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Avalon [Import]

Malgorzata Foremniak , Wladyslaw Kowalski , Mamoru Oshii    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Occupying a hazardous fantasy war zone located somewhere between David Cronenberg's eXistenZ and the Matrix trilogy, Mamoru Oshii's Avalon is a must-see entry in the subgenre of virtual-reality thrillers. Combining live-action set in a dystopian near future (filmed in Poland) and digital imagery set within a state-sponsored virtual combat game called Avalon, this sluggishly paced but visually dazzling film is another brain-teaser from the director of Ghost in the Shell. The action focuses on a maverick Avalon ace named Ash (played by the lovely Polish actress Malgorzata Foremniak) who advances to the game's highest and most mysterious level, "Class Real," a virtual world so authentically convincing that some--called "the Unreturned"--choose never to leave it. As with the Matrix trilogy, Avalon is more intriguing in premise than execution, filled with hushed tones and heavy-handed portent. Still, the amber-hued ruins of Oshii's virtual landscape are oddly alluring as a means of escape--a warning from Oshii, perhaps, that even the most exciting virtual reality is a trap that can prove deadly to those who fall into it willingly. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

From Mamoru Oshii, the acclaimed director of GHOST IN THE SHELL, AVALON is a mesmerizing sci-fi thriller with explosive action and state-of-the-art visual effects in the stunning style of THE MATRIX! In the not-so-distant future, desperate young people risk everything to play "Avalon" -- an illegal and potentially lethal virtual war game where addicted combatants earn points and wealth. For one of the game’s greatest warriors, the "noble soldier" Ash, the search for Avalon’s legendary game stage Class Real will either lead to an entirely higher level of existence -- or be a journey from which she will never return! With awe-inspiring visuals and an intriguing futuristic story, lose yourself in the excitement of this amazing cinematic adventure!

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Original Directors Vision! April 18 2004
Here we go again. MIRAMAX basterdizes another movie. MIRAMAX tends to buy the rights to these great movies & then changes them. I've seen the original AVALON so I can comment on what's been changed. First, the original washed out color of the film is replaced with an deep orange. This really ruins some of the original scenes.At least some colors in the original movie came out. MIRAMAX has ruined the directors vision. If you have this DVD see the extras on the cinamatography & SFX. At least there you'll see the original color that was intended by director Mamoru Oshii.The 2nd thing that's been added is the additoinal dialogue. The main chracter explains the game after her 1st victory. This has been added by MIRAMAX. And lastly at the end or character explains it all or tries to.All this was added to the movie. The directors intention is to make you guess & ponder this wonderful story. But MIRAMAX has decided for you. About the only thing I'll give them credit is the great English dub. I also enjoyed the extras. I have to give this 3 stars. If you can write a protest letter to MIRAMAX. It's so sad how a american Distributor can tamper & ruin a directors vision. I'd recommend getting a foreign version of this movie if you can.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please do not accuse without research! Feb. 25 2004
I am shocked to see the review which says that Oshiisan has copied the concept of Avalon from Matrix .The whole concept of plugging in, right down to the plug points on the neck of the characters, has been ripped off in Matrix from Oshiisans Ghost in the shell,he does not have to steal what is his,second please, Trinity is a human clone of major Kusanagi of Ghost right down to the way she fights, and the lobby shootout is clearly inspired by the
shootout in the last shootout in Ghost "bits of concrete flying everywhere" etc, and even the poses when characters land after making a leap are copied from ghost "on one knee".Avalon is for people who like Japanese Anime which over the years has inspired the likes of Matrix.And this is something the Wachowski's themselves admit.And a good movie can be in any language for one to appreciate ,I couldnt care if it was russian or polish.I think
people should refrain from tearing down something which they dont know much about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of mind Feb. 21 2004
By Tagarth
The five star rating is really only for people who don't just sit down and "watch" a movie. If your like most people, who need every thing spelled out for them word for word, who needs to see someone getting shot to death from every possible angle, who needs to see body parts better left covered, and who needs a quick shot of entertainment that doesen't even require brain stimulation, then this movie isn't for you. If you do not fall under this catagorization, then enjoy, it's a five star for sure!
What I mean by "a person who doesen't just 'watch' a movie" is someone who isn't done rolling the concept around in their head the moment the ending credits start. If a movie doesen't stick with you, and doesen't make you think, then whats the point? While your sitting there doing nothing you may as well be at least using your brain. If you just want to sit down and zone out when you watch movies, then fine, don't watch this film. I hope I never turn into one of you.
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It is unfortunate that we've been so jaded by the Hollywood version of what a film should be that we would pass up the nuances that can make an otherwise mediocre film into a great film, albeit if mainly for its cinematographic value. Some appear to have judged Avalon, and the efforts of its director (Oshii), within this context--even presuming that the film is nothing more than a bad Matrix wannabe. This is not the case, in my view.
I much prefer to be enticed by subtle details and given an opportunity to become immersed in mood than bombarded with a lot of special effects and high-flying acrobatics. This is what I found to be so refreshing about this movie.
As for providing explanations to everything, well, I don't know that that is always needed in a film in order for it to be entertaining. So is it that I find it interesting that our Western mindset cannot deal with finding deeper meanings, through our own interpretations, in most anything that we encounter. It's as if we expect to pause our brains and be entertained through mere visual stimulation. Of course, I know that this is not really what others have described. Still, this is the type of movie that I believe deserves better than what I've read in these reviews. It's funny that I say all this and it was precisely the visuals that made the film so endearing. There's nothing passe about achieving a high level of beauty in a film, and we are fortunate to have "some" directors still mindful of this growingly archaic attention to detail.
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1.0 out of 5 stars "Stunning" Only In Its Ignorance Feb. 7 2004
Several years ago, Moviefone.com revealed a promotional in theatres spoofing Polish art films with the parody, "Look at My Potato." The premise was an olderly man chose to stare for hour upon hour without end at a simple potato because he couldn't get access to his local theatre showtimes (hence the Moviefone tie-in). It was filmed in a dark, near sepia tone quality, and the background music was opera music.
Well, the whimsical folks at Moviefone.com weren't very far from the truth when it comes to Polish art films as AVALON amply proves, hitting the target dead center.
In the near future, society has cashed out on humanity. Instead, people have chosen to immerse themselves in a multi-level virtual reality war game where it seems that all combat takes place in the deserted same factory somewhere deep in the heart of Poland. As every game needs a champion, the unbeatable character here is an Anime-influenced beauty named Ash, a competitor whose combat attire is more akin to a dominatrix than a dominator. Ash's obsession is to reach AVALON, the highest level of the game where "Unreturned" players (players whose brains have turned to jelly for still yet unexplained logic) go in order to be reunited with Murphy, a teammate she lost an indeterminate number of years/months/days/seconds ago. (Of course, once she gets there, she relatively promptly shoots him, an act left with equally less explanation as all the seminal events in the film.)
In large part, AVALON is what I call celluloid flatulence: sure, it sounds and looks pretty, but, once it's released, the room is still best cleared. And quickly. The film boasts big ideas (perhaps far too many for this cheap attempt for a MATRIX ripoff) all of which go unexplored.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's amazing movie!
It's one of the most underrated movies. Will make you think, beautiful music, enchanting story, amazing cinematography! I read reviews comparing this movie to Matrix. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Catherine Kaminsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past
I saw this movie ages ago and loved it. Searching for years, I could never find it until now. Avalon is a milkshake of orgasmic proportions. Read more
Published on May 5 2008 by K. M. Zazulyk
4.0 out of 5 stars I left my love in Avalon
It is the dismal looking future and one thing that is forbidden but to intriguing to resist is the virtual reality game of "Avalon" it may prove to be fatal. Read more
Published on July 1 2006 by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars Avalon, Or: Lose respect for Japanese film in one easy step.
I got my hands on this DVD after catching the first five minutes of the movie being projected on a warehouse wall with a backdrop of thumping industrial techno. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Mr. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
This movie is 10 times better than the matrix. The story and philosophy of this movie is excellent. Highly recomended.
Published on April 4 2004 by "bublegum00"
4.0 out of 5 stars Bassett Hound!
I will not go into the details of the plot since they have been covered by others. I will just say that as weird as this movie "noir" was, I actually liked it. Read more
Published on March 22 2004 by Fred Rayworth
4.0 out of 5 stars A life worth living...
Everyone who insists on comparing any new science fiction only to the Matrix series will lose out on the meaning and value writers other than the Wachowskies have to offer. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2004 by Jason L
2.0 out of 5 stars Blue pill or the red pill?
There are serious movies. There are movies that begged to be taken seriously. Avalon is the latter. Released to a poor box office showing in 2001, the low-budget Avalon will... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by Noctem
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