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Malgorzata Foremniak , Wladyslaw Kowalski , Mamoru Oshii    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 50.65
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars It's amazing movie! June 25 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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. I maybe agree to some extent, but it has a twist at the very end you wouldn't suspect & you will be watching more than once to fully understand Director concept. I recommend to watch it with subtitles to enjoy amazing colors & pay attention to the words of the song (There is a clue in the words to understand the whole movie)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past May 5 2008
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. Great story, visually sharp and creatively realistic. Slow parts balanced with smoky, well textured locations(they are slow on purpose to show dying humanity at a crawl).

If you liked The Matrix, Blade Runner and other Noir Sci-Fi, Check out AVALON
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4.0 out of 5 stars I left my love in Avalon July 1 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
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. Ash (Malgorzata Foremniak) an independent player was once a member of a team. Some one chickened out and called a reset. Now the one whom we assume is the culprit must get to the "A" level to free the old team leader Murphy (Jerzy Gudejko) from a vegetative existence.

Naturally nothing is what it seems in this perilous adventure. And reality is what we chose it to be.

Beautiful Music by the Warsaw Philharmonic.
Bishop is played by Dariusz Biskupski. 'Biskup' is Polish for bishop.
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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. The opening scenes were rather impressive - an illegal, potentially lethal video game in which people get online, strap on military hardware and set about killing each other. Although I'm not a fan of online gaming (I'm crap at first person shooters), I thought it looked and sounded like a cool premise. So I went home and found a copy.
The first five minutes, again, were fantastic. A moderately fast-paced battle scene with awesome tech and lots of things blowing up. Fun. But then 'reality' struck.
I've long been annoyed by the sort of pseudo-symbolism that Japanese movie makers seem to like drowning their creations in. Usually it's pretentious and annoying, but it does serve to cover up the incredibly shallow plots of most Japanese animes and movies. For instance, want to have giant robots that exist for no real reason fighting monsters that continuously show up for no real reason in a post-apocalyptic world that has no reason to exist? Add a faux-Biblical subtext and you have Evangelion (which I thought was otherwise very cool).
Avalon is different. Instead of taking a shallow, unworkable pretext and slaps in a half carried-through set of (cool and ominous sounding) mythical symbolisms from another culture to add some depth, Avalon takes a monumentally workable and interesting idea and adds a crappy mythological overtone to completely deprive the movie of depth.
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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 excellent April 4 2004
This movie is 10 times better than the matrix. The story and philosophy of this movie is excellent. Highly recomended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bassett Hound! March 22 2004
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. What tilted the scale in its' favor was featuring Ash's Bassett Hound. My favorite type dog, that old hound made the movie for me! At first I thought the dog was either kidnapped or dead, but when Ash goes to the "real" world, you see the dog flopping his chops out the window of a car going by. Too cool! My biggest criticism is that whoever did the subtitles needs a few grammar lessons. Ouch! But overall, if you are looking for a weird trip, and do not expect to see a Matrix clone (which it is not), and do not mind reading through sometimes rapidly changing subtitles, it is a good movie. And that dog is icing on the cake!
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