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Sin: Special Collector's Edition

ADV Films // Unrated // November 4, 2003
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Don Houston | posted November 30, 2003 | E-mail the Author
Movie: Most of the time, videogames made from anime or television projects really bite in terms of how lousy they are. This is usually because the projects are quickly made in order to cash in on what amounts to a "hit" and we all know that fame is fleeting these days. Every once in awhile, a movie or anime series is based on a game the preceded it, rather than the other way around. Such projects tend to have a better track record in terms of quality although there are no guarantees in that regard either. One such case of anime imitating a videogame would be with Sin: Special Collector's Edition.

The game the movie was based on was a shooter from the late 1990's that still has a lot of play value today. Essentially, it follows the exploits of a man who is a cyborg trying to survive in a hostile future world. The movie is set in 2070, and the lead character, Colonel John Blade, is the commander of a local police force (HARDCORE) in an urban area. Corruption is rampant and one major company, SinTek, seems to rule over the various governmental bodies. John is a man divided by family ties to the mob and his devotion to those he serves. When SinTek uses its resources to develop a means by which to enhance human genetics, killing any and all who stand in its way, John attempts to find a way to stop the company and its CEO, Elexis Sinclair, from destroying the world by way of its mutated monsters.

The movie was a bit short in terms of all that took place and that gave it the feel of a roller coaster ride. I think the concept would've been better as a series where the characters could've developed rather than see so many killed without a moment to spare. It was also a violent ride with lots of blood, guts and gore, not to mention a bit of suggested nudity, which is why ADV Films suggested this as a 15+ show.

In general, I liked the movie and the extras package enough to rate it as Recommended, but I can see why it wasn't the biggest hit on the market when initially released three years ago. The mixture of more traditional, if retro, anime styles and CGI was interesting and I wish ADV had gone the extra mile to make this one a more fleshed out series but it serves as a decent introduction to domestically produced anime. Check out this new Collector's Edition, which mostly combined the CD soundtrack with the movies but also added some neat extras rather than the original release.

Picture: The picture was presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. For the most part, it was crisp and clear, just like the audio, and looked good enough that I wondered why ADV Films doesn't make more of their own projects, relying instead on converting Japanese projects. I'm told it has to do with market realities (such projects are very expensive and take years to recoup their investment while importing stuff is generally far less risky). I didn't see any artifacts or other major problems with the picture and while the anime style itself looked dated, the movie was made several years ago.

Sound: The audio was presented with a choice of a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround English track or a 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo Japanese track with English subtitles. There was also closed captioning for the hearing impaired. The movie was made by the folks at ADV Films, not converted from a Japanese release, so the English track was actually superior here. There was solid directionality and the sound effects very well done. The "dub" track for the Japanese had some decent voice acting but it wasn't as well made.

Extras: There were some solid extras in this set. The best, for most people, would be the full CD for the show. The quality of the music was decent and leaned towards the sinister music heard in the original PC game. The next best extra was the set of interviews lasting 19.5 minutes with creative staff from both the original game as well as ADV Films. It outlined the origins of the game and movie as well as how they varied from one another. There were also a bunch of art portfolios and sketches, the movie trailer, character profiles, and trailers to ADV Films projects. The case was one of those fold out cases that held both discs securely but it took some real bending to get the discs out and that concerned me (if a disc snaps, I may too).

Final Thoughts: This was not the best anime release from ADV Films but I liked it enough to hope they start making more projects like it on their own. I'm sure they can make deals with the people they currently buy anime from to distribute such projects in Japan and joint ventures like that wouldn't be all that risky financially. The movie looked good for its age, sounded great, and had plenty to like. As a special edition, it wasn't bad at all so check it out.

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