Appleseed Alpha (2014) – 6/10 post-apocalyptic mecha action anime movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Storyboard Artist: Shinji Aramaki
Screenplay Writer: Marianne Krawczyk
Story Writer: Masamune Shirow
Producer: Joseph Chou
CGI Director and Storyboard Artist: Masaru Matsumoto
Deunan: Luci Christian
Briareos: David Matranga
Wendel Calvert: Two Horns
Chris Hutchinson: Matthews
Adam Gibbs: Olson
Actress and Motion Capture Performer Iris: Brina Palencia
Josh Sheltz: Talos
Elizabeth Bunch: Nyx
Actor and Motion Capture Performer Briareos: David Matranga
Motion Capture Performer Deunan: Alissa Simmons

Appleseed Alpha (2014)

Deunan and Briareos are struggling to get by as mercenaries following World War Three and are currently indentured to Two Horns, a gangster who has taken over the remains of New York City. He sends them out on a simple droid-clearing assignment but they run into Olsen and a mysterious girl and find new meaning to their lives.

6/10

Entertaining and good-looking action movie which isn’t as successful at capturing the audience’s emotions as it is trying to be. Fortunately, it isn’t grasping too hard and so you don’t find the emotional beats funny. This is not a negative review but the action likewise doesn’t break out of adequate; a lack of imagination and logic means that there are some reasonably exciting scenes which end when their time is up, not because a character or plot point or logical action caused it to end. None of the action in the Appleseed CG movies has ever been close to the heights of the opening scene of the first one.  With these faults noted, though, I still enjoyed the movie, I liked the characters enough and was never remotely bored. Villain Two Horns is an unexpected highlight but some of the visuals are clearly the talking point; the environments and explosions are photo-realistic and the characters are highly convincing without using the anime-style of previous outings or descending into the distracting uncanny valley.

This movie contains strong violence, adult dialogue

Appleseed: Ex Machina aka Ekusu makina (2007, Science Fiction Mecha CG Anime) – 6/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Producer: John Woo
Writer (Original Comic Book): Masamune Shirow
Producer: Terence Chang
Producer: Hidenori Ueki
Producer: Naoko Watanabe
Producer: Joseph Chou
Writer (Screenplay): Kiyoto Takeuchi
Producer CG: Yusaku Toyoshima
Director CG: Yasuhiro Ohtsuka
Director CG: Yasushi Kawamura
Director: Shinji Aramaki
Luci Christian: English: Deunan
David Matranga: English: Briareos
Illich Guardiola: English: Tereus
Ai Kobayashi: Japanese: Deunan
Koichi Yamadera: Japanese: Briareos
Yuuji Kishi: Japanese: Tereus
Toyoe Sekita: Motion Capture: Deunan
Moki Ogawa: Motion Capture: Briareos
Yoshiyuki Kamata: Motion Capture: Tereus

Appleseed: Ex Machina aka Ekusu makina (2007)

A.D. 2133: as the Bioroid-run Olympus (a utopian city governed by humanoid cyborg’s with troublesome emotions like anger and fear removed) invites the rest of the world to join with its satellite network to usher in an era of global peace, something or someone has plans of their own and is mind-controlling cyborgs to get it.

6/10

Once again, as with Appleseed (CG), the strongest scene opens the movie with a notably cool action sequence inside a cathedral sprinkled with neat ideas. The remainder doesn’t make much sense but at least you do know what the heroes are doing and the technical concepts come across clearly. The problem is that the baddie’s plans make no sense at all (SPOILER especially the shooting himself in the head and dying bit) but, as I say, you do know what everyone is doing so you can easily follow events. Technically, this is brilliantly designed (Deunan’s two Prada-designed outfits are impressively eye-catching) and has a lovely look that keeps itself out of the uncanny valley by having a very simple colour style, especially for character faces.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word, mild swear words and violence, brief graphic violence.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

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