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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT187-BR

HARLOCK SPACE PIRATE (2013 / 2 DISC / 2D AND 3D) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  David Matranga, Shun Oguri, Yu Aoi, Ayano Fukuda, Arata Furuta, Adam Gibbs, Rob Mungle, Haruma Mura
Directed By:  Shinji Aramaki
Composed By:  Tetsuya Takahashi

“A glorious marshaling of state-of-the-art technical expertise that boasts topnotch stereoscopy…The important thing is that it should all look awesome…it duly does.” – Variety

“Mythic, epic, and visually unprecedented, Harlock will take you to a whole new universe of ideas." – James Cameron

“A lavish 3D animated reboot of the culty intergalactic comic saga created by Leiji Matsumoto in 1977…its impressive production values and pedal-to-the metal action should get hardcore geeks on board.” – The Hollywood Reporter

A futuristic, fatalistic epic animé adventure, Harlock: Space Pirate (2013) is an adaptation of the spectacularly popular Leiji Matsumoto saga about an intergalactic war with Earth as the ultimate prize and the eponymous Captain Harlock as its only potential defender. Fighting against the Gaia Coalition, Harlock and his loyal crew are the sole beings with a chance of defeating the Coalition and returning humanity to Earth. Original Japanese Version (Disc 1) and International Cut (Disc 2) in both 3D and 2D.

LIMITED TO 3,500 Units

LANGUAGES: Japanese and English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: Japanese and English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English
2013 / Color
Japanese Version: 115 MINUTES / International Cut: 111 MINUTES
NOT RATED

Special Features: Isolated Score Track (Original Japanese Version) / Interviews with Harlock Creator Leiji Matsumoto, Director Shinji Aramaki, and Adaptation/Screenwriter Harutoshi Fukui / The Making of Harlock: Space Pirate / Venice Film Festival World Premiere Highlights / Storyboard Galleries / TV Spots / Original Theatrical Trailers

  
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Posted by Mark Turner on March 22, 2016 9:27 PM
JAPANESE ANIME GIVEN THE CGI TREATMENT

Anime, for those unaware, is a form of animated films that hail from Japan, most often based on various manga (Japanese comic books) and more often aimed at adults rather than children. They tend to have story lines that are more in depth than most children would enjoy, often take place in outer space and at times carry adult themes throughout.

One of the most successful of these animated outings was based on a series of stories by Leiji Matsumoto concerning a space pirate by the name of Harlock. The character resembles his title of pirate as he roams the cosmos in a ship guaranteed to inspire fear in his opponents with its skull shaped front piece. A comic first and then a TV series the film was finally given the CGI treatment in 2013 and is making its way to DVD here through a release by Twilight Time. Thank goodness because it is truly inspired and fun.

The story involves a future, the year 2977. The earth was unable to sustain the number of humans who were on it so many of them went off into space with the intent of colonizing the far reaches of the universe. But life wasn’t as easy there as expected and many returned only to find they were no longer welcome. A space war broke out that was eventually settled by the Gaia Coalition who keeps the peace across the galaxy. Earth, caught in the middle of things, has been determined a human free zone that no one may enter.

Into this mix we find Logan, a young man eager to join with Capt. Harlock and his crew about the space ship Arcadia. When presented the chance he must pass a test to join, which fortunately he does. What the Captain and crew aren’t aware of (but we know early on) is that Logan is actually a spy for the Coalition, working in tandem with his brother Ezra to take down the Captain once and for all. But is the Captain really unaware of his intentions or does he have plans for Logan?

On track to return to earth no matter what the Coalition says, Captain Harlock and his crew are determined to pass through the blockade and return to humanity’s last hope. Secrets are held close to the chest by not just Logan but various crew members as well as the Captain and Ezra. All of this unfolds as the film progresses.

In addition to the well thought out story presented here we also have plenty of action on hand. Space battles between different styles of spaceships happen often and the Arcadia is one of the most gorgeous looking vessels seen on screen in some time. The way the animators and story tellers have combined the classic pirate saga with a futuristic vehicle is amazing. The skull headed spaceship is one that would indeed inspire nightmares if you were to see it aimed at your own ship. That it uses that front as a battering ram of sorts plays into the old pirate mythos as well as the futuristic science fiction theme.

Let’s be honest, CGI can only accomplish so much at this time. Facial expressions are the weakest points of CGI films and that remains true here. But scenes of hand to hand battles, shootouts and space battles are glorious to watch. Once again I can’t praise the look of the Arcadia enough. I’ve seen several all CGI films that steer clear of the Disney/Pixar mold of cartoony looking characters but this is the best to date. The movie is a great action/adventure film that will entertain and delight all who give it the chance.

Twilight Time has done another bang up job with this release. Not only do you have the movie itself available but they also have a 3D version of the film included as well. It’s enough to make me consider buying a 3D TV soon. In addition to the 2D and 3D versions of the film there are a number of extras on hand as well, more than usual for a Twilight Time film. Included in the extras are an isolated score track from the original Japanese version, interviews with Harlock creator Leiji Matsumoto, director Shinji Aramaki, and adaptation/screenwriter Harutoshi Fukui, a making of feature, highlights from the Venice Film Festival World Premiere, storyboard galleries, TV spots and the original theatrical trailers.

Fans of films like STAR WARS will find plenty to enjoy with this movie. It may not inspire them to seek out the original or the manga of the story being told but it will be a movie they can enjoy in the meantime while waiting for the next SW film to come out. Then again who knows, it may be enough for them to become fans of anime, a good thing indeed.

One last note, as with all Twilight Time features, there is a limited quantity on hand for this edition of the film. The good news is that rather than the usual 3,000 there are 3,500 copies available. If you’re willing to take the chance on this title then order before they’re gone.

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