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Mass Effect: Paragon Lost (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

3.7 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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(Dec 28, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fans of the ground-breaking Mass Effect franchise shouldn't miss this stunning motion picture experience born of an epic collaboration between the legendary Bioware and visionary Production I.G (Innocence, Kill Bill: Vol.1 (Animation Part), BLOOD-C The Last Dark (2/6/2012 Theatrical Release).

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is the prequel to the highly-anticipated Mass Effect 3 and follows the early career of Alliance Marine, James Vega. Vega leads an elite Special Forces squad into battle against a mysterious alien threat known as The Collectors. Stationed at a colony in a remote star system, Vega and his soldiers must protect the civilians from a ruthless invasion determined to capture the population for unknown purposes. Learn more about the Mass Effect universe with an unprecedented glimpse into the haunted past of Mass Effect's newest hero!

The feature Mass Effect: Paragon Lost (2012) presents the backstory of James Vega, one of the characters in the long-running Mass Effect video game series. When their commander is killed in action, Vega has to lead a squad of Alliance Marines into battle against a force of evil reptilian Krogans on the planet of Fehl Prime. After their daring attack carries the day, things are peaceful for two years, then the even nastier Collectors arrive. Most of the film is devoted to the battle that pits Vega and his surviving squad members against the insectlike Collectors. The film concludes with Vega leading another charge somewhat later, setting up a possible sequel. Mass Effect: Paragon Lost plays like an animated reworking of a minor Sylvester Stallone or Steven Seagal movie. The heroes alternate between noble posturing and devil-may-care throwaway lines like, "Let's dance!" as they charge into battle. Freddie Prinze Jr. reprises his role from the game, but Vega isn't a very articulate fellow. He listens while the other characters try to fill in the gaps in the complicated but well-worn plot. The flashy, constantly moving CG spaceships and special effects make the minimal animation of the drawn characters look even stiffer. Director Atsushi Takeuchi uses rapid cutting to infuse some energy into the combat sequences, but they're badly staged and it's hard to tell whether the heroes are advancing or retreating. Mass Effect: Paragon Lost may appeal to devotees of the games, but viewers unfamiliar with that universe will quickly lose interest. (Rated TV MA: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, alcohol use, profanity) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Freddie Prinze Jr., Monica Rial, Vic Mignogna
  • Directors: Justin Cook
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen, Color, Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Funimation
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008HUSF70
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,289 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There are going to be one line reviews on either end of the fence for this animated movie, none of which are particularly constructive, so I'll post some of my thoughts after having spent $20 on the Blu-Ray/DVD combo and watching the movie twice.

Bottom line, the movie is enjoyable. I don't regret the money I spent, and what it sets out to do, it does well: give James Vega (a character that didn't get enough screentime in Mass Effect 3) compelling development and a fleshed out backstory. Hints of James Vega's past excursions and adventures on Fehl Prime were mentioned in Mass Effect 3 but largely glossed over because hey, Reapers. There were hints at a larger story but there was never a payoff, and that's where Paragon Lost comes in. The subtitle foreshadows the movie's inevitable conclusion very well, and I won't spoil it here, but I honestly really liked the final moments of the movie highlighting Vega's inner conflict and turmoil. For a character that was relegated as 'Jersey Shore trash' by much of the fandom when he made his debut in Mass Effect 3, it goes a long way towards redeeming his character, narrative-wise.

The other characters are mainly a vehicle for Vega's development and are really just kind of one-dimensional. If this had been a series I could see them getting really good development a la Full Metal Panic (one character even acts like Kurtz, which I found immensely amusing), but as a movie they're little more than generic NPCs to drive the plot. Some important characters from the games make short cameos, and while it's nice to see them, it'd have been nicer if they had gotten the original actors to reprise their roles - the substitutes do an admirable job but Patrick Seitz can never replace Keith David as Anderson.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie has it's issues; James Vega sounds like a white guy, Krogans are cliched into evil, some guy has glasses (unlike everyone else in the universe??), but it's entertaining and an interesting addition to the Mass Effect saga. I bought it as a collectors item, but I found myself laughing through the entire movie due to just how cheesy it is. It's a great time - and the movie even came with some DLC for ME3! Of course, I haven't played the game in a long time, but it was a nice gesture. The casing is nice and well preserved, definitely came in good condition. Would highly suggest to anyone who loves the series enough to buy an anime based on said series.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I agree with most people on here. The story of Mass Effect: Paragon Lost was relatively decent, nothing new but nothing bad either. However, the animation just doesn't fit within the Mass Effect universe. I'm not sure what the big fetish with anime is nowadays. Halo used it and now Mass Effect. It's fine for the stories it's meant to portray, but when compared to the games, Mass Effect and anime just don't seem to go together particularly well. I think it would've been so much better with different animation and an overall feel. Because it seems with anime comes cheesy one-liners and bad, over-the-top voice acting. The cheesy parts didn't ruin the movie for me, it was just a little distracting at times because that type of stuff wasn't in the game. And that's what we all know and love. In addition, I wish they would've given Vega a little more personality because we're supposed to care for this guy and what he's going through. Overall, it wasn't horrible, it just could've been better. Hopefully the next animated film, series, or live action movie stays closer to the game in regards to character personalities, action, and feel.
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Format: DVD
The first time you watch this movie, you may find yourself thinking you've seen it before because in a way you probably have. The small elite unit of standard military stereotypes facing impossible odds and slowly being whittled down to the hero and the odd survivor or two is a pretty common movie trope: Aliens, Predator, even The Dirty Dozen, and while great directors, actors, and screenwriters can produce great films from this premise, mediocre directors, actors, and screenwriters tend to produce mediocre films. Unfortunately, that's pretty much what happens here in this prequel to the video game Mass Effect 3, and it doesn't help that the plot doubles down on the scenery chewing melodrama by adding in the meet-these-nice-people, get-to-know-and-care-for-them, now-watch-them-die trope. Finally, the animation is boring and unremarkable.

Now at this point I'd typically say that fans of the game may wish to add a star or two, but based on perusing the other reviews, I have my doubts. The harshest reviews appear to come from disappointed gamers, complaining about mistakes.

Too bad. This could have been an exciting introduction to the world of Mass Effect for newbies and a gift for fans. Instead it is a depressing, downbeat bore that will send newbies away and infuriate fans with its mistakes and cheap look compared to the game.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
What can I say that hasn't been criticized about Paragon Lost already? I do have both positive and negative things to say about it, and all in all, it's not the worst adaptation I've ever seen. It's truer to Mass Effect than the live action Resident Evil movies are to their games. I know that's not the best comparison, but it's the first one that came to me.

But if you've spoken to James in Mass Effect 3, you already know how it ends, because he tells you all about it.

1) Freddie Prince, Jr. returns as the voice of James, which was actually a pleasant surprise. It's always cool to hear a voice actor you became familiar with in your favorite game series appear in an adaptation. Through the whole thing, I was able to believe, "Yup, that's James" whenever he spoke.

2) Vague, though interesting references to Commander Shepard, a character we never see (for obvious reasons), but James admires immensely. However, these references work much better if the Shepard you played was a Paragon, as James is, well, a Paragon himself, hence the reason for the movie's title. There's a joke one of the ancillary, pointless characters says in regards to Vega's Shepard-worship: "Sucks for you that Shepard's dead. You two would have made a really cute couple." This made me crack a smile, because it's a joke that works for BOTH genders of Shepard.

However, other references of Shepard suggest that Shepard is a princess-saver trope, and that irked me quite a bit. And no, it was not meant to be funny or ironic. They actually said that "Saving the girl and saving the galaxy" was a page from the "Shepard Handbook.
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