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144 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Adaptation Of The Original TV Series
This DVD lives up to it's expectations. For American fans of Space Battleship Yamato, adapted into Star Blazers at the height of the Star Wars craze circa 1979, there will be no disappointment whatsoever. Being one of those fans that saw the toned down dubbed English version I have been following the series ever since. My background with the series may be more extensive...
Published on July 24, 2011 by Stephen G. Shillingsburg

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51 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was OK at the time I bought it...
I've been a fan of the "Space Battleship Yamato" TV series called "Star Blazers" here in the United States back in 1978. I've always said that it should be made into a live action movie and in 2010 they finally did it. When I saw the theatrical trailer online, I said I've got ot see it. I was hoping that it would be released to theaters here in the United States but...
Published on August 26, 2011 by Kenneth Siller


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144 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Adaptation Of The Original TV Series, July 24, 2011
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This DVD lives up to it's expectations. For American fans of Space Battleship Yamato, adapted into Star Blazers at the height of the Star Wars craze circa 1979, there will be no disappointment whatsoever. Being one of those fans that saw the toned down dubbed English version I have been following the series ever since. My background with the series may be more extensive as I have no problem watching the original with sub-titles so take that as you may.

It was with mixed reservations that I finally got to see the December 2010 movie adaptation of my childhood favorite cartoon. Having seen it twice now I can tell you two truisms:

1. It has been worth the wait.
2. The movie was made by fans of the original show.

If you have been a close follower of the show, the first 30 minutes plays such a homage to the original I am almost naming my goosebumps. The story-line, characters, ship, soundtrack, action flow, practically the entire first episode including camera angles, has been beautifully recreated. At around 2 hours to cover the original 26 "Quest To Iscandar" episodes I think this has been a beautiful homage to fans of the original series or it's American counterpart. Wildstar (US) or Shima (JA) still has his growth period but is the central character. The only really changed character is IQ9 whose transformation to the big screen couldn't have been better done. Sane (US) or Sato (JA) even still has his cat and famous "spring water."

The Good: As mentioned above and special effects. IMDB reports 15 million spent on the movie, primarily on special effects. Quite frankly I find that impossible. What I saw, rivaled Avatar.

The Bad: Storyline, is radically departed by the end of the movie (sequel possibilities would only involve Andromeda if you take my meaning).

The Interesting:
1. Import only so sub-title English and Chinese only.
2. Product was ordered through Amazon (Asian Entertainment (DVD))on a Monday and arrived Wednesday with standard delivery options.
3. Product is stated as being all region DVD. Tried on Region 1 with no problem whatsoever.
4. Regular DVD came with no special features.

Final word: Absolutely loved it.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yamato aka StarBlazers comes back to earth !, August 30, 2011
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Being a BIG fan for years of the english dubbed cartoon (StarBlazers aka Yamato ) shown in the
USA year ago, I couldn't wait to see this movie when I heard that a live action version was
being made.
The script sticks mostly to the original story plot from the cartoon.
And the actor in the movie are pretty spot on as well to there cartoon counterparts.
Even the CGI effect are better then I thought they would be. Based on American
movie production budgets that would have cost 3 or 4 times as much to have made a movie like this.

Definitely worth buying this DVD.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie and a great copy!, August 26, 2011
By 
Kenneth Siller (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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I've been a fan of the "Space Battleship Yamato" animated series known as "Star Blazers" in the United States back in 1978. I've wanted to see a live action version of it and in 2010 they finally made one. The quality and technology of special effects necessary to pull it off has been achieved and it shows on the screen. This movie was shot at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and they fill it with action from end to end.

The story is based on the original one seen in the TV series of Earth vs the Gamilons. The original characters are there more or less. With that in mind, this is not your father's or grandfather's "Space Battleship Yamato." Some of the differences are interesting, some are shocking. The way it's crafted, this movie can be enjoyed by those who don't know anything about the TV series as well as long time fans.

This copy produced by Sarawak Media Corporation of Malaysia is near perfect. The movie is presented in its full 2.35:1 aspect ratio with its original Japanese dialogue and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. It has English subtitles and they are almost complete. There are 2 or 3 scenes that are missing the caption but it's minor.

This version is far superior to another on being produced on DVD by another company.

My thanks to Sarawak Media Corporation for producing this DVD and LOTO-SURPLUS for selling it at an affordable price.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yamato, hasshin!, January 30, 2014
By 
Kansuke (Harlington-Straker Studios) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Space Battleship Yamato: Movie (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
Finally! An official North American DVD release of SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO. I saw this film in the theatre and it lived up to my expectations.

It should be noted, that there will be no English dubbed version. All releases in DVD and BluRay will be in Japanese with English subtitles. This is due to the contract with actor/singer Takuya Kimura (who plays Kodai). No big deal. This is how the film should be viewed.

You can tell this film was made by fans for fans. Although there were some changes, respect was shown to the original material, unlike some reboots/remakes/retellings.

If you want to learn more about this film, and the anime series, check out the website "ourstarblazers.com"

UPDATE: since the previous review was written on the film, here is one for the DVD/BluRay: Audio is clear and crisp, picture quality is excellent. The majority of the extras (as in most cases) are on the BluRay disk. There isn't a lot of extras, but at least the film's trailers are there. And yes, there is an English dub. I am curious what Eleven Arts and Giant Ape did to have been allowed to produce a dubbed version (ref: Takuya Kimura's contract) compared to the previous foreign releases of this film. After listening to the English dub (it's a hit and miss with the voice actors chosen), I still prefer hearing it in Japanese.

After all is said and done, I still give the film and its release four stars.
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51 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was OK at the time I bought it..., August 26, 2011
By 
Kenneth Siller (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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I've been a fan of the "Space Battleship Yamato" TV series called "Star Blazers" here in the United States back in 1978. I've always said that it should be made into a live action movie and in 2010 they finally did it. When I saw the theatrical trailer online, I said I've got ot see it. I was hoping that it would be released to theaters here in the United States but that never happened. That left seeing it on DVD as my last option. When it finally came out in June of this year, the manufacturer produced DVDs without English subtitles. That left me out in the cold.

Then I saw this copy called "Space Battleship Yamato - The final battle." I was suspicious but I ordered it anyway because it said it had English subtitles.

When I received it and played it, my suspicions were confirmed. This copy is a bootleg version. Here's what's wrong with it. The movie was shot at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio but on this DVD it's streached to a 1.85:1 ratio. The movie was recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1 but this disc only has Dolby Surround. Some of the subtitles are either wrong or came across as silly.

On the other hand, it was the best I could get at the time.

However, another company is making copies of this movie on DVD that are superior. The movie is presented in its full 2.35:1 aspect ratio, it has Dolby Digital 5.1 sound along with the Japanese dialogue and the English subtitles are more accurate.

I bought the new copy and am very happy. That makes this first copy obsolete and unnecessary.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing once, but may be overall disappointing for fans, November 29, 2011
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There is no greater Starblazers fan than me. By "Starblazers" I mean the Quest for Iscandar and Comet Empire series that played back to back to back in America from the late 70s to the early 80s. This excludes the Bolar Wars and any later releases that were produced with different voice actors. Like many fans I got up early before school to watch Starblazers in the morning, and then sprinted home from the bus stop to watch it in the afternoon. And I dressed up as Wildstar for Halloween one year. Later I bought the entire VHS collection for both series that came out in the early 90s. I then upgraded to the DVD versions when they came out, handing down my VHS collection so my little brother could benefit from it. I even own a shrink-wrapped back-up copy of the 2 series on DVD "just in case". Maybe I'll hand it down to my grandchildren one day. Speaking of children, I named my first son "Avatar" and my second son "Venture", and started them on the series when they were 2 years old, and now they are huge fans, too. One year Avatar had a Starblazers-themed birthday party. If I had had 2 daughters I would have named them Tralaina and Nova. I have models of several spaceships, including a large Argo with moving parts and sound effects, and action figures.

Given my almost sacred devotion to the series, it did not surprise me that this first live-action production was overall a disappointment. As a superfan I felt I had to give it a chance, and I figured it wouldn't be total crap so it was worth owning. I think my kids will enjoy watching it multiple times, but really it's a `B' movie by American standards.

The special effects aren't much better than you'd see in some of the bigger-budget, original movies on the Sci-Fi channel. They're also, in large part, too fast to fully appreciate. By "fast" I don't mean the action sequences were too "short". I mean the planes flew too fast, the missiles and lasers were too fast and messy. They were more like flashes on the screen than engaging, suspenseful action sequences. The ground fighting scenes were better in this regard, though, and overall I'd give the special effects 3 out of 5 stars.

The writing and the acting, however, really brought the movie down. Frankly I think the cartoon is more emotionally engaging and less cheesy/corny. Of course, just like when fans as kids fell in love with the cartoon in spite of its cheesiness and corniness, kids today will likely not think much of the added cheese and corn in this live action production. However, the adult fan who was hoping the live action movie would improve on that aspect of the series will be disappointed. Maybe the writers did this purposely to try to make it more like the cartoon, or maybe this is considered `A' movie scripting in the Japanese industry. Not sure. As for the acting, Captain Avatar was probably the worst with Nova the best. Wildstar seemed to start out poorly but got better as the movie went on. The writing and acting I would give 2 out of 5 stars.

As for the screenplay/story, the writers did more than compress the 26 episodes of the Quest for Iscandar series into a 138-minute movie. They made significant changes to the plot, like changing the nature of the Gamilons, and merged elements of the Comet Empire series into the story, especially the end. The sex changes for Eager and Dr. Sane aren't too big of a deal, as well as the change to Wildstar's and Vetnure's back stories. But Homer was eliminated completely and the Space Marines brought aboard (that reminds me; I take back what I said about Captain Avatar being the worst actor, that distinction should probably go to Sergeant Knox). Major conflicts with the Gamilons such as at Pluto and Balan aren't even given screen time in montage form (which would have lessened the feeling of being "rushed" that other reviewers have complained about). Merging the battle at the Rainbow Galaxy in with the assault on the Gamilon homeland, however, was more forgiveable as a time-saver. As for IQ-9, I don't like what they did with his character for most of the movie, but that scene at Gamilon where he transforms into the form of IQ-9 we know and love, and then starts mowing down dozens of Gamilons with guns in both hands, that was AWESOME! Another thing I didn't like was the relative lack of emphasis on the ship. In the cartoon the ship is almost a character. Not so in this movie. Still the movie does pay homage to several story elements from the cartoon, even using nearly identical camera angles as the cartoon for some scenes.

One good thing I can say about the movie is the soundtrack. Much of the soundtrack is new, which was initially disappointing because the original music from the cartoon is largely what made the cartoon great and where it broke new ground. Never before had a movie-worthy score been written for a cartoon. They could have just re-mastered the old score and used it for the live action movie. However a lot of the new music is really good and has that Starblazers feel, even though some of it seems ill-timed. The cartoon was better about playing music appropriate for the scene. Still, I'd give the soundtrack 4 out of 5 stars, even though the DVD menu is ruined with that horrible pop song they put on there. The animated Starblazers DVDs have way better menus and bonus features, all backed by the original score.

So overall I think this movie is worth seeing once, especially if you are a superfan. But for those fans who have been waiting for Starblazers to be given the heavy, live-action treatment it deserves, you'll have to keep waiting. It's too bad Peter Jackson or someone like that isn't a fan. That's what this series needs: one 3-hour movie for the Quest for Iscandar series and one 3-hour movie for the Comet Empire series; both with top, Hollywood-caliber writing, casting, acting, direction, special effects, and score composition, and a more faithful retelling of the story. I've already got the screenplays in my head. But alas I don't have 100 million dollars to produce them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre attempt to bring back a legend....Yamato!, June 3, 2013
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I bought this move as a gift for my brother. We all loved Star Blazers back in the late 70's and early 80's. Every episode left you hanging and wanting more. I was excited to see that Japan had filmed a live action version of this legendary animation series. When we finally got around to watching it....we were all really disappointed in this effort.

I think what we were hoping for was that this film was the beginning of a new series. Instead we watched a film that looked like it was created for television (like Red Dwarf) audiences. There were some moments of the old magic...the Yamato looks great, the music soundtrack is right on, some of the actors look the part. But overall it is a mediocre attempt at bringing this series to the big screen. One big disappointment was the way the Gamalons were represented. I wish they had stuck to the style of the animation series. The Gamalons leader Desslock was a powerful figure in the series....here in this movie he barely makes an appearance. Also the Gamalons don't even look like the aliens in the series. They look like an entirely different species from the 70's animated series. Their ships also don't have the same designs that the animated version portrays. Bottom line is that the movie is overall disappointing.

I have heard that an American film company is interested in a live action version of this series. Maybe the Hollywood treatment will succeed over this Japanese version. I wouldn't mind seeing a remake of the entire (I saw that Yamato 2199 is currently being developed) animated series done Japanese style with today's technology. It would and could be awesome. While America has Star Trek and Star Wars....Japan always had Star Blazers....I feel the best is yet to come for this often neglected and bypassed series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars just making it doesn't make it great, a little effort is needed., February 21, 2013
StarBlazers and Robotech are my 2 favorite cartoons of all time, I remember running home after school to make sure I didn't miss StarBlazers.

unfortunately Space BattleShip Yamato is another opportunity to make an epic movie wasted.

Gamalons are omnipotent until the script doesn't want it, humanity is outclassed in every way until the script doesn't want it, broken tone, no credibility, a very slow pace with huge drawn out monologues doesn't help.

to be clear their is a lot to like in this movie, bridge set design is great, the wave motion gun was every bit as epic as I remembered it, I liked that the story worked hard at acknowledging the enormity of the task, music is great but then it's all let down by a monumentally slow pace, the apparent reality that the entire Gamalon fleet can be taken out by a smattering of black tiger fighters.... really?... should have sent those sooner. the Yamato's guns are the only guns that actually work?.... should have equipped those on the warships they sent to Mars, the Analyzer robot can take out 1000's of gamalons at a time, should have made 2 or 3, why are the Gamalons allergic to firing on Yamato, why would Gamalons only have 1 stealth warship, why, why, why, why.... bother?

what could have been better isn't... it's not horrible but it's not good either and while it might sort of almost be worth the time to watch it's definitely not worth paying money for.

here's an idea gift wrapped 40 years ago by the series for the movie, use the onboard manufacturing they mentioned in the series to replenish lost fighters and for fixing damage so they can lose some, so Yamato can take some, then mention that a considerable number of crew are being held in stasis to be woken as required, then require it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oops, we ran out of budget, May 17, 2014
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This review is from: Space Battleship Yamato: Movie (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
The movie starts off well. What really weakened the film was the handling of the Gamilons. They were reduced to generic energy beings. No personality and no depth.
The original show always showed both sides and the drama that ensued within each faction. Once you see the aliens, the film starts to feel empty as you only are shown the drama of the good guys. Its too one sided.
The visual effects for the ship and ship fights are impressive.
Other Japanese cinema have included Japanese actors to play aliens, such as Godzilla and Ultraman, they could have CGIed them to look more alien, instead of making them generic ps1 graphics.
Merging Yuki and the Iskandars were confusing, you don't see how they fix earth, just an abrupt ending.
It's as if, oops, we ran out of budget.
They took out the drama of dealing with the Gamilons which was the strength of the original show.
Looks like Hollywood isn't the only culprit in taking cool characters like Deslock and making them generic badguys.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ALL STOP, LET'S JUST GET OUT AND WALK, June 3, 2012
Going into SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO I knew there was no way they would have the time to compact such a dense and detailed mythology into one movie - as to why it was limited to one film and not a trilogy?, I have no idea. Given the popularity of the series not only in its home country, but around the world, it would seem like a smart idea to keep people hooked for three films instead of packing it into one; but this one was under the wave motion gun from the start to try and cobble together enough of a plot of justify making the film. I wish I could say that they managed to do it, but, as it stands, this version of the YAMATO is whole different version all together. The choices made to compact the story line are baffling and the changes made are confusing - you do see the ghost of the original, but only in the corners, along the margins and tucked into the shadows.

The film suffers from not being able to get over itself. This is one emotional boat full of people who seem more interested in their personal honor and minor problems than looking at the whole picture - yes, everyone speaks with lofty voices about their mission to save the Earth, but in the end it's all about people saluting each other every time they walk into a room (seriously, every time someone saltues, take a drink and have 911 on standby to rush you to the hospital) and then apologize for some event that happened in the past and then go gung-ho on some random event that seems totally disconnected from the rest of the film. The original series was a saga, a soap opera, but they had years to get through this material - here, you've got only over two hours and it happens so fast...until it happens so slow. This is a film of fits. One moment seventeen stories are going and then you get a long scene of nothing but one guy thinking to himself, staring slightly left to the camera and not sharing his thoughts. The ending on the bridge as the final (last, totally, this it it, it's all over, people; watch me make the bold choice of going down with ship, it's really over, wait for it) sacrifice is about to be made - it goes on for forver, I feared it would never stop. By the time the YAMATO finally is destroyed (taking the enemy down with it), I felt like a long stay in a boring room had finally come to an end.

And this is another point - count the sets. The Yamato is a big ship with a lot of room to move about, but the film limits us to a mere handful of rooms and most of those rooms you'll see are the main bridge (which, again, point of fact to the original series - you do see a lot of the bridge); which lacks any of the depth and interest of the original series. It's grey, dull and the Captain's chair doesn't even go up and down (I waited the whole film for that, didn't happen).

The Yamato itself is a high point in the film. All the space shots, battles and the CGI work does, for any fan, send a true thrill through you. It's beautiful, but so little time is spent with the ship, too few space battles and even less wave motion gun. If you were to edit just the external scenes of the Yamato together it wouldn't run five minutes and that's plain wrong - the Yamato stands at the center of the story, here it's just something to be sacrificed at the end and you end up not caring. It's one of the best ships in science fiction, even STAR TREK knows that people come just as much for the ENTERPRISE as the crew - here, not so much.

A point on the music - as much as I love the original theme, it's used too much here to both over score and underscore the tension and mood. It's played loud and brave in one moment then low and slow in the next (at points it borders on a dirge); there seems to have been little effort made to expand the score and what additions they have never rise high enough for you to even know it's there. Whoever thought to get Steven Tyler from AREOSMITH to pen and sing the closing theme - put them in front of the wave motion gun and fire!, and then hit the ashes with the wave motion gun again, just to be sure.

Overall, SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO takes too few chances and takes away far too much from the original for it to make any kind of connection. It's too long, too unfocused and at its very worst feels just like an overhyped, pointless Hollywood production about battleships - we got that, don't need another.
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Space Battleship Yamato: Movie (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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