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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sci-fi movie, enjoyable as a stand-alone product
This film is an excellent evening's entertainment, featuring breath-taking animation, a cracking cast of well-known actors doing the voices, some really imaginative scenery and backdrops, and an acceptable (if not original) plot.

If this film had been produced as a live-action movie then it would probably have been as popular and celebrated as Aliens; it has...
Published on 1 Feb 2007 by Rowena Hoseason

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning
The extraordinary animation is a viewers delight, the action is inventive and exhilarating. The premise of the tale is an interesting one where the our cities are deserted ruins and future humans live in domed cities and venture out to do battle with these menacing see thru dragon type thingies. Im no particular fan of animated movies but this visual treat is something...
Published 14 months ago by Mr. S. Storey


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sci-fi movie, enjoyable as a stand-alone product, 1 Feb 2007
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film is an excellent evening's entertainment, featuring breath-taking animation, a cracking cast of well-known actors doing the voices, some really imaginative scenery and backdrops, and an acceptable (if not original) plot.

If this film had been produced as a live-action movie then it would probably have been as popular and celebrated as Aliens; it has much the same kind of feel to it. And I suspect some of the characters owe a lit to Aliens; is any sci-fi movie complete without a Vasquez??

The animation in FF means that the director can visualise many effects which would otherwise look clunky alongside live action. Some of the dream sequences in FF are stunningly beautiful, while the expressions and actions of the human characters are extremely well drawn.

If FF suffers in any aspect it is that the maturity of the animation and charaterisation aren't reflected all through the plot. The bad guy is very much a boo-hiss traditional villan, although at least Aki the heroine is a little more complex. The film tries to bridge the gap between game-players and cinematic depth -- and it comes close to succeeding. It does feel a little lightweight at times, though.

The special features were something of a disappointment; no doubt interesting if animation is your game! I wouldn't pay more for a disc simply to get these features. If a vanilla version of the movie is available for less money, then that's what I'd buy.

Overall, it's a very entertaining movie and one which is suitable for the whole family to watch together. It has no relevance to the game of the same name -- you don't need to know anything about the franchise to enjoy the film.

And in places the ground-breaking animation is simply stunning, and it's worth viewing simply to experience these scenes.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 26 Jun 2006
By 
b4-its-2-l8 (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I have no idea what the 'Final Fantasy' genre is so I apologise to purists in advance if I don't care if this film is true to your vision of what a Final Fantasy film should look like. I'm writing purely from viewing it as a stand-alone product, and in this repsect, it is excellent. Or rather, AMAZING.

The graphics are astounding and the sheer level of attention to detail takes the breath away. At numerous points I had to look more intently as I was sure the animation was being intercut with live action (which it wasn't).

The ground-breaking graphics aside (which really shouldn't be the case as it's what makes this film) the storyline is strong enough to hold the movie on it's own.

All the characters are believable, and in many ways have more substance about them than the great majority of live action movies. The voice-overs synch seemlessly from fine actors like Steve Buscemi, James Woods, Donald Sutherland, etc who surely must recognise that films like this herald the downfall of the live-action movie star. There is humour (mild) and pathos aplenty.

This film truly must be recorded as one of the greats in cinematic firsts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching, even if just once......, 26 Nov 2002
By 
This review is from: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
You may have heard a lot of bad reviews on 'The Spirits Within'. The biggest problem being the plot, which is considered boring and cliche. This is nonsense, the story is entertaining, and although there are vast amounts of dialogue, the action sequences are worth a look. The film's biggest pull factor is its grapical technology. It is worth getting the DVD just to witness the sheer skill and realism injected into the graphics. This is a big step for the world of animation. The DVD's extras are excellent. There is certainly anough to keep you going for a long time, including an excellent outtakes reel. All in all, it doesnt cost that much, and you shouls buy it, to own a milestone in cinematic animation,
enough said.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Under-Appreciated, 5 April 2008
By 
Caleb Williams (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Story: A female scientist known as Aki Ross engages in a race against time to gather together spirit entities which would help her defeat invading Alien spirits threatening Human existence. Along the way she is joined by the prestigious Deep Eyes squadron who's Captain is an old friend of Dr. Ross. Dr. Cid is in a struggle to convince a critical government that these spirits or Phantoms can easily be defeated by collecting these entities rather than using firepower which Cid knows is making the spirit situation worse.

The Review: Since first seeing this film in 2001 I have always been a big supporter and defender of this film. The storytelling is simply superb as it introduces us one by one to each character and makes us feel sympathetic towards these characters and their fight to solve the problem that is plaguing the Earth.

The animation even when compared to todays standards is truly spectacular and was evidently ahead of its time. The animation of this film is comparable to many of the cut scenes from this generation of video gaming, showing us that the level of realism achieved in this film is easily doable now and it makes me think the animators should make a new film to show us what they can achieve with todays technology.
The suspense and drama of some scenes is something that I don't feel can be matched by a lot of todays films. For example the scene when the spirits invade a human habitat which originally protected them, the chase scenes and the general emotion is placed within you through your belief in the characters.

The primary criticism that people have of this film is the slow pacing, which many American or UK movie goers wouldn't be used to as it's a very Japanese style of storytelling which is known for being slow paced but has a real purpose for its pace. Over the years many Asian movies have become cult favourites amongst American and UK audiences. Movies such as Lady Vengeance and Oldboy are prime examples of how the Western audiences have begun to embrace this style of storytelling, which I believe if Final Fantasy were to be released in the Cinemas today it would gain a much better reception than it did when it was first released.

The voice casting is spectacular with a truly stellar cast of names such as Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi to name but a few and they genuinely do not disappoint.

A very, very good movie and a must for all those Sci-Fi, Drama and animation fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I adore this film, 1 Jan 2011
This review is from: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I have been a fan of the Final Fantasy series since I was five years old, so when this was released my dad and I saw this film at the cinema- and it was an amazing experience.
Even if I wasn't a Final Fantasy fan and was just a regular old film nerd I would still love this film. It has a fantastic narrative, in which shows both sides of the story instead of leaving it undeveloped. It is executed perfectly, the characters seem believable and lets face it, the effects are spectacular.
How anyone can say it in't how Final Fantasy should be is beyond me. It is of the fantasy/sci-fi genre, it has a Cid (okay so it is spelt Sid this time), it has action scenes, chocobos on Aki's pajamas. It is also based aroud the similar Gaia Hypothesis that Final Fantasy VII touches upon too. Not every Final Fantasy is the same, besides this is a FILM. As an ex-film and media student I can tell you now they have to be done differently, and they did it wonderfully.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect presentation, 6 Jun 2008
By 
Mr. P. J. Murphy "Starshade" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I agree with pretty much all of the above reviews.

I would like to comment on the b-ray presentation, Picture quality is nigh on suberb unfortunately, I did notice several scenes littered throughout the movie where backgrounds suffered from posterization. Now, I'm not sure if these flaws were present in the original picture or not. Scenes like Aki's ship landing in the opening 3:20, in the council chambers at 21:07 etc. For me that cost the review 1 star.

Sound quality is faultless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantastic!, 6 July 2007
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
As soon as I started watching this film, the first thing to hit me was the quality of the animation and the graphics behind it.

It is so slick and detailed, the textures of the backgrounds are realistic that they look photographic. You do also notice that some of the human movements are CGI rather than real - but your eye adjusts to what it is seeing and you find yourself happily accepting everything.

The visuals alone would give this a few stars, the plot helps this film develop into something a bit special, but I felt the end let it down slightly.

It's been commented on that the film seems to have been influenced by Alien - and that's not a bad thing, it feels dark, you often feel on edge. I 'm not too sure whether I should find a CGI animated sprite quite so attractive though ...maybe I need to watch some more live action films!

The characterisations were done believably, there was a lot of humour, the politics and plot were complex enough to ensure the film was not boring.

I really enjoyed this, sometimes the characters seemed a little cold, and as I said before, the ending didn't impress me as much as I thought it would. But having seen the film - it's one I think as a worthy member of any sci-fi fan's DVD collection!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any final fantasy fan, 30 Jan 2009
By 
Russtafarian (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Okay, so many people out there consider this film a flop.
It's nearly a decade old, and yet now having transferred onto Blu-Ray, it looks amazing and definitely stands against some of the more recent computer-animated movies. The voice-acting is starting to show itself as poor, again comparing this to more modern animated release, it's true, but it's nowhere near awful... watched any dubbed film and this far greater.
The plot isn't as weak as some people believe, it follows a "typical" Final Fantasy storyline, which I think is fine - too many people overlook the fact it's based on non-Western beliefs.. but that's what helps give this film character. It's not all about blowing things up just for the sake of it.
I really enjoy watching this movie, but understand that it's not essential for your collection, unless you're a avid Final Fantasy fan/nerd, or are really into computer animation (it was the first biggest all computer-generated film).
Visually - now it's on Blu-Ray it's fantastic. Shame we didn't have the opportunity to watch this way after the millennium!
For me 5 out of 5. For all the general viewers, 3 out of 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantasy Review, 10 Nov 2009
Quite simply, 'AWESOME'

Fantastic CGI film, shows the level of animation 8 years ago, I hope they bring another one out.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy, 3 Sep 2003
By 
J. Cronin "dudara" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This wholly CGI film sets the mark for other films of this type. Not only does it feature fantastic animation, also indistinguishable from reality at times, but it also contains a decent story that attempts to deal with serious concerns.
The year is 2065, and most of Earth has been overrun with phantoms, beings that arrived on Earth when a meteor crashed into the planet. The reamining survivors live behind bio-barriers capable of keeping out these terrible creatures that kill with a touch, removing a person's life force. Dr. Aki Ross, voiced by Ming-Na from ER, is on the trail of eight spirits, or life-forms, that when combined is capable of cancelling the life forms of the phantoms. Now this is where a lot of people don't seem to like the film. It draws heavily on the ideas of life-forces and the Gaia theory. But it is all explained in the film, and fits well. Ross had been previously infected by the phantoms, but thanks to the five spirits already discovered, she is able to contain the infection. At night she dreams of an alien world and she is convinced that her dreams hold the answer to the puzzle of the phantoms.
A star cast adds their voices to this film, including Alec Baldwin as Aki's love interest, Captain Gray. Also present are Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, and Peri Gilpin (Ros from Fraser). At times the animation will blow you away. I heard that most of the work on the film at times went into Aki's hair, which has strand by strand definition, moves with her and blows in the wind.
The second disc in this set contains some really good material, including a photo shoot of Aki Ross, ( a la mode of Lara Croft), documentaries about the difficulties of creating such a masterpiece and a chance for you to develop your own story.
This is a cgi film to watch. It sets the standard.
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