Dante's Inferno [Blu-ray]
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This feature-length project will expand on the story in EA's new, must-have game, Dante's Inferno. The animated feature will follow Dante on a stunning journey through the nine circles of Hell as he travels through limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery in search of his true love, Beatrice.
6 terrifying stories from 6 acclaimed studios including Production IG (Kill Bill, GITS), Madhouse (Ninja Scroll, Animatrix), Maglobe, Film Roman, etc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The animation is all well done but some segments are better then others. One of the segments is directed by Japanese director Shuko Murase of Ergo Proxy fame. Sadly the animation does not warrant Blu-ray 1080p treatment and would likely look as good on a standard DVD. This edition comes with scant extras as well with simply an animatics segment on some of the key charcters and an admittedly well done trailer for the EA game of the same title. They could have done much more with the Blu-ray format.
What stopped me from giving the disk three stars is the superb writing and voice acting. Mark Hammill (Luke Skywalker in Star Wars episodes IV-VI) is a very talented and experienced voice actor and he was a great choice to be featured in the disk. The music and sound (in Dolby 5.1) is also well done.
At the end of the day it's a great watch and you will likely watch it many more times than once. A warning - there is some nudity but it is not explicit. There is an intense amount of violence and gore as well. The disk comes unrated but would likely receive a Restricted rating.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you're still with me, that means you're open to experiencing an interesting, gory, and twisted animated tale about a soldier on a quest through the nine circles of Hell to rescue the love of his life. Dante, having returned home from fighting God's war, finds everyone he knew--including his love Beatrice--slaughtered. He then watches her soul snatched into the jaws of Hell after she (apparently) made a deal with the Devil and lost (through no fault of her own). Thus begins the quest. Along the way, Dante meets his guide, Virgil, and learns the fate of (and is attacked by) all the sinners writhing in agony--absolving a few along the way.
Having read The Divine Comedy a couple of times (The Inferno about five), it was difficult getting past the *liberties* taken with the overall story, but I could see why they were taken--watching a frightened middle-aged poet sojourning through the underworld with an old ghost and chit-chatting with various dead people wouldn't be nearly as entertaining as a hot young warrior lopping off heads every few minutes and being chased by lustful women with carnivorous nether-regions.
The animation is beautiful and done well, Anime with Western influences, if a bit inconsistent since there were six directors with six different styles. My main complaint however comes with the pacing and dialog. Scenes went by too fast and barely allowed time for the character to absorb the words being spoken much less the viewer and the delivery of the dialog was too often overly dramatic--think William Shatner (circa original Star Trek) saying, "O Beatrice! Beloved Beatrice! I shall traverse the depths of Hell to rescue you. O my love, Beatrice!" That aside, the story flowed and, for the most part, made sense.
As for the DVD itself, the menu is a bit difficult to decipher, but not a deal-breaker. The bonus materials include sketches of various scenes from the movie--a nice touch for people who are interested in art or animation--and the trailer for the video game. (As an aside: I have to admit, the game looks awesome. I kind of wish the movie was made in the 3D style of the video game, but I'm not too upset about it.)
I doubt that any person who reviews this film will have anything bad to say about its visuals which are indeed, fantastic. Each character in this story had a good deal of thought put into how his or her character was designed, and I think that it was this that was the main payoff of the film. All of the different creatures of the nine levels of Hell were great, many of them imagined in ways that I would never have considered. The levels of Hell, though imaginatively realized were however, quite similar to how they were described in the book and this could be considered either a bonus for purists or a con for those looking for a few more surprises.
The plot which is what I was really concerned would be lost in this film is actually, despite a large degree of artistic license, preserved fairly well so that perhaps a new group might become interested in Divine Comedy. That being said, while it may appear a gory action movie many of the subtle themes of redemption are still here and the film may perhaps require a second viewing to be fully understood as many of the more violent scenes overshadow the more dramatic for sheer memorability.
I am not usually one for anime, cartoons based on video games, video games or adult themed movies but this film gets my sign of approval.
The film follows the path of the game closely...perhaps too closely. While it's fun to battle through the legions of Hell, fighting monstrous boss characters and absolving heretics of their sins, watching it isn't quite so fun. As in the game, Dante is aided by the spirit of Roman poet Virgil who guides him on his journey, which basically consists of one battle after another, some sage advice from Virgil, and Lucifer taunting Dante.
The film is told in segments with each representing a circle of Hell. In all, there are five different animation studios who worked on the film including Dong Woo Animation (Justice League Unlimited), Studio Manglobe (Samurai Champloo), Film Roman (Hellboy Animated), JM Animation, and Production I.G. With so many different styles and Directors, the film suffers from a lack of consistency both in terms of animation style and characterization. Some segments have a strong Anime look to them which doesn't work well with the Gothic/Medieval setting of the film. Dante himself looks decidedly different in the various styles, appearing alternatively has a hulking knight to a lithe martial artist.
The film failed to improve on the thick-witted personality Dante shows in the game. He has little to say outside of shouting, "Where's Beatrice!" Or "I must save Beatrice!" Game fans may (or may not) be happy that Circle Two's giant boss Cleopatra who pulled demonic babies from naked breasts is nowhere to be seen. Most of the other bosses of the game are present including Charon, Cerebrus, King Minos, and Dante's own father. The film maintains the game's theme of sin and redemption but like the game the end is left far too wide open. The game we can understand as a sequel will surely be forthcoming. For the film, the ending is unforgivable.
If you enjoyed the videogame you're likely to enjoy the film, if for no other reason than to see the story brought to life. But the film would have fared much better with one animation studio and director to maintain some consistency.
+ Awesome animation - from all the artists
+ Interesting storyline
+ Cool if you have surround sound
What will make you wince:
- Done by SIX directors/artists all with completely different styles.
- Difficult to distinguish characters after a director change
- Timing sucks
- It's not really Dante's Inferno, just based on the characters or story or something...
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= Lots of gross, gory violence
= unappealing language
= not for children