Domo Arigato, Battleship Yamato

You may have rolled your eyes when you heard about the new Star Wars movies, but trust us, the saga of those films is nowhere near as convoluted as the history behind 2010's Space Battleship Yamato, playing at the 4 Star. This is actually the first live-action adaptation of the groundbreaking 1970s anime series — familiar to Americans of a certain age as the afternoon TV show renamed Star Blazers, questionably edited and dubbed by Sandy Frank like so many other Japanese imports in those days — which itself has spawned many a sequel series and feature-length movie over the decades. There's the recently launched anime film series Yamato Resurrection, which functions as sequel to the original story, as well as the recent Space Battleship Yamato 2199 TV series, a more straightforward remake — not to mention the upcoming movie version of that series, which is basically the same story as tonight's picture, but animated. Does any of this production backstory ultimately matter to you, the uninitiated viewer? Not in the least, because the live-action Space Battleship Yamato is accessible to newbies, who'll find it to be a pulpy space-opera, full of laser battles and scenery-chewing and everything that makes movies fun. And if you do enjoy it, there's plenty more Yamato waiting to be discovered.

Sat., Oct. 26, 6 p.m., 2013
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