DVD365.net
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) artwork

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

27th January 2002

Earth has been invaded and decimated by alien phantoms and only one woman, Aki Ross, can save the world.
Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods, Matt McKenzie
Science Fiction, Action/Adventure, Animation, Fantasy
1
1 Hour 46 Minutes
Thank you for supporting DVD365.net when you order using the link(s) below.

It is earth in the not too far distant future and it is a barren wasteland where the remaining human population hide in protected cities from a terrible and unseen enemy. Mankind has been decimated by alien phantoms that crashed landed on the planet in an asteroid. If any person comes in the slightest contact with an alien phantom they are killed and their spirit destroyed.

However, there is hope. The beautiful Dr. Aki Ross and her tutor Dr. Sid have discovered that the energy signatures of eight Earth spirits can cancel out and destroy those of the Phantoms. With the help of Captain Edwards and his squad of battle hardened marines, they must search the globe for the remaining spirits before General Hein convinces the government that the only way of destroying the alien invaders is by attacking their core with orbital laser that may also kill the Earth spirit.

With this being a computer generated film the film has been transfer directly from a digital source and thus the picture should be of a premium quality. With the majority of the film taking place in dark and gloomy locations you don't really get to see just what this film can produce. During the dream sequences you get to see just what a beautifully clear and detailed picture it really is. Together with a continuously high bit-rate throughout the film and, naturally, no signs of artifacting or outlining it is truly demonstration material.

Whilst it was initially claimed that this new form of computer animation would make actors and actresses redundant the animators still have some way to go. Whilst the human body and movements have been pretty much sorted the facial expressions have not. There's no doubt that Aki is worryingly attractive for CGI (she appeared in Maxim magazine in a bikini) and most of budget was spent on her. However, with the exception of Aki and Doctor Sid the expressions can be at best described as wooden. For the time being at least, Arnold Schwarzenegger and company have little to worry about.

I would have liked to have done a gallery section on this film but unfortunately I think that the impressive menu system was slightly too complicated for my Widows DVD Player and it refused to play, and in good old Windows fashion my PC locked up. Oh well, you'll just have to believe me and see the quality of the picture for yourself.

The sound is just as impressive as the picture with some effective use of the surround channels. The producers really do know how to make some noise. There's ambient effects galore and the sound stage bursts into life in all directions during Aki's impressively animated dream sequences. The dialogue is crisp and clear in the centre channel and stereo steerage is equally impressive.

The menu is quite possibly the best yet available on the format. With some specially produced cut scenes and introductions it is truly superb and worth the price of the disc alone. Things get even better on the second disc where Aki effectively walks out of the computer. She then interacts with a number of humans around her before wandering up to a computer monitor to inspect a take from the film.

If you are at all interested in computer animation and how it is made then look no further than here. There is literally hours of footage with audio commentary tracks, documentaries and hidden Easter eggs that offer still more information. There's even an amusing take on the Michael Jackson video 'Thriller' to be found. These people spent over four years creating this film so it was only natural they would have a bit of a play in their spare time. It's just a pity that the 'outtake' section, so loved by Pixar, couldn't be fully rendered rather than being just some blocky pre-rendered shots.

To find those Easter Eggs, choose the Special Features menu followed by the DVD-ROM Content. If you then press Up twice a Japanese symbol will appear on the right. Select this to see some shots of Aki in a bikini. Those computer animators really do need to get out more. From the main menu highlight Play Documentary then press Left then Up to display the Japanese symbol. Select this to view some 3D models of Aki's face. Highlight the Highlights Menu then press Right then Down. Selecting the symbol will show a storyboard of a man and a woman in a restaurant. Go to the Character Files section and highlight Aki. Now use the Down key to highlight the Return symbol. Then press Right followed by Left. A further symbol will appear. Select this to view a brief storyboard sequence. Go to the Vehicle Scale Comparisons section and highlight the first vehicle. Now use the Down key to highlight the Return symbol. Then press Right twice. A further symbol will appear. Selecting this will show some more video footage of the vehicles from the film. On the second page from the Highlights Menu there is a small animated icon at the bottom of the page. Selecting this will show a fully rendered sequence based on a rather famous Michael Jackson video.

The storyline is typically Japanese in its genre and I'm sure the Japanese love it. Unfortunately, for those people who don't play video games and subscribe to its genre, it is somewhat over their heads with a truly wacky storyline. However, if you put this aside you get a remarkable disc that is so bursting full of extras you'll spend hours looking through them - even the Easter Eggs are worthy of investigation too.

Although the film bombed at the cinema it is sure to become a sci-fi classic DVD that graces most fans collection. Even if you don't like the story line you should still consider adding it to your collection if only to watch the superb CGI and listen to an audio treat.

  • Audio Commentary with Co-Director - Moto Sakakibara, Sequence Supervisor - Hiroyuki Hayashida, Sets and Prop Lead Artist - Tatsuro Maruyama, Phantom Supervisor - Takoo Noguchi
  • Audio Commentary with Animation Director - Andy Jones, Editor - Chris S. Capp, Staging Director - Tani Kunitake
  • Isolated Score with Commentary by Composer Elliot Goldenthal
  • Storyboard/Playblast Selects of the Film with Optional Filmmaker Commentary or Subtitled Factoids
  • The Making of Final Fantasy : The Spirits Within
  • Mini-Movie : Aki's Dream
  • Final Fantasy Thriller Music Video
  • Two Face Wraps
  • Character Morphs
  • Matte Art Explorations
  • Compositing Bullets
  • Seven In-Depth Character Files
  • Three Vehicle Scale Comparisons
  • Trailer Explorations
  • Sets and Props
  • Alternate Opening Sequence
  • Final Fantasy Shuffler
  • Easter Eggs
  • DVD-ROM Enhanced
Contagion artwork

Contagion

BD
04/03/2012
Don't talk to anyone. Don't touch anyone. Beware the air around you. A deadly virus is mutating its way around the world and there's no cure. Directed by Steven Soderbergh from an original screenplay ...
The Last King of Scotland artwork
Ray artwork

Ray

DVD
01/06/2005
K PAX artwork

K PAX

DVD
25/06/2002
Fonejacker S2 artwork

Fonejacker S2

DVDTV
28/10/2008
Pirates of the Caribbean ... artwork
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 artwork

Sonic The Hedgehog 2

DVDBDUHD
10/06/2022
The world's favourite blue hedgehog is back for a next-level adventure in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD 8th August ...
Get Carter: Limited Edition artwork

Get Carter: Limited Edition

LimitedBDUHD
07/06/2022
Angela Mao - Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind: Eureka Classics artwork
Red Rock West: Limited Edition artwork

Red Rock West: Limited Edition

LimitedDVDBD
24/06/2022
The Phantom of The Open artwork
Okja: The Criterion Collection artwork

Black Mirror: Series 2

Review06/09/2018

Tapping into the collective unease about the modern world, darkly satirical and thought provoking, Charlie Brooker's Emmy Winning mini-series Black Mirror is back with three more twisted tales that take another look into an uncomfortable future.
Nicolas Cage stars as... Nick Cage in the action-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The fictionalised version of Cage must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan. Things take a wildly unexpected turn ...

Luca

Features01/10/2021

Disney and Pixar's original feature film Luca is a fun and heartwarming story about friendship, stepping out of your comfort zone and two teenage sea monsters who experience a life-changing summer.
I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse
The Godfather (1972)

RoboCop

LimitedUHD28/03/2022159

Spider Man No Way Home

DVDBDUHD04/04/2022134

Marry Me

DVDBD16/05/2022118

Drive

LimitedBDUHD06/06/2022105

The Cane Field Killings

DVDTV30/05/202259

Agatha Raisin S4

DVDTV06/06/202248

DI Ray

DVDDIGITALTV11/07/202244

Venom Let There Be Carnage

DVDBDUHDNOTES03/01/2022113

Morbius

DVDBDUHDNOTES27/06/202240

Moonfall

DVDBDNOTES25/04/202228

Star Trek First Contact

DVD01/01/2000153

Contact

DVD01/01/2000138

Rules of the Game

DVDTV14/03/202261

The Simpsons S16

DVDTV05/12/201348
Check out our most viewed #NewsArticle this week #TheBeatlesGetBack available on #DVD #Bluray
DVD365.net
Get a free daily news update. DVD365.net works with the Amazon Alexa flash briefing skill