Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Yusuke Iseya, Kumiko Aso, Akira Terao, Kanako Higuchi, Fumiyo Kohinata
Director: Kazuaki Kiriya
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Animation
After 50 years of bitter warfare in the late 21st century, a new crisis looms. A threat to the future and the overall existence of mankind. But, there is hope a savior will emerge? Casshern. Casshern is an action-packed... more »
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Michael G. (mgmirkin) from PORTLAND, OR
Reviewed on 5/10/2010...
Visually, it's pretty great. I think that originally it's based off an anime series, so there are a few conceits and tropes common to that genre. I don't know if they play quite as well in a live-action movie. The plot is a little hard to follow at times. Overall, I thought it was rather interesting, though.
But darned if I wasn't irritated that there was no English dub, only subtitles (the system said there's supposed to be an English track).
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Please do yourself a favor, if you saw the action-packed tra
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 10/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"CASSHERN is loosely based on the Japanese anime in the 1970's called "Casshan Robot fighter" which was in turn adapted into the live-action TV series. Highly stylized and visually stunning, "CASSHERN" gives you that first impression that it is a drag-out robot smashing action film as its trailer suggests. However, there is more to this film than first meets the eye.
Plot synopsis derived from the dvd back cover/slip sleeve:
An alternate world with an alternate history.
The world is divided between two opposing alliances. After fifty years of bitter warfare, the Greater Eastern Federation triumphs over the Europan forces and gains control over the Eurasian continent. However, this is a hollow victory. Years of chemical, biological and nuclear war have ravaged the land; draining its resources and left an exhausted population at the mercy of every pestilence and newly-mutated disease. With the war ravaged world, hope dwindles for humanity's future. Remaining leaders debate over the chances of finding some way to stave off the seemingly-inevitable decline of civilization. One man comes forward with a possible solution. Dr. Azuma is a geneticist who proposes a "neo-cell" treatment that can rejuvenate the body and regenerate humankind. He's driven in his studies by a desire to save his beloved wife, Midori, from the ravages of a pollution-caused rare disease. He appeals for funding to the government but the selfish politicians in the Health division rejects his proposals, fearing that the new technology may threaten their entrenched powers.
However, a sinister faction in the powerful military makes an offer to Dr. Azuma to provide the financial support he needs to further his research. When an incident occurs in the lab that sends the Professor's "neo-cell" cloning experiment haywire, a race of mutant human beings (Shinzo Ningen or Neo-Sapiens) is unleashed upon the world. Instead of being the savior of mankind, the Professor's miraculous technology looks set to threaten its very existence...
Desperate, the scientist exposes the dead body of his son, Tetsuya to the Neo-cell fluids. Tetsuya, now back from the dead with a new powerful body must become Casshern, to defend the GEF from the rogue "Neo-Sapiens" and their killer robots... (WHEW! I'm tired)
The premise of the film is the horror of war. It is basically a 140 minute anti-war movie. Casshern is a hard film to review, when I first saw it, it wasn't very clear what Tetsuya was fighting for. Now, I saw it for the 2nd time privy to this review, and I kind'a like its mythology. As with most anime, the film has its own share of philosophical storytelling; there are a lot of political, emotional, social, philosophical reasons for Tetsuya's struggle. He is very reluctant to fight again, being an ex-soldier. One might think that his goals are simple, that defending man's existence is his main goal. This is a Japanese film, so Tetsuya partly fights for something deep; Love.
There is a lot of content in Casshern. This fact may be good and bad. Perhaps I read too much between the lines, but its impact and message is too strong to ignore. The LAST thing this film is an action film. The film relies on provoking emotional responses from its characters; we see the horrors of war and what needs to be done to change it. The twist is; one MUST fight a war to effect such change.
Ok, I'm rambling. Casshern is a visual and aural feast for PS3/Xbox 360 fan boys. The visuals seem necessary to distract us from all the philosophy and the whole oedipal complex that is played heavily in the film. When Tetsuya starts smashing robots, with his one-on-one duels, the film takes a different tone. So, enough with the analysis! CASSHERN looks simply ASTOUNDING. The set designs, lurid cinematography and the CGI are all packaged in one cool film that is sure to be awe-inspiring. The top-notch eye-candy is sure to satisfy!
I own the region-3 release and I've seen the original region-2 Japanese release which both utilized the same impressive transfer. It is very likely that the U.S. release will look the same. I hope Amazon's specs are incorrect, the runtime amazon says is 80 minutes, the uncut film is 142 minutes.
VIDEO/AUDIO: ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN 2.40 RATIO. The picture is very nice and is intentionally enhanced to look almost like a `painting'. Colors are radiant, the contrast is sharp with very solid blacks. The Japanese 5.1 Dolby EX/6.1 DTS-ES is very powerful. English subs are excellent.
Once you get over the fact that this is not an action film, viewers will appreciate the message that Casshern delivers. If you accept this film for what it is, you will be treated to an excellent piece of film-making. Casshern is definitely worth a watch, for CGI fans and even for those who aren't. This film takes its time setting things up so patience and attention is a must!
RECOMMENDED! (4 stars)
Casshern - Director's Cut
D. Rodgers | Barcelona, Spain | 10/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Amazon is incorrect in the listing of the runtime - this is the 125 minute version (117 minute in the UK). This has not been edited by the studio (like Zu Warriors/Legend of Zu etc). This is the official Director's Cut of the movie (if you look closely at the box art you will see the banner at the top also informs you of this)- it just so happens that the Director's Cut is a lot shorter than the released theatrical version - a Director's Cut does not mean a longer cut! I like the unedited version although it does have a tendancy to ramble a bit...so I would be interested in seeing this version.
Tim Janson | Michigan | 11/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Casshern is based on a 1970's Japanese Anime series Shinzô Ningen Kyashân (translated as "Neo-Human Casshern". This is a futuristic film set in the shadow of The Fifty Year War between Europa and the Eastern Federation (basically Asia). The Eastern Federation has won the war but the after effects of nuclear and chemical fallout has left the region poisoned. They continue to battle what the deem as terrorists, those souls of Zone 7 where the radiation is particularly bad. The film opens with one of the most eye-popping scenes in any sci-fi picture, recounting the events of the war as legions of Europa's massive robots march on the Eastern Federation. If the first five minutes of the film don't have you energized you're probably already dead.
The film is a visual feast for the eyes. A mix of live action, animation, and CGI. The industrialized, mechanized, and grimy city conjures up images of the silent film classic `Metropolis' with its monolithic and imposing architecture and great air ships soaring in the skies. The mix of film styles was very nearly seamless creating a mythological landscape yet painfully rooted in the not-too distant future. With the health of its citizens in rapid decline, the Eastern Federation tries to come up with a means to save its people. Their hope comes from Dr. Asuma, a scientist who develops what he calls "neo-cells" which can revitalize the mind and body, curing disease, and healing wounds. The neo-cells can even regenerate body parts. But a sinister faction of the government sees other uses for Dr. Azuma's discovery. An accident or perhaps just an unexpected result of the experiment results in a creation of mutant humans whose bodies piece themselves together from organ farms in the factory.
They are called "Neo-Sapiens" and their exposure to the Neo-cells makes them incredibly strong and resilient. They are immediately hunted down and killed by the government. Only a handful survive and escape into the vast wilderness of Zone 7 where they find a surviving fortress of old Europa, it's army of robots and other war machines waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting Eastern Federation. Dr. Azuma places his son Tetsuya, who was killed in battle, into the Neo cells, bringing him back to life with fantastic powers. Tetsuya's powers are contained by a special suit of armor developed by Dr. Kozuki, the father of Tetsuya's girlfriend, Luna.
As the Neo-Sapiens leader, Akubon, leads the robots on an assault of the city, Tetsyua soars to the rescue in a dynamic battle that makes Neo's battle against the multitude of Agent Smith's from the Matrix Reloaded look like a Sunday school bible meeting. As Tetsuya literally blasts his way through the giant robots I couldn't help but think that this was perhaps the better superhero-style battle ever put on film. Truly awe-inspiring! However, don't think that Casshern is a mere mind-numbing action film. The movie is heavy with messages of racial tolerance and anti-war sentiments. Even as the Eastern Federation has won the war, they have ultimately doomed their populace.
Editing is a thing I rarely notice or mention but in here it's a vital part of the film. There are quick cut-aways from scenes of violence and war to those of pastoral serenity, giving the viewer a startling contrast. The soundtrack was also dead on the money and evoked a range of emotions from the exhilarating to the morose. Casshern is one of those films that just doesn't look like anything else, at least anything else on film. As note, this is a brand new version of the DVD with a running time of 1 hour and 57 minutes. There was a previous, heavily edited version that ran just 80 minutes. This is a marvelous technical achievement in filmmaking!
REVIEWED BY TIM JANSON"