Metropolis

( 11 )

Overview

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 animé classics as Akira and Ghost in the Shell. The common animé practice of combining amazingly rendered ...
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Overview

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 animé classics as Akira and Ghost in the Shell. The common animé 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. Though 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 that, while not entirely new or original, is at the very least genuinely sincere and thoughtful. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
An all-star anime team conjures an urban dystopia with world-class visual pyrotechnics in the anime feature Metropolis. Directed by Rintaro X, based on the 1945 comic book by the legendary Osamu Tezuka Astro Boy, and written for the screen by anime legend Katsuhiro Otomo Akira, Metropolis is a free-form riff on imagery and themes from Fritz Lang's silent classic of the same name. To the strains of bouncy Dixieland jazz, the complex plot involves a power struggle for control of the city Metropolis and a young boy's attempt to protect a robot girl who is the proverbial key to the city's Babel-esque tower. The tower is Metropolis's architectural pride and joy, and a doomsday weapon to boot. As in the vertically stratified mega-city of Lang's 1927 silent, the aboveground life of fantasy and privilege in this city of the future conceals subterranean levels of poverty and hard labor. This juxtaposition overlaps with the familiar anime theme of man vs. machine, which plays out with shades of the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner. There are too many influences and homages fueling Metropolis to list; but suffice to say that the film's multilayered, multicultural, and multireferential texture forms a dazzling pastiche. It's all realized in a state-of-the-art blend of conventional and computer-generated animation, with a kinetically breathtaking and eye-ravishing attention to futuristic details. The juxtaposition of various styles and genres makes the film unique, a fact driven home in the apocalyptic climax, set with knockout-punch irony to the music of Ray Charles. The result transcends mere allegory to induce a psychedelic overload of metaphor that's guaranteed to both daze and dazzle.
All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
The gulf between backdrop and foreground never seems so large as in Metropolis. Imagine a comic strip that features the characters from Family Circus dropped into the bleak urbanscapes of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, and you have some idea of what this film looks like. Even the villains in Metropolis don't come off as particularly menacing-looking; Duke Red, the builder of the Tower of Babel-like Ziggurat, is just a little less cuddly than the good guy detective and his nephew. Boldly titling your work (as source comic artist Osamu Tezuka did) after an iconic film is asking for trouble. While the rendering of this metropolis is in many ways, thanks to 70 years of cinematic technology, even more jaw-dropping than that in Fritz Lang's original, the characters, especially that of the robot Tima, can't be taken as seriously as Maria (both the real one and the "false" one) and Professor Rottwang. The filmmakers try very hard to dramatize the aching love that Ken-Ichi, the nephew of the detective, feels for Tima, but ultimately, their relationship comes off as something out of a bad early John Hughes movie. Nevertheless, Metropolis has to be seen, because director Rintaro and his production team have crafted a visual masterpiece not without its moments of wit, though the use of Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You" seems more than a little jarring, if not totally obvious.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

If you have never seen a Japanese anime, start here. If you love them, Metropolis proves you are right.


If you have never seen a Japanese anime, start here. If you love them, Metropolis proves you are right.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/7/2006
  • UPC: 043396139459
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: UMD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Yuka Imoto Voice Only
Keiji Kobayashi
Kouki Okada
Jamieson Price
Technical Credits
Rintaro Director
Shuichi Hirata Art Director
Toshiyuki Honda Score Composer
Katsuhiro Otomo Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Interesteing movie with busy animation

    From the previews I was tempted by the animation to pick this one up. The animation is very busy; by this I mean you will be watching the main action but all throughout the peripheral view there are little things going on. The animators certainly tried to bring the city of Metropolis alive. At first it was a little distracting, but once you get into the movie it isn't so bad. The story was kind of odd, but nothing to convoluted. Overall I don't regret purchasing it; the movie is worth watching a couple times. However for my tastes I wouldn't call it a great movie; the characters didn't quite draw me in and the story was a bit weird.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very nice Anime title!

    I'm not a huge anime buff, but movies like METROPOLIS just might convert me. It's exciting and visually stunning; the plot is cool, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Tezuka's "Metropolis" breathtaking masterpiece

    Unlike many people who saw this film,I did not think the technical aspects of "Metropolis" overwhelmed the storyline. Being familiar with Osama Tezuka's original cartoon, I would say that Tezuka-san would be proud of what the animators did here. There are moments in this film that are breathtaking - emotionally breathtaking. The film takes you into a completely different world and some images will haunt you forever. For me, the coils of machinery lurching inexorably to absorb the robot girl is one of the great sinister images in animation. There are bleak images in this film superbly counterpointing emotional moments in the plot. Some people thought there was a clash between Tezuka's broad stylizations and the more complex animation here - I think of it more as a dialectical tension. Call me a softie, but the end of this film brings tears to my eyes. This should be required viewing at animation schools. Watch and wonder....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One word: Classic

    I think Rintaro and Otomo really outdone their selves by resurecting Tezuka's manga and putting it into a movie. It was a lot diferent from the manga, it was better. It's a perfect combo: Tesuka's story Otomo's screenplay, and Rintaro's directing. This film is deffinently up in the rankings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Anime Movie

    Metropolis is the country of the future. With its great technology and adventure, this is an anime movie you don't wanna miss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A New Anime Movie Classic.

    Be prepared for the next anime classic since Akira. Directed by Rintaro(X,Galaxy Express 999, and Astro Boy.) and written by Katsuhiro Otomo(Akira and Roujin Z) comes a story based on a manga by the godfather of anime Osamu Tezuka(Astro Boy,Pheonix,and Astro Boy.) A boy named Kenici and his uncle, who happens to be a detective, visit the city of Metropolis to investigate a crime which was caused by a mad scientist named Dr. Laughton. But What they don't realize is that Duke Red, the man that created Metropolis, hired Laughton to build a robot named Tima, who happens to be the model after Duke Red's dead daughter. But Rock, who happens to be the adopted son of Duke, is jealous and tries to kill Tima. Later, after Laughton's lab is destroyed be Rock, Kenichi happens to run into Tima when he and his uncle splitted up to find Laughton. In atempped to save Tima's life, Kenichi gets seperated from his uncle. And so the adventure begins with georgeous animation from Madhouse studio. Be prepared for a new classic with a mixture of cel and Digital animation. It will amaze you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ''Metropolis'' is one for the ages

    ''Metropolis'' is something that EVERY japanese anime fan should see, and even some people who aren't fans of the genre. A lot of people say the story is ''overdone'', but I'm of the opinion that if it's a GOOD story, it won't matter how many times you hear it, you'll love it every time. What I loved most about the movie was the conflict with Tima about her identity. Most people have complained that it's not really resolved, but I felt that's another reason the movie was good: it lets YOU make the decision as to what makes a thing a living organism. Also, the music for this movie was both excellent AND important to the story. If you truly watch the movie, you know why Ray Charles' ''I Can't Stop Loving You'' rocks! In closing, I'll say this one more time: BUY THIS MOVIE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Tima

    I liked the movie alot. The only thing is that it toched me so deep. It was like I was there sharing Kenichi's feelings. I wish they had put an alternate ending on the DVD, were the girl survives. Tima was the one who died and was my favorite charector. Why did they have Tima die at the end?-if you know why please send me an email.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Metropolis smashes technological boundries

    I must say that if any body has to see a Japanese animated movie, it has got to be Metropolis. Although I must say alot of the footage I have seen in other movies before, I still think it has alot of great scenes and is a perfect movie for anybody who likes a bit of voilence and a strong theme. The way the characters are portrayed and the way the hidden passion is shown among Kenichi(the boy who comes with his detective uncle to find the missing Dr. Lawton) and the human cyborg girl called Tema. I must say it is a very touching story and really made me feel as if the world is just destroying love, not making more. Well, love is not the only thing that is shown in this story. The way the technology is shown is amazing, considering that it was written in 1949 and feels like 2300. Overall I give it 5 because have never seen a movie this powerful ever before. It made me wonder why is the world like this it all. After seeing this, I am now a completely different person. I used to love action and adventure but now I seem to have lost its passion and now I like Metropolis better. I would recomend it to anybody.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Many things right, more things wrong.

    ''Metropolis'' is the perfect example of a movie with more bone than meat. I watched it because it was directed by Rintaro of ''X'' fame and written by Katsuhiro Otomo of the brilliant ''Akira''. I don't say this often about such big names, but this movie stunk. It was slow paced and badly animated, or as my brother put it: ''it looks like Disney animation!'' ''Metropolis'' could've been a smash success if the character design wasn't so annoying and the animation was better thought out. Most of the funding by Tri-Star went into badly done Computer Generated animation that looks like it was done in a week. The lighting through the movie is a major problem; the characters look flat and dark compared to their bright and shiny surroundings and many of the antagonists' characters are too cartoony to be evil. The story, however was exceedingly well crafted and looks very good on paper (manga to be precise). This movie suffers from having too much money and not enough brains to know what to do with it. Some of the scenes are well thought out and executed, but who can concentrate on the story when the characters look as if they're the fat cousins of Yu-Gi-Oh?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Metropolis Great

    This japenese anime revival of a classic science fiction has action, bright graphics, and most of all, heart. It also has a very excellent soundtrack.

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews