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Dragonball Evolution
BLU-RAY disk
09.02.2009 By: Mathew Plale
Dragonball Evolution order
Director:
James Wong

Actors:
Justin Chatwin
James Marsters
Jamie Chung

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young martial artist (Chatwin) must find the seven Dragonballs before villain Piccolo (Marsters) can use them for evil.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What the hell is a Dragonball and what is it doing evolving? That immediately came to mind the minute I ripped open the latest package laying at my front door.

Dragonball Evolution is based on the Japanese franchise (that is, manga, TV shows, video games, action figures, etc.) which is, I’d imagine, popular with the 10-12 year old crowd. There is a bullied high schooler, Goku (Justin Chatwin), with goofy hair, and a slime-green warlord named Piccolo (James Marsters). There is plenty of hand-to-hand combat, too--on tightrope, in a lava plot…All in the name of the Dragonball!

Let me explain: If you have all seven Dragonballs, then you are granted one wish from a magical dragon. So, Goku and friends--crush Chi Chi (Jamie Chung), butt-kicker Bulma (Emmy Rossum), thief Tamcha (Joon Park)--embark on their quest to find the seven Dragonballs before Piccolo does. Oh, and there’s a solar eclipse coming up on the calendar, which plays nicely into the timeline of the journey.

Has James Wong (Final Destination, FD 3) directed a faithful adaptation? I’ll leave that to the experts to decide, because they won’t care how obvious the green screen work is, or how stale the acting is. What will matter to the kids most is whether Goku will teach them new tactics to defeat that villainous pillow of theirs (he will).
THE EXTRAS
Disc One:

Goku’s Workout (HD; 4:50): A pair of fight choreographers, placed strategically in front of a blue screen, demonstrate various moves used in the movie. Their best advice: “Punching is very important to being a warrior.”

Deleted Scenes (HD; 11:10): There are eight total, five of which are deleted scenes (“Goku Learns About Ki,” “Goku Lifts Car,” “Goku Meets Bulma,” “Goku Sees His Birthday Cake,” “Mai Dies by Stabbing”) and three of which are extended.

Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene (SD; 9:27) uses interviews and clips to take a look at one of Dragonball Evolution’s many fight scenes.

Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School with Justin Chatwin (SD; 24:36): Here, three film students chat with the actor, who dices out advice and background info. Though “the kid from Dragonball” might not be to first one film students look to for industry insight, this piece could still be useful to younger ones.

Also included is a Music Video, a Gag Reel (2:23), and Goku’s Quest Game, where the goal is to gather all seven Dragonballs hidden throughout the movie.

Disc Two:

The sole feature is the Digital Copy.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Dragonball Evolution isn't tailored for someone like myself (a miserable, underpaid web critic from New Jersey), but it's easy to see why a young male audience would get a kick out of the characters and their journey.
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