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Release Date - March 24, 2004 in Theaters (In French). DVD released October 27, 2004 (In French region 2). DVD released June 21, 2005 (In English region 1). Steelbook Packaging DVD released August 19, 2008. Blu-ray released December 2, 2008.
Running Time - 1hr. 42min.
MPAA Rating - R (Sexuality / Nudity, Language, Some Violence)
Production Studio - Téléma, TF1 Films Production, CiBy 2000, RF2K, Force Majeure Productions, and Medusa Film
Distributor - First Look Home Entertainment
The Internet Movie Database
Region 1 - Blu-ray:
- Audio: English (Dolby Stereo 2.0, Dolby TrueHD 5.1) - The TrueHD doesn't work properly, most noticeably the left surround speaker never produces any sound.
- Subtitles: English SDH, and Spanish - You can select subtitles if you'd like to find out what the Egyptian Gods are saying during their scenes.
- 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen - The quality is only slightly better then the DVD version, and is surrounded by a small black windowbox.
- Special Features: "Special Effects Featurette" - A feature in French with English subtitles, all about the making of the special effects: 11min.
- Special Features: "The Making Of Immortal" - A feature in French with English subtitles, about the Making Of broken down into Storyboards, 3D Sets, 3D Characters, 35mm Shooting, Animation, Rotoscopy, Tracking, Lighting, Compositing, 2001 Teaser, and it finishes by playing the English Music Video to "Beautiful Days" by Venus: 30.5min.
- Previews: Immortal - 2min.
- Previews: Sukiyaki Western Django - 2min.
- Previews: War, Inc. - 2min.
- Previews: Blood Brothers - 1min.
- Previews: Cyborg Soldier - 1min.
Region 1 - DVD:
- Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Surround 5.1, and DTS 5.1)
- Subtitles: Spanish
- 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Bonus Material: "Making Of... Special Effects" - A feature in French with English subtitles, all about the making of the special effects: 11min.
- Bonus Material: "Featurette" - A feature in French with English subtitles, about the Making Of broken down into Storyboards, 3D Sets, 3D Characters, 35mm Shooting, Animation, Rotoscopy, Tracking, Lighting, Compositing, 2001 Teaser, and it finishes by playing the English Music Video to "Beautiful Days" by Venus: 30.5min.
- Previews: Cold & Dark - 1.5min.
- Previews: Blast - 2min.
- Previews: Trauma - 1.5min.
Director - Enki Bilal
Writer - Enki Bilal and Serge Lehman
Producer - Dominique Brunner and Daniel Walker
Editor - Véronique Parnet
- Duran Animation Studio
- Linda Hardy - Jill
- Thomas Kretschmann - Nikopol
- Charlotte Rampling - Elma Turner
- Yann Collette - Froebe
- Frédéric Pierrot - John
- Thomas M. Pollard - Horus
- Joe Sheridan - Allgood
- Corinne Jaber - Lily Liang
Music - Score:
Composer - Goran Vejvoda
Music - Songs:
- Venus - "Beautiful Days"
- Julie London - "June In January"
- Sigur Rós - "Hjartað Hamast (Bamm Bamm Bamm)"
- Julie Delpy - "My Dear Friend"
- Alain Bashung - "Nights In White Satin"
- Zerone - "Etang Donné"
- Denis Levaillant - "Atomic Reaction"
- Denis Levaillant - "Under The Volcano"
This movie wasn't made by Heavy Metal, but it is loosely based on the first two episodes of the story, "The Nikopol Trilogy" by Enki Bilal. The first part, "The Immortals' Fete", was published in each issue from May to December 1981 of Heavy Metal. The second part, "The Trapped Woman" was published in the Fall 1986 issue. This movie was among the first group of movies to film entirely in front of a bluescreen with the backgrounds digitally added later (other movies include Casshern, Sin City, and Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow).
With this movie, I had to watch it a couple of times in order to fully understand what was going on. It takes place quite a few years in the future, and things are quite different, so that takes some time getting used to. Add to that, trying to keep up with the background and story of the main characters Horus, Nikopol, and Jill. Also add in trying to keep up with the background and story of secondary characters Froebe, John, and Allgood. That's a lot to take in and keep up in one viewing. It was a good movie when I first watched it, but with my second viewing, I got to really appreciate it.
Probably the biggest criticism I hear about this movie is its use of CGI (computer generated imagery) characters together with real actors. This is done because in the future, Eugenics is extremely popular. Eugenics is sort of like plastic surgery, except more extreme; building synthetic flesh and virtual brains, either for esthetic, fashion, health, or convenience reasons. Nearly everyone has had so much of this alteration, that they don't look human anymore. They look fake, but that's what is considered normal. And for that reason, CGI works well to make humans look fake. There are very few people that haven't had much Eugenics done to them, but for those people they've been cast as real actors, because their bodies are still mostly pure and human. I can understand the artistic side of this, and think it's a great idea. However when it's put onto film, it looks too distracting. It takes a while, if at all, to figure out why there's some CGI characters, and some not. And the mixture of this is just too distracting away from the actual story. Great idea, but they just look too out of place and cartoony. They should have just stuck with all real actors.
However, even though the CGI humans looked a little fake, the other CGI animation such as the city, cars, and other such backgrounds looks amazing. Practically real. This film was done entirely in front of a bluescreen with the background all digitally added later, but it looks so real, you'd swear they were on an actual set most of the time. Very beautifully done.
Another beautiful thing about this movie was the music. The music fit the mood of every scene, and what great music it was. The soundtrack is truly perfect. I don't use the word "perfect" very often, but this soundtrack was amazingly beautiful. It was subtle and never over the top. It fit just right.
As for the story, I highly enjoyed it. I wouldn't call this movie "The best movie of all time" as there's a lot of really great movies out there. However it still gets very high scores from me all around. A good bit of action, comedy, good versus evil, love, sex, romance, loaded with special effects, great music, and a wonderful thought provoking story. It could have used a little stronger emotional scenes, but you can only pack in so much without over crowding it. And this movie was definitely packed with story. So much so that it took me two viewings. But even though it took me a second viewing to catch everything, I still enjoyed it my first time and didn't need to follow every single small detail. Plus, the movie never does give you any complete answers or history to things, and leaves that open to the viewer's imagination.
Usually my reviews are much longer then this, however I think I'll end this one here. I don't want to get into detail about the story and ruin it for anyone that hasn't seen it yet, and usually the reason I have more to say in a review is because I have more things to pick apart and bitch about. But this movie left me very satisfied and hard to find anything to be negative about. Maybe somewhere within the top 100 movies of all time.
Description On The Back Cover - New York City, year 2095. A floating pyramid has emerged in the skies above Manhattan, inhabited by ancient Egyptian Gods. They have cast judgment down upon Horus (a falcon headed god), one of their own. With only seven days to preserve his immortality, he must find a human host body to inhabit, and search for a mate. In the city below, a beautiful young woman, Jill, with blue hair, blue tears and a power even unknown to her, wanders the city in search of her identity aided by a doctor who is fascinated by this mystery of nature. Reality in this world has a whole new meaning as bodies, voices and memories converge with Gods, mutants, mortals and extra terrestrials. Stunning visual effects meld with the poetic surrealism of comic book creator Enki Bilal's fantastic epic story. A groundbreaking step into the future of film-making.