5.3/10
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Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean (2005)

Lorelei (original title)
A drama set during World War II where a submarine carrying a secret weapon attempts to stop a planned third atomic bombing of Japan. Based on Harutoshi Fukui's novel Shuusen no Lorelei.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Masami Shin'ichi
...
Yukito Origasa
Toshirô Yanagiba ...
Kizaki Toshiro
Yû Kashii ...
Paula Atsuko Ebner
...
Asakura Ryokitsu
Ken Ishiguro ...
Narumi Takasu
...
Lt. Eric Minott
...
Lt. Dodet
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nicholas Dombrovskis ...
German Scientist
...
Captain's Talker
Norman England ...
Sonar Operator #1
Caroline Paris Gluck ...
Girl on Beach
Isao Hashizume ...
Sadamoto Nishimiya
Masatô Ibu ...
Eitaro Narazaki
Takaya Kamikawa ...
Man
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Storyline

A drama set during World War II where a submarine carrying a secret weapon attempts to stop a planned third atomic bombing of Japan. Based on Harutoshi Fukui's novel Shuusen no Lorelei.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

5 March 2005 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Lorelei sukellevene I-507: Viimeinen ase  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$661,912 (Japan) (11 March 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The design of the I-507 submarine is based upon a real one : the french submarine 'Surcouf', launched in 1929, was the biggest submarine ever launched at the time. See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied (Cradle Song)
Composed by Bernhard Flies
Lyrics by Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter
Performed by Hayley Westenra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Review of Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean
2 September 2005 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

A fun Sci-Fi World War II film! Sci-fi WWII film you may ask? Well even if you didn't, pretend to be intrigued and shocked by the concept. The set up is simple: Having received a highly advanced submarine from Germany, the Japanese deploy it, just days after the Hiroshima A-Bomb, to seek out a transport ship carrying the 2nd bomb. The sub has a secret weapon, called the Lorelei System, and all of the crew are drawn into the mystery of what exactly it is.

Needless to say, you've probably worked out that Lorelei itself is the Sci-fi element, and it works well, even though it feels at times like a device to push forward the partially allegorical storyline. "What do you fight for?" is the question asked by this film, and by exploring the answers given, it has something to say to us about war and life. The film is not any where near as heavy, or thematically dense as seen in Casshern, so it thankfully also delivers a thoughtful, drama with some cool action, to balance out the inward reflection.

Lorelei is a "What if?" film. If the World War 2 ended differently, what would that mean for Japan? There is a large degree of dialogue in the film; expositions from various heroes and villains about the past and future of Japan. In this way, the film reminds me of anime. It's not just the philosophical speeches, it's the action scenes, the characters, and the style. Anyone who has seen Captain Herlock, Yamato, or even Blue Submarine No. 6, will feel it. I for one think it is a strength, though many will see it as a flaw. If you are looking for Das Boot, then watch Das Boot. Lorelei is about pure escapism.

The acting is all well enough and there a few veterans in there that give credibility to the story. In fact there are many familiar faces in there, and it's a fun just to count them. The CG is also very good for a non-Hollywood film - or should I say, non-ILM film. The graphics look generally realistic, but the compositing looks surreal at times. There is a dreamlike nature to the sfx that reminded me of the aforementioned Casshern, though some viewers demanding photo realism may cringe.

On the whole, the SFX, when not on par with some higher budget offerings, is at least as good or better than some of the cut-scenes seen in video-games nowadays. And the music is atmospheric and suitably militant and heroic when it needs to be, bring this overall package together. The haunting song of the Lorelei System is notably used in a few scenes to great effect. Of course the sound design is great, with all of the "submarine" sounds you expect. Can we ever get enough of that sonar sound? The DVD comes with THX certification, and Dolby and DTS tracks.

SO is Lorelei a good film? Well look at it this way: not all films are meant to be picking up "best film", and while this film is certainly one of that category, it's a fun romp. Plus, since Fatherland, I am a sucker for Alternate History films. In all, the film can be quite cheesy and contains a plot twist that I still don't fully understand, and I hope someone can enlighten me one day. However, even when Lorelei is overly sentimental and trying too-hard to pull your heartstrings, it is enjoyable. With great anime inspired undersea battles, and an interesting and involving story, its is an worth watching.

3/5 stars, or whatever unit you prefer ...


17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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