Psycho-Pass: The Movie (Gekijouban Psycho-Pass) (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 3-Aug-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Audio Commentary-US Voice Cast and Crew
Trailer-Film trailers x 3
Trailer-x 8 for other Funimation anime
Collector Card-x 4 Character cards
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 113:25
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Katsuyuki Motohiro
Naoyoshi Shiotani
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Kana Hanazawa
Kate Oxley
Tomokazu Seki
Robert McCollum
Hiroshi Kamiya
Jason Liebrecht
Katsuhiko Sasaki
Daniel Penz
Kenji Nomura
Josh Grelle
Shizuka Itoh
Lindsay Seidel
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Yuugo Kanno


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Japan’s Sibyl system, a crime prevention computer programme using surveillance and biological monitoring to assess an individual’s inclination to commit a crime based on their Crime Coefficient, commonly called the “Psycho-Pass”, has been exported to turbulent, war torn SEAUn (South East Asia Union) where former warlord now Dictator Chuan Hong (voiced by Katsuhiko Sasaki / Daniel Penz) has used it to create a haven of peace and security on an island called Shamballa Float in part of the area he controls. Elsewhere in the region however his soldiers are regularly attacked by guerrillas who do not accept his control.

     In Japan Public Safety Bureau Inspector Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa / Kate Oxley) and her team of Enforcers including ex-inspector Ginoza (Kenji Nomura / Josh Grelle) and Yayoi Kunizuka ( Shizuka Itoh / Lindsay Seidel) intercept a group of terrorists from SEAUn who have managed to avoid the security systems. They kill or capture the terrorists; in interrogation their memories reveal that Shinya Kogami (Tomokazu Seki / Robert McCollum), a former member of their team who disappeared three years ago, is helping the SEAUn guerrillas and may have sent them to attack Sibyl in Japan. Desperate to find him, Akane travels to Shamballa Float where she is placed under the protection of Colonel Nicholas Wong (Hiroshi Kamiya / Jason Liebrecht), the leader of the Union military forces fighting the guerrillas. In Shamballa Float Akane discovers it is indeed a peaceful place in contrast to the chaos outside, but that people termed latent criminals by Sibyl, and wearing collars, do all the menial tasks. Akane then joins Wong to attack guerrillas led by Kogami; during the fighting she slips away and is able to find Kogami and when the guerrillas retreat towards Siem Reap she goes along with them.

     There Akane learns that Kogami did not send the terrorists to attack Japan. Yet somebody with inside knowledge of the security systems did. Meanwhile Wong hires a group of mercenaries, including Rutaganda (Unshou Ishizuka / Major Attaway) to attack the guerrillas’ base; they capture Kogami but Akane escapes and makes her way back to Shamballa Float. By now she is convinced that the Sibyl system is being misused and turns to female analyst Shion Karanomori (Miyuki Sawashiro / Lydia Mackay) back in Japan for help. But Akane has walked into political machinations at levels way over her head which puts her life, and those of her friends, very much at risk.

     The original anime series Psycho-Pass was so successful that it spawned a video game, a second series and this movie. As the second series and the movie were being made at the same time Series 1 writer Gen Urobuchi worked on the movie and not Series 2. A consequence is that there are more connections between the movie and Series 1, such as references to the protagonist of that series Shogo Makishima, than to Series 2 although the new Inspector introduced in that series as an opponent to Akane, Mika Shimotsuki (Ayane Sakura / Cherami Leigh), appears in the movie.

     Psycho-Pass’s vision of a dystopian computer controlled future draws on influences as varied as Minority Report, Blade Runner, Brazil, Gattica, Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor. The movie retains many of the themes raised in the series. There is free will verses a world controlled by AI, for, as one character remarks, if Sibyl does not register an act as wrong (even murder), it is not illegal, and it adds considerations of colonialism, repression, exploitation, dictatorship, democracy, slavery and human dignity, with “lesser” individuals forced to wear a tracking collar. This is complex writing even before the movie throws in references to philosopher and revolutionary Frantz Fanon and writer Marcel Proust; however the movie does not dwell too long on such things before providing another sequence of loud, explosive and gory action involving transformer like tracked fighting machines, helicopters, jets, bazookas, heat seeking missiles and a wide range of automatic weapons.

     Psycho-Pass: The Movie does not really add any new thoughts about how to undermine the Sibyl system; indeed in the new world of SEAUn the special weapons, the Dominators, do not work until the climax. However, the movie does develop further the interrelations between Akane, Kogami and, to a lesser extent but no less important, Ginoza, all excellent, complex characters. The contradictions underpinning the psycho-pass world about human self-determination equalling chaos as opposed to giving up your free will to achieve security under a fascist system are still in the movie but essentially it is more an exercise in political machinations, where no one can be trusted and where Akane becomes an unwitting pawn, juxtaposed with full on action sequences. And there is nothing wrong with that!

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Psycho-Pass: The Movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The print looks stunning with sharp lines and detailed backgrounds. The colours change depending on where we are. The dark dystopian streets or the attack on the guerrillas in a ruined city in the rain are gritty, dark and dull although many scenes have an exaggerated florescent red or yellow overlay. Other scenes, such as the guerrilla jungle hideout, feature deep and vibrant blues and greens while the explosions and weaponry fire are bright yellow and red. Blacks are fabulous and shadow detail very good.

     I did not notice any marks or artefacts.

     It is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate.

     The English subtitles are in American English in a clear white font. The subtitles are burnt in when the Japanese dub is selected so cannot be removed for Japanese speakers. There are also extensive sections of heavily accented English dialogue when the subtitles remain on. I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of Japanese or English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The audio cannot be changed on the go with the remote; you must use the menu.

     I prefer to listen to the Japanese audio in anime, although here there are other considerations. The English voice acting is a standard Funimation effort which is acceptable but lacks the intensity of the Japanese. On the other hand, there are extensive sections of heavily accented English dialogue which sounds as if the Japanese voice actor was delivering the dialogue by rote. The surrounds and rears featured music, effects such as rain, explosions, missiles, shots and engines but to my ears was not as enveloping as it could have been. The sub-woofer supported the explosions, engines and music.

     The score by Yuugo Kanno is effective in aiding the visuals.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Start-up Ad (1:01)

     On start-up is an advertisement for the Funimation Now streaming service.

US Staff & Cast Commentary

     This is an audio commentary in two sections. During the first 68 minutes ADR director and voice of Hinakawa Zach Bolton and US voice cast members Rob McCollum, Kate Oxley and Jason Liebrecht (the voices of Kogami, Akane and Nicholas Wong) sit together and watch the film. For about 30 minutes or so this is a decent commentary by Funimation standards, as they actually talk about their characters and show, mainly because Liebrecht, as a new character to the film, asks questions about how the Sibyl system works. They also talk about the weaponry, the colour scheme and the technology within the show. After that they rather run out of steam; there are some comments about other shows they have done but they laugh and chat rather more about nothing in particular. In the second section Bolton is joined by Sound Mix Engineers Neal Malley and Nathanael Harrison. Because this was a movie which received a theatrical release, Funimation took the sound mix to an outside facility. The engineers speak about the differences between mixing a TV episode and expanding and adapting the sounds and dialogue to a theatre environment as well as differences between the Japanese and English mix. Insightful and interesting.

Film Trailers

Character Cards

     Four postcard size character cards.

Trailers

     Trailers for

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This local Blu-ray of Psycho-Pass: The Movie is the same as the Region A US version, including the FBI warning, although that release includes a DVD. The Region B Collector’s Edition includes a 32 page booklet.

Summary

     Psycho-Pass: The Movie does not advance the psycho-pass universe much but does still touch on some complex issues while providing plenty of explosive action sequences, political skulduggery, impressive visuals and good interaction between Akane, Kogami and, to a lesser extent yet no less important, Ginoza. I have read that some fans were disappointed with Series 2 of the anime which had a different writer, a different focus and no Kogami. With Gen Urobuchi being involved in the movie, fans of the series should find plenty in the movie that is of interest and the scene following the end credits promises more to come.

     The video is beautiful, the audio good. We get the same extras that are available in the US.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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