Piel, a 7 or 8 year old boy, is alone on the desert planet Perdide, only survivor of an attack by giant hornets. Calling for help, Piel's father's friend Jaffar keeps contact with the kid ... See full summary »
Among the aged master painter Wang-Fô's impeccable paintings, exists a mediocre and unflattering portrait of the pale Celestial Emperor that has merited him execution, nevertheless, how is this possible?
In this animated tale, a tiny village is destroyed by a surging glacier, which serves as the deadly domain for the evil Ice Lord, Nekron. The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who ... See full summary »
Set on the subterranean Mine-World, a band of human worker are treated like slaves under the power of the evil overlord Zygon until one, Orin, unearths the hilt of a mythical sword that ... See full summary »
Gandahar is a utopian world of rare beauty and tranquility, the result of extensive mutation and genetic experimentation. But the perfect peace is shattered when a mysterious evil force invades this idyllic serenity, turning people into stone with petrifying rays. The Council of Women hold court and decide to send Sylvain, son of Queen Ambisextra, on a mission to destroy the enemy. Together with the beautiful and adventurous Arielle, the enemy that Sylvain eventually discovers very far from his home is the ultimate failure of Gandaharian scientific experimentation. It is a giant brain known as the Metamorphis, which has created an indestructible army of metal men to destroy Gandahar. Sylvain must battle the Metamorphis, but not until 1000 years in the future. Written by
It's not an outstanding movie by any means, but it gets the job done and entertains. One has to remember that when viewing sci-fi often the plot takes precedence over character. Most plot driven films and stories are like that: We're given the bare bones of our protagonist, and watch him or her weave their way through a story.
Such it is with "Light Years." The animation is certainly above the quality of your typical commercial studio, but is not as dazzling as say a Japanese Anime space opera, nor a Disney Production feature; but it does have a certain quality unto itself. Even so the movie could've used more shots (cutaways and general coverage) to help move the story and highlight the characters more. As it stands more the shots are rather static, and the animation in them shifts gears a little too often. In some scene the animation is very smooth, where other times is seems very long and drawn out, or just not well staged.
The film itself has action, but some of the it is stilted and painfully slow, where other times it moves quite well. The dubbing is adequate, though, like all dubbed films, one gets the sense that it doesn't quite catch the tones and inflections of the voices from the original French cast.
Technology and regimented existence are pitted against the organic and under-dogs of Ghandahar in a typical sci-fi theme. The film's worth a night's rental, and if you like collecting rare sci-fi this might be one to add to your collection. Otherwise it may only be worth a single viewing.
*EDIT* French Region 2 DVD review, Jan 3, 2010
Well, I finally saw the original French film in all its entirety. As an American I have to say that I appreciate the additional footage, and can nod at the more subtle pacing, but I do have to say that I think the Americanized version has some pluses going for, namely in the music. The original French score underlines the basic theme of what is being presented. There are no heroics on the battlefield nor purely desperate moments as would be conveyed by the American musical score. The other subtleties are apparent, and I think I better understand why the American producers did what they did by sexing up what they could. The French film is more prosaic and "European" (for lack of a better term) in its presentation of a world in crisis. There's an emotional malaise characteristic of European cinema as a whole that comes across in the original French version. There's a subtle (and not so subtle) nihilistic quality here. Perhaps there's a bit of Nazi occupation still resonating within this film.
All I can really say is that it's a different film from the American version. I'm not sure I prefer one too much over the other. There's a lack of celebration in the French film. There's a kind of fatalistic quality to that is twisted but still present in the American version. Whereas the French version of this film emphasizes weathering the storm and completing the objective, the American version emphasizes confronting the challenge in a way that we Americans have always done. There's a lack of ambient depression that seems to hang and mildly envelope European art, film included. A kind of ethereal drawn out emotionalism that you'd never see in an American film, but is fairly strong in Russian and Swedish cinema, and hits French and Italian films in a less powerful vein.
I would be interested in seeing a DVD of the American version to make a more thought out and proper comparison. But I guess that'll have to wait.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?