It’s been a while, deculture Cloud.
So, this week my copy of Advent Children Complete Bluray finally got delivered. 7 working day after Play-asia said it was shipped. Guess I shouldn’t have gone with the cheapest shipping option :p However, even then, this thing cost me $75 in total.
Anyways, I wasn’t really anticipating the extended cut as much as what came along with the Bluray, but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t have bought Advent Children’s Bluray on it’s own either.
So I hadn’t seen any of the extended cut’s footage shown at various Jump Festa’s and TGSs and what have you, just the image of Cloud dangling from Sephiroth’s sword in all the promo shots. So I was going in clean, without any expectations. And coming out of my living room, I think that they somewhat diminished the charm of the movie.
I remember back in September ’05 when the movie got leaked on the scene, and that too a DVD rip, mere hours after the Japanese release, I was almost shitting my pants in anticipation of when the download would finish! The movie, on my first watch, not only blew me the fuck away, I almost cried of happiness at how much fanservice Nomura crammed in those 90 minutes! It was pure bliss.
And that’s what Advent Children is to me, a brilliant collage of kickass action scenes and beautiful 3d renderings of some of my favourite videogame characters, tied up loosely with a silly story. One of those very rare times when I was so enamoured by all the flashy stuff, that I didn’t give a damn about plot or character development. Maybe because all that happened 8 years before the movie came out :p
Back to Advent Children Complete, there are 2 types of additions in this version: more story dialogue and more action scenes. Honestly, the dialogues I could have lived without, because nobody really gave a shit about Geo-stigma or what Rufus really thinks about “fixing the world” and all those orphans, etc. Everyone, I hope, just wanted to see Cloud vs Sephiroth. And the soundtrack was just unbelievable! I know many people hated on the rock mixes, but screw them; the original Sephiroth orchestra piece with the rock mix was just as epic as the final fight. This was my second issue with the movie, they tried to extend the music in some new scenes, which is completely understandable; but why the hell did they change the composition during the original scenes (eg. first fight with Cloud vs Kadaj and Bros.)?
Perhaps I’m being overly critical, but I still feel that the new “Complete” cut of the movie was not necessary as it did nothing to explain how things came to be. In fact, if anything, this extended edition made the plot holes even more obvious. In the original movie, things moved so fast and people were so wowed by the onscreen action sequences that nobody had the time to really think how stupid things really were! The extended version gives people more than enough time to start asking obvious questions, like why the hell was Rufus carrying Jenova’s blood(?) sample around with him?
However, for all the crap the extended cut introduces, it also included some more action scenes. And without spoiling anything, I just want to say that ‘bike through the chopper’ scene was when I decided that my $75 were well fucking spent, so ridiculously cool was that entire sequence! Also, blood 😉
An interesting thing to note would be that this Japanese release also features complete English dubs, sadly there are no English subtitles to go with the Japanese audio. Also, all the extra featurettes, including the 24 minute anime based on Denzel’s back story is completely Japanese with no subtitles.
There certainly have been other times, but today I really wished I had a Bluray drive in my pc to get screencaps of the extended cuts. It would’ve been a wallpaper frenzy all over again, like back in ’05!
Now let’s be honest, the real reason I bought the First Run edition was for the FF XIII demo. I’m gonna play it now and impressions should be up soon enough. However, I’m sort of conflicted as to what to say about this movie in the end. I mean the new action scenes were very cool, but the additional dialogue also reduced the fun. I’ll just end by saying that if you watch the original Advent Children DVD upscaled (on your X360 or any compatible Bluray player),then you should be just fine. For me, the temptation of 1080p with Dolby True HD plus FF XIII demo was too much to pass away.