Heavy Metal 2000

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Details At A Glance

Category Animation Menu Animation and Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer - ****
Theatrical Trailer - 1.33:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (1:30)
Featurette - Julie Strain "Super Goddess"
Featurette - Behind The Scenes
Storyboard Comparisons (5)
Featurette - Animation Tests
Gallery - Photo
Year Released 1999
Running Time 84:25 minutes
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (60:48)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Michel Lemire
Michael Coldewey
Cine Groupe
Columbia Tristar
Starring Julie Strain Eastman
Michael Ironside
Billy Idol 
Case Transparent Soft Brackley
RPI $36.95 Music Frederic Talgorn

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    As we ponder the move into the new millennium, the fact that the bosses at Heavy Metal magazine decided to embark upon another film is perhaps one of the great imponderables of the old millennium. It is not so much that they did a new film based upon the magazine's stock-in-trade but rather that they chose to do something that really is utterly clichéd and not at all in the same ground-breaking manner as the original film. One can only presume that Heavy Metal magazine has become a lot less kick-ass over the years.

    In a fairly banal story that has in a broad sense been the basic plot of B-grade science fiction for many a year, the story begins many years ago with a race called the Arrications. They discovered the essence of immortality and used the power as a means of subjugating the galaxy. Eventually the subjugated races of the galaxy managed to overthrow the Arrications and, determined not to allow immortal beings to subjugate them again, interred the essence in a chamber that could only be opened by a special key which was promptly tossed into the vastness of space where in theory it should be lost forever. Unfortunately, the essence of immortality also managed to seep into the ground on a planet called Eden and over the years this essence became a part of the DNA of the inhabitants of Eden. Enter into the scene one miner known as Tyler (Michael Ironside) who during a drilling shift on some far-flung planetoid in the galaxy discovers the key to the chamber. This sets into motion a sequence of events that will lead to the ultimate battle between good and evil.

    Having the key is but step one towards immortality. Tyler also needs the essence and so launches an attack upon Eden that devastates the planet and captures a bunch of inhabitants from whom he intends to distil the essence. One of the captured is Kerrie, little sister of Julie (Julie Strain Eastman). Now Julie gets a tad pissed about the destruction of her planet, the murder of her father and the kidnapping of her little sister. And so the buxom amazon sets off in hot pursuit of Tyler and his associates with the express intent of killing the bastard. Naturally this proves a slightly difficult task for obvious reasons. But Julie is just a little more, but not much more, than a couple of big mammaries, and tracks him down for the ultimate battle - whilst also rescuing her little sister. Along the way she comes into contact with a mystic by the name of Odin (Billy Idol) who turns out not to be what he proclaims to be, and provides the twist in the story as we head to that ultimate battle.

   About as predictable as a two bob watch, about the only thing that makes this work is the fact that the animation is damn good and Michael Ironside. His vocalization is worth the purchase price alone. As for the rest? Average or a little bit better than average, with the rather clichéd story thankfully not being extended beyond its welcome. It just about sustains its length, but some of the subsidiary dialogue is pretty woeful.

   Not exactly a rip-roaring success in my view as a film, the animation elevates this to above average and makes it something that is at least worthwhile watching.

Transfer Quality


    This is proclaimed by the cover blurb as an "eye-popping blend of traditional and CG animation". I am inclined to agree, although the CG explosions look a little out of place in the overall feel of the film. Certainly Columbia Tristar have given the film a transfer of the highest quality.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    There is nothing at all wrong with the transfer here. It is brilliantly sharp throughout with oodles of detail on offer. This is basically a flawless presentation of animation that demonstrates how good animation can look on DVD...and they said animation was not a good medium for DVD! There is no grain to be seen anywhere in the transfer and low level noise was also absent from the transfer. The clarity was very good throughout.

    Animation usually means bright, vibrant colours but in this instance there is not much in the way of bright, vibrant colours on offer here. That is not to say this is a dull transfer, but it certainly is true to say that the general tone of the colours is a tad muted. Overall, I felt the colours suited the film pretty well and there is certainly nothing wrong with the technical presentation - there is certainly no evidence of oversaturation nor colour bleed here. You could perhaps argue that a more vibrant palette would have conveyed some scenes a lot better, and certainly would have reduced the glaringly different colours of the CG animation, but then again you could also admit that it could have looked a lot worse.

    There did not appear to be any MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Apart from exceedingly minor shimmer on a couple of occasions, there did not appear to be any film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. There did not appear to be any significant film artefacts in the transfer.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming at 60:48. This comes during one of the number of black scene changes that occur throughout the film, probably to aid advertisement insertion on television broadcasts, and is completely unnoticeable and not disruptive to the flow of the film.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are four soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I stuck with the default English soundtrack in this instance.

    The dialogue was very clear, and very easy to understand. The usual animation sync issues exist here, but seemingly less than usual which would support the information in the featurette that the dialogue was re-recorded after the animation was completed in order to match the dialogue more closely to the animation.

    The original music score comes from Frederic Talgorn and is a fairly clichéd type of effort. It is largely overshadowed by the fairly clichéd heavy metal music provided by the likes of Pantera and a bunch of similarly talentless bunch of bands. No doubt heavy metal freaks will love this soundtrack and the neighbours will be truly rocked to their foundations when the DVD is cranked up to the max.

    I might have loads of complaints about the music style and quality but the soundtrack itself? None at all about the soundtrack. Words like awesome, dynamic, and ear-splitting spring to mind readily here. Some serious bass channel activity gets this soundtrack rocking big time and there is loads of action out of the surround channels, both front and rear. The overall effect is really terrific and if this gets cranked up a little too high, physical damage to property and health will probably result! Despite the great dynamics of the soundtrack, it is still a really quite naturally-balanced effort that has just the right sort of front soundscape to make the dialogue of Michael Ironside in particular come across in just the right sort of menacing way. Brilliant stuff indeed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Well at least they did not stick the Collector's Edition banner on this effort, as this is a decidedly lacklustre package in the main. It seems the problem is once again not quantity but rather quality.


    Some reasonably extensive animation from the film itself leads into a rather staid, at least in comparison, menu with not much more than some audio enhancement.

Dolby Digital Trailer - ****

    No ******* comment.

Theatrical Trailer (1:30)

    Since the film is a direct-to-video effort, which according to the slick cover is only available on DVD, the use of the term theatrical trailer is obviously quite misleading. Presented in a Full Frame format with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, it is not 16x9 enhanced. Not an especially memorable promo trailer, although the technical quality is quite decent.

Featurette - Julie Strain "Super Goddess" (13:18)

    So you might well ask quite what a featurette about C-grade actress Julie Strain is doing on this DVD package? Well first up, do you even know who the heck she is? Come on, she has starred in over 100 films, and you have never heard of her? Me neither. And judging by what is shown in this featurette, I am very glad I have missed her films - low budget B-grade rubbish would be overstating the situation somewhat. Anyhoo, she is (a) wife of Heavy Metal magazine editor Kevin Eastman, (b) wife of Heavy Metal 2000 novel co-writer Kevin Eastman, and (c) the body inspiration and dialogue talent for the lead character in Heavy Metal 2000, namely Julie (a.k.a. FAKK2). Little more than a promotional video for the lady herself, this is not exactly a worthwhile inclusion. Presented in a Full Frame format, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Mainly comprising interview material with the lady, her husband and her protégé.

Featurette - Behind The Scenes (3:44)

    Hardly essential stuff when it runs less than four minutes, yet it could (and should) have been so much better. Mainly video footage of Julie Strain, Michael Ironside and Billy Idol doing the dialogue for the film. That's it! Another presentation in a Full Frame format that is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Ho hum.

Storyboard Comparisons (5)

    Called animatics in the DVD package, this comprises five scenes from the film presented in storyboard format with a (very) small picture in picture presentation of the final sequence from the film for comparison. Probably would have been a lot better had the picture in picture stuff been a little larger so that it could be seen more easily. All five sequences are presented in a Full Frame format, are not 16x9 enhanced and come with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, and comprise the following: These are actually quite shimmery and jittery at times, as well as being a little blurry. Overall, they add little to the understanding of the making of the film, and really are there just to fill up space in my view.

Featurette - Animation Tests (1:13)

    This shows some early animation tests for the film, with commentary by Kevin Eastman. At such a short length, it could hardly be expected to expand the (lack of) in-depth analysis of the making of the film. In common with the other extras, it is presented in a Full Frame format, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Gallery - Photos

    It starts with a few fan style photos of Mrs Kevin Eastman, before presenting a whole bunch of artwork stills taken from the film. The total package runs to 129 photographs, of which a significant majority are hardly worthwhile bothering with. A pity that annotations could not be given to the stills so that at least the viewer had a fighting chance of knowing what they are looking at. Another unessential inclusion, basically filling up space.

Isolated Music Score

R4 vs R1

    It would appear that the only difference between the Region 1 and Region 4 releases, except for audio soundtrack and subtitle choices, is that the Region 1 release has several bonus trailers for such diverse films as Dogma, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Black And White and Time Code. Judging by the reviews checked out, the Region 1 picture may suffer from a slightly grainier picture than the Region 4. Whilst this may of course just be an inherent problem from the NTSC format, it would be enough to suggest that unless you really need some more trailers for other films, the Region 4 release would be the way to go.


    Heavy Metal 2000 is a film that perhaps lacks a bit of direction as to where it is aimed, but is a decent film without being especially memorable. The animation though is excellent and the technical aspects of the transfers are excellent. The extras package follows a depressing trend recently of quantity but not quality and really does not add much at all to the understanding or appreciation of the film. If you have an objection to animated graphic violence or nudity (and sexual references), then perhaps you best get The Little Mermaid instead. Another rubbishy faux Amaray case rounds out the package.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
15th January 2001

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL