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Metropolis (2001)

Cast: Keiji Kobayashi, Yuka Imoto, Keiji Kobayashi, more...
Director: Rintaro, Rintaro
    see all cast/crew...
Rating:
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Anime, Foreign, Robots & Cyborgs, Anime Feature Films, Animation, Adventure, Cel
Languages: English, French, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Thai
    see additional details...

Synopsis
Playing like a candy-colored hybrid of Fritz Lang's film of the same name and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis borrows its plot liberally from numerous legendary sci-fi sources (despite the fact that the original manga was released in 1945, certain cinematic aspects can't help but appearing overly familiar), all the while dazzling viewers on the same cutting-edge visual level as such anime classics as Akira and Ghost in the Shell. The common anime practice of combining amazingly rendered backdrops and more traditionally hand-drawn characters continues here, though with such nuances as beautifully flowing hair and soulfully expressive faces, it becomes obvious that painstaking detail was paid to making the characters both visually and emotionally involving. However, as expressive as some of the central characters may be, it's the elaborate tri-level industrial labyrinth that encompasses the world of Metropolis that forms the film's central character, and it is a kalidescopic animated marvel to behold. Director Rintaro's beautifully composed visual design is so awe-inspiringly colorful and complex that, from the opening frames, the viewer is fully absorbed in the environment, with plot and characterization almost coming as an afterthought. And that is precisely where the film's ultimately forgivable main weakness lies. In between scenes of wide-eyed, jaw-dropping visuals, the story of human and android tension set against the backdrop of a futuristic city borrows from so many sources that it borders on cliché. Thankfully, writer Tezuka's characters are given a depth and sense of purpose that, while not altogether unconvincing or original, consistently connect with the viewer's sense of recognition and sympathy. Viewers will no doubt attest that Metropolis works almost flawlessly on a purely visual and asthetic level within the opening frames of the film. Thankfully, Tezuka's storytelling skills compliment that on a level which, while not entirely new or original, is at the very least genuinely sincere and thoughtful. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Please note that this disc contains the movie. If you'd like to see the bonus disc, please rent Metropolis: Bonus Disc.

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GreenCine Member Ratings

Metropolis (2001)
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6.50 (500 votes)
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Metropolis (Bonus Disc) (2001)
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5.76 (41 votes)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

I'm going to go out and buy a larger TV! by rpmfla September 2, 2005 - 8:01 PM PDT
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1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
The negatives in some of these reviews are valid, but only to a minor degree. Yes, the characters are ones we've seen before, and the story is a bit too familiar, but the visual style is so jaw-droppingly gorgeous, I was mesmerized by this film. I am inspired to see it on a larger screen so I can better enjoy the colors, the creativity, and the fantastic retro/futuristic style.
I rank it up near the top of my list of all time great animation films, primarily due to its beautiful environments. The story and dialog are by no means poor, it is just that the art design steals the show.
Highly recommended.

A mindblowing adaptation of Fritz Lang's movie. by jlave1 January 6, 2005 - 12:52 PM PST
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0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
The animation is excellent and story is very good. There are many clever ideas throughout. My suggestion is that you watch it in Japanese.

anyone ever hear of Fritz Lang? by polache November 20, 2004 - 8:24 PM PST
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3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
I almost never, ever right reviews, but the ignorance shown here was remarkable. This is an animated reexamination of Fritz Lang's classic. The reason the movie was scored with jazz was to accentuate the sense of parallel with the original. Just because fairy tales and Marxism are out vogue doesn't subtract from the attempt by this film to address both identity and class issues, particularly as seen through prism of the 20th century Japanese experience. I know this historical (both in the cinematic and greater sense) is probably too much to demand from someone watching this for "anime" purposes, but many of the complaints above are likely to be voice about Lang's version seen out of context.

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