The Japanese version has some really cool music during the fight scenes... unfortunately it's absent in the U.S. version. This just tells a good story, and it flows well. I give this one serious props and I wish I had more to say about it.

The Plan to Destroy the Saiyans

The fourth and final TV special is different from the others. It isn't a recap or a history piece, it's a tie-in with a Famicom RPG known in the emulatorverse as "DBZ Gaiden." This movie is notable because, as far as I know, they never released a translated version over here. In any case, the four DBZ RPGs for the Famicom/NES were pretty good across the board. One covered the Saiyan Saga, one covered the Freeza Saga, one covered the Cell Saga, and one covered... this TV special. Someday I'll check all of them out, because I was impressed what I did play of them.

This special teeters on the edge of the movieverse in that it almost fits within the series timeline. If there were a couple of small changes, it would fit right into the pre Cell Game period of time. I think. Most of the music is hip and snazzy, sounding like it belongs in an iPod commercial. It's definitely got some moments, like when Gokou goes SSJ right away as opposed to the usual wasting of time. Every so often they cut to footage of the Famicom game, practically yelling at the viewer to "play the game to see what happened during this part!" The story here is iffy, with some past villains "returning" and attacking en masse. Spoiler alert: They're evil clones!

This special was pretty cool in a way, and it seemed like a lot of the story was missing and left to the game to explain. I kept expecting it to give away some secret to the game, like The Wizard showing you where to find that warp whistle before the game even launched.

There we go. Hope you enjoyed reading about the DBZ verse as much as we enjoyed watching it. ...actually, I hope you enjoyed reading about it a lot more than we enjoyed watching it, because about 80% of these movies weren't very good. But hey, they were still far better than Dragon Ball GT.

1 comment:

  1. dude gohan was ssj2 movie 10 toei put art form movie to prof it you find it on wiki
    and as for plan to kill the saiyans you need watch the 94 viosn not the 93 viosn the 94 viosn has logner fighters and more ned it the palydia viosn

    and yhou need do revew on epsidoe of bardcok goku friends retuen battle of gods and rnf
    give me repaly of want see 94 viosn