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Ghost Canyon

'Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis - Steelbook Edition'
(Yuka Imoto, Kei Kobayashi, Koki Okada, Taro Ishida, Kosei Tomita, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / PG-13 / (2001) 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Based on the classic comic created by revered manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka (Astroboy), written by anime legend Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and directed by Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999), 'Metropolis' is a spectacular film featuring stunning imagery and unforgettable characters).

Blu-ray Verdict: Despite sharing it's name with the 1927 Fritz Lang film, 'Metropolis' is a whole different animal. It's about a boy who runs across a girl named Tima while investigating a factory with his uncle, and tries to find out who she really is while evading an assassin named Rock and looking for his uncle.

Apparently, the director got the idea for this after seeing a poster for the 1927 film, and wrote a manga series about it which eventually turned into a movie.

So, where to begin? Let's go with the animation. It's incredibly smooth and stylish, given its age, of course, and reminded me simultaneously of 'Mega Man' and 'Ponyo'.

Every scene is drawn with such attention to detail that there are almost no holes to pick at, and it actually tops most of the Hiyao Miyazaki films in that respect. Besides the traditional animation, there is also a large amount of CGI work.

I generally hate it when CGI is used in an otherwise 2D film (especially in 'Lilo and Stitch,' as a random example), but it combines with the hand-drawn stuff so well that it compliments it rather than clashing with it.

Beyond looks though, 'Metropolis' also has very solid writing. There are no corny lines, embarrassing moments, or slow scenes. Everything is there for a reason, and none of it feels like it could have been done better.

The voice work is wonderfully done as well. Even though all of it is in Japanese, I could tell that it was acted very competently, and succeeds in making it feel like we're hearing the characters talking rather than actors at a microphone.

In the end, 'Metropolis' is simply one of the finest pieces of work I've ever seen and it still holds up today as great as ever. It has amazing animation, charging music, convincing voice work, and the most important thing of all: heart.

Simply put, it's funny, it's dark, it's heart warming, and just plain spectacular. If you have any way of buying this incredible Steelbook Edition (out October 30th via Mill Creek Entertainment), do it. You won't be sorry, I promise you that. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

* Amazing High-Definition Presentation, English SDH subtitles and English Translation!
* English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and uncompressed Japanese audio!
* The Making of Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis documentary featurette!
* Also featuring interviews with the film s creators along with concept animation comparisons!