View Full Version : DVDC's Asian Movie of the Month: "Avalon" (2001)

DVD Connoisseur
08-18-2002, 02:30 AM
When is an Asian film not an Asian film? I've just finished watching Mamoru Oshii's (Ghost In The Shell, Patlabor 2, etc) latest movie, Avalon, and was surprised to find it filmed in Poland with a Polish cast. Not only that, but the English writer Neil Gaiman wrote part of the screenplay. Avalon certainly has a mixed pedigree but is certainly one of the best films I've seen in recent years.

Imagine The Matrix and eXistenZ mixed with a good measure of Japanese and European film styles and you have the feast that is Avalon. The opening sequence to this movie is simply jaw dropping...this movie uses CGI in a way that is both original and highly effective. I am still gobsmacked by the action on the screen...simply brilliant.

The plot revolves around virtual reality gamers in a distant and very gray future where success in computer battles leads to financial rewards and a hope of some creature comforts. Gaming is not without risks - many players suffer brain death by becoming trapped in the imaginative worlds created for their pleasure. The main character, Ash, is a beautiful woman who has become an extremely successful player and who now wants to access a higher level than the other competitors. This level is almost mythical amongst gamers and many fear to attempt entry as the stakes are high....

I won't say anymore about the storyline as this film should be discovered and I don't want to spoil any surprises. What the film offers is visuals that are amazing...I've criticised CGI on these boards before but the effects in Avalon are, IMHO, far more successful than those in Attack of the Clones and other recent Hollywood fodder.

The film also has the most incredible soundtrack...I can't recommend it enough. Beautiful.

This is a film that has to be seen. Sadly, it's only available on R3 DVD at the moment but it's definitely another reason why purchasing a multi-region player is a necessity rather than a luxury.

I'd really like to hear other comments on this film. It isn't horror but if you like your science fiction dark and gritty, this may be the movie for you.

9/10 on the DVD Connoisseur Score-O-Meter....

08-18-2002, 03:17 AM
i got bored with the movie... if it was a short it could have been more effective to me.

08-18-2002, 07:13 AM
Great review:) I havnt seen this movie, but's it's already on my 'most wanted' list. I'm a huge Oshii fan, and I only hope this title gets picked up on R1 sometime down the line...

08-18-2002, 03:26 PM
I agree, great flick.

The performances are top notch and as you say, the CGI is effective.

The color palette in the movie is great too and works to the benefit of the movie.