directed by Mamoru Oshii
Japan / Poland 2001

 

The unknown gem in the Walter Reade's ambitious sci-fi show, Avalon is a "live-action" feature by anime maestro Mamoru Oshii—acquired by Miramax at the 2001 Cannes but never released in the U.S. The movie, which was shot in Poland, begins with World War II-era tanks rolling across a sepia battlefield. The CGI effects are sensationally evocative—explosions freeze and then separate into two-dimensional layers. The action shifts to Warsaw where casualties similarly stop dead, shatter, and atomize. It's only a virtual-reality war game: A soldier's helmet goes up to reveal a comely young woman. "You're not ready for Class A," she remarks to the player she's just incinerated.

Oshii's 1995 Ghost in the Shell—an anime elaborately set in a noirish total-computer world where cyborg agents interface online or download simulated memories into hapless humans—anticipated both The Matrix and eXistenZ; Avalon further elaborates on their computer game aesthetic. The protagonist, Ash (Malgorzata Foremniak), is a grave, elegant creature who plays the illegal game solo after the implosion of her old championship team—it fell apart after someone called for a "reset." She is, however, spooked when she discovers that an old teammate has gone "unreturned" from the game (and catatonic in a mental hospital) after chasing a mysterious phantom child who is the portal to Avalon's ultimate level, Special A.


Excerpt from J. Hoberman's review at The Village Voice located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: 20 January 2001 - Japan

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Jim Skovrider of Jim's DVD Site for the Enter One, Pavel Borodin for the Kinowelt, Ole Kofoed for the Miramax & Panorama and Vincent BOUCHE for the Universal Screen Caps!

(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Miramax

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal
Region 2 - PAL
Panorama
Region 0 - NTSC

Enter One

Region 3 - NTSC

Kinowelt
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:46:22 1:42:27 (4% PAL speedup) 1:46:12 1:46:32 1:42:03 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.79:1

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.13 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.82:1

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.66 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.80:1
Average Bitrate: 4.96 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.80:1

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.36 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Miramax

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal (Edition Collector)

 

Bitrate:

 

Panorama

 

Bitrate:

 

Enter One (Special Edition)

 

Bitrate:

 

Kinowelt

 

Audio Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 5.1 DUB, French DD 5.1 DUB.

Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1

Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 and DD 2.0.

Polish DTS-ES 6.1 (1536 Kb/sec), Dolby Digital-EX 5.1 (448 Kb/sec), Japanese DUB DD 2.0

Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, German DUB Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles English, English for the Hearing Impared, French, English Closed Captions or none. French (FORCED on polish soundtrack) English, Chinese or none. English, Korean, Japanese or none. (Extras only in Korean). German or none.
Features Release Information:
Studio: Miramax

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.79:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Mamoru Oshii (21:16).
• The special FX of Avalon (57:48).
• Trailers for other Miramax titles.

DVD Release Date: December 14, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• Masterclass - interview with Mamoru Oshii (19:56) (DISC 1)
• Drawings sequences (DISC 1)
• Photos (DISC 1)
• Kenji Kawai interview (12:12) (DISC 1)
• Web link (DISC 1)
• Gate to Avalon - making of (1:12:04) (DISC 2)
• Avalon VFX - making of (57:50) (DISC 2)
• Days to Avalon - making of (1:49:23) (DISC 2)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Mamoru Oshii interview (21:58) (DISC 2)
• Original Soundtrack CD (DISC 3)
• 32-page booklet
• Silk print Image

 

DVD Release Date: November 14, 2002
Digipack

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Panorama

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.80:1

Edition Details:
• Avalon Postcard.
• Trailers for other Panorama titles.

 

DVD Release Date: March, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Enter One

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.80:1

Edition Details:
• Days of Avalon - making of (1:49:28) (DISC 2)
• Avalon VFX Making - making of (57:44) (DISC 2)
• Visual Image Lib - gallery (4:47) (DISC 2)
• 3 Theatrical Trailers (DISC 2)
• 3 TV-spots (DISC 2)

DVD Release Date: 2002
Drawer / Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Kinowelt

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer

 

DVD Release Date: November 19, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 17

 

 

 

 

Comments The Panorama screenshots is in the original size, the others are scaled down. Notice that the French and German releases don't have English subtitles.

I have never seen the movie theatrical, so I can't judge which has the correct colors - is the American to yellow?, is the European to greenish? Well I think the Asian might be the correct. On the other hand the Asian seems a bit more soft than the others.

For the region 1 release Miramax has added 6-7 voiceovers by Ash to the English dub which is not in the original Polish soundtrack, so when viewing the movie with the original sound with subtitles this is shown - quite annoying. It would have been great if Miramax also had included non-dubtitles.

According to Jim the full bitrate DTS-ES on the Korean release is magnificent.

Only Miramax have extras with English subtitles.

 - Ole Kofoed

NOTE: Regarding the DUB-titles,  Chris Musset tells us THIS.

 

 





DVD Menus

(
Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 



(Enter One (Special Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - Bottom)
Subtitle sample

 

 


(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - Bottom)

 

 


(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - Bottom)

 

 


(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - Bottom)

 

 


(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - Bottom)

 

 


(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - Bottom)

 

 


(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal (Edition Collector) - Region 2 - PAL - 2nd vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Enter One - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - Bottom)

 

 


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Report Card:

Image:

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Sound:

Enter One

Extras: Miramax (Universal if you can understand French)
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DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Miramax

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal
Region 2 - PAL
Panorama
Region 0 - NTSC

Enter One

Region 3 - NTSC

Kinowelt
Region 2 - PAL

 




 

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