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Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within 2001

Groundbreaking movie using realistic, yet entirely computer-generated, characters. Based on a long-running series of Nintendo computer games, 'Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within' tells a futuristic tale of an Earth besieged by alien invaders.

Starring:
Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin
Runtime:
1 hour, 41 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By b4-its-2-l8 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2006
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: DVD
OK, I admit that I am a 36 year old fan of the very successful video game series, FINAL FANTASY!! But the Americans do seem intent on putting thier own little two-penneth worth in, on a Japanese belief. The belief being that, when somebody or something dies, the 'soul' goes back to earth. The Americans want to have their own input with the 'humour' in the film, but it doesn't work.
If you are a follower of Japanese Anime/ Video games, then the story line is very believable, but very dissappointing due to the American script contributions. But that is nothing compared to the computer generated actors, and when you do get the chance to get your breath back, then you will understand why this film took 4 years to make.
I bought this DVD from the United States, and because it is Region 1 encoded, Columbia/Tristar have developed a new regional coding devise called RCE (Regional Coding Enhancement), which makes the playback of the disc very difficult, on both chipped and multi-regional DVD players. If you had a choice, I would say don't buy the Region 1 disc version. The Region 2 discs, have the exact same added features as the Region 1 encoded discs, but a lot less trouble in the play back of them!!
Hironobu Sakaguchi has basically created a new form of entertainment that fuses the technical wizardry of interactive games with the sensational visual effects of motion pictures, taking you that one step closer to The Spirit Within
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Format: Blu-ray
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.
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