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Final Fantasy VII: advent children


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Fair points. However, the concept presented in Spirits Within is very much Final Fantasy. In fact...it is Final Fantasy 7: you have the gaia/life stream, the theory of spirits being born from that, to take on a physical body, live and learn, then die to return to the gaia, or the planet, and then that gaia "learns" from its experience.

I'm using a simmilar concept in my coming sci-fi novel, and didnt realize FF had used it before me untill I actually played FF7 properly.

Anyway, I'm not saying a movie based on a game can't be enjoyed, I'm just saying it won't appeal beyond the "in-crowd" if not done right. And when done right, it usually becomes something bad to that same "in-crowd" :D

An (anime) animated series would be a better solution in some cases. I enjoyed for instance what little I've seen of the Tales of Symphonia and Phantasia "cartoon" and that FF7 thing. Ooh, and certain Street Fighter animated series were great too.

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The problem was that Spirits Within really wasn't Final-Fantasy-anything.

I never understood this logic. Okay, so it didn't have chocobos or Bahamut or battleship-with-helicopter-blades style airships... But that doesn't, in and of itself, make it a bad movie. It wasn't what you were expecting. Okay, fine. Maybe you'd even say that it wasn't really Final Fantasy. Okay, fine. But that doesn't make it a bad movie. There are lots of great movies that have nothing to do with Final Fantasy.

I watched The Spirits Within as a scifi movie with the fully-CG thing as an interesting sidenote. It had an interesting premise, excellent characters (the heroine, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, her doctor/mentor, the military officer that serves as the antaognist), neat visuals (anyone who says that the ghost-spirit-things weren't visually interesting is a liar), a decent plot, and good writing. Wow, I'd take any three of those five and call it a movie worth watching.

Let me focus on that last one, though. The Spirits Within was well-written. This is the one thing I was dreading most when I first saw the movie; that we would get gems like "this guy are sick". (Yes, I realize that was primarily a translation error; point is that video games in general -- even ones like Final Fantasy which are known for their story -- aren't exactly great works of literature.) Instead, we got well-defined characters with believable flaws, relationships with one another, and reactions to the situations they find themselves it. It helps that the voice actors were uniformly excellent as well. The impression I got from The Spirits Within most of all was that the characters were ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. They weren't destined heroes and didn't have tales of personal rivalry against their enemies. They were regular people, just like you or me, doing their best to protect their friends/loved ones/species from an unexpected and mysterious threat.

Maybe that's why I liked The Spirits Within, despite the flaws that other people find in it. I've always been a sucker for the story where the average Joe steps up and saves the day.

It's ironic that people consider The Spirits Within to have attempted to cash in on the Final Fantasy name and simultaneously slam it for having nothing to do with Final Fantasy. Which is it? Are they slapping Final Fantasy on it for quick cash, or are they distancing themselves from the franchise in an attempt to have a decent work outside the realm of Final Fantasy? If anything, it's Advent Children that I see as cashing in on the franchise. If you took a movie exactly like Advent Children and but without the Final Fantasy part of it, how well would it have done? Okay, I'm sure that some people would have enjoyed the visual style and the fight scenes regardless, but the vast majority of the appeal of Advent Children was "hey, look, it's Cloud and those guys again! Awesome!"

Now, I'm not trying to claim that Spirits Within was more cerebral or had greater literary merit or something (it was a movie about fighting alien monsters, after all) but far from relying on the Final Fantasy name, it tried to stand on its own merits. It didn't work and it was a commercial failure; okay, well, so are a lot of movies. So are a lot of good movies for that matter. Advent Children, on the other hand, had no appeal outside FFVII fans. Have you ever tried showing Advent Children to someone who didn't know anything about FFVII? I imagine their reaction was poor. It doesn't make any sense outside of FFVII. It can't stand on its own merits.

Which is fine. It was meant to be a movie for FFVII fans -- which is, apparently, a large enough target audience to make Square some money. Great, that's fine. I liked Advent Children too. The point I'm trying to make is that Advent Children and Spirits Within are two completely different movies -- two completely different kinds of movies. Comparing them with one another does both of them a disservice. Advent Children was unashamedly tapping into people's fond memories of FFVII, turning the volume up to 11, and kicking ass. The Spirits Within tried to introduce a new setting, with new characters and new situations, and do something interesting and entertaining with it. Both were good at what they did. I preferred what Spirits Within did over what Advent Children did. Most people preferred what Advent Children did over what Spirits within did. Fine.

But most people seem to hate Spirits Within for not doing what Advent Children did. That's what gets to me. Don't hate a good movie for not being a different good movie.

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I never understood this logic. Okay, so it didn't have chocobos or Bahamut or battleship-with-helicopter-blades style airships... But that doesn't, in and of itself, make it a bad movie

again I don't think DarkeSword was saying it was a bad movie - he was saying it was bad as a representation of the Final Fantasy series, which is pretty much undeniable

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I really liked Advent Children personally, because I knew from the outset that it would never live up to the sheer amount and quality of the story from Final Fantasy 7. I always viewed it as an aside, as an addendum to the original story rather than one that's supposed to stand alone. As a part of the FF7 story, it's merely a postscript, and as a movie, it's pure fanservice, no two ways about it.

What I enjoyed most was that because of the visuals, it gave me a much greater appreciation for the world they were trying to convey in the original game. When the Lord of the Rings movies released, seeing those characters come to life on screen made it much eaiser to enter the world of the books for me. I had read the books before, and had a kind of mental image of each character and place. After seeing the movies, I see those actors and those locations when I read the books. Advent Children did the same thing for me. It clarified the look of the characters, the locations, and many of the personalities in ways that the PS1 game simply couldn't. I actually enjoy playing FF7 more now because of that movie.

As far as Spirits Within goes... it was pretty, all around. Pretty to look at, and pretty bad as far as decent movies go.

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I agree that The Spirits Within was a bad representation of what Final Fantasy is. I saw it again after years of not doing so, and I was able to enjoy it again for what it was. A nice little sci-fi story with great visuals, a cool concept, and Steve Buscemi.

I also enjoyed Advent Children. I think there was a summer when I must have watched it(or at least had it playing) at least once a day. I agree that most of the characters save Cloud had a serious case of failuritis, but then again Cloud has always sucked. Zack was the real hero.

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See, the problem with my viewing of Spirits Within was that I had just played Final Fantasy VI and was expecting something like that. I really don't know what hypothetical reality I would have to have lived in to enjoy that movie but my idea is that the circumstances were as they were and the movie was as lame as it was.

Now give me my Starcraft movie and hurt me some more Hollywood.

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