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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within (Special Edition) (2001) » User review


  • Nov 3, 2001
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On release, Final Fantasy remained in the top spot for two days. On it's third day it was overtaken by Legally Blonde and The Score, placing it in third place within the box office scene. On it's 12th day, Fantasy was buried under a pile led by Jurassic Park 3 and America's Sweetheart's that were competing to rake in the cash. Also at the time in full throttle: Shrek, Tomb Raider, Scary Movie 2, Dr Doolitle 2, Cat's and Dog's, and even A.I. Soon after Planet of the Apes appeared, and Final Fantasy was no more.
In short, Final Fantasy has become Hollywood's newest victim to bad timing.

Many things have been said lightly, and thrown harshly at Final Fantasy: the spirit's within, but when something is done so well, there is no room for bashing. Computer Rendering has never been so breathtaking and rarely am I this pleased with how much work was put into a film, nor appreciated it more.
The story, I must admit, does have "the" good versus evil story line that is used in most every film...including Star Wars. Here's a blow, take a look at the highest grossing and most loved films and you will see that they all have that story line. It's in our religeon's, it's in our history, it's in our movies, it's in our blood: Go figure. Also there is complaint of the dialogue between character's being to simple and "everyday". Who would of thought that people speak in simple, every day term's. Heaven forbid we say, "Will I save the Earth before it's too late? I don't know how much time I have left."
Aki is driven by her dreams and a rapidly growing, cancer-like, phantom host that lives within her. As I do not personally believe in the religeon used in the film (i.e. Fantasy), I compared it to my own belief's and was astounded with the similarities. How refreshing to see something that has belief in itself.
Also, another thing I liked is how (even though people complain about the rest of the film) the ending retreat's from Hollywood's simple minded closures. There is no happy ending here my friends, rather a hope for something better.
This is the best looking dvd in my growing collection. The sound is wonderful and alive, though I would have liked a dts track. No complaint's mainly because the 5.1 digital track does everything it is supposed to. Final fantasy is flat out reference material.
When you have your friend's or family over and have just finished your no-bake cheese cake, your going to want to whip out the old dvd remote and show off your system. (That's the way I am, I don't know about you). Usually for sound you would pop in Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, or The Matrix to show your speakers off. For picture you would get out Unbreakable, again the Matrix, or even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No more my friend, because now you have a 2 disc'er that will do more than tickle their senses.
As far as extra's, you can't...Can Not!...get much better. At least to date. Though Snow White is close and Ep. 1 a tie, you will be entertained by Final Fantasy's storage of fact's and fiction's. If your an average film nut like me, your knowledge will be tripled and your respect for the film maker's will be beyond word's.
Some advice, do not check out the features before watching the film. The extra's take you nearly frame by frame in the creative process, and could spoil the fun!
Very imaginative and extremely fine tuned film (dvd) that I and my family truly enjoyed. Don't let a victim of bad timing stay at rest. ~S.A.O.S.~

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More Final Fantasy - The Spirits Wi... reviews
review by . December 09, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a science fiction film by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy role-playing games. This film was the first attempt to make a photorealistic rendered 3D feature film, and was released to theaters in the United States on July 11, 2001. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is only vaguely related to the Final Fantasy games. Dr. Sid's Gaia theory (a lifeforce within the planet to which the spirits belong) is reminiscent of the Lifestream/Mako in Final …
review by . February 07, 2008
The animation was a "technical breakthrough" but the story had NOTHING to do with Final Fantasy. For those that like the games, play the games or are interested in the story in the games, this movie is nothing like it. The film and animation was outstanding, but the story was lacking. There weren't even any chocobos! This is not a story similar to the Final Fantasy games.
review by . December 07, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Touted as first photo-realistic computer generated feature film, Final Fantasy has some amazing eye candy; the life-likeness of the characters held me transfixed.     In the year 2065, Earth has been taken over by transparent aliens that crashed onto the Earth and who suck the spirit out of any living thing that they can get their hands on. In order to save mankind, Dr. Aki Ross and her trusting mentor, Dr. Sid, must find the "eighth spirit"--a remaining spirit that has not been …
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Earth is a desolate wasteland inFinal Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Humanity has been decimated by an invasion of Phantoms, insubstantial aliens that extract and devour the spirits of living things. The few remaining humans have retreated to a handful of cities that are protected by massive bio-energy shields. The beautiful Dr. Aki Ross (voiced by Ming-Na) and her mentor Dr. Sid (Donald Sutherland) have discovered that the energy signatures of eight key Earth spirits can cancel out and destroy the Phantoms. With the help of Captain Edwards (Alec Baldwin) and his band of marines, they must scour the globe for the last two remaining spirits before General Hein (James Woods) manipulates the refugee government into attacking the aliens with an orbital laser that may also destroy the Earth.

Hironobu Sakaguchi's film is taken from the popular Final Fantasy video game franchise, which is particularly well suited to film adaptation with its series of original stories, but the movie features entirely new characters and settings. And like Toy Story and Shrek, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is completely computer generated. Unlike those cartoon comedies, though, The Spirits Within is a serious science fiction drama with astonishingly human digital actors. Aki, the female lead, appeared in a full-page spread in Maxim magazine's Hot 100 list--and was indistinguishable from the real-life models. The setting and conflict make for incredible action, but it's the larger issues, character ...

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Genre: Animation
DVD Release Date: October 23, 2001
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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