The Spirits Within [The Spirits Within] Your Review of the movie

Daenerys

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Ok sudden thought, just to prevent threads like "this movie was great" or "this movie sucks" from being made again and again in the future and what not - why not have a thread where everyone can post thier review of the movie? like they have in the AC section.

Ill post mine later - its late and i think im going to go to sleep soon XD
 

Taylor Swift

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I loved the movie. Even tho it didnt really have anything to do with FF. BUt the Graphic were increadble. They made me watch it over and over again. I give it a 7/10 for its graphic and is So-So story line
 
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BustaMo

I still have yet to see this movie. I'm bought it last year when Advent Children came out but never scrounged up enough interest to pop in into the PS2 and watch it yet.
 

bac0nbitz

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explanation: I would give this move a B (i rate movies like this) because it had no right to put Final Fantasy in the title due to lack of characters, swords, and other FF stuff. The plot was intiresting even though it looked like someone stuffed a religion in there and said it was a plot. The images were fascinating at the end, but the rest of the move didn't really need visual for it to be good. It's not the best movie, but if you're the kind of person who dosen't need much action and just something intiresting, then this is something you should watch. I'm that kind of person, but of course I would phrase it as: "the acting sucked".

Rating: 6/10

Short comment: good, but not by much.

Ther ya go! ;)
 

Majin Studios

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Ok, at first I thought it was going to be like a real FF movie. But then it turned into whatever it was. I semi-liked it. Can't good but can't say it was bad either.
 

countconkula

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It was okay.
I don't remember much of it, except that it was a horrible letdown for me. I really expected swords and sorcery and magic, like old school final fantasy.
That movie had nothing Final or Fantasy about it XD.
And the premise was kinda boring. . .it had nice visuals though, but that wasn't enough for a really good movie.
 

Random.Virus

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The thing about this movie... well... I watched it a long time ago, when it first came out... I was younger, and when I watched this, I really kind of got lost for a minute, and then never caught up with what the heck was going on.

So here I am, in the theater, people are wrapped into the movie, and I'm like "Wait, who's that guy?" and "When did they get THOSE?".

Needless to say, for this thread, I really don't remember anything about the movie at all, except there was some chick that was the main character. Seriously, that's all I know.

So with that said, I guess it wasn't that great of a movie, because if it was, I think I'd remember more about it.
 

Majin Studios

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Yeah, I can't remember much of it right now. No offense to people who really liked this, but the movie actually put me to sleep halfway through. This movie as far as I know didn't have much fighting in it.
 

Typhus T. Leonhart

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My Review

Graphics Quality: 9 of 10
Could have been a little better for the ghosts. Everything else was great.
Storyline: 5 of 10
It wasn't that the movie wasn't about the series itself, it was just way too short. The usual FF game is usually around 48 hours or so just to race through. More than that if you want to see everything. Put that in movie terms (cutting out the running around parts and other boring stuff...) and you get a minimum of about 4 hours. What is it about movies today? Do they think that we'll just get up and walk out after 2 or 2 1/2 hours? The story was good, but it could have been so much better. Like, why was the thing giving her dreams if it couldn't kill her?
Overall movie: 7 of 10
The graphics make up little for the overall rushed storyline. The story is really what turned this from a favorite that I would watch over and over into an every-so-often movie.
 

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It's bad. It's just a horrible 3d movie with a FF name slapped on it. It doesn't even represent anything in the series except the name "Cid". At least the Unlimited series represent some elements from the series.
 

Dionysos

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I'd say I'm throwing a Phoenix Down on this thread, but there was a complete lack of any Final Fantasy inventory items in this film....

As part of Paddy McGee 's 'Film Friends Forever! :)' films we've just watched Final Fantasy: Spirits Within.

To be fair, the film isn't too bad. It is far from perfect and suffers from many cheesy tropes (which to be fair can make it enjoyable in an ironic sense too). Its only serious issue is that it almost entirely lacks any Final Fantasy references. It wasn't a memorable film in its own right to attract outsiders to the franchise for anything other than its groundbreaking technological accomplishments, and it completely alienated the majority of Final Fantasy fans due to its (almost) lack of Final Fantasy references and being set in an increasingly near-future Earth (2065 isn't too far away to imagine a New New York emerging).

I say almost lacks Final Fantasy references, for there are some. Interestingly certain aspects of Final Fantasy themes do make their way in. The concept of the Gaia Theory is also examined in FFVII and FFIX (in particular). There is a Mako-like use of life energy in order to power up devices. The spirit of the planets resemble the Lifestream in FFVII and the fact that the spirit of the alien world is red and the spirits of Earth/Gaia is blue is the same colour scheme as the souls/crystals of the planets Gaia and Terra in FFIX. Meteors carrying alien lifeforms from one planet to another is also a recurring trend in Final Fantasy (FFVII being the more prominent example, but we see it also in FFV). All of these were themes they loved to play with during this era.

If we look beyond the Ben Afleck lookalike there were some character references too. There is a scientist named Dr. Sid who engineers gadgets (this film's incarnation of Cid). The film's villain, Hein, also shares his name with some more obscure Final Fantasy characters. There is a skeleton magician in FFIII named Hein. Likewise FFVIII's supreme deity/being who created the sorceresses in antiquity was known as the Great Hyne (but it is the same name as Hein in Japanese, the difference being a localisation choice in translation, I believe). So the villain Hein isn't too far from FF either.

It pretty much stops there with the FF references. There were some serious missed opportunities. As Linnaete pointed out in Discord as we watched the film, the fact that the Death Star-like supercannon is called 'Zeus' was a missed opportunity. Whilst 'Zeus' is a cool name for a device which blasts the surface of the planet with a giant bolt/beam of lightning, wouldn't it have been so much better if they had called it 'Ramuh' as a nod to Final Fantasy? Hein could have been blasting the alien meteor with Ramuh's Judgement Bolt!

Personally, I think it would have been cool twist if the alien planet had turned out to have been a Final Fantasy planet that the franchise fans would be familiar with. The 'Phantoms' could have been familiar monsters from an FF world, and it would bring a sense of sadness to learn that the humanoid aliens were actually the humans or descendants of the humans we have been familiar with in one of the games. That would have been a great way to tie it together with the Final Fantasy franchise. Instead we get Giger-like creature designs, which I admit are actually pretty cool too.


So yeah, not a bad movie. Just not close enough to Final Fantasy to be recognised and appreciated by fans. Some Final Fantasy concepts are recycled to suit Earth, but not the aesthetics or indeed the spirit within Final Fantasy.
 

Linnaete

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Exposition and corny dialogue: the film

I still maintain that out of the three current CG Final Fantasy films put out, this one is the most watchable of the three, if only because its plot is neither downright obnoxious and nonsensical mid-2000s anime like Advent Children's utter, unnecessary existence, and nor does it immediately fridge and damsel its female characters like Kingsglaive. Plus this film's sparse action sequences are at least coherent and easy to follow and not some messily directed cacophony of noise and indeterminable happenings on screen.

It's very much of a product of its time. This project languished in development for four years and undoubtedly affected by movie studio executive mandates, hence why visually it reminds me of Starship Troopers while parading around with the spirit of a film straight out of the mid-to-late 90s. It has all the hallmarks of a forgettable, generic sci-fi romp that almost certainly would have been cheaper to produce if it was live-action with actual face actors as opposed to being completely rendered and animated in CG - though of course the fact it was stellar CG at the time was its only draw point.

Strip back the veneer of visuals and it's really nothing to write home about. What characterisation you do get are mainly with the "Deep Eyes" squad tertiary characters, including a Ripley-esque female squad member named Jane who amusingly snaps back at one of her squadmates' unintended casual sexism. Neither Aki nor Gray are particularly compelling leads and if you've seen enough Hollywood flicks, you can easily imagine how their romantic relationship magically occurs (though I think the film explains that they did have a fling in the past, so it's not like this romance magically materialised almost instantly). Alec Baldwin puts on a so-so performance, while Ming-Na sadly sounds like she didn't have very good voice direction. A lot of the time her delivery comes off as oddly flat and stilted, even in grave situations that call for that kick of frantic urgency in her voice.

Exposition. Yes, a good chunk of the first half of the film is a lot of plodding exposition about the metaphysics of this setting. I know they have to do it in order to give the viewer sufficient context behind the Phantoms and the nature of spirits within all humans, and The Spirits Within doesn't exactly win awards in this department for riveting or diegetic handling of exposition. That said, I've seen a lot worse, and to give this film credit, framing part of the exposition as a debate in front of the council between Dr Sid and General Hein also illustrates their fundamental clash of philosophies that will effectively drive the rest of the plot. At least this film doesn't pull the clumsy "as you already know..." method of exposition between characters who really should already know how everything works.

The story itself is simply mediocre. Aki voicing this revelatory realisation that the Phantoms are in fact ghosts of denizens of a destroyed planet is laughable given the fact they are literally called "Phantoms" and they possess the ability to essentially absorb conventional weaponry fire like they're incorporeal creatures. Even General Hein later on mockingly asks Aki whether all this time they've been fighting ghosts - as if such an idea is utterly ludicrous, despite all the obvious evidence pointing to such a thing. Speaking of General Hein, it's fitting that real life villain James Woods voices the guy, because in terms of movie villains, Hein comfortably sits in the utter dumbass territory. Everything that goes horribly wrong is his fault and at the end of the day, his character achieves literally nothing but unintended massacres and later a pointless suicide in the Zeus Cannon because he's an impatient idiot.

Such a shame this cost somewhere in the realm of $177 million and bombed so horribly it ultimately destroyed the spirit within Sakaguchi himself. What could have been if the hubris was contained just long enough for Squaresoft to think twice before believing they could get into the movie industry with a massively expensive new CG venture and assume it would be an instant box office success.

Still, at least they're not silly enough to make more CG films despite being no good at the- oh...
 

Paddy McGee

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So, let's make this a threepeat post on this necro thread and see what's what! I haven't put this through drafting or review; it sort of just based on some notes I took during the film.

Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within was like a trip to a seaside caravan club to me: the end destination isn't really that entertaining and the trip is rather dull and boring. While there's some decently built CGI, for the time period the film released in, the script, performances and general design of the film just are not up to scratch for me. It's certainly not a woeful movie - it's not going to end up on a list of "movies so bad they're good" - it just feels rather... hollow, to me. The irony being that "The Spirits Within" doesn't feel like it has an entertaining soul isn't missed on me.

Part of the hollowness, to me, stems from what Spirits Within pulled from, influenced by or unconsciously linked with: much of the film feels rather Starship Troopers and Halo dashed together with a hint of Power Rangers RPM thrown in for good measure. The alien designs range from sort of interesting (the weird giant snake) to a slimmed down version of the Aliens from The Fifth Element. They all blend together with that weird CGI that was used for Beast Wars(albeit, quality scale cranked up to eleven).

The cast of our film are rather poorly fleshed out, with all the tropes being here: we have Aki, our protagonist with the personality of cold toast; Doctor Sid, who's weird fusion of spirituality and science could have been interesting in another film; General Hein, the dumbest evil general since Darth Helmet. The members of Deepeyes's squad make up the rest of the cast, filling all of the tropes perfectly: (Gray) dashing commander who is main character, (Neil)the joker, (Ryan) the tough second-in-command and, yes, the straight talking, take-no-shit lady (Jane).

Each one of these characters feel like they fit into their trope, but that's about it: Ming-na's portrayal of Aki stinks of laziness; as does almost every other character, outside of the odd Steve Buscemi crack or Donald Sutherland as Doctor Sid; whether it's hokey-pokey bullshit or not, it felt like he put a bit of effort into it, which is appreciated.

While not a film I feel like I can really roast as much as usual (hello Cats), there are certain aspects that really deserve a bit of a flamin': the concept of Aki becoming a flagship character is so laughable compared to her portrayal here: the sheer lack of true identity makes it a really poor idea. Much of the other marketing aspects based around Aki (like that weird FHM photoshoot) oozes corporate effort and really doesn't make sense when you compare it to the film itself: Aki is not like, say, OG Lara Croft. She is rather dull, intense and focused. It's jarring because after looking at all this marketing material related to Aki, she felt less like a character in a film and more like a symbol of a company; perhaps this explains some of my feelings towards the character.

The film itself also sports a rather Americanised tinge to it. While, yes, other FF tales (in video game form) have drawn from America, this film is set IN America, probably in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. While this isn't a bad thing, I am rather fond of the blend of different areas of culture that tend to dominate over the "modern Fantasy" entries in the series, such as FF VII, VIII, X and maybe it could show the global scale of what's happening? I won't market it down for this though - Old New York was actually sort of cool to see at night.

The action setpieces are chunky and jarring compared to today's efforts but would have been more impressive at the time. As someone who found the Advent Children sequences cool as a teenager (and very muddled as an adult), they're clear enough to have an idea of what's going on. I am happy they didn't attempt to include any of the more... fantasy aspects of battles in FF, as that would have thrown the entire concept out the window.

However, I do wish they could have added some more throwbacks to the series: something as simple as Deepeyes ship having an icon decal on the wing or a cactuar keychain somewhere. It's all very serious, serious soldier nonsense and a little thing like that could have brought a pop of colour to an otherwise dull colour palette.

The narrative itself is your standard Sci-Fi war affair: humanity is roughly on its last legs with swathes of people forced into bunker-like installments for their own safety. You have the usual council-as-governing-body trope, with a military commander who really, really wants to get trigger happy. Our protagonist, Aki, is on a top secret mission because of what it details with, but the mission itself is a rather basic fetch quest. For a solid half of the film its not bad so much as it's been done before.

But boy, when General Hein gets going it just ends up laughably bad. I think the worst aspect of this film is how absolutely inept this guy is as a commander: He oopsies his way into flooding the base with phantoms, to the level he basically admits "whoops" to himself; he spams the giant laser cannon/station until it explodes and he shows 0 charisma to influence any of these soldiers into doing what he wants. This guy needs therapy, not to be general in wartime. Couple this with the weird military leather daddy design and you have a rather woeful character.

But ultimately, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a dull, boring Sci-Fi lark. I remember watching this on VHS as a kid and being very disappointed at how little FF content was in it. On revisiting, my young self's position was rather simplistic and biased; it's a better film than I remembered it was. It certainly has more depth, as a film, than Advent "eleongated fight scene" Children has.

Let's see what Kingsglaive has to offer during FFF's FFF night!!
 
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