Monday, January 26, 2015

Appleseed/Appurushîdo (2004)

Note: This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

It seems that when movies show the future of man, many show a future where the Earth, or at least the vast majority of it, is in ruins.  With Appleseed, we see Deunan Knute fighting in buildings that lie in shambles.  There’s a small statue that still stands, but is destroyed in a fight.  She’s eventually rescued and brought to the city of Olympus.  Olympus is a utopia where most people seem happy.  Life is good there, but there’s still conflict.

Half of the people there are bioroids, or artificial people.  They have suppressed emotions, which allows them to help humanity out.  Humans don’t really trust them, as humans tend to not trust those that are different.  To keep them in check, bioroids’ reproductive capabilities are also suppressed.   This also means that they have to go in for age extensions every so often or face rapid aging and death.

Among those that brought Deunan in are Briareos and Hitomi.  Briareos is a cyborg who has a history with Deunan.  Hitomi s a bioroid who shows Deunan around the city.  A terrorist attack on the bioroid facility means that Hitomi’s life is in danger.  (She’s three days over for her life extension.)  Deunan, Briareos and several others set out to find the work of Deunan’s parents.  That research holds the key to saving bioroids and (hopefully) humanity, as well.

I don’t remember how I first heard about this movie.  It was probably a recommendation by Netflix.  The most impressive thing about the movie was the graphics.  The CGI was like nothing I had ever seen.  Some of the backgrounds, like oceans or metal steps, seemed almost realistic.  Although still impressive, I felt that the rendition of the people left something to be desired.  The characters seemed a lot like anime, in some cases looking a little unreal.

The characters themselves varied.  Deunan and Briareos seemed the best developed.  Other characters, not so much.  From what I can tell, the movie was based on a series of graphic novels.  The problem with basing movies or televison on a series of graphic novels, books or comics is that things tend to get edited left out.  (I have a few of the graphic novels, but I have yet to read many of them, so I have no idea how much was changed.)  This means that back stories and histories are sometimes missing when something like that would help.

In a way, the movie seemed both compressed and stretched out at the same time.  The movie sets up the story pretty quickly, but there are a lot of action sequences, too.  Once the movie gets going, it seems to have a more even pace.  Even still, when I finished watching the movie, it seemed like there could have been more detail.

I did like it, though.  It was definitely worth watching.  At the very least, I liked the style of animation.  Also, I have to give credit for the soundtrack.  There were a few good artists that had songs in the movie.  (I had heard of Paul Oakenfold, but there were others that I hadn’t heard of.)

The movie is available through Netflix.  If you have it, I’d recommend renting Appleseed.  There’s a sequel that’s been out for a few years now and I’ve been meaning to watch it.  I’ll have to see about streaming it from Netflix now that I can do that.


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