Final Fantasy

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AVERAGE RATING
5 out of 5
5
4
4
2
3
0
2
0
1
0
Total Reviews
6
4.7
Overall Satisfaction
5
Value
3.8
Ease of Use
4.2
Performance

<i>Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within</i> is a cinematic masterpiece. It is too bad that nobody else thinks so. <i>Final Fantasy</i> 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.

-Furious D quote

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)...<i>Final Fantasy</i> 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. <p> 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... <p> 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.

-voicebox5@mac.com quote

A prodigiously underrated movie

by Furious D on 10/22/2001

<i>Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within</i> is a cinematic masterpiece. It is too bad that nobody else thinks so. <i>Final Fantasy</i> 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. Read More

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So Close...

by voicebox5@mac.com on 10/26/2001

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)...<i>Final Fantasy</i> 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. <p> 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... <p> 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. Read More

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Product Overview

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

Specifications

Studio Sony
SKU 40159615
UPC 043396062498
UPC 14 00043396062498
Format DVD
Release Date 9/1/2009
Rating Rating
Keywords
Action
Computer Animation
Fantasy
Fantasy Worlds
Science Fiction
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Directed 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.
Reviews
New York Times "...The visual effects are wondrous..." 07/11/2001 p.E1
USA Today "...A visual marvel....The emotional kick wouldn't be much stronger were it populated with people..." 07/11/2001 p.7D
Variety "...Visually impressive....[The] voicing is solid down the line....[The film] evinces a craftsmanlike fastidiousness throughout all levels of production..." 07/09/2001 p.20
Entertainment Weekly "...A mesmerizing technical achievement....These computer-created characters represent a cinematic art of the future....It's a great wow..." 07/20/2001 p.42
Rolling Stone "...The film exerts a hold..." 08/02/2001 p.70
Sight and Sound "...Those being inducted to FINAL FANTASY through THE SPIRITS WITHIN will marvel at the technical expertise of game-producer-turned-director Hironobu Sakaguchi..." 09/01/2001 p.42-3
Total Film "...Sci-fi fans and programmers will find it hard to contain their glee as battleships explode in vibrant shades of orange and red....The alien phantoms, luminous and ethereal, are both beautiful and terrifying..." 09/01/2001 p.88-9
Ultimate DVD 4 stars out of 5 -- "This was a groundbreaking movie that triumphantly unveiled realistic virtual humans..." 04/01/2008 p.64
Directors
Hironobu Sakaguchi
Actors
Alec Baldwin
Ming-Na Wen
Cast & Crew
Alec Baldwin - Star
Peri Gilpin - Star
Ming-Na Wen - Star
Keith David - Star
Jean Simmons - Star
Donald Sutherland - Star
Steve Buscemi - Star
Ving Rhames - Star
James Woods - Star
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
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2001
Catalog ID 06249
UPC 00043396062498
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 106 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
1.85:1
Features
DVD, Special Edition, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Surround Sound, English, Subtitled, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Actor Baldwin,Alec
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Ebert & Roeper and the Movies Two big thumbs up!

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