Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within |
Single Disc Edition
Actors: Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin
Directors: Moto Sakakibara, Hironobu Sakaguchi
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
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Simple Values - Spectacular Production
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 08/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Final Fantasy' is a computer game that has gone through countless versions and editions. Taken as a whole, this mythos is probably one of the best know games in its genre. It is clear from the beginning of this film that Sony and Hironbu Sakaguchi (producer, director, and writer) were intent on topping an already brilliant history of graphic accomplishments. In a sense, 'The Spirits Within' represents a piece of history in the making. It is the first film that presents a startling approximation of life using only automation.The plot is simple. An asteroid falling to earth carries within it a host of phantom creatures that seem hell bent on destroying earthly life. Civilization has been reduced to living in shielded enclaves, and it is only a matter of time before the planet becomes a haunted wasteland. Aki Ross and her mentor, Dr. Sid, are working on the creation of a neutralizing 'wave' based on the eight basic phantom life forms. General Hein does not trust Dr. Sid's theories about a Gaia, or planetary spirit, and wants to use a huge orbital laser cannon to destroy the original meteor, possible destroying the earth in the process. The conflict between these points of view and their shattering effects on the planet are the meat of the film. Captain Gray Edwards, once Aki's lover, crystallizes this struggle between the material world of violent reaction and the spiritual world of growth and synthesis. The film plays a bit like an evolved 'Starship Troopers.' In many ways, it presents the same visual image, and deals with the same issues. The problem for the director and the viewer is to get past the magnificent graphic work to experience the abiding spiritual faith that is its meaning. Ironically, the film itself is a metaphor for the issues it expresses.It is almost futile to discuss the film's animation and design. They are so far above what we are used to that the required superlatives sound trite. In essence, the animation staff set out to create something that is even more real than life, and to a great extent, they have succeeded. This hyperrealism, combined with an almost ballet like feeling of choreography create a sense of moment that makes this seem far more than an action film. The overall animation is carefully balanced so as to keep the focus on the characters. Even so, this film has such a sensory effect that the viewer is tempted to forget the plot and simply observe the screen.The primary DVD provides the film and a whole set of commentaries (directing crew, animation and staging, composer, and production staff), plus the usual trailers, etc. In the special edition, a second disk adds an extensive 'Making of...' segment, the entire screenplay and some analysis of character, vehicle, and prop design. Technically, this is an important film, despite its simplistic plot and characters. For the first time, the definition of what is acting and what is animation is being challenged in a thought provoking fashion."
One of the most underappreciatiate works of all time
firstname.lastname@example.org | Mount Carmel, TN United States | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched Final Fantasy in a small theatre about 3 days ago. Since I read the relatively bad reviews for the film, I didnt expect a huge turnout. Well, I was the only guy in the theatre. This is good in one way and bad in another. It was good due to the fact that I could sit in the theatre and watch the film without dealing with the typical loudmouthed movie crowd. I could pay more attention to the movie and the story itself. It was bad in that this film which deserves to make a whole lot of money, is not successful. I would recommend Final Fantasy to any fan of science fiction, video games, oh heck anyone! This is one of the all time best movies that I have ever seen. I was floored by the ability the filmmakers had to give a completely generated character emotion. These guys are making Gepetto flip over in his fairy tale grave! I was amazed at the depth of the story and the overall feel of the film. I am really impressed at the way the plot was similar to the series of games not by carrying on the same story over and over, but chronicling the adventures of new characters in new dimensions each time. Simply amazing!Many thanks to Hironobu Sakaguchi and Square for making such wonderful stories and games. I give a hand to Alec Baldwin, Ming-Na, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Donald Sutherland, and all the filmmakers for making a film that I will cherish for a very long time.........just bring it to DVD QUICK!"
So much potential, but wasted...
Jason Anticevich | Schaumburg, IL | 10/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There have been many reviews about this movie that have ranged from excellent to shoddy, but mine will fall in the middle for a couple of reasons I will get to. I'll tell you what I found cool and what I found to be lacking. First off, I saw this movie in a digital projection theater. The colors were mind-blowing to say the least. I was constantly losing track of the story because I couldn't take my focus off the spectacular animation. The animation is so rich and textured...let's just say that you have never seen anything like it-real or fabricated. It truly is amazing. The voice casting is perfect. No slackers anywhere. The idea for the story is very innovative, not just some traditional sci-fi retread. But (and there always is a but), the actual dialogue and character development are lacking. Baldwin sometimes seems like a romantic distraction for Ming Na. Is Woods' character supposed to be a sympathetic bad guy because he talks about his family before he commits his bad deeds? Come on, I know 13-year-olds who don't fall for that. The question I was left with was: "Why invest all this money in voice talent, if you give them nothing to work with?" It's a testament to the actors that they were able to pull so much out of the dialogue considering what they had to work with. I don't want to give too much of the plot away, so I won't say anything else about it. ...I enjoyed all the characters for the most part, but I wish there was more to enjoy. I know sometimes that character development is lost because the studios want to get to the next big action event, but when people don't have anything invested in the characters, it just becomes a lot noise. It's too bad because, like I said, there was plenty of sources to draw upon.Bottom line: The best animation to date, but sorely lacking character and plot development."
Final Fantasy .. as long as it's not the last
strife0 | Middletown, CT USA | 07/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first time I fired up FF7 on my playstation console 5 years ago, I marveled at the opening cinematics. At that point, I thought it would be the coolest thing if someone made a movie just like it. On July 11 at 4:30pm I witnessed that dream come true.I could say it was all I was expecting and more, but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. The games took 40-50+ hours to complete with a story that had numerous twists to the plot and character developement that went far beyond some bestselling novels. While I think it would be great to see a 6 hour Final Fantasy movie that had such an intricate plot, I realize that would be unrealistic for a feature film. All things considered, I think Square did an outstanding job compressing the story into the time allotted.The script could have been written a little bit better, but I think it was written the way it was so the average movie-goer would keep up with the plot. I know I didn't have any trouble following Dr. Sid's theories about Gaia and what the Phantom's really were. But that could've been from playing the games.. I saw sort of the concept in FF7, with everyone and everything having a spirit.The cg was astounding and tte physics were.. well, close. Although I think in 65 years, we may be able to bend the laws of physics a bit more, so this could possibly end up mimicing real life in 2065. I've read some film critics comment about the lack of consistency with the Phantoms, how they can move through walls and suck the life out of someone, yet can be harmed by conventional weapons. Those guns didn't look conventional to me... energy weapons would have the effect they did. Opinion: those film critics who commented about that didn't know what they were talking about.I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I intend to see it a few more times before it leaves theatres. This quite possibly gets my vote for the Best Movie of All time."