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Unique ID Code: 0000037776
Added by: DVD Reviewer
Added on: 4/8/2002 12:20
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Metropolis (Animated 2 Disc Set) (UK)

8 / 10
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Welcome to Metropolis
Certificate: PG
Running Time: 104 mins
Retail Price: £19.99
Release Date:

Metropolis is the new milestone in Anime, a spectacular fusion of CG backgrounds with traditional character animation. It has beauty, power, mystery and above all.. heart. Images from this film will stay with you forever. My congratulations to Rintaro-san for his masterpiece." - James Cameron.
Brace yourself for a totally new experience in cutting-edge animation. Based on the classic comic created by Osamu Tezuka, written by Japanese anime legend Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and directed by Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999), Metropolis is a spectacular film featuring stunning imagery and unforgettable characters.

In the industrial, tri-level world of Metropolis, Duke Red is a powerful leader with plans to unveil a highly advanced robot named Tima. But Duke Red`s violent son Rock distrusts robots, and intends to find and destroy Tima. Lost in the confusing labyrinth beneath Metropolis, Tima is beginning a friendship with the nephew of a Japanese detective. But when Duke Red separates the two innocents, Tima`s life - and the fate of the universe - is dangerously at stake.

Special Features:
Disc 1:

Disc 2:

Animax special: The Making of Metropolis
Filmmaker interviews
Two animation comparisons
Photo gallery
History of Metropolis comic book

Video Tracks:
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1

Audio Tracks:
Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese

Subtitle Tracks:

Directed By:
Tarô Rin

Written By:

Jamieson Price
Kei Kobayashi
Kouki Okada
Yuka Imoto

Soundtrack By:
Toshiyuki Honda

Columbia / Tristar

Your Opinions and Comments

10 / 10
Osamu Tezuka`s 1949 graphic novel Metropolis was supposedly inspired by the poster of the android from Fritz Lang`s 1927 masterpiece - although it is said that he never actually saw the film himself.

The film, adapted by writer Katsuhiro Ôtomo (Akira) and Directed by Rintarô (Galaxy Express 999), is a combination of elements from the graphic novel, the Fritz Lang film, and original ideas and graphics, such as the character `Rock`, created for the film.

Unlike the plots usually found in anime the story of Metropolis is as detailed and complete as you would expect from the author of "Akira". The world of Metropolis is a sort of 1940`s retro-future of flying cars, Art Deco skyscrapers, and computers where humans and robots live together in an uneasy symbiosis. Most people live above ground, while robot workers and poorer folk live below ground in the city`s Zone 1 strata. Shunsaku Ban, a Japanese private detective, arrives in Metropolis with his nephew, Kenichi, hot on the trail of renegade scientist Dr. Laughton. The doctor is working on a top-secret project for Duke Red; (the president`s calculating right-hand man) a humanoid robot girl, designed to look exactly like Duke`s deceased daughter, Tima. But Duke`s adopted son, Rock, has a pathological hatred of robots. Rock kills Dr. Laughton and sets fire to his laboratory. Kenichi escapes with Tima - Rock tracks them through Zones 2 and 3 - the lower levels of Metropolis - intent on killing them both. While on the run, Tima and Kenichi (naturally) fall in love. Tima isn`t aware that she`s a robot, and neither of them know that she`s also a powerful weapon - the final element in Duke`s plan to rule the world.

"Who am I"? is the question you usually ask at 4.30 am when you have been woken by a rampaging mob braking into your house, which turns out to be the neighbour`s cat trying to catch some early bird trying to catch a worm. Its not a question that is difficult to answer, unless you have just been `born` - fully formed, out of a blazing inferno. Not knowing about the world - but very quick to learn, Tima is drawn, even summoned, toward the daylight and sunlit world that is the surface of Metropolis. Tima is not alone in asking "Who am I"? Kenichi thinks she is a girl who has lost her memory : he is trying to help her - Rock thinks she is a robot : he wants to kill her - Duke Red thinks she is the resurrection of his dead daughter : she will help him rule the world. They are all wrong - it is the eternal question - the question that cannot be answered even at the end. "Who am I"?

Following the path created by "Akira" and "Princess Mononoke", Metropolis is a dizzying combination of elaborate 3D computer graphics and traditional cell animation so beautifully rendered as only the best of Japanese animators can create.

Director Rintarô has created a vision of a city so vast that it`s practically a self-contained country. The City State of Metropolis contains massive skyscrapers, cigar-shaped futuristic buses, marble floors, falling snow, zeppelins, old-style candlestick telephones, writhing masses of cables, wires, people, and all manner other things all in the service of examining the fears, discontent, and culture-shock of a post-war industrialized country that could be in Asia or Europe but is NOT Japan.

The elaborately rendered 3D backgrounds are wonderful - with the cell animation of the characters so completely integrated that the effect is to inspire a sense of awe at man`s technological achievements - because of what Metropolis is - and "how did they do that"?

Mind you the Throne Room looks like it is made of Lego - like the fortress in "Time Bandits", and as it is made so clear that robots do the jobs that humans will not, or can not, do then it is not at all clear why Duke Red`s party followers are so opposed to robots. And it is also a mystery as to why Rock has a pathologically hatred of robots.

The sound is equally excellent with is a choice of Dolby 5.1 or DTS English (the DTS track is much fuller and alive as would be expected) but only Dolby 5.1 in Japanese. The English track has been almost completely changed, with even the subtle background chatter in English. The subtitles offer the rather strange mix of Dutch, Hindi together with English (original Japanese translation), English (US Theatrical) and English for the hard of hearing.

Like a great many British film-lovers who like `real` films, I far prefer subtitled foreign films to their dubbed versions. I`d rather read the written translation as I watch the movie, and I obviously preferred the original Japanese translation, as opposed to listening to badly matched voices lurch awkwardly from un-synchronized lips. However, Metropolis has been so well dubbed that it is difficult to remember that you are watching a Japanese animated film. Strangely there are no credits for the dubbing.

The score by internationally renowned saxophonist Honda Toshiyuki takes a common theme - the jaunty title song, which, in its lighter moments, sounds like the music used by Jacques Tati in M Hulot Holiday - and creates mood-inducing variations combining Dixieland jazz, swing and classical music. The haunting, dark ending of Metropolis as Ray Charles` "I Can`t Stop Loving You" accompanies the final scenes is a direct reminder of "We`ll Meet Again" from the end of Dr. Strangelove.

Metropolis is an instant anime classic, a film whose images will continue to haunt viewers for some time after they`ve seen it.

For their DVD release of Metropolis on Region 1 in the US, Columbia TriStar has debuted a three-inch "pocket DVD"; in a press release Columbia says, "the smaller size is fun and more convenient for users".
Over here on Region 2 the extras are on a standard disc.
Disc two has about an hour`s worth of extras. The main extra is a 30-minute "The Making of Metropolis", featuring interviews with Rintarô and Katsuhiro Ôtomo, a look at the combining of digital and cell animation, sound bites from the voice actors, a quick visit to the prestigious Mad House animation studio, a chat with Honda Toshiyuki about his score, and finally back to Rintarô and Ôtomo, who admit that "We couldn`t possibly have done it if Mr. Tezuka was still alive. I think he would have hated it, maybe." Also there are Animation Comparisons of two scenes where you can watch the development of eight different elements through to the final versions. History of Metropolis Comic Book, a text history of the original Tezuka manga and how it came to the screen; and Filmmaker Interviews - generally more of the same stuff from the 30-minute feature, on digital techniques, writing the script, and how Tezuka probably wouldn`t have liked it very much - although he would have been fascinated by the computer design work, they say.
posted by Tony Myhill on 4/8/2002 15:59
3 / 10
I thought this film was rubbish.

The audio of the film was the only good of the film as it has it`s original japanese version you could hear.

Apart from that don`t buy this DVD.
posted by barry110 on 11/8/2002 17:32