Sunday, July 18, 2010

[DVD] Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:序) (2007)

One More Time

My journey through the Japanese anime Evangelion is limited to what I've seen in the cinemas, with two films on the rebuild already released, and now am hung high and dry while waiting for the last two installments to be completed. A friend has lent me his VCD series of the original Evangelion episodes, but for some inexplicable reason, I still enjoy the widescreen and surround sound presentation, which is why I decided to get the 1.11 and 2.22 versions to relive the cinematic experience all over again, despite knowing that the original episodes hold an ending of sorts if I were to plough ahead with it. The rebuild version though will head in a vastly different direction with the latter 2 films as compared to the original series, so what's canon once, can possibly be thrown out the window.

There are some 2 minutes of extra runtime in the 1.11 version compared to the 1.0 release in the theatres, but frankly I can't spot where these 2 minutes went, because they seem to be spread out as filler scenes rather than to add in a chunk wholesale that could have altered something to make you sit up and take notice. Having watched this in Japanese in the cinemas, I opted to go with the English dubbed version with the subtitles turned on, and I thought the dubbed version was competently done, with the voice actors really getting into character, rather than to just go through the motion and read the lines just for the sake of (like some local version of another Japanese movie).

You can read my review of Evangelion here since it's essentially the same story save for those 2 inconsequential minutes.

The Code 1 2-disc Special Edition by Funimation Entertainment has the main feature contained in the first disc, while the second contains all the extras. In Disc One (in Orange), it autoplays with the Trailer for Soul Eater Part 2, before presenting the film in a gorgeous anamorphic widescreen format taken from a digital source (rather than a transfer from film). Audio is available in 6.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX, with either the original Japanese track, or the dubbed English one. Scene selection is available over 33 chapters, and subtitles are available in English.

Disc Two (in Green) autoplays the Trailer for Gunslinger Girl before the main menu comes up. This is the Special Features disc, and contains details on the Rebuild of Evangelion 1.01 (yes, you read that right).
There are two versions here, each running 15:51 and presented in letterbox format, with the same content containing plenty of making-of equivalent type of clips showing the various stages of inspiration and rendering of scenes from the film. Think of it as a making-of documentary, without the verbal explanation. The different versions exist so that you can choose to watch this against the Shiro Sagisu Version soundtrack, or against the Joseph-Maurice Ravel Version with his classical Bolero. Take note though that the menu has them mixed up!!

Angel of Doom Promotional Music Video (2:20 in anamorphic widescreen) is self explanatory, with music and scenes lifted from the film, and News Flashes (0:55) contain 2 television spots equivalent to promote the film, using nothing but white on black text, There are no less than 7 Movie Previews meant as trailers for the film, some utilizing scenes not constraint to just the first movie. Presented in anamorphic widescreen format with songs from the original series, they are Preview 1 Color-Corrected Version (1:36), Fly Me To The Moon Version 1 (1:41), Fly Me To The Moon Version 1A (1:41), Fly Me To The Moon Version 1B (1:41), Beautiful World Version 2 (1:36), Beautiful World Version 2A (1:36), Beautiful World Version 2B (1:36).

Rounding up the extras is the Trailers section for the following titles - D.Gray-Man (0:31), Nabari No Ou (1:00), Kenichi (1:30), Dragon Ball Z Kai (0:16), Darker Than Black (1:01), Tower of Druaga (1:01), and Aquarion (1:01).

A 20 page booklet is also included and this is a bonus for new fans especially with its character bios from pilots to supporting characters to the villainous angels, and includes a glossary of keywords, abbreviations and acronyms created and used in the series. For seasoned fans, it contains plenty of informative process to explain what was done on the technical aspects to bring this to the big screen, and the process to do just that.

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