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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HIGH WATERMARK -Final Fantasy:The Spirits Within
Did you see the other movies that competed at the box during the summer of 2001? There was "Jurassic Park 3", "AI", "Cats & Dogs", "Tomb Raider" and "Rush Hour 2" -all unwatchable films. Seriously, these movies are like committee driven productions with very little originality. If you thought that any of these films were great, then stop reading here (it's obvious that...
Published on June 21 2004

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for visuals
The purpose of this film was to push the envelope of computer animation. This goal was accomplished, and then some. However the story sadly was little more than a stoned hippie's day dream. One can only wonder what this movie could have been if they had spend even 1/4 of the time they spent on animation writing a decent story.
Published on July 1 2004 by N. J Nogler


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HIGH WATERMARK -Final Fantasy:The Spirits Within, June 21 2004
By A Customer
Did you see the other movies that competed at the box during the summer of 2001? There was "Jurassic Park 3", "AI", "Cats & Dogs", "Tomb Raider" and "Rush Hour 2" -all unwatchable films. Seriously, these movies are like committee driven productions with very little originality. If you thought that any of these films were great, then stop reading here (it's obvious that what little brain space you have is needed for your basic survival and I wouldn't want you to actually 'think' for yourself)...
Then there was "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", a foreign film by a director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, who doesn't even speak english. And yet FF was absolutely original for a summer film; emphasis on story and character, post apocalyptic civilization coping with a mystery that has wiped out the majority of humanity, ghosts from another planet, a villian who is not a typical evil cliche -he's just trying to save the human race, a hero who may be infected by the spirits inside her and may subsequently be subverting a squad of marines, and the underlying theme of faith. All those elements add up to an underappreciated cult classic that Hollywood purposefully swept under the carpet.
Why was this film targeted with 0 marketing from the studio that distrubuted it, Sony Pictures? Cause the movie was totally financed by Square and Sony had no stake in it's success whatsoever. However, Sony was already in talks to create the cg for the all motion capture "Polar Express", a $100 million plus payday from Warner Bros to Sony for just making the graphics, disregarding the final outcome of the box office. That's a fat guaranteed paycheck. Check out this link regarding Tom Hanks public campaign to sink FF- (...)
(or just google "tom hanks digital actors") Hanks is quoted as saying that "I am very troubled by it" refering to the digital actors from FF! and this quote was in the trades around July 9th, the week before FF was released. He was worried that digital actors would replace actors, which is definately the case in "Polar Express" where Hanks plays most of the characters in the film!
So if you were Sony Pictures, would you market the hell out of FF and piss off America's most beloved actor or bury FF and then secure the deal to make "Polar Express"? Then, of course, Zemeckis and Hanks are now claiming that "Polar Express" is the first animated movie of its kind, which is not the case because Square did it first with FF.
So, check out the original.
"Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" was a visionary film that scared the crap out of Hollywood and caused some major talent to emulate it. Don't buy the hype, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" was not a Hollywood studio pic that was meant for summer blockbuster fare, it was a foreign film. And that said, how many foreign films have been so visionary as to create a new genre in animation?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete masterpiece, June 22 2004
This film is one of the best I have ever seen. Put simply, it is a work of genius. There have been a number of bad reviews about this film and it lost almost $60m at the box office (nevertheless, it still grossed a fairly respectable $45m). When I saw the DVD I couldn't understand why the film lost money at all.
The main prejudices against this film seem to be that it carries the "Final Fantasy" title. Excited fans of the gaming series were seriously dissapointed because this film has absolutely nothing to do with any of the games and is in a completly different style to them. This isn't surprising, because the games are incredibly complex and their stories would eat up hours of screen time. Fans of the game just did not have the foresight to enjoy it as a seperate movie. I had not played the games upon viewing and so could afford to be more impartial.
The rendered characters are incredible; for computer geeks it's worth buying the DVD to see Dr. Aki Ross's (the main character) hair blowing in the wind.
The storyline is as deep as you want it to be- it works on many levels, ultimately dealing with spirituality/life and death issues. On the other hand, it can be enjoyed solely as an action movie. Another great feature is the music, which is some of the best work I have heard- particularly the end credits/love scene piece "The Dream Within".
There is not a great deal of character development, and this upset critics. Nevertheless, there is still feeling and the viewer does get attached to most of the characters.
You simply HAVE to watch this film once. It really is nothing like anything that has gone before it. Although it has not proven to be the end of human actors as predicted, it has definately paved the way for other CGI (computer generated) films and has set the standard. Even if you are not interested in the spiritualist plot, you can simply be entertained by the action and humourous banter between the two army comrades, Neil and Jane.
Overall, this film is excellent. It was a real shame that it did not perform well at the box office, but in future years it will probably be looked back upon with respect and as a classic, it is such a trendsetter.
The DVD has some great features which help buff the storyline up a bit. I would definately reccomended this to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE, May 12 2004
By 
"maxwell-house-78" (ZION, NOT THE MATRIX, WAKE Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) - See all my reviews
I know people are made that the movie had nothing to do with the games. Everyone please remember that the games are all different in many ways. The movie for example is a completely new world, new characters, and theme. And you really care about the story and what happens to the characters. That is what makes a Final Fantasy. Not Cloud or Squall swinging swords everywhere. People have just forgotten what makes the Final Fantasy series so great and that the storys.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie!, Sept. 30 2012
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It remains an animation movie. But the details are stunning at times. I first saw that movie before the flat screen tv's revolution. It looked more like a real movie then.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good job with this animation, Jan. 7 2003
By 
You know, it won't matter if you like the story line or not (OK, the story is a little cheesey) because you'll absolutely love the animation!
I bet you will forget, at some point or another during the movie, that you're not looking at real actors and actresses!
Definitely worth watching but worth owning only if you're sci-fi/fantasy fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A movie that brought a company down, but own me on the process! :), March 4 2014
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Square soft went bankrupt with this phenomenal movie, but it shows! CGI of great quality, even for today standards!

Good voice acting, a simple lesson of morality, two heroes with different approach, a millitary officer with bad actions for good reasons and a relative lifestream paradoxe; you've got a final fantasy formula.

The CGI environnement is just great and the characters are well fleshed and you feel for their loss.

Just a masterpiece that should have bring squaresoft to the stars, but with the cost of citizen Kane! :P

Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow what an awesome movie-- for all to see, Jan. 22 2013
By 
D. Bond "Misty13" (Queen Charlotte b.c. canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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What an awesome -- well made- amzing animae - so realistic- and true to life . Lots of action enjoy
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4.0 out of 5 stars 4 and 1 half, more like it. ___sory for misspelling___, April 2 2004
By 
Jose L. Madrigal (Homestead, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Yea, ok u all say it sucks and is nothing about final fantasy the vedio games. True i love the games me myself have ff9,10,10-2 and im about to get more. The movie is preety clear. Although nothing is got to do with the game, look more at the computer, see the detalies, and read u wanabe critices that is a new ff,,,, since it doesnt have much action i gave it 4 stars, but it's still a must see.....DETAILS..... The women faces of a challeng on collecting spirits to save the world.Not that easy plans are being made but not followed, and these plans leave to bad concequences.{{{{dont want to spoil it}}}} as she encounters freinds and foes, but overall the animation is great, as the girl walks, the hair moves according to her movements, in other words everything effects everything, and for all u coachpotatoes,eating bums, look at it again, and look wats good. There are even these moments where u doze off thing its
not computer because of its realness.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Surprise: An Intelligent and Magnificent Work of Art, May 16 2004
By A Customer
I resisted seeing this film because I am not a fan of "blood and gore" video games and figured the movie would just be another "rock and roll" blood fest. However, I after seeing about 10 minutes of this film on HBO one night and decided I had to purchase the DVD. Tonight I viewed this film and was blown away by the intelligent and sensitive story, the incredible set design, and the sheer art of the animators. This film could have been a sell out to video gamers who just wanted to see loads of violence and monsters... instead, its primary feature is to take the digital animation and make the story as "human" and "humanlike" as possible... and it succeeds magnificently. The music is orchestral and grand, with a superb score by Eliot Goldenthal, the characters are fully-developed... far more than in many action films (The Punisher is a good example of "live action" with NO character development) and the story centers around the "soul" and the "earth's gaia or spirit".... not "lightweight" subjects, even for sophisticated film makers to tackle.
There is a fundamental problem with the film.... the plot and story will be too sophisticated for the average teenager who may be attracted to animation, videogames or comic books... and the more sophisticated film lover my resist it because it may appear to be for those with limited attention spans. This film is awesome and will challenge those who can think.
The film makers chose the high road with story, score and character, it will eventually become the classic it deserves to be..... it certainly stands among great science fiction films in my book already. Bravo!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...And Worlds End", Feb. 24 2004
By 
D. Knouse (vancouver, washington United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As a feature for cutting-edge animation this film is a great success. I often gaped at the amazing visual textures and dazzling color mixed with inventive sci-fi scenery. However, the film is extremely cold with regards to emotional connection with the characters. While the creatures and ships and battle-gear were all pristinely drawn, the expressions and walk of the human characters are stiff and mostly emotionless. This makes for more of a cerebral experience along the lines of hard sci-fi rather than sci-fi fantasy. The overall feel of the film is icy and soulless, but the animation is truly exceptional. What saves this film from being completely frozen is one of the most underrated scores of the year composed by Elliot Goldenthal. I own the CD to the soundtrack and I often play it while reading something creepy. It enhances the movie with subtlety and provides much-needed lift to many of the otherwise spiritless sequences. The song "The Dream Within" sung by Lara Fabian was also written by Elliot Goldenthal and is remarkable, especially with Lara Fabian's glorious voice soaring over the music. But the real star of this film is the animation, which is certainly extraordinary. There were many moments during the film that I forgot it was animated, the human characters look so life-like. In summation: superb animation with a cerebral sci-fi yarn, but ultimately hollow and cold.
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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within  (Bilingual)
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Bilingual) by Motonori Sakakibara (DVD - 2002)
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