I absolutely agree about the Rurouni Kenshin movies. They picked all the best actors to bring these characters to life, and I think they did a pretty good job of condensing down the story into the length of three movies. I would have been totally okay with more movies too, though
And I love
the action! Sure, some of it is a little unrealistic, like Sanosuke flipping Kenshin with his huge sword or Shishio's flaming sword, or just the speed of a lot of the moves. I don't know if they artificially sped up the action, or if the actors really are just that fast, but I know that they did as much as they possibly could for real. And that, I think, is what makes these movies so great. Even though some things are a bit too impossible to completely believe, it's just realistic enough that you can kind of forget that. And really, I'm just happy they didn't have people suspended in midair for five minutes while they yell their attacks at each other
I also loved how they showed a bit of Kenshin's softer side, and his backstory. I would have loved to see more of it, though; they explained how he got one of his scars, but not the other! Can you say "wasted potential"?
I wish they could've included all the information you get from the OVAs. But for what a high-energy action movie this is, I was impressed with how much time they devoted to character development. I think I appreciate all of the characters even more now than I did while watching the anime. I think my main disappointment in that regard was that they didn't give enough time to Sojiro. He was always the most interesting antagonist to me, and while I think they captured
him well in the movie, they just didn't give enough of his backstory to really show why he is the way he is. He just ends up looking crazy and evil for the sake of being crazy and evil, without any of the complexity that's actually there.
But yes, all in all I adore
the Rurouni Kenshin movies. I show them to everyone who will sit still long enough
Another really really good adaptation is the Death Note live-action movies. They get just about everything perfect.
There are only two movies to cover the Death Note plot, so obviously they have to condense the storyline down a lot, so you lose a lot of the really clever cat-and-mouse games L and Light play, but I think they did a great job of getting the important parts in. The characters are all done amazingly well, especially Light and L (which, if you ask me, are the ones who really
matter in the end). I honestly can't imagine anyone doing a better job with these characters than Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama. The CG for the shinigami leaves a little to be desired, but I'm okay with it because I don't think they were trying to make the shinigami look realistic anyway. One thing I should note for anyone reading this who hasn't seen them already is that they actually change the ending. I think the movies' ending makes more sense and works better for the story than the ending of the manga/anime, but adamant purists would probably take issue with it.
There's also a spinoff movie called L: Change the World, with the same actors but a different director. It tells a side story of one of L's cases, and while the plot is nowhere near
the complexity and ingenuity of Death Note, what this movie does with L's character is phenomenal.
I love it to pieces even though I don't really care about the plot, because I think I could watch L being himself till the day I die and never get bored ^_^ It also has a great soundtrack, and makes me bawl my eyes out every time I watch it <3