Final Fantasy (2001)
|The year is 2065. A meteor has crashed onto earth unleashing millions of alien creatures who roam the earth, decimating field and city alike, threatening to extinguish life itself. Prepare to be spellbound by an amazing woman, the brave individuals at her side and an astonishing mission to save earth|
Editor's NoteDirected by Hironobu Sakaguchi (who also created the best-selling series of video games that inspired the film), the groundbreaking FINAL FANTASY, which stars a startlingly lifelike cast of animated characters, is the first photo-realistic computer-generated feature film ever made. In the year 2065, Earth has been taken over by a race of alien phantoms and transformed into a barren wasteland sprinkled with dome-enclosed barrier cities--the last remaining bastions of human civilization. Dr. Aki Ross (voiced by actress Ming-Na) has teamed up with Captain Gray Edwards (Alec Baldwin) to search for the "eighth spirit," a powerful entity dwelling in an unknown life form somewhere on the planet. It holds the key to perfecting a system of energy waves that will neutralize the phantoms. Ross's opponent is the reckless General Hein (James Woods), who is determined to put a stop to the alien invasion by firing a satellite cannon directly into a nest of phantoms located deep within the Earth, even though this could mean obliterating the planet itself and all life upon it.
Cast & Crew
|Andy Jones - Animation Director|
|Al Reinert - Screenwriter|
|Elliot Goldenthal - Composer|
|Jun Aida - Producer|
|Jeff Vintar - Screenwriter|
|Hironobu Sakaguchi - Producer|
|Christopher S. Capp - Editor|
|Remington Scott - Producer|
|Sakakibara Motonori - Co-Director|
|Hironobu Sakaguchi - Director|
Customer Reviews of Final Fantasy
it is underrated...unfortunatly...5/26/2002
<p> This is a good a movie. But its underrated by a lot of people.<br> I play a lot of video games and FF is a very successful franchise.<br> UNfortuanatly it was too hyped by the media.<br> I remember seeing the previews and article of the movie saying how impressive it is, and it is.<br> It is extremely impressive.<br> But poeple's expectations were so high that they just didnt enjoy the movie (like Star Wars). <P> <i>The DVD</i><br> The technology aspect of FF is more than cutting edge.<br> I have never seen realistic movements and whatnots in a digital movie.<br> After watching the DvD extras, you understand why it took 3 years and millions of dollars.<br> I study digital art, and I know its is EXTREMELY time consuming and often fustrating.<br> These guys really outdone themselves in their fields<br> "til now all these CG movies are aimed at kids, FF is the first one to reach out to an older audience.<br> Like the commentary aid they really didnt have any references.<br> <p> <i>Is this DvD worth getting??</i><br> Yes it is worth getting, there are TONS of enjoyable extras and commentary.<br> This is NOT a bad movie at all.<br> This is one of those movie you would want to watch when you're bored out of your mind.<br>
A Dreamlike Film11/24/2001
I rarely buy DVDs, though I have watched quite a few by renting them, mainly becasue I'm very picky in some way and favor films that would stir my imagination. "Final Fantasy" is one the the few that come into my collection. I have enjoyed this film throughout since the first time I rented it from a video store and watched it a few times more when I eventually bought this DVD. The computer graphics are breathtaking and very realistic even to the detailed facial expression. I also enjoy the story line, though it might not be a grand one. What attract me to this film most is the power to inspire imagination in a fanscinating level than most American animation could. I wish there is a sequel to this, or even a better one. This film is truly a great entertainment for me.
Should be a part of every DVD fan's library11/5/2001
First off – I’ve never played a "Final Fantasy" game, so it is not a prerequisite for enjoying the film. Second – even though I was looking forward to this film when it came out in theaters, I passed on it because of the bad word of mouth it got. How I wish I could go back and see this one on the big screen with full theater sound! You probably know the basic plot of the movie and know how amazing the animation itself is, so I'll concentrate on the four areas Buy.com rates numerically.
Cinematography - Is it photorealistic? No - but very close, and everything looks incredible. The background mattes, the props and scenery, the aliens, the holographic control boards, ships and clothing are quite realistic and very detailed, and reveal something you didn't see before in each viewing. The "actors" are amazing to watch. You know that they aren’t “real” people, but they are so good that the few times a movement or facial expression looks false, it stands out, but it's never distracting for more than a second or two. The better your TV is, the better this movie looks.
Plot - This is what got the most negative press. I guess everyone expected wall to wall action (and there is plenty), but being a primarily Japanese production, you also get a dose of eastern respect for balance and mother earth. I enjoyed the story and it contains some original ideas and interesting plot elements. Yes, some of the dialog and the characters are cliched at times, but I guarantee that if you are a hard core sci-fi fan, there are numerous films already in your library that sin much more heavily in these areas.
Acting - Special props to Donald Sutherland's Dr. Sid, but everyone here does a good job as well. There is not much character development since the whole story takes place over a couple of very busy days (which makes me sad that there won't be sequels – especially a “prequel” – because the characters are interesting), but you get enough to understand everyone's basic motivation. I like Steve Buscemi as an actor, but as the film's "comic relief", he is the one responsible for the movie’s occasional "cringe" moments. "It's amore, baby". Ouch.
Overall – The transfer is gorgeous in both visuals and sound. The extras are thick and plentiful. Although some are more geared to animation fans and game players, fans of the film itself will gain a huge respect for the film makers as you learn the amount of work that went into ever the simplest detail of the film. I haven't listened to the score commentary yet (although the music is well done and the song/love theme (or whatever you want to call it) is very beautiful), but both (yes, two!) story/technical commentaries are interesting and useful. The Japanese one (with English subtitles) is entertaining as well. It was done the day after they finished the film and the participants are obviously still celebrating while commenting. Lots of laughter on both sides of the screen.
If, like me, you enjoy animation, sci-fi and/or action films, but were put off when this was in the theaters originally because of some erroneous bad press - order this film now. Period. You will not regret spending the money for Final Fantasy for a second. The story is good, the technical aspects are awe inspiring and the near perfect direct digital to digital transfer of video and sound will push your A/V system to it’s very limits like few other discs will.
Gotta get it if you have a large screen TV10/27/2001
The sceneries are fantastic. It is amazing how good the CGI's are. I bought it for my teenage sons and find myself enjoying it just as much. True, there is not much of a storyline, but the action and the amazing detail keep you scanning the screen from corner to corner. This is definitely worth adding to your DVD collection.
Have you ever gone to a movie really wanting to enjoy it, but when the house lights come up, you find yourself walking up the aisle, feeling somewhat let-down by the experience? I have. More often than not, actually. And it doesn't have anything to do with how attractive the date sitting next to you was. (Although, admittedly, had I been sitting next to a gorgeous red-head I probably wouldn't have been so interested in what was taking place on-screen)...Final Fantasy was yet another in a depressingly long line of films with great potential that somehow never quite manage to achieve greatness. Don't get me wrong, the almost photo-realistic visuals are stunning. An absolute cinematic marvel. And the sound effects and music were adequately matched. It is obvious that years of painstakingly detailed effort were applied to the making of the visual aspects of this film. I found fault with the writing, the direction, and the acting. Three very integral parts of the film that obviously were deemed less important by the filmmakers. I can understand the writing part; it is enormously difficult nowadays to produce a big-budget, special effects-laden film that comes from a witty, genuinely intriguing screenplay. I mean, this was based on a series of Japanese video games! Not exactly Homer or Shakespeare, to be sure. But the writing was bland. This criticism can be applied to both the plotline and the dialogue. An action-adventure/sci-fi/fantasy (not to mention animated) film needs to have a script with loads of action, a swift-moving plot, cliffhangers galore, and characters we in the audience really care about and identify with. This was lacking in the film, to be sure. I wish filmmakers would spend more time on writing quality work. Then worry about the visual aspects. But enough about the writing.
Next comes the direction. The only way for a voice actor in an animated film to convey the story to the audience is through, you guessed it, their VOICE. When casting a role for animation, you need someone who SOUNDS the part of the character(no real criticism from me in the casting department), and then the character must come alive through the voice of said actor. And THAT is where this director failed. Like Titan, A.E., and countless other animated films, the voices were bland and there was a black hole of a void where the emotional content was supposed to be. And it brought the whole film down about 5 notches for me. Everyone's got to have a gripe about something - and that was mine. As far as the actors themselves go, I believe they were all capable of more. Again, it goes back to the director being able to push them and, well, direct them, in order to get the optimum performance. In order to best tell the story to the audience...
But don't let my comments deter you from buying this film. I'm going to buy it myself. It is a landmark motion picture for the visual aspects alone, and well worth being added to a film buff's collection. I just hope that in the future more time and effort (and talent) will be poured into the development of story and character, and that the director will treat the actor and the character as an integral part of the filmmaking process. Then, it truly WILL be a great film.
A prodigiously underrated movie10/22/2001
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a cinematic masterpiece. It is too bad that nobody else thinks so. Final Fantasy was the first and is the only movie to ever create, let alone attempt to render, a realistic human form. The backrounds are amazing, the action is intense, but to look at faces and movements of the CGI characters is simply breathtaking. Many critics and moviegoers alike praise the animation but complain of the films lack of story. Who are these people that think a film must be completely original for it to be any good? Sure, the concepts of the plot were not entirely original but there was enough innovation in it to warrant it to not be called unoriginal. Final Fantasy offered a great mix of action, philosophy and utter beauty. Plus the actors brought in to do voicework were top notch. Who doesn't love Alec Baldwin. Also there is Steve Buscemi, a personal favorite of mine, Peri Gilpin, Ving Rhames, James Woods, and Donald Sutherland. How can you go wrong with that line up? You can't, and they didn't.
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