FINAL FANTASY VII: ADVENT CHILDREN...
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Tetsuya Nomura & Takeshi Nozue
Rachael Leigh Cook
What's it about
An ex-mercenary is forced out of isolation when three mysterious men kidnap and brainwash the city's children afflicted with a terrible disease.
Is it good movie?
Tell me, how do you feel about the Final Fantasy series of video games?
Do you hate them? If you do, you'll probably be amazed at the visuals this film has to offer but left scratching your head. If you love them, you'll probably already have bought this set and are framing the beautiful postcards that come as extras right now.
Much better than the last effort, The Spirits Within, Advent Children presents a complex tale that requires you to do a fair amount of homework before jumping in, expecting to know what's going on. If you just want to jump in and ride, then you need to know that Cloud and Tifa are your heroes, taking on the evil Sephiroth (cue awesome music).
Fans will be enthralled. They'll see battles, they'll find plenty of juicy bits of dialogue, and will see their favorite characters develop like never before. Those new to the series will be wondering what the hell is going on, and will have a difficult time trying to relate to the story because they'll be too busy wondering why the characters lug around massive swords and why their fanboy friend laughs when someone has a certain ringtone on their cellphone (wink, wink).
The voice acting is great, and the pacing is quite smooth. Advent Children is undoubtedly a labor of love; one of the most gorgeous technical achievements ever committed to film. Your jaw will be rather bruised from dropping so frequently during this film, it is a thing of absolute beauty.
Advent Children is not for children, but for mature fans of the Final Fantasy series. It's action packed, heavy on dialogue, character and plot, and will leave fans of the series screaming for more, unquestionably.
Video / Audio
The 1:85:1 widescreen transfer is unbelievable. It has to be seen to be appreciated. This is the disc you want to show to your friends when showing off your sweet home setup. Hell, it makes an old 13 inch tv look like a shining gem.
The disc is packed with aural options,comes in English and Japanese 5.1 (for true fans) and is subtitled in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Thai, Mandarin (Traditional) and Chinese. The audio mix is pristine and perfect, every bit as good as the audio.
Disc one has a feature called Reminiscence. Want to know what the fuss about FF7 (the game) is? Pop this in. It's japanese, but has subs and is a great throwback to one of the best video games of all time.
How do you feel about deleted scenes? We've got eleven of 'em present here. They don't look as good as the real film, and mostly are extended versions of scenes in the film.
There's a new feature, Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, which focuses on the story of Zack and Cloud. It's fully animated (cartoon style), and is a great extra to add to this already packed.
This is just some of the DVD stuff. I need to tell you about some of extra stuff you get!
The set itself comes in a pretty collector's box.
It comes with 10 beautiful FF Postcards.
It has a 100 page script, which I thought was really neat.
A 72 page "novel" of character backstories and art really highlight how much work has gone into the series and film project.
The Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Venice Film Festival footage more or less shows the film in its earlier stages as it was screened at the aforementioned festival. It only really works as a before and after piece to the finished film, nothing more.
Distance: The Making of Advent Children is a lengthy and fantastic documentary about what else, the film's creation. Everything you want to know from conception, to theme, to atmosphere, to the technical aspects- it's all here, and just engrossing stuff. Awesome.Another new feature added are some voice cast interviews, interspersed with the "making of" featurette. There's not a lot of footage, but what's there is quite good.
Want trailers? We get eight of 'em, mostly teasers to keep the 'net fans salivating.
Finally, a few brief video game previews of of upcoming FF games, including Dirge of Cerberus (blech), Before Crisis, Crisis Core, Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, and Advent Children.
If you're not a fan of Final Fantasy, there's just no way you're going to buy a Collector's set. One could argue that the film's not accessible enough to the general public, but it was never really intended to be. If you ARE a fan, then you've already got it pre-ordered and you'll be in line tomorrow to get it. If you're thinking about it, and already have the 2-disc set, keep in mind that the extras are great, but the discs themselves are almost the exact discs that already came out when the DVD was released, although the Last Order is quite an addition. Oh, and why no commentary on this set, what a bummer!
Advent Children is a fan service. It was created for the fans, and does not disappoint them. More meat would have been nice, but the list is exhaustive as it is!