Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

March 13, 2006

Year: 2003

Directed by: Jonathan Mostow

Written by: John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris (story & screenplay), Tedi Sarafian (story)

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Medium

Key Cast Members:

  • Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • T-X: Kristanna Loken
  • John Connor: Nick Stahl
  • Kate Brewster: Claire Danes
  • Rating: 6 out of 10


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    Overview: What happens if you take the original Terminator idea, morph it with T2, get rid of any semblance of a coherent, cool story, but add a really hot chick in leathers kicking butt to it? Answer: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines! Director Jonathan Mostow really kicks the FX up a notch, but unfortunately, the story fades into more of a prop than the centerpiece it was in the first two movies. While the key cast members are all fine (terrific in the case of Lokken), they can only work with what they’re given.

     

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    The Story: In Terminator 3, 10 years have passed since John and Sarah Conner destroyed Cyberdyne Systems and stopped the Skynet apocalypse. Unfortunately, it seems that the future is not what we make of it (As Desirina reminds us in the T2 comments), instead, fate is now predetermined. Why? Who knows…roll with it, buddy. You’ll get no well thought philosophical time travel notions here. Instead, the Terminator mystique is just that – a façade to get us to the juicy action sequences!

     

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    Over the years, John Conner (Nick Stahl) has turned into a drifter – he never really believed that the end of the world was abated, so he has spent his life leaving no clues as to his existence (no phones, bank accounts, and FORGET that damn phonebook!). He wrecks on his motorcycle, and due to his fear of hospital records, decides instead to break into a local veterinarian’s office and take some random medicine in the hopes that it’s a pain reliever (apparently, in the future time of 2003 the west has forgone local clinics that treat illegal aliens without recording their names and addresses). It just so has it that Conner has broken into a vet where Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), a former junior high fling of Conner’s, works.

     

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    While this is going on, The TX (Kristanna Loken), or Terminatrix as Conner refers to her, arrives from the future. The new Terminatrix is nanotechnology enabled, and can control all computer networks and most electrically powered machines – in short, she’s a badass. Because Conner has all but disappeared, her mission is to bump off his lieutenants, and if possible, to then locate and terminate Conner. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the obselete CYberdyne Systems 101 model is once again captured in the future and dispatched in an attempt to save John Conner, and his future wife from the nuclear holocaust, and if possible, protect them from the Terminatrix.

     

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    Philosophical Problems: I understand the desire to “go to the well” once more in the Terminator series, but it seems like they could have been a little more sophisticated in how they went about it. For instance, why, if Skynet is going to keep sending Terminators from the future, doesn’t it send them all back to 1984? Even a little throwaway line, similar to Star Trek’s magical matter-anti-matter converter, telling us that this isn’t possible would have helped this. Also, there’s the problem that Skynet’s grid was smashed in T1 – which was the whole purpose for the last ditched desparate attempt at a retroactive abortion. If the grid has been smashed (which if Skynet is an AI, what does this even mean?), how is it that Skynet can keep on producing newer Terminator models? Clearly, things are going all that badly for Skynet. I almost envision Skynet being in it’s “last throes” as similar to another conflict in today’s time.

     

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    In T3, we get to see the first model Terminator.

     

    More harmful than the problems above is the issue of fate being predetermined. Um, OK, sure, I suppose it could be, but couldn’t they have tried to justify this a bit more? The Original Terminator provided us a wonderfully nuanced time loop; Terminator 2 at least still kept a pretty solid story with the idea that the future is what we make of it. Terminator 3 basically says, “Fuck it. You’ll all screwed anyways, so lets just throw down!” And throw down they do.

     

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    The FX: Although the story takes a significant hit in T3, the special effects do indeed rock in an over-the-top sort of fashion. I thought the truck-car race was a bit too over-done, but I LOVED the Terminatrix’s FX. And truly, Kristanna Lokken played her wonderfully. I loved her facial expressions and demeanor. She knew what the part was supposed to deliver (a hot android terminator chick kicking ass) and did it wonderfully. The FX surrounding her from beginning to end are reason enough to watch this movie.

     

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    The Bottom Line: While this movie rates highly as a “hot chick kicking butt” flick, it suffers in comparison to its two predecessors as the ending to a trilogy. Terminator 3 certainly was enjoyable, but not in the sophisticated sense that the first or second one was. The sliding scale I see with this series is as follows: Terminator had an awesome story and pretty great visuals for its time; Terminator 2 delivered a very good story, and provided awesome visuals – the type that raise the bar on future movies; The third does away with the cool story but at least still delivers the visuals. In short, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a bubble-gum chewing summer blockbuster, pure and simple. But on that level it works fine. However, based on the downward quality trend, if Abbot & Costello were still alive, I’d say that the next movie should be titled “Abbot and Costello Meet the Terminator.” Regardless, 5-6 stars is a reasonable place for a movie that delivers extremely well on the visuals but falls off on the story. In this case, 6 stars seems appropriate. Watch it for the FX and Kristanna Loken-Arnold battles, not for a continuation of the story.

     

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    <span class=”iTitle”>The FX: </span>Although the story takes a significant hit in T3, the special effects do indeed rock in an over-the-top sort of fashion. I thought the truck-car race was a bit too over-done, but I LOVED the Terminatrix’s FX. And truly, Kristanna Lokken played her wonderfully. I loved her facial expressions and demeanor. She knew what the part was supposed to deliver (a hot android terminator chick kicking ass) and did it wonderfully. The FX surrounding her from beginning to end are reason enough to watch this movie.
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/Terminator3-08.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <span class=”iTitle”>The Bottom Line: </span>While this movie rates highly as a “hot chick kicking butt” flick, it suffers in comparison to its two predecessors as the ending to a trilogy. Terminator 3 certainly was enjoyable, but not in the sophisticated sense that the first or second one was. The sliding scale I see with this series is as follows: Terminator had an awesome story and pretty great visuals for its time; Terminator 2 delivered a very good story, and provided awesome visuals – the type that raise the bar on future movies; The third does away with the cool story but at least still delivers the visuals. In short, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a bubble-gum chewing summer blockbuster, pure and simple. But on that level it works fine. However, based on the downward quality trend, if Abbot & Costello were still alive, I’d say that the <a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0438488/”>next movie</a> should be titled “<em>Abbot and Costello Meet the Terminator</em>.” Regardless, 5-6 stars is a reasonable place for a movie that delivers extremely well on the visuals but falls off on the story. In this case, 6 stars seems appropriate. Watch it for the FX and Kristanna Loken-Arnold battles, not for a continuation of the story.
    <p>&nbsp; </p>

    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Time Travel, 6 Star Movies, Awesome Cyberpunk Visuals, Android Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 2000 – current by SFAM.

    Battle Angel

    February 25, 2006

    Year: 1993

    Directed by: Hiroshi Fukutomi

    Written by: Yukito Kishiro (Manga), Akinori Endo

    IMDB Reference

    Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

    Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

    Key Cast Members:

  • Gally (Alita): Miki Itô
  • Ido: Kariya Shunsuke
  • Yugo: Kappei Yamaguchi
  • Chiren: Mami Koyama
  • Vector: Shigeru Chiba
  • Rating: 9 out of 10


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    Overview: Battle Angel is based off a very well done Manga series called Battle Angel Alita. The movie covers the first two volumes of the Manga: Rusty Angel, which documents Alita’s “rebirth” and Tears of an Angel, which portrays a tragic love story. This anime from 1993 is one of the best man-machine interface animes out. The story is solid, and the drawing for that time period is terrific. While you might hear some gripe that the Manga is better, I think Fukutomi did a terrific job in taking Kishiro’s story to anime. I can only hope that James Cameron does a similarly wonderful job with the upcoming live action version of this. Just a warning – this is not a kids story – it contains lots of blood, head removals and minor amounts of nudity.

     

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    The Setting: Battle Angel takes place far into the future, after a societal collapse has occurred. Advanced human society has been relegated to a floating city called Zalem, that sits above a refuse heap called Scrap Iron City, which is inhabited by denizens living off the scraps and waste products Zalem expels. A corporation called the “Factory,” the primary employer for Scrap Iron City, sends products back up to Zalem through a series of huge metal tubes. Cyborg technology has become a way of life, with many “humans” having only their brain remaining from their original human body host. Scavenging and theft has become a way of life for many. Backbones are a particularly sought after commodity by thieves, who sometimes will violently take them from their living hosts. As social services no longer exist, the Factory posts “bounties” for the heads of the most egregious villians, which bounty hunters, called Hunter-Warriors pursue for money.

     

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    Rusty Angel: Daisuke Ido, an cyborg doctor extraordinaire, former citizen of Zalem, scavenges through the refuse heap to find spare cyborg parts to repair the citizens of Scrap Iron City. One day he comes across a female cyborg head that has a still-living human brain in it. He sets out to repair this head and gives her a wonderful body off of parts he has collected. He names her Gally (she is called Alita in the Manga), and she seems totally restored, except for the loss of memory from her earlier life. Ido becomes attached to Gally and they quickly develop a father-daughter type relationship.

     

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    Gally learns that Ido moonlights also a Hunter-Warrior both for moral reasons and to support his medical practice. Gally saves Ido from certain death, and thus, reveals that she, in her former life, was also a very talented warrior. Under protest from Ido, Gally asserts her individuality and desire to become a Hunter-Warrior like Ido, so that she too can have purpose to her life.

     

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    Chiren, also a cyborg doctor and Ido’s former partner, has also been ousted from Zalem, and is consumed with finding a way to return. Deciding that she will do anything to make this happen, Chiren hooks up with Vector, a shady character who has connections with the “Factory,” who agrees to eventually take her to Zalem in return for sexual favors and for her assistance in building a supra-cyborg gladiator named Greweicia for the fighting ring. This cyborg warrior also has a penchant for eating brains, and ends up on the bounty list. Chiren, wanting to be seen as superior to Ido, gets Greweicia to fight Gally in the hopes of destroying her, and thus, destroying Ido.

     

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    Tears of an Angel: Gally, in exploring the city has become infatuated with a hard working body named Yugo, who dreams of going to Zalem. Although it’s common knowledge that nobody born in Scrap Iron City can ever go to Zalem, Yogo is also consumed with finding a way, and has gotten an agreement from Vector, who promises Yugo if he can make 10,000,000 credits, than he will take Yugo to Zalem. Yugo has taken him up on his offer and has started stealing cyborg spinal cords as a way to augment his day job of fixing machinery. He is discovered, and is put on the Bounty list. Gally, who has fallen deeply in love with him, tries to rescue him from a rival bounty hunter. Unfortunately she is too late, but is able to save his head, and asks Ido to turn him into a cyborg. Even after becoming a cyborg, Yugo’s dreams of reaching Zalem cannot be abated, as he sees his life a struggle against the worthlessness that is the Scap Iron City.

     

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    The Artwork: In Battle Angel, we see strong influences of Akira in most every aspect of the production. From the facial expressions to the darkly textured backgrounds to the fighting style approach, Battle Angel clearly has used Akira as a template for modern animation techniques. Like many OAVs of this time period, some of the backgrounds are bland while others are lavishly penned and inked with multi-layered designs. They “pick their battles” with the designs, but for the most part, the decisions are solid. The simple designs are in backgrounds such as the sky and in Ido’s house. The more complex ones are in the underground, Yugo’s hang out, and in the refuse heap scenes – this is where most of the action and plot take place.

     

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    Changes from the Manga: While I think Battle Angel is a terrific anime, there are some changes from the Manga that some find annoying. Most bizarre is the renaming of Alita to Gally, and the city Tiphares to Zalem. However, unlike some, I don’t find the changes in the plot to be that problematic. The anime wonderfully captures the essence of the Manga. Perhaps the biggest change is the rationale for Alita’s powers. In the anime, we really don’t get an explanation, but in the Manga, Alita is first given a normal body by Ido, and ends up destroying it in her first fight. Realizing that Alita is a warrior at heart, Ido gives her the body he has saved for a long time – that of a berserker warrior. The primary villain in Rusty Angel is also different – he is a being who has grown up in the sewers, and after losing his body in fighting Alita, he takes over the Gladiator’s body. And Chiren, a central character in the anime is not in the first to novels of the Manga. Again, for the most part, I have no problems with the changes, and actually love the dimension that Chiren adds.

     

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    The Bottom Line: Battle Angel (Alita) just works for me as an anime. It is intelligent enough and well enough executed to get you to imagine a world where cyborgs are a reality. The world from the underground perspective is well done and Alita (I call her Alita, not Gally) as a character is terrific. Along with Armitage III and Ghost in the Shell (obviously), Alita is one of the best animes of this kind. Just a caution for those who have only seen the VHS, like most Japanese animes, Battle Angel comes off FAR FAR better with the Japanese dubbing cast than it does the English cast.

     

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    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Awesome Cyberpunk Themes, Utopia Surrounded by Poverty, Made for TV, Dystopic Future Movies, Man-machine Interface, Awesome Cyberpunk Visuals, Animes, 9 Star Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 – 1999 by SFAM.

    Metropolis (2001)

    February 9, 2006

    Year: 2001

    Directed by: Rintaro

    Written by: Osamu Tezuka, Katsuhiro Ôtomo

    IMDB Reference

    Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

    Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

    Key Cast Members:

  • Tima (voice): Yuka Imoto
  • Kenichi (voice): Kei Kobayashi
  • Rating: 8 out of 10


    DVD Cover

     

    Overview: Metropolis is a wonderful anime that, while it shares the same name as a far more famous movie, it is in fact a different story altogether. In this story, also set in an astoundingly beautiful futuristic city, with three tiers of inhabitants – the elite, the human working class, and all the way at the bottom, the slave-like robots. The powerful corporate leader who runs Metropolis, Duke Red, has created a structure called the Ziggurat, a huge tower designed to control all information and machines in the world. To make this possible, he hires Dr. Laughton, a genius criminal scientist to make a an super-android focal point of the Ziggurat, who is designed in the image of his daughter.

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    Fortunately for the world, their plans are disrupted when Shinsaku Ban, a detective from Japan, and his nephew Kenichi, arrive to track down and capture Dr. Laughton. They disrupt the “birthing” of the super-android, called Tima, and destroy the lab. In the ensuing chaos, Kenichi finds Tima, and thinking her human, rescues her from the destruction. They become separated from Separated from his uncle, and begin a journey of discovery in the lower levels of Metropolis.

     

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    Eventually, Duke Red learns that his super-android is alive and well, and dedicates everything to catch her. Over the course of the movie, Tima begins to learn her true nefarious purpose, while at the same time, begins to fall in love with Kinichi. This becomes a story of questioning what is humanity, and whether robots can be loved and treated like humans, or whether they are machines to be used for our purposes.

     

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    The Visuals and Sound: The visuals in metropolis are both varied and often astounding. We get a wonderful mix of 2D-3D graphics – unlike most movies, they are definitely weighted towards the 2D side. And I love how Metropolis makes the change in colors from almost a pastel-type opening to dark and dirty colors as the movie progresses. This is very similar to how Transmetropolitan does it in graphic novels. The characters are done in an interesting style, with almost completely round heads. This is disconcerting at first, but eventually you get used to it. And top top if off, we get some of the most wonderful use fo music in an anime. Some of the old fashioned Jazz tunes in here create a wonderful retro-type mood that really seems to fit.

     

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    The Bottom Line: Metropolis is a terrific little anime, although I would have liked to have seen a few parts of the script flushed out a bit more. Still, I love the movie, but it’s the ending that makes it for me. Tima’s question at the end pretty much sums up the purpose of the movie. This is a really nice exploration into the nature of humanity thing from a cyberpunk film standpoint.

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    Tags: cyberpunk movie review anime metropolis

    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Utopia Surrounded by Poverty, 8 Star Movies, Animes, Android Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 2000 – 2009 by SFAM.

    Appleseed

    January 30, 2006

    Year: 1988

    Directed by: Kazuyoshi Katayama

    Written by: Kazuyoshi Katayama, Masamune Shirow (manga)

    IMDB Reference

    Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Medium

    Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

    Key Cast Members:

    • Deunan: Masako Katsuki
    • Briareos: Yoshisada Sakaguchi

    Rating: 7 out of 10

     


    Appleseed screen capture

     

    Overview: Released the same year as Akira, this Masamune Shirow story is far more an artifact of 80s Anime, whereas Akira points the way to how anime will look in the 90s. This early Mecha movie is violent, profanity laden and action packed, with a really nice story and interesting philosophical undertones. And interestingly, this is one of the very few animes where the English track is actually the best one.

     

    Appleseed screen capture

     

    The Story: Appleseed takes place in a dystopian future, in which a city called Olympus has been engineered to be a created as a perfect refuge from the rest of the world. Many of the inhabitants have been bio-engineered “biodroids,” which are half-human, half-cyborgs designed to serve specific roles in the society. An all-powerful computer named GIA controls all city functions, and is just now starting to become responsible for the defense systems. Olympus is so controlled that there is little diversity or struggles required from its inhabitants.

     

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    A cyborg terrorist named Sabastian has made it his mission to destroy GIA. He finds a kindred soul in a disenchanted police officer, who’s wife committed suicide after she couldn’t stand living such a controlled existence. They plot to take over the prototype impenetrable tank in order to kill Gia and destroy Olympus. The movie centers around the mecha-laden Swat police force aligning their forces to stop them. In addition to heavy violence, we get MASSIVE amounts of F-bombs dropped here. Its actually rather cool seeing the amount of profanity that is used here – far more than one would expect from an anime such as this.

     

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    Deunan, a hot police chick and Briareos, a bug-like looking cyborg are Swat team members assigned to stop the terrorists. Incidentally, these two are clearly the precursors for Major Motoko Kusanagi and her cyborg partner, Bateau. While Deunan keeps her clothes on and doesn’t have Motoko’s intelligence, she definitely fills the same roll. Spunkiness is her middle name. The rest of the group, including Sebastian the terrorist, and the rest of the police force all provide decent support.

     

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    The animation here is still mostly 80s american style. Additionally, unlike the anime of the 90s, the backgrounds are often single, simple colors. While some animation scenes are rather cool, others are really more simple than you’d want. Definitely, the majority of the animation effort is about highlighing Dunan – she definitely looks better than everything else around her. Also, the sound is 80s keyboard music. Sometimes it works, but mostly its just distracting.

     

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    There are a number of messages that Appleseed puts forth. Looking at it today, the most disturbing message deals with Olympus’ rather extreme attempts to protect and inculcate itself from outside terrorists. The symbol for this is a bird in a cage. Considering that the US is in the throws of working this exact issue, Appleseed gives us a stark reminder that we can easily lose the soul of our society while attempting to protect it. Additionally, there are somewhat brief inquiries into what “life” is when examining whether biodroids should be valued similar to humans.

     

    Appleseed screen capture

     

    The Bottom Line: Appleseed is a good example of very early Japanese Anime. While its nowhere near the top in terms of animation, the Masamune Shirow’s story is high quality. Truly, the story is why you want to watch this. While the 2004 version definitely wins out on superior graphics, I think the 1988 version is a tighter, more interesting storyline. And if you’ve read the Applesead Manga, then the story, especially the beginning, works far better. You will find yourself becoming connected to the lead characters. But most impressive is the pacing. Appleseed packs an incredible amount of story in 68 minutes – truly, there’s very little fat here.

     

    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, AI (no body), Utopia Surrounded by Poverty, Dystopic Future Movies, Man-machine Interface, Animes, 7 Star Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 1980-1989 by SFAM.

    Armitage III

    January 27, 2006

    Year: 1994

    Directed by: Hiroyuki Ochi

    Written by: Akinori Endo, Chiaki Konaka

    IMDB Reference

    Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

    Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

    Key Cast Members:

  • Armitage: Hiroko Kasahara
  • Ross Sylibus: Yasunori Masutani
  • D’Anclaude: Ryûsei Nakao
  • Rating: 9 out of 10


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    Overview: Armitage III, one of the many Chiaka Konaka written masterpieces (along with Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, Malice@Doll) is simply an awesome story. If you like Blade Runner and haven’t seen Armitage, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Most of the same issues are raised there, but are done in an original enough way that makes you absolutely love this little anime chick. Humanity as an exclusionary concept which also implies “worth” is fully explored here. Are androids still supposed to just be our servants even if they do have a sense of self-worth?

     

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    Set in a Blade Runner-like future, mostly centering on Mars, Naomi Armitage is a type III series android who works as a cop on Mars, along with her new partner, Ross Sylibus. While most of the public knows about, and barely tolerates the type II series, they are not aware that there are a few lifelike, human-acting type III series androids living among them. Unfortunately for the robots though, someone knows of their existence and is systematically killing them one by one.

     

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    As the plot progresses, Ross, who doesn’t like robots (his former partner was killed by a cyborg) learns that Armitage is an android. Even worse, they learn that the murderer is a series IV robot. Armitage, who starts off as a wise-cracking, disrespectful cop who dresses in sleazy clothes starts to question her “humanity” such as it is. In addition to realizing she’s one of the very few left, Armitage wonders why she was ever created. As she struggles to maintain “sanity,” Ross begin to develop a closer relationship – one that is not too mushy, and works well with the pacing.

     

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    Armitage eventually broadens into a large-scale conflict that involves greedy corporations, inter-galactic disputes, android’s rights, population issues, and all the rest. We get LOTS of gun fights in this, and even a full scale battle, mecha style. In addition to being cute and vulnerable as an android wondering if she has a purpose in life, Armitage also kicks major ass in her burgundy leather ensemble. Guts, martial arts and all sorts of other gadgets come flying out of this chick. She is definitely, tough, strong willed, and lots of fun to watch.

     

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    Notice the incredible similarity to another futuristic building in Metropolis.

     

    The story is one of the most compelling in cyberpunk anime and really makes you feel for Armitage. Yes, the whole questioning of humanity by an android has been done before (and since) and since, but Armitage is definitely one of the better ones at this. Within the confines of a murder investigation, Armitage’s “soul” is exposed in her search for larger meaning and purpose, all while her fledgling relationship with a cyborg-hating policeman begins to emerge. Interesting questions are posed such as, what happens if an android has a fatal flaw? Should we throw them away is if they are they truly nothing more than a toaster? This is in essence a mirror to questioning how we deal with handicapped people in human society. We still consider handicapped people valuable and contributing members to society, but would we do the same with disabled Androids? At what point do they become real as opposed to simply remaining property – a tool for humanity?

     

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    The Bottom Line: The visuals and sounds in Armitage III, while good, are somewhat dated and inconsistent. Some shots are absolutely superb, while others have a relatively plain background and almost 80s looking characters. Overall, there’s enough there to keep your interest, but its the story that delivers. Truly, I absolutely LOVE it!

     

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    What is Armitage III Polymatrix? Polymatrix is a movie extracted from the 4 OAVs in Armitage III. While it is missing a few interesting scenes, its still watchable. It also has Kieffer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley as voice actors here, so if you can’t stand subtitles (You really fix this problem in the long run though), Polymatrix is a reasonable substitute. Some truly hate it primarily due to the English dubbing, the missing scenes and the changed ending. For me, I was OK with the dubbing, was generally OK with the scenes missing, but I liked the ending in the OAV (this movie) better.

     

    ~See movies similar to this one~

    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <span class=”iTitle”>Overview: </span> Armitage III, one of the many Chiaka Konaka written masterpieces (along with Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, Malice@Doll) is simply an awesome story. If you like Blade Runner and haven’t seen Armitage, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Most of the same issues are raised there, but are done in an original enough way that makes you absolutely love this little anime chick. Humanity as an exclusionary concept which also implies “worth” is fully explored here. Are androids still supposed to just be our servants even if they do have a sense of self-worth?

    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-14.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    Set in a Blade Runner-like future, mostly centering on Mars, Naomi Armitage is a type III series android who works as a cop on Mars, along with her new partner, Ross Sylibus. While most of the public knows about, and barely tolerates the type II series, they are not aware that there are a few lifelike, human-acting type III series androids living among them. Unfortunately for the robots though, someone knows of their existence and is systematically killing them one by one.
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-06.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    As the plot progresses, Ross, who doesn’t like robots (his former partner was killed by a cyborg) learns that Armitage is an android. Even worse, they learn that the murderer is a series IV robot. Armitage, who starts off as a wise-cracking, disrespectful cop who dresses in sleazy clothes starts to question her “humanity” such as it is. In addition to realizing she’s one of the very few left, Armitage wonders why she was ever created. As she struggles to maintain “sanity,” Ross begin to develop a closer relationship – one that is not too mushy, and works well with the pacing.
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-13.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    Armitage eventually broadens into a large-scale conflict that involves greedy corporations, inter-galactic disputes, android’s rights, population issues, and all the rest. We get LOTS of gun fights in this, and even a full scale battle, mecha style. In addition to being cute and vulnerable as an android wondering if she has a purpose in life, Armitage also kicks major ass in her burgundy leather ensemble. Guts, martial arts and all sorts of other gadgets come flying out of this chick. She is definitely, tough, strong willed, and lots of fun to watch.
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-10.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>Notice the incredible similarity to another futuristic building in <a href=”/additional-screen-caps-for-metropolis/”>Metropolis.</a></div>
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    The story is one of the most compelling in cyberpunk anime and really makes you feel for Armitage. Yes, the whole questioning of humanity by an android has been done before (and since) and since, but Armitage is definitely one of the better ones at this. Within the confines of a murder investigation, Armitage’s “soul” is exposed in her search for larger meaning and purpose, all while her fledgling relationship with a cyborg-hating policeman begins to emerge. Interesting questions are posed such as, what happens if an android has a fatal flaw? Should we throw them away is if they are they truly nothing more than a toaster? This is in essence a mirror to questioning how we deal with handicapped people in human society. We still consider handicapped people valuable and contributing members to society, but would we do the same with disabled Androids? At what point do they become <i>real</i> as opposed to simply remaining property – a tool for humanity?
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    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-18.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
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    <span class=”iTitle”>The Bottom Line: </span> The visuals and sounds in Armitage III, while good, are somewhat dated and inconsistent. Some shots are absolutely superb, while others have a relatively plain background and almost 80s looking characters. Overall, there’s enough there to keep your interest, but its the story that delivers. Truly, I absolutely LOVE it!
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    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-17.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
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    <span class=”iTitle”>What is Armitage III Polymatrix? </span> Polymatrix is a movie extracted from the 4 OAVs in Armitage III. While it is missing a few interesting scenes, its still watchable. It also has Kieffer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley as voice actors here, so if you can’t stand subtitles (You really fix this problem in the long run though), Polymatrix is a reasonable substitute. Some truly hate it primarily due to the English dubbing, the missing scenes and the changed ending. For me, I was OK with the dubbing, was generally OK with the scenes missing, but I liked the ending in the OAV (this movie) better.
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    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Awesome Cyberpunk Themes, Made for TV, Man-machine Interface, 9 Star Movies, Android Movies, Animes, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 – 1999 by SFAM.