on November 8, 2013
The quality of this Blu-Ray disc is very good. In addition to subtitles, you have sound tracks in different languages to choose from. So this should make viewing the film much easier. However, the use of terminologies that have no meaning to me throws me off balance in trying to understand the story, which itself is fairly incoherent. So overall it is disappointing. The visual and the setting are the only redeeming factors.
on June 8, 2009
Square's FINAL FANTASY series has been the reigning king of RPG videogames for the past 20 or so years. Each installment in the game is a completely separate storyline with absolutely no relation to any other, making the play experience fresh and new each time. However, no other chapter in the series managed to capture the hearts of millions of gamers around the world than the popular 7th installment in the series, released back in 1997. The tone of the game was exciting, and the characters were three dimensional beings who were woven into an intricate storyline. The game is best known for a tragic scene where one of the characters is killed, bringing a depth of emotion never before seen at that time which brought some players to tears.
Square decided to release a sequel to Final Fantasy VII, but instead of opting for the game treatment, they began work on a 100% CGI animated movie using the same technology as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. It was released in 2004 to critical fan acclaim, and then to DVD shortly thereafter. So how does the Blu-Ray release stack up?
First of all, this is the most complete and glorious version of Advent Children that you're ever going to get. It's on Blu-Ray, and the format is nothing but kind to animated movies, especially those done in CGI. FF comes alive with pristine, crystal-clear visual quality with over 20 minutes of added scenes to boot. Indeed, this "Complete" edition is the version that future releases will be stacked against.
The audio track doesn't seem any different from the one included on the standard-def DVD release. I bought the Japanese import way back when, and I noticed a significantly more powerful soundtrack, especially in music and thundering sound effects. I was slightly disappointed to see that the Blu-Ray version didn't match that brilliant track, but then again, I was watching the English dub. The Japanese dub has a bit more punch to it. With some tweaking to my equalizer and surround channels, I managed to satisfy my audio demands.
If there's a downside to the film, it lies in the story. If you haven't played the original Final Fantasy VII from beginning to end, you're going to be friggin' lost. I myself had played the game straight through from start to finish, and even stopped to find every single secret in the game. But, that was a while ago. Even I had a few "WTF" moments during the course of the film. Nevertheless, having played the game means everything. Characters like Barrett, Sephiroth, Tifa and Marlene aren't going to matter if you don't know their backstories. Of course, this movie is primarily about Cloud Strife, the main character, and his pangs of guilt at having been unable to save the life of Aerith, his companion from the game. To a first-time viewer who is completely new to the story, Aerith's very presence will be a head-scratching conundrum.
But, that's beside the point. This movie was created by Square, exclusively for the diehard fans of the game. It really is a labor of love on Square's part, and a testament to their connection with the game. They're giving the fans what they want, even if it means that a large chunk of the human population won't have any idea what this film is about. There's passion in the creation of the film, and the action sequences are flat out breathtaking (if not totally unrealistic). It gets the adrenaline pumping, especially during the final act which is straight action for almost a half-hour, non-stop.
Advent Children is a masterpiece. It's animation is flat-out incredible, and rivals anything seen by Pixar to this day, and it has the advantage (and disadvantage?) of being tied to such a beautiful and standard-changing backstory. I loved it.
To those who aren't FF7 veterans.....download it onto your PS3 or PSP from the PlayStation store and play it straight through from beginning to end before evening THINKING about picking this film up. It's worth it, trust me.
on September 20, 2005
Hey Eveyone, I think there is a typo in the title's listing, I think this is infact the DVD release of Advent Children and not the UMD, but who knows.
This is an amazing movie, I've seen the Japanese version already. The computer graphics are breath-taking and surpass those of The Spirits Within. If you like Final Fantasy VII at all, then you must have this DVD. You won't regret it!
on February 13, 2013
Finally, a full-length Anime film done entirely in computer animation! Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is a movie adaption of the PlayStation video game of the same title (minus Advent Children) produced by director Tetsuya Nomura in Japan of the year 2005.
Cloud Strife, the blond spiky-haired hero of the story, works as a delivery boy in the fictional city of Midgar where a disease dubbed geostigma is affecting it's citizens. The majority are mainly small children but the young man Cloud Strife as well has it. Geostigma shows up as a dark blemish on the skin. A trio of men, Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz set upon Cloud as he's on his motorcycle, demanding the one they seek known as Mother. They're also plotting to revive Cloud's old foe Sephiroth with the help of Jenova's head and take over the entire earth. It is all up to Cloud Strife and his allies to defeat the three and rescue the children they kidnapped from their evil clutches.
The English dub for Final Fantasy VII was decent especially with Crispin Freeman and Steven Jay Blum voicing the characters Rude and Vincent Valentine. It's hard having to follow along with the English subtitles for the Japanese audio sometimes. I'd have to pause the scenes so I could read the dialogue. It's quite distracting. That's why I prefer the English version better.
The CGI in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children was absolutely incredible and beautifully well crafted! The 3D effects in the movie reminded me of Ghost in the Shell 2.0!
The Japanese trailers for Final Fantasy VII in the special bonus features on the 2nd disc were phonomenal!
Overall Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is arguably a worthy gem for any hardcore Anime fan! So is Ghost in the Shell 2.0! Order 'em both if you want! Don't bother wasting your money on Final Fantasy The Spirits Within!
on May 31, 2013
The only problem I had with this Bluray movie was that while the new and redone scenes for the Complete version are rendered in stunningly beautiful high definition video, the rest of the movie was not re-rendered to take advantage of Bluray HD. It's a bit jarring when one scene is as clear and brilliant as Bluray can get, and then the next scene is rather blurry by comparison.
That's why I'm not giving it 5 stars. Aside from that, an excellent purchase.
on December 29, 2009
To be honest, at first I was hesitant about buying this movie. I already have the original on DVD, but even then as good as I thought the animation and such was, I was left feeling like this movie never got the attention it deserved. Then Blu-ray made it's appearance. I bit the bullet and bought the Blu-ray complete edition and was blown away!
First off, the animation is kicked up a few notches and the visuals are crisp and vibrant. The original DVD eye-candy was good enough at the time, but Blu-ray really adds to the feel of the movie. While some scenes look similar to the original, the newer added scenes really shine, especially the opening with Red XIII and his kids, and the first glance of Midgar. All the buildings and small details of the city really look vast and expansive.
Second, the story really makes more sense now with the added footage. The original DVD kinda felt like you were being left in the dark, even if you know all the characters and story and such already, and not to mention, the original story was just to short to do the material justice. One thing most fans of the original DVD will first notice, is that Marlene's original English dub was replaced with a newer updated version to flow with the new scenes, so it kinda takes you by surprise at first, but is barely noticable as the movie passes by.
And third, but not least, this version really needed a redo, if nothing else but for it's fans. even though I never really considered myself a Final Fantasy fanboy, I really liked this movie, it's humour, it's not so good English dub, heck, even it's rather lacking storyline. But, like everything, this was somebody's baby that needed more attention, and it got it in spades. And it was done with loving care.
To sum up, I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed the original who has a Blu-ray player, and who wanted something more out of the story. Remember though, that it is the same story told in a more comprehesible manner and with a feast for the eyes and ears. I had a hard time figuring out whether I wanted to give this edition four or five stars, so I gave it five just to reflect how pleased I was at this version. To be thouroughly honest, the Complete Blu-ray edition only barely replaces the original DVD if you never liked the story to begin with, so don't expect to be awed by anything other than the visuals and animation if you buy it for those reasons alone. it's just nice to see a movie creator take extra steps to give the fans what they want, it isn't cheap to bring a movie a new look, especially considering the original DVD was no blockbuster title.