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Appleseed Ex Machina (Single-Disc Edition) (2008)

Ai Kobayashi , Koichi Yamadera , Shinji Aramaki  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)

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Appleseed Ex Machina (Single-Disc Edition) + Appleseed (Widescreen) (2004) + Appleseed: Alpha
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ai Kobayashi, Koichi Yamadera, Yji Kishi
  • Directors: Shinji Aramaki
  • Producers: John Woo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010358CQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,603 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Appleseed Ex Machina (Single-Disc Edition)" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Appleseed Ex Machina (DVD)

Amazon.com

Produced by John Woo and directed by Shinji Aramaki, Appleseed Ex Machina (2007) ranks as the most elaborate, stylish, and violent of the three adaptations of Masamune Shirow's manga. When it was released in 1988, the original Appleseed felt like a summary of anime's past, while Akira pointed the way to the future. The second Appleseed (2004), also directed by Aramaki, was an unimpressive motion-capture CG feature that borrowed elements from other sci-fi anime. In this latest incarnation, Deunan, Briareos, and Tereus of the E.S.W.A.T. team are charged with preserving the peace of the city-state of Olympus, a hi-tech paradise on a largely ruined Earth. Screenwriters Kiyoto Takeuchi and Todd W. Russell have given the story a contemporary twist, adding attacks by "cyborg terrorists" and an effort by the ruler of Olympus to control a world-wide satellite surveillance system. When cyborgs and human launch coordinated attacks on the government headquarters in Olympus, Deunan, Briareos, and Tereus swing into action against a mysterious enemy. The plot has little in common with the earlier films: the Appleseed technology that was at the core of the story isn't even mentioned. The look, tone, and characters in Ex Machina recall Shirow's Ghost in the Shell, rather than the original Appleseed. Not surprisingly, the elaborately choreographed fight scenes reflect Woo's signature style, with slo-mo martial-arts combat, close-ups of falling shells, dynamic camerawork, and all-out gun battles. But the weightless movements of the motion-capture characters and the limited rendering of the skin textures gives Appleseed Ex Machina the feel of an extremely elaborate computer game. Despite the limits of the mo-cap technology, Appleseed Ex Machina is a fast-past, take-no-prisoners cinematic adventure that will delight action-movie fans as well as anime lovers. (Rated PG-13: violence, violence against women, profanity, grotesque imagery, potentially offensive religious imagery.) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the watch. March 4, 2008
By Poboy
Format:HD DVD
The visuals are nothing short of stunning, especially in HD. It's worth the download just to check out how beautifully the cg animation is rendered. The action scenes are tight, with Matrix-esque slow motion shots, crazy camera angles and an emphasis on heavy gun play, indicative of producer John Woo's style. One drawback on the cg animation though is that when characters interact with each other physically it seems awkward. They don't feel like they are touching. I imagine that when you make something with animation like that you'd run into clipping issues when the characters intereact heavily. In fact, it reminded me of cut scenes from Eternal Sonata, a video game using similar animation techniques but on a bigger scale obviously.

The story is an upgrade from the first movie, although the main antagonist borrows heavily from classic Star Trek villain, the Borg. There's even a Borg like cube of sorts that serves as it's foundation. The subplot consists of a triangle between Deunan, Briareos (the main protagonists from the first movie) and Tereus, a biroid created mostly from Briareos's DNA who becomes Deunan's new partner after her lover falls in battle.

If I were to make a criticism I'd say that the main antagonist was revealed a tad too late, making the final resolution a little anti-climactic. At a runtime of about an hour and 40 minutes I felt like another 20 minutes would have been justified. When it was over, I couldn't quite believe it at first. Also, and this may be a good thing, events from the first movie go almost completely without mention. This means that you won't have to have seen the first one to appreciate this, but at the same time there is a lack of continuity for those that did.

All in all though, it's a good film and worth a watch.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than The First? Yes and No April 8, 2008
Format:Blu-ray
The first Appleseed film (from 2004) was quite a treat. The cell-shaded CG graphics looked very good for the time. Complementing this obvious standout aspect was an intriguing story and an excellent soundtrack. It's worth noting that the story, in particular, felt like a genuinely original re-animation of sci-fi concepts.

Fast forward to today and we have the sequel, Ex Machina. It's pretty simple to separate what works and doesn't in Machina:

GRAPHICS:
The level of detail in the graphics has improved dramatically, and characters look less like geometric objects with textures painted on and more like genuine people. The cityscapes are even more impressive. Furthermore, the action is more frequent and looks even slicker.

My two gripes with the visuals are these: First, in what is all too common in action movies like this, the best scene is the first one. Hands down. I don't understand why so many directors feel the need to frontload their movies. I will say that the movie is less guilty of this than its predecessor. Second, movement outside of action scenes still looks a bit jerky. Some might fault mo-cap technology, but for my money, Final Fantasy: Advent Children boasted some mighty believable movement.

STORY/WRITING:
Here's where Ex Machina falls apart. The story here isn't anything you haven't seen executed better in anime/other entertainment. Compared to the plot of the first movie- which created a unique sci-fi framework, this one felt like a filler episode. The villain was cliche, the story far less complex/meaningful than the first, and any intrigue or mystery the story might yet have held was ruined by the horrible writing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Appleseed Ex Machina is a sequel to 2004's Appleseed; produced by John Woo and directed by Shinji Aramaki, the duo comes with an entertaining futuristic thriller adapted from the manga by Shirow Masamune (Ghost in the Shell). The revolutionary CGI animation is astonishing, combined with awesome action sequences reminiscent of John Woo movies, Appleseed Ex Machina looks very promising. Thankfully, you do not need to see the 2004 film to appreciate and comprehend this new film's premise. The plot itself lacks depth, it is so predictable that everything is laid out for the viewer; this animated feature is more about CGI and action than anything else. It definitely feels to be geared to international audiences than to Shirow's native land.

The year is 2133, civilization is recovering from the global war that almost devastated the world. Utopian cities are on the rise, technological advancements are dominating the world and humans have a fresh new attitude to match their new surroundings. Cyborgs are very common, machine parts are used to replace severed limbs and body parts. Bioroids are being cloned from humans to use as soldiers that lack human emotion and violent tendencies that often get humanity in trouble. Quoted as " incapable of hate and anger, will only fight and kill when absolutely necessary..." or are they? The passive bioroids are intended to keep order so that the world can maintain the peace without the hostile influences of hatred and rage.
Special forces specialist Deunan and Briareos are partners from the days that Briareos was human. Briareos is a special case, since he is the only human being who managed to survive being 100% cyborg without going insane. When Briareos was injured (or damaged), he becomes replaced by Tereus, a bioroid cloned from his human DNA.
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Topic From this Discussion
Help me find an anime movie i seen in the 90s
My guess would be Project A-ko movie 3. B-ko's Dad equips his Daughter's combat suit, and it was made for his daughter it looks rather like women's underwear and I think he may have even been wearing some underneath it. Before he revealed that he was wearing her suit he had on the classic Elvis... Read More
Aug 24, 2008 by B.Z. Kaliaila |  See all 2 posts
Curious if the 2-disc spec. edition comes with a liner booklet
I picked up the ExMachina and mine didn't have one either... so perhaps that is the answer?

Probably not likely that they forgot two... maybe it is unlikely.. hehe

At any rate you're not alone I noticed the same thing you did when I compared the first one with the new one.
Mar 29, 2008 by Jay F. Grissom |  See all 2 posts
Languages for Appleseed Ex Machina [Blu-ray]
Yes it does. But you might want to check out the review on the picture quality before you purchase it.

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/1259/appleseedexmachina.html
Mar 10, 2008 by Watcher |  See all 3 posts
Anime is Dead
So, you think it's cool that they made movies when they were younger (which is totally true), but you don't think it's cool that they became more successful as they aged? Their art is making beautiful visuals from nothing, so why wouldn't they want to work on some stunning action sequences from... Read More
May 8, 2009 by Robert N. Bowen |  See all 2 posts
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