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Title:
  Appleseed

UK Distributor:  Optimum Asia (DVD Only)

BBFC Certificate:  12

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  £19.99

Running Time:  105 mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  Japanese DTS, 5.1; English 5.1

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Ade

 

I'd like to start by saying this is my first review and Iím not in the business of writing for a public audience, so forgive me if it's not that polished or particularly professional.  Either way everyone starts somewhere.  I bought Appleseed about a year on a whim and the first two times I watched it just for its sheer entertainment value.  I never looked for any flaws that might have been there.  The net result was a satisfied customer, if a little bit out of pocket having paid the full 20 quid.  I watched the movie and got quite into it the story was so perfectly far-fetched that it played to my imagination.  The science and technology portrayed by the movie wasn't that ridiculous or unfeasible.  Well, no more than any normal anime movie.

That was a while ago now.  Since then a few things have happened.  A few months ago I was chatting to a friend and the topic of anime movies came up and I mentioned that I had a good one called Appleseed and well the response I got was what I expected.  I was told by my friend that he had seen the movie and had a very poor opinion of it.  Well needless to say I tried to defend it by saying that he was too much of a critic and then promptly changed the subject.  Another thing that happened since I originally bought the movie and watched was that I sat down a chatted to person that not only new a lot about anime movies but also ran a website on the subject reviewing them.  Well, I was invited to write a few reviews and post them on this personís website.  That person was Rich.  He did suggest that a fresh pair of eyes with a new perspective might be a good thing.  Anyway I went back and watched the movie again and this time I was looking for the things I think a critic should take note of.  And well here goes.

So there I am, Iíve just put the movie in and sat down to watch it again and the first thing that strikes me is the graphics.  Very impressive computer graphics.  The intro sequence is pretty good.  Then the first characters appear and, well, theyíre not done with CG.  Well they could be I suppose, but they look like the more traditional drawn approach.  Thankfully the result isn't bad at all.  The risk with so much effort spent on the CG was that the characters would stick out badly.  They don't, happily I would suggest that with my limited experience this is on of the best examples of this combination.

Now for my first gripe.  Just as the intro sequence end the first character speaks, and thereís the problem itís in Japanese.  The movie comes with the language option set to Japanese as default.  Thereís no warning of this and the intro sequence has probable been ruined for a lot of viewers as it was for me the very first time I watched it.  By the time you correct the language and then find the right spot in the movie to return to the effect is compromised.

Well to shorten the story the movie progresses well and it is a good movie generally but with a few flaws.  Firstly, why does every bad guy stop when they have the hero at their mercy and then wait dramatically before, just as they finally try to kill the hero, they are thwarted by some escape?  Itís just not realistic.  I know itís the way with movies but it's just not what would happen if I were the bad guy.  Ok thatís not a biggy but this one is.  The movie has a twist like all movies and a bluff by the main characters.  But I just canít follow the characters motives.  Why do they do what they do with the information that they are supposed to know?  Then they try to explain themselves and it gets worse.  I'm a reasonable person and Iím not normally stupid.  I have a good education and I just canít figure out why the characters do what they do at certain times in the movie.  I'm starting to think that the writer/writers had the ending in mind before they wrote the middle and did a poor job of filling in the middle of the movie.  Either that or something was lost in the translation but I thought the latter reason is unlikely as it's integral to their industry.

As for the extras that come with the movie well. The first disc is the movie with its language options and the commentary from the director and producer. The Second disc comes with a whole heap of extras, with "The Birth of 3D Live Anime" being the most interesting closely followed by the design archives.  Oh and finally the music is top quality.
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