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Returner (2002)
30 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
One of the better recent Japanese live-action movies, 15 February 2004

Having read a few online reviews of this movie, and having seen some of the more recent movies out of Japan including Batoru rowaiaru (2000), my expectatations were low. (Battle Royale is for the most part a good movie, but enjoyment of the movie is ultimately crippled by a truly lousy ending.) For some reason, recent Japanese live-action movies tend to be really bad, while anime is often very good.

This movie was a pleasant surprise. It didn't rip off other movies nearly as much as I was led to believe. True, some of the special effects resembled those in The Matrix, but they helped advance this movie instead of being a way to try to make the movie seem more "cool."

The character of Mizoguchi, played by Goro Kishitani, resembled Gary Oldman's parts in a number of films including Fifth Element, The (1997) and Léon (1994). The acting by Takeshi Kaneshiro as Miyamoto was good, but the standout of the movie was the cute-as-a-button Ann Suzuki as the serious, fun, energetic, and rebellious Miri.

The CG of aliens disguised as terran aircraft transforming into their true forms was impressive, resembling the work done in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and Independence Day (1996). This is a movie not to be missed by CG buffs.

With the recent shortage of good live-action movies coming out of Japan, The Returner is one of the best to come out within the last few years.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Worth Seeing Again, 13 December 1998

This is one of the better movies of the Star Trek movie series, on par with STIV (Star Trek IV), STVI and First Contact (but I don't think it or any other Star Trek movie can compare with STII: The Wrath of Kahn). I would say the movie is about as good, or possibly better than ST:First Contact.

This movie excels above all the others with its fantastic special effects, mostly computer-generated. There is plenty of humor, some of which are inside to fans of the STNG (Star Trek: The Next Generation) series, but most of the humor can be enjoyed by all. There are plenty of new , impressive strategies in the battle sequences.

The main plot centers around a fountain-of-youth (in Star Trek terms, "DNA-regenerating") planet where the Ba'Ku people live. The Federation and the Son'a race want to relocate its 600 inhabitants off-planet in an effort to mine the planet of its regenerating properties.

There are plenty of subplots in the movie as well, including romances between Captain Picard and Anij (a beautiful Ba'Ku native woman) and a sensual second chance romance (first chance was in the STNG series) between Commander Riker and Counselor Troi.

The whole crew of the Enterprise is here, including Lt. Worf, who is visiting from Deep Space Nine.

Here are some things to look for: - How the rogue Data is stopped - Something happens to Lt. Geordi - Picard learns something new - Fun things to do with transporters and holograms - Invisibility suits - Evil "*Batteries Not Included" hoverbots - Skin stretching operations using a stapler

It's definitely worth seeing again.