I spoil slightly in my reviews often, so that's the warning, kiddies. Let's begin!
This is, more or less, a two hour movie that's connected loosely to the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the more manga-centric version of the original story by Hiromu Arakawa. It's a two-disc set, with the first disc having the movie (with either English or Japanese voices)and a US Cast Commentary that features some of the major characters from Brotherhood. I'll get back to the commentary in a bit.
The film is set around episode 20 in the series, after Ed and Al have learned that a Philosopher's Stone requires multiple human lives to be sacrificed to give it the power it uses for alchemy, and also after both Roy Mustang and Lt Havoc have been injured in an extreme battle. After a large explosion smashes several windows in the room where they are, Ed and Al end up running to encounter an escaped prisoner, who just happens to be an alchemist using a form of transmutation circles neither brother recognizes. After uncovering a lead, they head to Table City, an unusual town just inside Cretan territory (Creta being the country to the west of Amestris and often sparking hostile confrontations with each other). The prisoner seems to be trying to find a sixteen year old girl known as Julia Crichton, but after the Elric Brothers encounter a wolf chimera, Cretan spies, and the fugitive, their train crashes into the station at Table City.
It's action packed, and the art style is markedly different to either Brotherhood or the first Fullmetal Alchemist series. Table City has three groups wanting to control it: the Amestrians, who currently do, the Cretans, and the Milosians, who previously held that land for nearly four thousand years. But the Milosians are the ones with the least power in this mix, which is why they have chosen to follow Julia's plan to locate what she knows as the Sanguine Star... a certain red stone that amplifies alchemy. Now where have we heard that one before?
The story is pretty good, very active and the plot twists are almost dizzying in speed. Many more people die in this epic than most of the series, although Ed and Al try to limit the damage as much as possible. Winry, Mustang and Lt Hawkeye also are in the story, though given his wounds, Mustang doesn't have as many dramatic fight scenes. (Aw!) All in all, it's a satisfying story, leaving you hopeful but not sure what will happen next.
As for the commentary, it's a collection of interviews lead by Mike McFarland, ADR Director of the movie, and while they tend not to say much about the actual movie, they do share interesting insights about both anime series of Fullmetal, encounters with fans, and personal tidbits that are often quite intriguing. Here's who are among the interviews: Maxey Whitehead, voice of Alphonse in Brotherhood, Colleen Clinkenbeard, voice of Riza Hawkeye, Christopher Sabat, voice of Alex Louise Armstrong, Caitlin Glass, voice of Winry Rockbell, Travis Willingham, voice of Roy Mustang, Matt Mercer, voice of Melvin Voyager (the fugitive punk, as Ed calls him, and the only "movie only" voice actor in the commentary), and finally, Vic Mignogna, voice of Edward Elric.
The second disc is all extras, a documentary about how the film was made, and the Japanese trailers, computer teasers, and other advertisements they had to stoke interest. Those Japanese extras don't have an English dub, but do have subtitles.
If you like anime, you might want to consider this. If you enjoyed either series of Fullmetal, you really ought to investigate. And if, like me, you're a diehard geeky fan, BUY IT NOW!