Final Fantasy: Spirits Within

Rated NR

The Player, Robert Altman?s last good movie, gets more prescient by the day. In that film, studio heads plot to obviate the writer out of the filmmaking process, which at the time was meant to be satire, but in many ways has come true. Now the Screen Actors Guild is in a tizzy over Final Fantasy, the first computer-animated movie to come anywhere close to capturing live-action human acting. There?s a confusing and pointless plot involving some kind of phantoms (they're a menace) from another planet that are destroying Earth, and hot-ass computer-made scientist Aki Ross (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) must collect the Eight Spirits in time to save the planet and herself, or something. But who cares? You're there for the impressive computer animation or because you're a video-game geek (I guess that's redundant). FF is highly flawed, especially when you hear a recognizable voice (Steve Buscemi's, for instance) coming out of some maladroit compu-actor face, which is like hearing a cat bark. Emotions are not conveyed well by the digital "actors," either, but again, who cares? This movie strives for pure visual escapism, and that it achieves. Despite the title, you can rest assured that this is not, in fact, the final Fantasy. No, this one has franchise written all over it.

Film Credits

Director: Hironobu Sagaguchi

Cast: Ming-Na Wen, Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Donald Sutherland and James Woods

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