So I finally had some time last night to veg out in front of the plasma and watch my second Blu-Ray title ever. The first being Talladega Nights which came with the PS3 two years ago. And if the image above didn't clue you in already, the movie du jour was Appleseed Ex Machina. Historically I'm not a huge Appleseed fan. I like Masamune Shirow's work, and while the anime adaptations for his Ghost in the Shell title has generally been quite good, Appleseed has been pretty neglected as an animated feature, until now.
Appleseed Ex Machina is very much a visual tour de force. And viewing it in high def is a must. My plasma only goes up to 1080i and even then I was hugely impressed so on the ubiquitous 1080p models these days it's gotta look even better. The artwork is rather unique as it kinda looks like vividly colored 2-D cel shading wrapped around 3-D models which is somewhat disconcerting but quite pretty. Deunan has never looked so hot as she is in this movie. ;-p
Unfortunately the animation seems to be a bit weak. No issues during the fast-moving action scenes but character movement just looks kinda unnatural when the characters are moving slowly or just doing casual motions. Produced by John Woo, pretty much all his signature touches are found in the movie. Unfortunately they all come in one action sequence at the beginning. And that's another problem with this movie; the really good action sequences come in the first third of the movie, everything else, I'm sad to say is nothing special, even though they involve the cool-looking Landmates. If you're looking for ridiculously off the wall, physics defying but very cool-looking fight sequences, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is still the best there is.
And the other area where this movie falls short is the plot. It's really not that good and feels like the writers just threw a whole bunch of used story elements at a wall and went with it. And obviously it's very predictable. Very disappointing overall. It's basically a sci-fi Borg/zombie movie, declawed.
So, while there's no doubt that while this title is one hell of a good-looking flick, that's pretty much all that it's got going for it. Which is really disappointing. Worth a rental, but only if you've got the high def equipment to have it shine on.