ad info




TIME Asia
TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Entertainment
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia

TIME.com
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Asiaweek
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

 ASIAWEEK.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL


Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME AsiaAsiaweekAsia NowTIME Asia story

NOVEMBER 22, 1999 VOL. 154 NO. 20

The Man Who Just Didn't Get It
By RICHARD CORLISS

A movie critic is no more likely to ask for mercy than he is to dish it out. And his first rule is: Never plead ignorance. But this time a confession and a request are in order.

    ALSO IN TIME
Cover: Pokémania
Their creator thinks of them as inner monsters, but the Pokémon have gone far beyond his mind to sweep Japan--and now the rest of the world
Review: The Man Who Just Didn't Get It
Psychology: Should Children Play with Monsters?
Strategy: A teenager explains the appeal
First Look: A sneak preview of the new characters

Online Exclusive: The Ultimate Game Freak
TIME speaks with Pokémon's creator Satoshi Tajiri

  RELATED SITES
These are external links not endorsed by TIME Asia and will open in a new window

RESOURCES
Pokémon World
Everything Pokémon and more

Pokémon the First Movie
All about the first feature-length Pokémon movie to hit the U.S.

Join the Anti-Pokémon Quest
An anti-Pokémon advocate shares his views of doom and gloom

  VIDEO
VideoCNN's Rick Lockridge reports on the video game turned cultural phenomenon known as Pokémon.
Windows Media 28K 80K

Child psychiatrist, John Lochridge claims Pokémon brainwashes kids
Windows Media 28K 80K
  MESSAGE BOARD
Pokémon: The First Movie
Know this, Pokémoniacs: your world is alien and barren to me. I have never so much as held a Game Boy--though in my role as uncle, I have held boys who were playing the game. I don't know the Pokémon toys, cards or comic books. I once watched 10 minutes of the Pokémon TV show, and that particular episode must have been the antidote to the one that provoked seizures in 700 Japanese kids; it put me near to sleep. So as I describe my exasperation with Pokémon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, be gentle in your derision. Sometimes the young have to indulge their elders.

I was ready to return the favor as I watched Pikachu's Vacation, a harmless, mildly inventive short cartoon that precedes the feature. The plot, eventually, is about the communal effort to pull a dragon's head out of a drainpipe. But the fun comes before, as the whole gang cavorts--heads rolling, bodies warping--in a cheery Dadaist vaudeville that echoes Bob Clampett's 1938 Looney Tune triumph Porky in Wackyland.

Then comes the feature, and charm is replaced by the dull treatment of a way-too-familiar scenario. As in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, an evil genius lords it over a mountainous island patrolled by a supermonster. The monster here is Mewtwo, a kitty clone or copy cat of cuddly Mew. And as in Toy Story, the old-fashioned toys (like Mew) have to teach the mechanized ones (like Two) a bit about human values.

It would be great if someone would instruct the filmmakers about cartoon values. This picture has none. It lacks visual wit and expressiveness of movement. It has no pace, or even much of a pulse. As a Rastafarian moviegoer might say, "It's pokey, mon."

Last confession: I'm as eager to pretend understanding of a hot fad as any journalist. And I do like things kids like; this summer I read all three Harry Potter books, aloud and enthralled, to my wife. So I'm no grinch. Honest. I'm just a guy who loves good cartoons and, when he sees a bad one, gets a little ... bit ... UPSET.

Images © 1995, 1999 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./Game Freak Inc.; moving images by Adam Connors

This edition's table of contents
TIME Asia home


AsiaNow


Quick Scroll: More stories from TIME, Asiaweek and CNN

   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
 Search

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.