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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

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What can be said about a remake? Especially when the original was so good?

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood opens with the kind of grand introduction that seems to claim that, well actually, not much needs to be said at all. It does in fact assume you are already well familiar with larger than life characters of Edward and Alphonse Elric, throwing itself straight into the action – a rogue alchemist wrecking the city and gunning for King Bradley’s head. It doesn’t … (read more)

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Claymore (2007)

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Have you ever wondered how reviewing works? When a series has shapeshifting demons (Yoma), a Euro medieval setting and a secret society of warrior women from the Joan of Arc finishing school for badass demon slayers with an armour dress code that suggests a feudal Britney Spears – sight unseen that is a (6). When said series is produced by Madhouse, creators of the original and genre-defining demon-slaying fest Ninja Scroll, you’re looking at least a (7) up to (9). … (read more)

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Fullmetal Alchemist – The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)

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It’s always a tough gig spinning off a movie from a loved TV series. Sure your production values are up and those action sequences suddenly get the necessary frames to make them look really sweet. But there’s a trade-off. Immediately you have lost the episodic slow burn of the series that built to a carefully crafted conclusion. The cast you have developed over 50 odd episodes must be prioritized with some members allowed to wave in a ‘where are they … (read more)

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Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)

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Every now and again, a series comes along so highly anticipated it can’t possibly live up to its own hype, and reviewing it is an exercise in disappointment. Happy to say that in this case, that would be some other review of some other series, and not this one, because this series is fully capable of living up to expectations. In fact, Fullmetal Alchemist is a series fully capable of exceeding them.

Based on a still-running manga by Hiromu Arakawa … (read more)

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Samurai 7 (2004)

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It would be hard to argue that any other film in Japanese film history has had more influence and impact than Akira Kurosawa’s epic 1954 film, Seven Samurai. Even if it could be argued that the director made better films in his half a century career, Seven Samurai stands as a unique and uniquely positioned landmark work, held dear in the heart of an entire country, and highly respected by not a few people outside of it, for reasons … (read more)

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