Music DVD Review
Mon, 15 November 2004
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A groundbreaking project, â€śInterstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystemâ€? is the result of a collaboration between popular French house band Daft Punk, and legendary â€śJapanimationâ€? director Leiji Matsumoto. Itâ€™s the worldâ€™s first (to my knowledge) â€śhouse musicalâ€?, a story set to the soundtrack of Daft Punkâ€™s â€śDiscoveryâ€?. For fans of Daft Punk and/or Leiji Matsumoto, this is the Beeâ€™s Knees! It is, simply, one of the greatest ideas ever come to fruition. The music, the action, the story and the characters all come together to create an amazing and new visual/aural experience unlike anything else.
Naturally, you canâ€™t expect a terribly deep storyline or rich characterization from a movie which has no dialogue. Despite being based entirely on the strengths of â€śDiscoveryâ€?, â€śInterstella 5555â€? has a passable storyline with loveable characters. Itâ€™s no deeper than Jamieâ€™s toilet. Itâ€™s probably best to just sit back and enjoy the show.
Basically, this is the gist of it: an alien band (nameless in the opening sequence), is kidnapped by an evil manager who turns them into humans and markets them as â€śThe Crescendollsâ€?, the Earthâ€™s newest and greatest pop act. Theyâ€™ve had their memories wiped, and their alien wardrobes made redundant and their skin changed. Shep, a pilot with a spaceship shaped like a massive guitar, recieves the distress call from the bandâ€™s home planet and cruises off for Earth. What follows is a edge-of-your-seat chase, a heroic rescue scene, an untimely death, a gigantic battle and a heroâ€™s return
In fact, the brilliantly effective characterization in â€śInterstella 5555â€? is a big part of this filmâ€™s appeal. The hero, Shep, is a brilliantly simple character. He goes to the rescue because heâ€™s a huge fan of the band and begins to fall in love with the bandâ€™s female guitarist (this scene is realized in a beautifully animated dream-sequence). Basically, most people can identify; weâ€™re cheering for Shep because we can relate to his position. Considering this is, in essence, an hour-long music video thatâ€™s quite a feat!
The visuals are absolutely cutting-edge. Created with what was obviously a reasonably large budget (would we expect any less from Daft Punk?), Leiji Matsumotoâ€™s retro-classic characters are brought to life. Visually, this film is awesome. Thereâ€™s barely a spot of dodgy animation, and the coloring is rich and vibrant. Aurally, if youâ€™re a Daft Punk fan, youâ€™ll love it. What happens on screen so perfectly fits the â€śDiscoveryâ€? album, youâ€™ll swear the album and film were written, recorded and animated in one cohesive stage. Daft Punk is widely considered to be â€śthe best House band on the planetâ€?, and rightfully so. What theyâ€™ve created here is a fun, enjoyable album that is perfectly blended with another art form.
If youâ€™re a fan of either the band or the director, you wonâ€™t need to be told to run out and snap up a copy of this DVD. â€śInterstella 5555â€? is wonderfully animated, fun to watch and easy to get into. Anime, while it is quickly becoming â€ścoolâ€?, has never entered the realm of â€śhipâ€?, which is something completely different. â€śInterstella 5555â€? brings anime into the world of celebrities, designer clothes and limousines, and it seems a perfect mix. This film seems to belong somewhere right outside the regular definition of â€śanimeâ€?, it transcends the clichĂ©s, but owes a great deal of its success to what came before it.
This DVD has a flawless visual feel, relatively free of compression artifacts and other associated digital glitches. The Menu System is imaginatively animated displaying various scenes from the film. For an anime film which has been animated using new technology, it retains an innocence and vague familiarity with such classic 80â€™s Japanese animation as â€śAstroboyâ€? and â€śBattle of the Planetsâ€?. A visual feast if ever I saw one.
Daft Punk. Brilliant. While not being a huge fan of â€śDanceâ€? music in general, and House in particular, I found this DVD to be one of the more enjoyable anime films Iâ€™ve seen in recent years. The soundtrack, as I stated earlier, blends perfectly with the amazing visual landscape that is created.
This DVD features a DTS 5.1 soundtrack, a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a Dolby Digital Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
This DVD has a host of special features including the French and English versions of the film, interactive play, wallpapers, production featurettes and wonderful biographies of both Leiji Matsumoto and Daft Punk. This disk also boasts an impressive array of multiple angles featured in the various video clips and scenes.
Utterly awesome! As an idea kicked around by myself in my band days, and, Iâ€™m sure, countless others without the finance to realize it, itâ€™s so amazing to see something like this done in such a perfect way. I highly suggest purchasing this DVD. Itâ€™s a fresh and worthy addition to any DVD collection.
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