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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete Blu-Ray Review
Before I begin my review I should probably point out that this film is the reason why I got into Final Fantasy in the first place. My review here focuses on the Extended "Complete" Blu-ray release of the film; not the original version. To be perfectly honest, I didn't like the original version, but the Complete version solves many problems that the original had.
Visuals - This is one of the most visually stunning examples of animation I've ever seen. Not only does it create that video game "feel", but the animators managed to make the characters seem realistic while avoiding the uncanny valley.
Audio - This film has some excellent audio and sound quality to accompany each on-screen situation. Both the English and Japanese versions have good voice acting and dialogue (Cloud and Tifa for example).
Story - Now, I've heard a lot of fans and critics criticize this film's story line for being a repeat of Final Fantasy VII's story. However, this is not entirely true. The story - being about three remnants of Sephiroth who plan to bring him back by finding the remaining Jenova cells might seem uncreative, but it's actually a good thing because it's simple enough for non-FFVII-gamers to understand, while also allowing FFVII gamers to experience a story similar to the game in a new way.
Characters - I think the characters in this film are well scripted. Cloud and Reno's attitudes have changed from the game, but I think that's beneficial. Plus, two years had passed, so God only knows how people can change over that time frame. I think Cloud's character development and the support he receives from his friends is one of the highlights.
Action - I know some people have criticized the film for being too action heavy, and I agree, but I think that criticism applies almost entirely to the original version. The Complete version however, has enough new plot footage to make the film seem less like one giant fight scene and more like a story. It's still action-heavy, but this is a movie tie-in to a video game anyway. The Complete version has the perfect balance between action scenes and story detail.
Lack of Character Backstory - While the Complete version does explain the main premise and the relationships between characters, it could have done a better job of explaining exactly who the characters are, and the significance of their roles. Thus, non-FFVII gamers should probably do some research on the main characters before watching the film.
Rare Goofy Moments - There was a scene where 9-year-old Denzel runs angrily towards an enormous monster. I know that movies have a habit of making child characters do stupid things, but this one scene was so ridiculous that I cannot excuse it. Seriously, what was he thinking?
Also, while most of the comic relief provided by Reno & Rude was pretty good, some of it just wasn't funny due to the otherwise serious and realistic tone to the film. For example, the scene where the sign falls on top of Rude would have been funny if he just fell over instead of stumbling around like in a cartoon.
While the cons did make this film seem a bit cheesy or irritating at times, they were a minority. Overall, I think most of the film was handled fairly well, and it's a good example of a video game movie. If you have a Blu-ray player, and can understand the characters and storyline, I would highly recommend this to those who love animated films and intense action.
Modern War Gear Solid (2011)
Let me just summarize this in the simplest way possible: Modern War Gear Solid is one of the best fan-made films I have ever seen. It is thrilling, funny, creative and very entertaining.
The story for Modern War Gear Solid is fairly straightforward. It sees old video game hero, Solid Snake (from Metal Gear Solid) being ordered by his boss, Otacon to take down the terrorist organization known as "Activistsun' and destroy a newly designed weapon known as "Modern Gear". Throughout the course of the story, he is paired up with the lone soldier, Ghost (from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) whom, in turn, wants help finding the terrorist leader who betrayed his team and killed his mates.
This storyline works great with the crossing-overs and the writing is great. Not only that, but the special effects are phenomenal and the comedy is very good. The acting could have been improved a little, but everything still fits well with the feel of a fan-made comedy film. BeatDownBoogie really knows how to make a good war-comedy, and I would strongly recommend this production to anyone who is a fan of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and/or Metal Gear Solid.