Search - Avalon on DVD

Actors: Malgorzata Foremniak, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudejko, Dariusz Biskupski, Bartlomiej Swiderski
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Animation
R     2003     1hr 47min

From Mamoru Oshii, the acclaimed director of GHOST IN THE SHELL, AVALON is a mesmerizing sci-fi thriller with explosive action and state-of-the-art visual effects in the stunning style of THE MATRIX! In the not-so-distant...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Malgorzata Foremniak, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudejko, Dariusz Biskupski, Bartlomiej Swiderski
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Creators: Atsushi Kubo, Katsuharu Nagata, Katsuhiro Ogawa, Kazumi Kawashiro, Naoyuki Sakagami, Nobuyuki Tohya, Kazunori Itô
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Futuristic, Animation
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/16/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Polish
Subtitles: English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Terry V. from MARYSVILLE, OH
Reviewed on 7/15/2011...
I LOVE/LOVE/LOVE this movie. The MOOD is what makes it. Dark, foreboding, maybe even depressing - but in the end the heroine finds clarity and prevails.

The feel of this movie is akin to the original Tarkovsky version of Solaris, or maybe Blade Runner.

My favorite kind of movie - slow, methodical movement, drawing you in to deep pondering on the state of reality. Building inexorably to a climax, when you expect all to be revealed. But then a twist of the story line and its over, and you think "I didn't see that coming." You continue to think about it for days, realizing a little more of the message days later. Then you watch it again months later and find more insights that weren't apparent the first time.

I don't have the DVD, but I watch it on broadcast every time it comes up. Wonder if there is a way to get the original version without the added content that "spoon-feeds" the viewer with extra explanations, as mentioned in another review?
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michael G. (mgmirkin) from PORTLAND, OR
Reviewed on 12/22/2009...
This film seems a bit of a mixed bag.

It does seem to give a bit of the film noir vibe that I like throughout the majority of the movie. It's presented largely in sepia tone throughout most of the movie (the last act is presented in color; undoubtedly to contrast the final "Special A" / "Class Real" level with all the other levels of the game / virtual world throughout the movie). There's a certain grimness / grittiness to the presentation of most of the movie.

Overall, it was pretty good on the visual aspects (I guess I'd say it was visually interesting), so-so on plot and the payoff was pretty minimal and a little cliché (which is more "real," and which would you rather believe / live in, the gritty "real world" or the vibrant "Class Real" virtual world?).

I liked the special feature on the movie's visual effects creation. It was rather interesting to see how they overcame some of the technical challenges.

But as I said earlier the movie itself was a bit of a mixed bag. The visuals were pretty nice, but the plot and pay-off were marginal. Worth a rental for the visuals and the making-of featurette(s).

Movie Reviews

Not the Original Directors Vision!
ARNOLD HURON | San Antonio, Texas USA | 04/19/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Here we go again. MIRAMAX basterdizes another movie. MIRAMAX tends to buy the rights to these great movies & then changes them. I've seen the original AVALON so I can comment on what's been changed. First, the original washed out color of the film is replaced with an deep orange. This really ruins some of the original scenes.At least some colors in the original movie came out. MIRAMAX has ruined the directors vision. If you have this DVD see the extras on the cinamatography & SFX. At least there you'll see the original color that was intended by director Mamoru Oshii.The 2nd thing that's been added is the additoinal dialogue. The main chracter explains the game after her 1st victory. This has been added by MIRAMAX. And lastly at the end or character explains it all or tries to.All this was added to the movie. The directors intention is to make you guess & ponder this wonderful story. But MIRAMAX has decided for you. About the only thing I'll give them credit is the great English dub. I also enjoyed the extras. I have to give this 3 stars. If you can write a protest letter to MIRAMAX. It's so sad how a american Distributor can tamper & ruin a directors vision. I'd recommend getting a foreign version of this movie if you can."
An Interesting Film Worth Seeing
Michael Silver | Mountain View, CA USA | 07/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am writing this only to help counteract some of the idiocy in other reviews. This movie is not for everyone: no movie is. It is a beautifully shot, wonderfully sculpted, slow-paced, and thought-provoking movie. It does not hand the answers to you on a plate, and that may bother some people, particularly those lazy viewers who rely on Hollywood films to tell them what to think with no room for imagination.

It is not a rip-off of The Matrix. If anything, it's derivative of Oshii's earlier films and thought, which heavily influenced The Matrix. I also loved Ghost in the Shell for many of the same reasons that I liked Avalon. It has some of the pacing of Taste of Cherry. It allows a person to settle in, relax, and absorb all of the deliciousness of the style of the movie and to get inside Ash, the heroine.

The special features are worth seeing. The director is very clear in his interview what his thoughts and intent are in the film. This film is a piece of art, and as such it allows each person to take from it what they want. I can understand people not liking it, but it cannot be denied that this film was done with care and passion and expresses the vision of an interesting person.

There are so many movies out there that are merely eye candy, like the recent Star Wars films, that are so bad otherwise. And so many movies that rely on violence or special effects and are wholly unoriginal but satisfy the kind of viewer who laments how his girlfriend fell asleep and who calls the director, "pretentious." There are few people in the world with the creativity, passion, and artistic sense of this director.

Avalon is not the greatest movie ever made, or even in the top 100, but it is far better than most of the dreck released each week, and it is a movie that makes you think and stays with you. It is worth seeing by anyone who enjoys something a little different and has the patience and courage to use their own brain and not have a movie that's spoon-fed to them.

And then there's the wonderful basset hound."
Must-see for anyone interested in the nuances of filmmaking
Samuel Delgado | Duluth, GA USA | 02/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is unfortunate that we've been so jaded by the Hollywood version of what a film should be that we would pass up the nuances that can make an otherwise mediocre film into a great film, albeit if mainly for its cinematographic value. Some appear to have judged Avalon, and the efforts of its director (Oshii), within this context--even presuming that the film is nothing more than a bad Matrix wannabe. This is not the case, in my view.I much prefer to be enticed by subtle details and given an opportunity to become immersed in mood than bombarded with a lot of special effects and high-flying acrobatics. This is what I found to be so refreshing about this movie. As for providing explanations to everything, well, I don't know that that is always needed in a film in order for it to be entertaining. So is it that I find it interesting that our Western mindset cannot deal with finding deeper meanings, through our own interpretations, in most anything that we encounter. It's as if we expect to pause our brains and be entertained through mere visual stimulation. Of course, I know that this is not really what others have described. Still, this is the type of movie that I believe deserves better than what I've read in these reviews. It's funny that I say all this and it was precisely the visuals that made the film so endearing. There's nothing passe about achieving a high level of beauty in a film, and we are fortunate to have "some" directors still mindful of this growingly archaic attention to detail."