Oh dear...what a shame
J. Armstrong | UK, Cambridgeshire | 10/02/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The original Armitage series (not the hacked to pieces Poly Matrix movie version) was a work of art. A gritty cyberpunk thriller raising serious questions about the future of our society when technoloy loves, hates and fears. This sequel is almost unconnected. The characters of Ross and Armitage have become all but manequins, Ross stumbles around with nothing much to do, his police background is all but forgotten and there even seems to be no mention that he has an artifitical arm and leg, as his same hand gets injured.Armitage, a very strong and quite deep character has been rendered one dimensional, running around avoiding robots of different shapes and sizes, her motivation in the whole plot is shallow and unintersting.A weak plot and script can sometimes be saved by good animation and design, but Armitage Dual-Matrix just looks uninspired, CGI is used throughout and sticks out like a sore thumb, looking out of place and [inexpensive]. The characters themselves don't look quite right, Armitage seems to have bizarre lip growth most of the time and she's just lost her charm and grace.The dubbing is OK, though Juliette Lewis gives a wooden performance as Armitage (and you thought Elizabeth Berkley [was bad]?The original OVA voice was better than both movie versions. Japanese vocal is far superior.If you want cyberpunk anime, pick up the original series (now available on DVD) and avoid this cliche."
Two great animated action flicks
madnessmark | Maple Grove, MN | 09/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My review will seperate the two titles.Poly Matrix:
Our first movie to this double feature takes place on Mars. A detective from Earth named Ross Sylabus comes to Mars to help out with the police force and gets his first assignment the moment he gets off the plane. He also meets his partner, a sexy punk-girl named Armitage. The story centers around the war between human and robot rights for specific robots called seconds or thirds. However, Ross and Armitage have no idea what they're getting into.The movie is pretty good considering it was condensed from 4 OAV episodes and made into a movie for an American release. Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls) and Kiefer Sutherland (24 TV series) do a good job, but they sound more depressed and robotic, for better or worse. Extras include two text interviews and a trailer. Overall, the animation is great, the action solid, the music smooth and the story is stellar. Recommended.Dual Matrix:
Years after Armitage and Ross get married, they have a child and name her Yoko. But all is still not right in the universe. A new law is being past for robot laws, but an edgy scientist doesn't want to risk anything on this law so he kidnaps Ross's daughter. And with two Thirds under his belt, he won't be taken lightly.The animation, when compared to the last movie, is incredible. Most of the CG reminds me of Sol Bianica. In fact, the shuttle at the end of the movie looks almost exactly like the ship from Sol Bianica. The new voice actor for Armitage (Juliette Lewis) does a good job and maintains Armitage's attitude. However, Ross sounds a bit too upbeat in this film. Another thing worth noting is that the actor of Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars does the voice of Mouse. He tends to go into Jar Jar mode a few times, but he speaks way less babble than he did in Star Wars.The music has been also been beefed up as well. There is some real nice guitar for the action scenes which I beleive does more justice to the film. The extras include a behind the scenes look at the making of Dual Matrix, three clean songs, trailer, production designs and Pioneer previews.Overall, I enjoyed Dual Matrix. It's an action movie with soul. And if thats what you like, by all means, buy this now."
THE COVER OF THE DVD IS A CLUE OF THE QUALITY
Thomas Bailey | Seattle, WA United States | 10/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Take a good look at the cover of the ARMITAGE-DUAL MATRIX DVD, for this is what the animation is like: Animation that many people like, and many people hate (this applies to the regular DVD version; where I rent, the store doesn't carry the special edition, but this doesn't change anything I have said, although the cover is different, and looks a little better on the special edition). Some think it looks "inexpensive," has slipped back to older, poor-quality animation. Some think it is wonderful. Some think that the dubbing by Juliette Lewis is bad. In my neighborhood, I haven't talked to one person -- so far -- that doesn't think the animation is fantastic, as is Juliette Lewis. Most agree the story line is weak, but some think it is great all the way around. So, what is going on here?
The people who made the film made an artistic decision that not everyone likes; they took a risk. In some ways, they -- in the CG World -- would be considered minimalists: Instead of flashy, bright colors, they chose to use colors -- especially on the characters -- that are very soft, but richness in colors is still there. The colors are such that at times it is very similar to turning the color down on your TV. But there is a smoothness and evenness throughout. Some of the buildings and structures and the night scenes of the city are breathtaking. There is a flatness similar to what could be achieved by hand, but still obvious that CG was used. Some scenes look like paintings. But three-dimensional-CG approach is there as well. Yes, some of the scenes are very dark-to the point where you can barely tell what is going on. In one of the scenes, you can't see anything at all. This obviously was intentional. When you see Armitage later, she looks as if she is barely holding it together, but determined to protect her family, especially her daughter, if it kills her. There were some complaints about things being left out. There wasn't suppose to be any reference to Armitage's husband being a former police officer -- but it is there, in the scene where he steals the car and says he is a police officer, with a hesitation and adding "former police officer." So, with some seeing the same things as good/bad, what is one suppose to do? Rent. That's what I did. I found the movie difficult to watch, and difficult to follow (a lot of work). I like it. Not enough to buy at this point. But it pointed me to the reviews, which pointed me to the OVA, which is to be released soon, which I plan to buy. Possibly, after that, depending on how much I like the OVA, I might buy ARMITAGAE-DUAL MATARIX (SPECIAL EDITION)."
Spoken like a true Armitage fan!
cutemarco | Hutch, MN, wishing I had a vespa!!! | 06/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am going to try to calmly write a review with ideas in neatly arranged in some sort of order.
1st- acting... I feel very sorry for the voice actors in this movie. Not that they were bad or anything, but pioneer didn't keep one voice actor the same, despite several characters that appear in the same movie. That means that the actors not only had to live up to the japanese for subbies, but also to the old english ones for dubbies. Juliete Lewis does quite the job. Her voice is lower and rougher than Elizabeth Berkley's and her acting was quite good. She give as much heart and soul as Elizabeth Berkley and she obviously had fun doing it. Skip Stellrecht tried his best with Ross, and had a very hard time keeping his voice low. He tried to match Kiefer Sutherlands, and he almost had me fooled sometimes. Being a dubbie, I thought he was a little too...act-y for Ross, because I was used to Kiefer Sutherland's crude and flat Ross. Yoko... oh boy, when I found out that rebecca fordstadt (mihoshi, tenchi muyo) was doing her voice, I was scared, then, upon seeing her performance, was quite pleased. Her crying was a touch odd, but was her voice, not her acting. Demitrio, michael mcconnohie was mediocre at best, sometime underacted, sometimes over acted, and sometimes right on, but nothing too special for a bad guy voice. Mouse was played by the guy who does the voice for jar jar binks, ahmed best, and that scared me worse than the mihoshi thing, but again, I was pleasantly surprised. Very good, very wacky! Strings... nothing too much here, just a flat military character. As for Julian... Mona Marshall, all I can say to you is nice job not sounding like Izzy from DIgimon. Music was GREAT!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! Kudo's to Julian Mack. Visuals... nice animation, very smooth, a little much on the computer, but still blended quite nicely. Character designs were very true to the original. Now the story of coursr, is the ultimate test. You can't expect another Armitage III: Poly Matrix, you ahve to accept that it's a different kind of story, and I think the director is different too. The action was very apparent, but hey if you're an armitage fan, you love that kick bum stuff! ^.^ The story didn't lose heart though, and explained some more of the politics that were left to crumble in the first movie. It had a different feel to it, but it was still a good story. I'm not very picky about DVD set ups or special features, I was just kind of like oo, fancy interviews and trailer... the most I can is that it was a very spiffy user friendly set up. Besides a few random ... shots, the language and violence were no worse than the first, so maybe a PG-13. Not too much comedy, except the random please (?) don't touch on the second's but and the kick in the balls that the bad guy deserves... I enjoyed this movie, and I hope you will find this review helpful and enjoy the movie youreself!!"