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About Digital Art / Professional Core Member Alycia WhatleyFemale/Australia Group :iconemma-fanart: Emma-Fanart
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Murder Journal: An Unbiased Review

Mon Sep 4, 2017, 2:44 AM
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There was a lot of controversy surrounding the Netflix adaptation of Death Note. Now, I've never seen the anime or read the manga, so a friend suggested it would be interesting to see what I thought of the movie without knowing anything about the original characters or plot. That way, we could determine whether people didn't like it because they were biased or if it just sucks! So last night I sat down to watch Death Note. Here's what I thought.


Things That Were Done Badly

Oh boy where do I start.

Light, as a character, didn't work very well. When he's introduced, they give you the idea that he's quite smart, but this isn't really seen throughout the actual film until the last 2 minutes. The acting was a little off too; he seemed to go from angry to calm very quickly. The scene where he meets Ryuk is almost cringy. The way it was filmed made it seem a bit comical, you know that style of filming and over-acting that you see in kdramas? It was verging on that, and considering the rest of the movie was shot like every other American Highschool movie, its was very out of place. I also feel like they could have done a bit better with Ryuk's introduction. He's in shadows and out of focus for the first part so I thought "Oh cool. He's going to lean into focus real menacingly and give us a lil jumpscare. Neat." but they just had him fully in focus in the next shot? No music cue or anything. Just "Oh hey this is the scary demon man", and it was kind of anticlimactic. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel it was a missed opportunity.

In terms of the way the plot progresses, it's not fantastic. We see Light get a lil bit cranky in the beginning, but I don't think the way he progresses from Smol School Boy to Mister Murder in the first 11 minutes of the movie is plausible. I get that the other guy was a bully. I get that that man killed his mum. That doesn't mean he's willing to take their lives right off the bat, especially the way he's portrayed at the very beginning. I don't know if he's meant to be cool and collected in the anime, but this version of Light seems kinda scared, and it didn't seem believable.

The progression worsens after he starts using the Dangerous Murder Book. Later, he's just out in the gym at school reading it? At that point he barely knows anything about it except that it has the power to kill, and he's just got it out in public. What's dumber than reading the book in public? Telling the girl you pretty much just met about it, and then her being completely fine - in fact, enthusiastic - about it. Pretty much the plot seems like it was condensed down so much to fit the 100 minute timeframe that things just happen too quickly. There's no progression in considering if he should use the book, or alternatively, enough character building prior to finding the book to justify his willingness to use it. There's no building of trust between Light and Mia. It just feels too rushed, and considering it looks like they want a second movie anyway, they could have stretched it out a little more.

One of the biggest let downs was the ending, for the fact that it wasn't really an ending. It was like it just got to a point in the movie and the credits started rolling. If this was their idea of a cliffhanger and potential sequel teaser, it was very poorly done.

Things That Were Done Well

The plot, while frustrating at times, was intriguing enough for me to keep watching. The character I enjoyed most was L, he was quirky and smart and an excellent opposition for Light (although his last scene is questionable; its quite out of character. Again, this might be from the anime, but if theyre going to change it for part of the movie they should be consistent). Ryuk was great, he was animated quite well and his unusually fluid movement added to his creepiness. I think of all the casting choices, William Dafoe's voicing of Ryuk was the best. (And speaking of casting, lil cameo from Masi Oka~!)


Overall, it wasn't terrible. But it wasn't good either. I'm giving it a 4/10; while its production quality was good and it had one or two likeable characters, there were glaring issues with plot progression and character development.

Let me know what you guys thought of it! If you like you can read the actual notes I took during the movie (with bigger spoilers, beware) here. Now I'm off to watch the anime~

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  • Listening to: Akdong Musician~
  • Reading: the comments
  • Watching: Death Note
  • Playing: BeatEVO YG
  • Eating: Passionfruit Sorbet
  • Drinking: aloe


Lushies-Art's Profile Picture
Alycia Whatley
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
I'm Lushie
I like to draw characters
I play video games sometimes

Got questions? I have answers! Read my FAQ
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What kind of area do you live in? 

34 deviants said Lower Case City
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17 deviants said Capital City
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Add a Comment:
leonrock84 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2017
hey yo
Lushies-Art Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Heya! ^^
leonrock84 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2017
do you take request 
Lushies-Art Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
I don't do requests sorry ^^" I do take commissions, if you'd like to talk about those please send me a note :) Other than that, I'm happy to take suggestions!! I just can't promise that it would be done anytime soon :3 Thank you for your interest!!
KrestenaWolfShadow Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2017
Hi Lushie. :wave: 
Just letting you know I completed this gift art a while ago and wasnt sure if you'd seen it. =)
1 Year Anniversary Gift Art by KrestenaWolfShadow
Lushies-Art Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Oh my gosh! This is adorable ^^ Thank you so much, and congrats on 1 year!! <3
KrestenaWolfShadow Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2017
^w^ So glad you like it. =D :happybounce: 
Your very welcome. =D :hug: 
Thank you. :hug: 
Viewer-for-2015 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017
Hey Lushie, I'm the blonde bloke you saw today for a second time at your stall, the first time previously at Melbourne's Supernova. 😅 I wish this message could be sent private but I digress, any ways, I wanted to apologise for being unable to return to your stall and bye a print or two. It is my greatest regret right now. 😭 Haha- Please excuse this accounts bland formality as I only made it so as to view artwork unhindered by censors and what not. Perhaps one day I will bring my own art to the platform as you have. I hope to see you again at the next convention, so I may correct today's blunder. Right... Sooo- till next time, I wish all the best to an artist as beautiful as the work she creates. - That guy :3

P.S- Your gallery is amazing! 😱
Lushies-Art Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Hey there! Thanks for stopping by again, it was nice to see you ^^ Next con in Melb is Animaga, maybe I'll see you there!!

And thank you, you really are too sweet ^^
Viewer-for-2015 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2017
It was lovely meeting you again as well! Haha, I planned on going there (*to Animaga*) and pondered the thoughts as to whether you would be there or not as well. ':) And please- you flatter me, I am but A lemon squeeze compared to the strawberry you are. ^^
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