Release Date: January 25, 2002
Release pushed back from November 9, 2001
Limited release

I've never even herad of this comic book.

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An Anime-mates-with-CGI version of a 1940s Japanese comic book, the one thing this Metropolis supposedly is not is a remake, or "re-imagining", to use current Hollywood parlance, of the 1927 Fritz Lang classic of an automated future society, where humaniform robots have become common, and the brains and brawn of humans have become almost completely segregated.

In the original, the joining of two separated classes, a Thinker and a Worker, allows humanity to triumph, although the machines very nearly win before that happens. In this version - which everyone attached to the production stresses is nothing like the first Metropolis - humans and robots live and work in a rigid caste society. Amidst chaos created by anti-robot factions, a detective and his partner search for a rebel scientist and his latest creation, a robot that looks like a beautiful young girl. So in one respect, the producers of this Metropolis are correct; this isn't exactly like the original. In fact, it sounds a lot like Bladerunner, with maybe some bits of A.I. and the original Metropolis thrown in.

But the mish-mash of plotlines from other films isn't the biggest obstacle to this movie's success. This Metropolis is a feature-length animation film; not only that, but it's Anime, a niche market in an already niche genre. Add to that the fact that, unless the name Disney, Pixar or, increasingly, DreamWorks is in the title, animated features aren't big box office and the film faces an uphill battle in the marketplace.

Still, there are enough fans of feature-length animation in general, and Anime in particular, to give Metropolis a chance for some success in its limited release, currently scheduled for November 9th, although the fact that the official site is no longer active doesn't give one hope for much box-office success. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Metropolis
Main Cast Yuka Imoto, Kei Kobayashi, Kouki Okada, Jamieson Price
Supporting Cast Robert Axelrod, Toshio Furukawa, Tarô Ishida, William Knight, Judy Kuhn
Director Rintaro
Screenwriter Katsuhiro Ôtomo, Marc Handler
Distributor Destination Films
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 107 minutes
Screen Count 16
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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