Planzet (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus takes on yet another last ditch attempt to save earth from boring aliens
2047. An alien lifeform codenamed FOS invades Earth and smashes through the world's major cities in one wave. Now in 2053, a plan is made for a last counterattack. Now Akeshima Taishi, who lost his father to the FOS when they first invaded, may finally get his revenge.
Planzet has some nice, post apocolyptic imagary. It's dark in tone, bleak in mood and its finale delivers giant robot suits shooting aliens but sadly everything is really quite flat. The entire, very short 50 minute feature felt like I was watching a cutaway sequence to a game I'm not able to play. Scenes felt like moments between gaming levels, like we're missing the fun parts or something. It's all instructions, making plans and discussing the plot but with a very small cast of characters, a mission that feels way beyond their capabilities and the dramatic nature of this last ditch effort to save humanity never quite sold, it's hard to care about the situation.
Sure, the sequences with the gun totting mechasuits ripping up the streets as they battle flying saucers is something to get sort of excited about but it's too late in the games to really care and the CG animation, isn't quite slick enough to impress. It also didn't help that I didn't care a thing about this band of cliché anime characters or their dilemmas.
Initially its diffucult to tell how good the video presentation is here given the purposely placed overlayer of grain and artefeacts to age the image. It certainly gives the image a rather unique look in the world of computer generated animation but given the softness of the transfer its hard for Planzet to shine.
After the set up, we jump forward a few years and even though the grain is gone (sort of) the image doesn't improve all that much. It's very dark, very murky and nothing ever pops off of the screen. Colours are muted, lighting is weak and the gaming similarities of Planzet hold it back from ever feeling like a proper film.
Dialogue is the clearest and the strongest element of the track but the odd sound effect kicking in can impress. The score sits behind everything and never really does much but add a bit of mood. There's some strong bass in the more rousing moments and there's a nice balance between front and rear speakers throughout but for the most part, everything exciting is happening in the front speakers.
The action scenes in the second half of the film elevates everything for a while. Sonic sounds in battles between mechasuits and alien vessels, exposions, missles, gunfire, its all kicking off but it never tears into the speakers all that much and only has glimmers of 'WOW'.
Nothing to see here. The alien invasion wiped them out.
Planzet was flat, dull to look at and too short for the price point it's currently available at. The transfer is below par, the audio pretty basic and there's no extras. It's a hard one to recommend really but it's not a total write off, with its small moments of great fun mecha action.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 27th August 2012
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese, Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jun Awazu
Cast: Kaori Ishihara, Mamoru Miyano, Junko Takeuchi
Genre: Animation and Sci-Fi
Length: 51 minutes
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