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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2009
I'll keep my review brief as I can add little to many of the comments made. I personally loved the animation and the storyline. I'm not =familiar with John Woo, so I can't really compare his work and also he only produced it, he didn't direct it. That was done by the same guy who directed the opriginal Appleseed film.

Where I am annoyed and disapointed, and why I have only given it it 4 stars is the lack of the original Japanese soundtrack. I have a lot of Japanese Anime and all, but this one, have the original soundtrack. I can only think that Warner Brothers had something to do with this. The original Appleseed was done by Optimum Asia.

The japanese had taken so much trouble with the lipsink, it's ashame we cannot completely appreaciate it now the Japanese soundtrack is missing!

Thank you Warners!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
One of the more underdeveloped storylines from "Appleseed" was the relationship between Deunan Knute and her cyborg love, Briareos.

Well, "Appleseed Ex Machina" more than makes up for that. In fact, this CGI action flick boasts upgrades in every area -- a tighter plot, more complex conspiracies, and more lifelike animation. It's a stunning experience with loads of fiery, spinning action scenes, albeit with a slightly improbable villain.

Olympus has a new threat -- brainwashed cyborgs that are kidnapping officials, and disrupting planetary peace. During a rescue mission, Briareos is injured and hospitalized for awhile -- and Deunan introduced to her new partner Tereus -- a warrior bioroid cloned from Briareos' DNA. She's furious, Briareos is depressed, and all three are confused by Tereus' similarities to Briareos.

But when President Athena calls an international conference, E-SWAT only narrowly stops an attack force -- of cyborgs and ordinary humans who have somehow been possessed by a mechanical goo. Their message: "I am Halcon... all will be one." And worst of all, Briareos is somehow being affected by the baddies, so he decides to do some investigating on his own. Now Deunan, Briareos and Tereus must join forces despite their tension, and stop a malevolent conspiracy that threatens the entire world....

While the first "Appleseed" movie had a rather simple plot, "Appleseed Ex Machina" tends toward complexity. Everything is bigger -- the conspiracies, the mad scientist stuff, the potential warfare, and even the love story. And despite its fuller plot, the sequel actually manages to cram in some quiet moments between robot battles and personal scuffles.

Director Shinji Aramaki does a pretty good job with a pretty good plot -- he unrolls it gradually, filling it with tension and horror at all the right moments. It kicks off strongly with an explosive, fire-and-darkness battle in an abandoned cathedral, and doesn't slow much down. Lots of explosive battles and zombiesque attacks, but not so many that it overwhelms the storyline.

Along the way, Aramaki drops in some very "human" scenes, such as a funeral and Hitomi's glammy birthday party. In fact, there are even some funny, cute moments such as Briareos and Deunan tussling over some monitoring wires in the hospital. These moments keep them acting like people.

What's the problem? Well, while Aramaki succeeds in surprising us with the main villain, it's revealed rather late in the movie, and there's never much of a motive.

But the CG animation is stunning. There's everything from mid-air shootouts to serpentine silver tentacles. Even the settlings are striking, with their Greco-futuristic marble, columns and sci-fi gadgets. And there's a breathtaking level of detail -- reflections, light, raindrops on Briareos' metal face, and tiny facial chances. Some character still have "doll face," but not as much.

But this movie gets its heart from the love triangle, which is thankfully handled in a mature manner. Deunan and Briareos' loving, intense relationship gets plenty of cute moments, despite the confusion that Tereus causes them. And Tereus is a well-drawn rival, with a lot of Briareos' rough kindness, but also the insecurities of being a "copy."

And Aramaki particularly concentrates on Briareos' fears that Deunan will prefer a flesh-and-blood lover, and that he is gradually losing his sanity. There's an undercurrent of raw pain when he screams at Tereus, "why do you have everything I've lost?"

"Appleseed Ex Machina" is a worthy sequel that actually tops the preceding film -- a stunning CGI shell around a solid sci-fi/love story. Definitely worth checking out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2010
The plot is set more than 100 years into the future, after a world war which killed a lot of earth's population. This was already revealed in the prequel "Appleseed". As a consequence, genetically altered humans, the bioroids, have been created who lack undesired traits of character, like hatred. The prequel, Appleseed, deals with the problems created by humans still in power (certain military figures) who resent losing their influence to the bioroids, who gradually take over government - at least in the leading utopic nation with the capital Olympus.
In principle, this is an interesting and not unlikely scenario.
Appleseed ex machina shows the world a few years later when essentially all government (and apparently many of the top management) positions in Olympus are run by bioroids. Well, it seems that they are all beautiful women and that the unengineered politicians from other nations are set-in-their-ways, grumpy old men. The further plot has already been discussed elsewhere. It seems that the bioroids are doing quite a good job at running the show. It would indeed be nice to have politicians like Athena and Nike, including flashy outfits.
It is one of the problems of japanese manga that certain things are all too obvious, like ideas which were borrowed from JFK's funeral and the Matrix trilogy. And there is a strong similarity to Ghost in the Shell.
On the other hand, the themes presented are well worth exploring and I do not think that the depiction of our future is all too far-fetched. What I like most is the increasing mastery of computer graphics. The figures still move a bit wooden, the small and fast movements are missing, but the shape of things to come, the lifelike and realistic depiction of fantasy worlds and especially of actors, is clearly visible in this movie. Wow!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2008
Masamune Shirow's best Manga gets the treatment it deserves with the latest incarnation Appleseed Ex Machina. Quite possibly the best Anime' movie released to date with stunning visuals to boot! If you like Anime you will love this film great action set pieces produced with John Woo's input to ratchet up the action to a level not usually found in an anime' movie. In addition there's some great extras on the blu ray including a history of appleseed with a rare series of comments from Masamune Shirow himself.
I cannot recomend buying this movie enough with no region coding on the Blu ray disc it lit up my PS3 & LCD like no other Anime' movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2008
To my mind, the original movie adaption of Shirow Masamune's "Appleseed" manga series was pretty disappointing and needed remaking. And now it has.

Director - Shinji Aramaki
Producer - John Woo

In case you didn't know, Shinji Aramaki designed a number of the original Transformer and Robotech toys back in the day, and pretty much pioneered the now-iconic Japanese powered suit/exoskeleton look. Therefore, if you think any of the gear in this movie looks derivative, seriously think again.

I would say John Woo needs no introduction.

So.... With that kind of creative muscle behind the wheel of this project, the result could only have gone one of two ways, and luckily it went the right way. This movie works really well as what it is designed to be, and that is top-grade anime action.

Content summary:
* Engaging characters and storyline, although not as deep as (say) a Miyazaki production
* looks gorgeous
* soundtrack very well conceived
* impressive audio options
* actually quite interesting extras

Bottom line:
This blu-ray edition movie sets production standards that other sci-fi anime should surely follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2009
Ex Machina is a visual step up from the original Appleseed however a clear step down in terms of plot and depth.

Whilst love and detail has been poured into the production quality and depth of the visual effects (in some cases too much of one detail and not enough of another creating some odd and rather glaring unevenness in detail) then whatever extra effort was put in to that portion was taken out of the plot and script.

Ex machina is rather shallow and rather than expanding on the world of Appleseed it contracts into a sometimes gaudy stand-alone that left me with little desire to see any sequel - quite opposite to the original Appleseed which though of lower technical brilliance, was a far more engaging movie.

Appleseed Ex machine is "OK" but unlike the GITS series which expanded upon the its respective `verse through subtle and sustained plot developments, this leaves one feeling a little ripped-off and distanced from the depth that we know the `verse has in its paper form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well I was totely amazed at the sound and grathic quility of this film and makes a great sequil to the first Appleseed film. 5 Star

Good points - Alot action and epic story, grathic detail amazing as well as the sound effects, So as usal all me needs what meet my 5 star rated reviews- Action, Babes, Humor, and mint Story line all in this film :)
The dubs where better also and more exters then the first Appleseed.

Bad points - I mentioned babes now if your like me and when watching a anime or manger ect you wona see some cute hot half naked babe running round with all sorts adv.weapony shooting at god know's what here there every where ..Well there is a little bit In this but not alot so thats abit of a downers for anime babes fans lol. But apart from that nothen to complain about.

Over all - Epic film realy injoyed it. 5 star must buy and well worth ten quid I payed for it :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2008
Ex-Machina is a sequel for the CGI production of the Appleseed from Masamune Shirow's acclaimed manga. Japanese anime artists believe CGI to be a layer or a tool for anime, but my opion is that Hollywood giants in CGI can learn much from this production.
Excellent direction, excellent model acting, excellent use of technology, excellent artistry and excellent dubbing. Even the details grab you and force you to watch it over and over again. Facial expressions were also motion captured which immerse the audience even more in to the story. Fans of John Woo will also find trademarks of him in this production although he is just the producer.
All in all, must have for your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2009
This is my introduction to anime, largely prompted by the reviews on this site. The most interesting movie I have seen in a long time. A completely different view than the one from Hollywood, and the design and graphics are fantastic. At many points you could take a still from this film and use it is a poster. It got me interested enough in this movie form to explore Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex - SAC 1st GIG - Complete Box Set [DVD], a Japanese TV series based on the same story and graphical presentation. This is also excellent.

Take a chance and have a look at this film if you haven't seen any anime, you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2013
I remember seeing the original Appleseed film and loving it when I was in high school, even though the original was only on for an hour. Well I have to say this new version is fantastic. The new CG artwork is amazing and will completely blow your mind if your new to this type of animation, or even if your already a Manga fan you will love this. Quite along film as well which is great and that makes it worth the money.

This sequel is also as great as the 2004 remake. Well worth watching and adding to a good Manga collection.

Buy the way, make sure you buy this on Blu-ray as its worth seeing the HD artwork detail in full
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