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62nd Venice Festival,

0) The Hero prepares to come back to the Venice battlefield!

1) Day One: Setting camp, sharpening swords, gathering wits - The Battle is nigh

2) Day Two: The Longest Day

3) Entering Heaven' s Door - Final Fantasy VII Advent Children COMPLETED AND PERFECTIONED

4) Tetsuya Nomura' s AUTOGRAPHS AND PICTURES session

5) Advent Children Impressions and Review

Preface of the Epical Tale

In preparation for the upcoming struggle in order to witness with their own eyes the first screening of the completed movie, the Final Fantasy Dimension Team ready themselves for the event, and the Hero takes out from his locker the infamous Final Fantasy Dimension T-Shirt that had been used last year (don' t worry, he washed it) ! Will he along his fellow comrades succeed in entering the gates of the greatly anticipated screening? Let' s all hope so ( otherwise you won' t get the FULL REPORT on September 1st, SPOILERS AVALANCHE GUARANTEED!!! ) !

The Hero with the Princess of all T-shirts, the official FFDimension outfit! :-)

Beyond Heaven' s Door

Day One: Setting camp, sharpening swords, gathering wits - the Battle is nigh

The mission began on August 30th at 5:30 a.m. . After just one hour of sleep, I slowly woke up, aware that a great task was ahead of me, and I couldn' t keep on staying in my bed any longer. Adter all, Mission to Venice: REDUX was just about to start, and many difficulties were awaiting us during the long and harsh road that would lead us to Venice. The main characters were a couple of boys ready to put their lives at stake in order to win the final battle of all time, i.e. watching the World Premiere screening of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. These characters were me and Cristian, a relatively freshman for the FFDImension team, but not less willing to fight because of this.

After a brief preparation (the main stuff had already been arranged the day before) , we rushed to the train station just in time to grab a ride onto our train, that was waiting for us with open hands. A little plan for the subsequent days was born and set during the 4:30h trip, but most of the traveling time was spent by us trying to sleep a bit, so that we could recharge our batteries and get ready for the tiring days which were about to approach.
Once in Venice, the first thing that struck us was the heat, the almost unbearable heat and humidity permeating the air of the lagoon. But we did not faint, for the first step of the mission had to be accomplished despite everything else: getting two tickets for the sensational screening that would have taken place the next day.
By quickly checking the Venice map we had brought with us, we soon found out which ticket office of La Biennale Cinema was the nearest one to visit. Regarding this matter, there had been no comforting news from the La Biennale' s employees that we had contacted the previos days: they said we should have hurried to grab the tickets a day before the screening, otherwise we' d have risked not to find them at all.
Fearing this ridiculous failure scenario, we began to head downtown to Campo San Polo, the location of the fore-mentioned ticket office, with all our luggage with us, and under the dramatic climate which was getting hotter and hotter by the minute.
Drenched in sweat and after getting lost more than a couple of times in the Venice labyrinth of Calli and alleys, our first destination appeared over the horizon: the sign reading: "La Biennale" was finally in sight, and with all our might we pushed to the office asking for the priceless tickets. We were fortunate enough: thanks to our early arrival (it was 11:30 a.m. when we boarded the Venice station) tickets for the screening were still available, and the seats were unexpectedly numbered, so that we shouldn' t have worried about losing our place the next day dyring the supposedly long line to the cinema hall... or so they said.
Having accomplished the first, most important part of our mission, we relaxed a bit trying to get tot he campus where we had booked our room for the night.

Cris enjoying fresh water to wash away tiredness and heat

During our way to the campus, we happened to get a glimpse of some of the beatiful sights of the marictim city, like Piazza San Marco with splendid cathedral and its endless frock of pigeons assaulting the daring tourists.

Daniele and Cris devastated after the arrival and the ticket rush, relaxing in Piazza San Marco

The remaining of the afternoon isn' t worth mentioning, and then evening was upon us and a nice surprise awaited us: Renata and Vittoria, the former being Cris' s aunt, who were already in Venice for the grand festival, rang us up and invited us to dine with them... cool! With on our site two beautiful women like them, the evening couldn' t be better spent: they offered us a nice dinner at one of the restaurants in Via Garibaldi, and together we then walked along the Venice sea-shore and enjoyed taking some photos under the lamp-light of the countless bridges which were linking one side of the city to the other. We also returned to Piazza San Marco to taste its captivating charm in the late-night hours, while laughing and joking all together!

Some photos of us with the ladies

At 1:00 a.m., August 31st, we left them at the boat station, with the promise we would see each other again the next morning at their place in La Giudecca, and then we headed back to the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice campus to spend the night and revel in the magnificent evening we had just had with such female companions by our side!

R & V leaving


Day Two: The Longest Day

The greatest variety of dreams occurred to me during the night before the main event, some full of hypothetical forecasts of the upcoming screening (a couple of which unexpectedly came true!), some others totally unrelated to AC.Long story short, we woke up in the early morning, steading ourselves for the Longest Day.

Cris still laying in bed... he' ll surely get angry when he sees this photo online! :-)

Emotions were beginning to flow within us, but we managed to seclude those feelings a little while longer, so that we could face the day without consuming our innter strength.

Cris and me relaxing in the garden near our campus

Renata and Vittoria asked us to meet them for breakfast, but unfortunately the boat we jumped in took us for a touristic ride of Venice, instead of carrying us directly to Giudecca and to the ladies' place.

Cris and I on the touristic boat

By the way, the wonderful landscapes and panorama we saw from the boat' s window eased our spirit and refreshed our body.

Panoramas from the boat

At last, after the touristic trip ended, we reached Giudecca and were welcomed by Renata and Vittoria and introduced into their own rented house (which was spectacular!)

Inside the rented little mansion!

Then a sudden idea cam to the minds of the four of us: going to the Lido for lunch, to check out how things were going there before the beginning of the festival, and perform an inspection of the places what would have supposedly cradled us later that evening.

Venice' s characteristic Gondole parked near the shore

So, we traveled to Lido and reached the Casiṇ Palace, where last year we had attended the 25-minutes Special Trailer of AC. we were just taking a look around here and there, at those stands as well as at the festival halls, while slightly turning on my right, look what I saw? A small group of Japanese people, and amongst them my eagle-eye easily recognised Tetsuya Nomura! He had probably already had lunch and was going into Sala Perla for reasons we will never know. There' s no need to mention that we promptly asked him for some photos with us! YEAH!!!

Tetsuya Nomura jacketless at lunch time, with the FFDimension Team!!!

The day had begun in the happiest of ways, and that was a really good augury for the remaining of it.
Nothing relevant happened later on that afternoon, aside our rising pathos and anticipation which grew bigger and bigger as the clock ticked. Finally, the time had come for me to wear the FFDimension T-shirt again and prepare to come back to Lido once again, stronger than ever.

The Heroes ready to fight!

The evening crept in, and with it the magnificent opening ceremony of the Festival, and the VIPs entrances in the cinema halls.

The 62 Lions of the Venice Festival, at the Opening Ceremony

The first VIPs who entered were the cast of Seven Swords, the opening movie of the festival which we intended to watch before Advent Children.

Cris watching the cast of Seven Swords, mesmerized by the actresses' beauty

We then met some acquaintances of Cristian' s, dined with them and then rushed to the Premiere of Seven Swords, in the Area Alice. But although such a movie was well done and pretty interesting, my full attention was somewhere else, and that' s to say to the 00:47 screening of Advent Children for which we had bought the tickets for the day before.

The entrance of Sala Grande with the Festival sign upon it

A small trouble concerning the luggage depot and the obnoxious security controls at the halls slightly pissed us off, but in the end everything went fine and the fated hour stroke with all its might and forcefulness. The sky went black, and the Lions of the Festival were soon lighted by a blue and red glare in the nocturnal atmosphere.

The Lions by night

Few moments before the screening, an unexpected encounter lighted up the Venice night: Tommaso (along with a friend of his) , a boy that was present last year at the 25-min Trailer and whose back you may see in one of the photos for my 2004 report, approached me and introduced himself to us. He had already contacted me via e-mail, and now he asked for a favour: providing him with an autograph of Mr. Nomura that night! The challenge was swiftly accepted, for I had already planned another assault to the director after the end of the screening... but we' ll talk about it later! For now, let' s focus on the primal event: the World Premiere of FFVII Advent Children!
When we entered Sala Grande, an unexpected welcoming screen greeted us: the live feed of the external cams, that were filming Nomura' s arrival, along with the other staff members and the voice actors of Cloud, Tifa and Kadaj.

Nomura (circled in blue) and the others claiming their places in Sala Grande

After all the staff had gathered in the Sala Grande and seated in the specially reserved seats behind and higher than all the audience seats, the movie could finally begin. Well, movie? No. Advent Children was not a movie. Advent Children was... Heaven' s Door.

Here below follows a transcript of the movie, completely derived from my own memories of the screening. So please forgive me in advance if some scenes are postponed, if some details are missing, or if the characters' lines are not exactly the ones spoken by them ( after all, I mainly read the Italian subtitles of the movie, so I had to re-translate them in English for this report ) . And now... let the door open.


Entering Heaven' s Door - Final Fantasy VII Advent Children COMPLETED AND PERFECTIONED

A distant noise, the galloping of hoofs that grows nearer and nearer. A desert plain, a red and ancient beast followed by his trail of children are running towards a peek. Then the creature jumps higher and higher, climbing the peak in no time followed by his little kittens. At the top of the mountain, the ruins of an old human city covered with grass stand as the dominant landscape. Seaguls take fly while the beast, Nanaki, emits a powerful roar from his mouth that means: " The Planet is alive just like me and my children! "

Then a text line appears on a black screen:


The Northern Cave. An elicopter with the Turks on board flies over it, sent by the Shin-Ra to retrieve a precious " object " that was supposedly left there (Jenova' s head) . We see the elicopter descend, and then we just hear the voices of the Turks in alarm, just like they found something unexpected and dangerous down there.

" What the... "

" Be careful, it' s... "

Shots from a machine gun are heard, then other voices, among them Elena' s:

" Senpai, watch out... aaahhh "

And then silence.

Marlene, with her candid voice, speaks of the events that occurred two years before today, events that involved the Planet and all life on it, while a Gregorian Chant (the same on the official Japanese website) plays in the background.

" Lifestream. It flows all around the Planet, and it' s the origin of all life forms. The origin of everything. The Shin-Ra company exploited the Lifestream to turn it into an energy source, improving our lives.

But there were people who believed that by draining the Lifestream from the Planet, the Planet would wither and die. Those at Shin-Ra tried to silence those voices of protests that opposed them. And therefore, SOLDIERs were created by infusing the cells of the Calamity from the Skies, that had fallen into the Planet many years before.

And among them, the greatest of all was Sephiroth. However, he soon discovered his true, cursed origin. And because of that, he began to hate Shin-Ra... then he came to hate everything... Shin-Ra as well as those fighting for the Planet.

Sephiroth, drenched in hatred, began his scheme to destroy everything... And those who were struggling for the salvation of the Planet confronted him... Everyone was entangled in a bloody war.

It was then that the person we all cared most for perished, becoming one with the Lifestream.

Then the Planet, in order to stop its enemies, used the Lifestream and created WEAPON with it. The Lifestream gushed out and enveloped the Planet, and every feeling was enveloped the same way... hate... sadness... sorrow... ambition...

They said to me that sadness was the price for the Planet to be saved.

But it seems the Planet is way angrier at us than we ever thought."

Shots of a city full of people are shown, but behind the apparently normal daily routine, behind the vehicular traffic and people' s various occupations, there is another side of the coin: children sitting in the alleys, crying, suffering, for a mysterious illness that has spread through the Planet: Geostigma.

Marlene is at Tifa' s place, beside Denzel' s bed, praying to Planet itself:

" Please, do not take him away from me! "

Denzel, after asking Marlene if his illness had made him look so bad, wonders:

" Cloud... where is he? "

Simultaneously, we see Tifa washing dishes downstairs in the bar. A phone rings, and before picking it up says almost to herself:

" He doesn' t live here anymore... "

Beside the phone, we can see a photo featuring her along with Cloud, Marlene and Denzel. Tifa, tired, answers the phone:

" Strife Delivery Service. The best choice for... Oh... Yeah, of course I remember you..."

It' s Reno, and he asks her of Cloud. She immediately contacts him for this matter, leaving a message to his mobile phone. He does not answer anymore these days, he just listens to the message left by the people who try to contact him. And there he is, Cloud Strife, sitting on his Fenrir motorcycle in the desert plains near Midgar, listening to Tifa' s recorded voice and then turning on the engine and riding away. But before doing that, a thrill flows through his arm, images of Sephiroth in the flames and other flashy shots are seen, and suddendly, the worst is unmistakably clear: Geostigma has gotten him too.

A wolf appears near the peak where Zack had died, and where his sword lies planted by Cloud as a tombstone for his lost friend. But there are some who violate that sacred place, coming there with her motorcycles and abruptly pushing the sword away by going against it with them. Three guys in black leather and with silver hair. The leader of them, spotting Cloud downwards riding with his motorcycle, says:

" Look, it' s Big Brother."

Another asks: " Do you think Mother is there? "

The leader replies: " I believe he has hidden her from us. "

Loz begins to cry. " Do not cry, Loz. " says Yazoo (or Kadaj? Can' t remember) .

Then a battle erupts on the desert plains, against two of the three silver-haired men riding motorcycles. Loz asks Cloud: " Where is Mother? ", and Yazoo insists: " Where did you hide her, Brother??? "

Loz and Yazoo summon strange shadows which turn into beast-like creatures (The Shadow Creepers) , and attack Cloud altogether. The first of the extraordinary fighting scenes of the movie begins, and when Cloud seems to be about to lose to them, weakened by the Geostigma that is affecting his body and mind, Kadaj, who had remained on the peak, makes a signal to the others while talking with the mobile phone to someone, ordering them to stop chasing Cloud and go back. Kadaj says to his interlocutor:

" I' m tired of your babblings, punch the President on, will ya? "

The Shadow Creepers disappear and Loz and Yazoo leave, while Kadaj grins to Cloud in the distance and disappears too. Cloud brakes, and remains for a few second there wondering who those people were and what did they want from him... and also thinking of his own weakness.

And then Cloud finally arrives at the Healing Lodge, and is greeted by Reno who tries to fight him, but he is immediately thrown away out of the door, while Cloud locks it from inside. The Rude welcomes him at his own manner, but before the bald one could do anything Cloud' s sword gets pointed at his throat. Rude, trying to keep his composure, gestures his giving up, and makes way for Cloud. He reaches a man in wheel-chair whose face is partially obscured by the cape, and Cloud says in disbelief:

" Rufus Shin-Ra...? "

" Ah, just what you expect from a so-called SOLDIER... You haven' t rusted up yet. " says Rufus, congratulating Cloud for his skills. Then Rufus tries to explain how he ended up like this after the Diamond Weapon fired at him, but Cloud does not want to listen to it and tries to walk away. Rufus begs him to stop and listen at least to the job he wants to assign him.

" We own much to Planet, for it is my company that reduced it in the state that it is in now. We want to make up for it. So we started investigating Sephiroth' s latent influence on the Planet. Guess what we have found?

Cloud worries, but Rufus immediately continues:

" Nothing, nothing at all, don' t worry. By the way, the gang that attacked you, led by Kadaj, appeared. They' re not a great threat yet, but they could become dangerous. We do not know their motives, but they are trying to prevent us from restoring the Planet. I need someone of your strength, former SOLDIER Cloud.

" That' s just too bad I' m a courier now. " answers Cloud coldly. " I' m not interested. "

Cloud tries to go away, but stops and turning around to Rufus asks him:

" What' s that thing about their "Mother" "?

" Oh, the world is filled of children who search for their mother. " says Rufus with a badly-hidden worried tone. I heard you' ve been living with orphans. Wouldn' t you like to see them smiling again? Our ultimate purpose is to restore the world, SOLDIER Cloud. "

But Cloud ultimately refuses, saying:

" So-called SOLDIER... "

He then leaves the place, while Reno had remained locked outside for all the duration of the speech. (They make Rude and Reno play the comical part in AC...) .
The scene changes again. Now Rude and Reno are downed in the same room, and the caped man on the wheelchair is now surrounded by Kadaj and his gang. And they seem to know each other well.

" I hate it when someone lies to me... "

Then Rufus replies:

" Now I' ll tell you the truth. It seems it got lost along the way from the Northern Cave. "

Kadaj adds:

" Someone hid Mother away from us. That interefered with our plan. Invitations have been sent. Now it is about time for the host to show up. "

" Invitations? "

" Yes, the Geostigma... it' s all thanks to Mother' s genes that are running free through the Planet. But we do not know where she is now... we need her for the Reunion. Now, is it really the truth that you' re speaking? Are you ready to swear on behalf of these two? "

Kadaj throws on the table two ID cards spattered in blood, belonging to Tseng and Elena.

" What are you going to accomplish by doing that? "asks Rufus.

" Can' t you get it? How you, of all people, couldn' t possibly understand? We' re Remnants, it' s natural that we want to be whole again. " says Kadaj, then kneels before him, and some strange energy emanates from him, an energy that makes Rufus tremble, while the Geostigma inside him reacts to that energy... and in doing that, Kadaj' s appearance assumes for a couple of instants that of another SILVER HAIRED MAN from the past...

Somewhere else, a cathedral sees two girls speaking to one another. One is Marlene, who asks Tifa:

" Is here where Cloud lives? "

" So it seems "
answers Tifa.

After noticing the bandages left on the floor, Marlene informs Tifa that Cloud is infected too. Tifa agrees, saying:

" He has decided to fight alone. No, actually... he won' t fight at all, I think. "

" And what' s that? " asks Marlene, pointing at a rectangular box that lies on the floor.

" Don' t mind that. " suggests Tifa.

" He left because he' s ill? But we' ll make him come back home won' t we? " continues Marlene.

" ...Yes, we will. "

" And when he does, we' ll give him some good predicament! "

" Yes! " says Tifa kindly smiling.

But the quiet joyfulness of that speech is early interrupted by Loz, who enters the Cathedral almost tearing the doors apart. Marlene thinks that it is Cloud, but soon realizes her mistake and hides behind Tifa.

" Where is Mother? " asks Loz.

" I don' t know what you' re talking about. "

" Then we' ll have some fun together. "

Tifa puts on her leather gloves, and gets in a fighting stance. Loz rushes in to attack her.

The battle is fierce and quick, but Tifa seems to have the upper hand. Showing off some combos from her past Limit breaks, she manages to beat Loz up and let him lie on the floor submerged by the benches. Tifa tries to relax, for victory seems to smile at her. But then, a jingle is heard, the Victory Fanfare. The jingle is repeated three times, then we see Loz getting up and bringing his mobile phone up, while we discover that such a jingle was his ringing tone... (the first round of applauses rocks the cinema hall!!!)
Loz says calmly:

" Ok, I' ll take her with me. "

Tifa prepares to fight again, but Loz, showing a supernatural speed that he hadn' t used before, gets behind Tifa and hits her repeatedly with his stun gun, making her fall unconscious over the flower field. Loz was about to finish Tifa off, but Marlene, opening the rectangular box, launches some of its content towards Loz. It' s Materia. Loz sees that, and leaving Tifa heads for Marlene and the box full of Materia. Marlene, seeing Loz approaching, cries out loud:

" Cloud!!! "

Meanwhile, Yazoo was recruiting the other children in town, promising them they would be cured if they followed him. The hopeless children quickly agree and get aboard a truck led by him, all the way to the Forgotten Capital.

Cloud goes back to the peak near Midgar, picks up Zack' s sword and re-plants it vertically in place, while flashbacks of Zack are shown from the various scenes of FFVII (truck to Nibelheim, yellow truck to Midgar, and then Zack running from the Shin-Ra guards. His words are: " When we reach Midgar, what are you going to do, Cloud? We' re... friends, right? " - " Cloud, RUN!!! "

Then he is shot down, and we see Cloud trembling and shaking with the headache taking over him) . Cloud from the present says, looking at the sword:

" I had decided to live for you too. Eh, easier said than done, though. "

Then a brief image of Barrett sending a message to Cloud' s mobile, while he is riding on a sort of a truck in some forest locations, telling Cloud he has found some oil sources, in his quest to find some alternative energy to Mako.

And finally Cloud reaches the cathedral, where he first notices the flowers ruined by the previous battle between Tifa and Loz, and he gets worried because of that. But afterwards he notices Tifa laying unconscious on the ground, and a far greater worry permeates him, letting him stomp on the flowers to reach her, shouting:

" Tifa! "

Luckily, she is alive, and that is really comforting news to Cloud. Tifa tries to wake up, mumbling things, then she remembers and shouts:

" Marlene!... huuuunn..."

But she is too weak to speak, and falls again into Cloud' s arms. Cloud tries to let her recover, but suddenly another thrill hits his arm, his head, his entire self, and Geostigma seems to take hold of it stronger than before. The surge of pain is unbearable, and he falls unconscious too beside Tifa, on the flower carpet.

After that, a light seems to shine in the cathedral, lighting the two bodies dormient on the flowers. Like we were seeing through the eyes of "someone" who approaches the place and watches this scene, and as SHE gets nearer the light becomes more intense. It is then that Cloud is engulfed by white light, so bright, so pure, and then finds himself on another flower carpet, but this time made up of perfect flowers which do not ever wither, yellow and white their color, and endless like the greatest of love. The Promised Land. He stands up, and glimpses of the flowergirl are shown, and as he hears being called he wakes up in reality too.

He is in Tifa' s room, and beside him lies Tifa still asleep. Reno and Rude enters the door, the former saying:

" You' re really heavy, you know? We carried you all the way from there! "

(This scene in Tifa' s room with the Turks is actually split into various parts during some short flashbacks later on, but it is reported entirely here for convenience)
Tifa wakes up, and both her and Cloud wonder where the children have been dragged to. Asking the Turks, they say they have discovered it, and that place is the Forgotten Capital, the base of the Silver Haired Men.
Tifa notices Cloud' s waverings, his unbreakable sadness, and she begins to understand:

" You have Geostigma, right? Why didn' t you tell us?? You... You just want to let yourself die, don' t you? "

" There is no cure to it, you know. "

" But look at Denzel! That boy is fighting hard against it! He is not surrendering! And you should not surrender too! "

" ... "

" Is that... because we' re not a real family, right? "
Tifa' s voice becomes so sad in spelling these words. The Turks notice they' d better leave the two alone, but cannot commit themselves to leave for sure. Tifa goes on:

" Why don' t we help each other? We can manage things together, helping one another... After all I and all the others will always be here to support you, if you ever need help (or something like that) ! "

" But I don' t think I can help anyone. Family, friends... no one. "

" Complaining, complaining... all you do is keep complaining... " - Tifa' s voice, just for a second, acquires the tone of another woman' s voice, Aeris' voice, and Cloud notices that by suddenly turning to Tifa, even though he does not say anything about it. Then he turns to the Turks:

" I need to talk to President Shin-Ra. You two hurry and go to their base to rescue the children. "

Tifa is suprised of Cloud' s words, but she manages to understand what was going on inside Cloud' s heart.

" I know how you feel... What if, even you find the children, you can' t save them? What if something unrepairable will happen, and you can' t do anything about it? That is exactly what you are afraid of, isn' it?? " Then she adds: " Were we... defeated by our memories? "

Reno says to Cloud, someway helping Tifa' s out:

" I do not take orders from you. Go to their base yourself. "

So here it is, Cloud, reluctantly riding his motorbike in the night, through the silver trees-lit forest, heading to the Forgotten City. Doubts and remorses fill his soul. But then he is not there anymore riding the Fenrir, he is instead surrounded by light. Light and flowers. The Promised Land again. An unending flowery meadow, where he stands back-to-back to someone. Someone he knows... someone who knows him. Someone who sacrificed her life for the salvation of all. Aeris Gainsborough.

A brief glimpse of Holy, the White Materia, plunging into the water of the Forgotten Capital is shown, this time from a different perspective than that we had seen in FFVII.
She greets him with these words:

" It must have taken you a considerable effort to reach this place. I' m aware of that. It is a good start. "

Then she says, with her innocent and pure-minded tone:

" Question! Why have you come here? "

He confesses: " ...I think that I want to be forgiven. Yes, I want to be forgiven. "

She answers: " Forgiven? By whom? "

Cloud tries to turn around to see the flowergirl' s face, but just like Orpheus when he turned for Eurydice, in doing so the flowergirl and the Promised Land disappear, and what he sees is just the dark forest fading away fast from his sight.

Meanwhile, the children have been gathered in front of a shell-shaped building, the one beside the lake where Aeris was buried.

Marlene is held by Loz and Yazoo, while the others are on the opposite side, facing the three Silver haired men. Kadaj tries to convince them they have the cure to their disease, filling them all with lies.

" You know, Mother granted me this power, the power to fight the Planet and to ease the pain of the people. Actually, everyone holds it without even knowing it. But the Planet is trying to stop us. It is trying to prevent us from healing and growing strong! That' s why you' re sick! It' s because of the Planet! But I can heal you... So, let' s join together and fight off this corrupted world! LET' S DESTROY THIS WICKED PLANET TOGETHER, AND THEN REUNITE WITH MOTHER!!! "

An energy surrounds Kadaj, and once again his shape becomes that of ANOTHER man for brief instants. Then he enters the lake, and a black liquid gushing out from him starts to pollute the clear water. Kadaj drinks the black water, and invite all the children to so. The children enter the lake too, and the same liquid comes out of their bodies turning the water black. Hopeless as they are, they drink without that much of an hesitation, thinking they would be cured this way. But after doing so, their eyes become feline-like, the same as Kadaj' s and the other two' s, and their will is submitted to that of the S.H.M.. Then Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz look at the Materia box they have stolen from Cloud, and some of them are put into their own bodies (we do not actually see this, but we know it happens) .

Cloud is coming that way, and when Kadaj spots him, he orders the children to gather in order to block his way. Yazoo and Loz fire at him with guns and magic from the Materia, but Cloud opens the bullet-proof shield of Fenrir and takes up a sword (it is then that we begin to discover the composability of Cloud' s swords: they can be attached together to create a bigger and more powerful weapon, or be used separately) . But in the end, noticing the children, he is forced to a sudden brake and a disastrous downfall. The children surround him, and is Kadaj in the middle, looking at the defeated Cloud.

Kadaj says in despise, addressing the children all around them:

" You know, this person here is actually our Brother. But, unfortunately, it seems he has become a traitor. "

Kadaj is about to cut Cloud' s throat, but Marlene, shouting with all she has got: " Cloud!!! " succeeds in distracting Kadaj' s attention, allowing Cloud to swiftly escape and prepare for a tremendous fight against his three enemies.

And it is indeed one of the most spectacular fighting scenes ever created, surpassing Lord of the Rings' action sequences featuring Legolas and even Matrix' s most inspired duels... and that is just the beginning. In the end, Cloud gets weary from the atrocious battle three VS one, and although he fought divinely it seems they now got the upper hand. But an unexpected saviour arrives: a purple mantle agitates in the nocturnal air, engulfing Cloud and moving at uncatchable speed. The three try to fire at it, but the mantle reflects every shot returning the bullets to the senders, and after some more swift moves, it flies away into the darkness. No doubt about it: it' s Vincent.

Vincent takes Cloud to safety, in a well-hidden spot around the silver-glowing trees, near a shore. Cloud asks Vincent for details on what is going on with those guys, and Vincent seems to know a lot about it.

" Geostigma is the reaction of human bodies that are trying to expel some toxins... Sephiroth' s gene, Jenova' s cells, however you may want to call them. There is a thing like the Lifestream that flows in our bodies, and it is fighting against the wicked substance that has penetrated us. Geostigma is the result of all that. "

" And so, the Mother they are searching for is...? "

" ...Nothing else than the Calamity from the Skies, the Crisis for the Planet... Jenova. They are attempting another Reunion. If they wanted to, they could create even another Sephiroth. But they need Jenova' s head."

" Where is it now? "

" I' ve been following Kadaj' s moves lately. The Shin-Ra brought the head back from the Northern Cave, but Kadaj and his gang attacked Tseng and Elena to let them confess where they had carried it. They brutally tortured them... I don' t know what became of them. The head was nowhere to be found, though. "

" Kadaj... what is he? "

" Perhaps it' s best not to know. "

Some scenes in Cloud' s head alternate one another, which I cannot remember clearly. Then Marlene exits the bushes and reaches the two men. The subject of their speech shifts, and Cloud asks Vincent:

" Is it possible for a sin to be forgiven? Have you ever succeeded in that? "

Vincent replies: " I never tried. "

So Cloud, thinking for a moment, concludes: " If I find the answer, I' ll let you know. "

Cloud wants to do things his own way, and let Vincent bring Marlene back to safety. He thinks there will be a incoming fight very soon, and many dangers will be awaiting. But Vincent is rather doubtful at that: " Do you really think this is all just about fighting? "

Cloud wants to leave Marlene out of this, upsetting the little girl who gets mad at him.

" Why don' t you ever listen to us, to our problems?? " Marlene says to Cloud in disappointment, shielding herself with Vincent' s mantle.

Back during the last fighting scene, Cloud' s mobile phone had fallen into the lake. Now we see it plunging down and down, while playback of all the recorded messages show us how many of his friends had tried to talk with him in the past days or months... Barret, Yuffie, Cid, Reeve... and while we hear those, Aeris' voice comments and tries to reassure Cloud with her gentleness. And then Cloud' s phone touches ground, and stops functioning. But still... there is a glimmer of light within the obscurity.

The scene goes back to the main city. Almost all its inhabitants have gathered around the Meteor monument, in front of which lies Yazoo and Loz.

They want to bring the monument down, for they think Jenova' s head has been hidden at its base. The people get mad at them, but in return they receive the assault of the Shadow Creepers promptly summoned by the two. The crowd disperses, and the two keep trying to let the monument fall, but to no avail, it is too heavy even for them. Reno and Rude appear and they engage battle with them, but are soon dealt with. Kadaj, instead, is on a floor of a high building, with President Shin-Ra at his side, in his wheelchair.

Rufus asks Kadaj what he' s planning to do and what are his motives, Kadaj replies:

" We' ll make the Reunion happen. We' re incomplete, it' s natural for us to desire to be one again! The people who die by the Geostigma will weaken the Planet, and when we' ll be whole again Mother will feed on it and reign over it! " (or something like that, cannot clearly remember)

" And Sephiroth will be brought back for this? "

" Sephiroth or another, it all depends on what Mother will choose... it' s all about her will! "

" You' re fools. Life and death are two constants of the existence, it' s all part of nature' s cycle and the will of the Planet. We were wrong with our actions, and we have realized that. (more or less were his words, can' t remember exactly) . No matter how many Sephiroths or Jenovas you' ll bring about, by following the course of nature and the dictates of life we' ll get rid of them all. "

" ...Then why don' t we put an end to this? "

Kadaj opens the Materia box again, chooses one, and melds it into his own left arm, shooting a blue ray up to the sky, and summoning a deadly creature from another dimension: Bahamut -Sin-.

Bahamut descends, and havoc breaks in the city, under the onslaught of the monster. People try to run away, but few escapes from massacre. Only the children remain still in their place near the monument, and Denzel is with them. They are possessed by Jenova. Tifa rushes in and tries to wake Denzel up, while the old party gathers again one after the other. Barret arrives to protect Denzel, morphing his mechanical arm into an enormous multi-gatling gun and firing towards the creature.

Yuffie parachutes from the skies, gets motion sickness again (another small applause!) but steadies herself asking who was messing with her Materia.

Cid comes to protect Denzel and Tifa from the Shadow Creepers, while his brand new Sierra (Shera) airship flies in the air.

Red XIII appears too (with Cait Sith on his back), leaping up to scratch Bahamut with his claws and teeth.

Vincent follows, passing near Denzel who has somehow regained his consciousness.

Seeing Vincent and all the team, the little boy asks Tifa in astonishment:

" Who is he? Who are they? "

" They' re our friends. "

Bahamut, controlled by Kadaj, prepares to fire a Mega Flare to the Meteor monument. Rude and Reno enters the square, get petrified by the sight of the creature, but nonetheless try to help the children and save them from certain death. Luckily they seem to succeed, taking them away just when the monument is completely reduced to ashes by Bahamut' s strongest attack. The flying creature lands upon the remainings of it, trying to find something buired within, but there seems to be nothing interesting down there.

Bahamut gives a really hard time to all the party, for no one of them, although as powerful as he/she might be, seems able to keep up with it.

Finally, Cloud arrives on his motorbike, catching up with Tifa in the square. He immediately asks:

" Is Marlene in a safe place? "

Tifa nods, and Cloud replies:

" I feel lighter now... ", and in his words we read more than just relief for Marlene' s safety, there is something deep within him that has finally moved. Tifa gets on the Fenrir, and together with Cloud goes to the battlefield again. Barret, getting saved by Cloud from Bahamut's attack, says:

" It was about time you showed up! What took you so long? "

The battle of everyone against Bahamut is fierce and tremendous, and the old group tries every trick they have got to weaken the seemingly invulnerable creature.

But, of course, it is up to Cloud to get the job done. After other almost unbelieavable fighting sequences, Bahamut takes off again and prepares to deal an attack that would probably annihilate the entire city. Cloud sees that and leaps high in the air, while everyone of his friends helps him jump higher and higher during his ascent.

Barret, Cid, Yuffie, Red XIII with Cait Sith, Vincent and Tifa, one after another, push him up another step higher, increasing his flying speed. Their strength, though, is not enough to let him fly as high as Bahamut, there' s one final step lacking. It is then that, reflected in Cloud' s eyes, we see Aeris descending from above and reaching out with her hand for Cloud, giving him the last helping drive to complete his ascent. A blue aura begins to surround him, his composed weapon is set, and there is not anything he must fear anymore.

Bahamut fires its Mega Flare again, but this time is ten or even more times bigger than ever, a gigantic sphere of energy erupting from its mouth and going all the way down to meet the rising Cloud. But he is Cloud, after all, he is our hero, he is THE MAN, and therefore he goes directly against it, nailing it with his own body, passing through it without a single scratch, dissolving it, and then reaching the creature' s body where he fiercely plants his sword. He then runs with all his might for all the beasts' length, he cuts its body while running with his sword that runs alongside him and tears the summon apart, finishes his spectacular move with an upward vertical slash and ends floating in the air with the Buster Sword risen high over the clouds, while what remains of the Bahamut lifelessly falls and tumbles down in a terrificly long downfall.

The tremendous threat is over, and peace seems once again brought back in the city. But it' s not the end yet. Yazoo and Loz are still busy fighting off Rude and Reno, who insist on getting up ever and ever and try every trick in the book to defeat their much stronger opponents. Kadaj, instead, seeing the end of Bahamut, turns again to the Materia box, saying to Rufus, or just to himself, like a child who after one of his toy broke simply goes and picks up another:

" Now, what else may we summon...? "

This time, however, Rufus has not the intention of sitting and watching the city being destroyed again, and removing his cape from his body shows Kadaj the only thing that could prevent the boy from using another of those dangerous Materia. Showing a rectangular box he had left hidden under the white robe, he shouts out loud:

" Didn' t you realize it? It was here all the time... What kind of son you can claim yourself to be?? "

It' s there with him, held in Rufus' right arm, what Kadaj and the others have been looking for all the time. Their Mother... Jenova' s head. At such a sight, Kadaj cries, in alarm:

" Mother! "

But Rufus is quick and with a simple move throws the box out in the air, making falling it all the way down to the ground... and it could have indeed been a long way. Kadaj, at the highest of his anger, fires a magic against the President, who jumps out the window in order to avoid it. Kadaj leaps too, hoping to grab the box before it might break into pieces. But Rufus doesn' t give up, and using his shotgun from the old times fires at the box while falling, and manages to hit it on a side, letting a green liquid gush out of it. Kadaj grabs it before it is too late, while the President is saved by Tseng and Elena who shot a couple of catching nets to stop his downfall with the greatest of the timings. Yazoo and Loz free themselves from the Turks' hold and mount onto their motorbikes, and so does Kadaj with his retrieved treasure, and they try to get away along the highway. Cloud, returned to the city, sees the whole scene and immediately boards Fenrir and follows them at full throttle.

A furious motorcycle battle rages on inside the galleries as well as outside on the road, and the most incredible driving and fighting feats are displayed by Cloud, Yazoo and Loz, the latter two with the intention of stopping Cloud from catching up with Kadaj and his precious artifact. Reno and Rude have somewhat anticipated their moves, and are now at the end of a gallery, with two bombs in hand destined for Yazoo and Loz.

Cloud, unexpectedly fresh after the battle with Bahamut, is not the weak and hesitating man they had seen at the beginning, in the desert plains. He has now regained his old powers, or maybe he' s got even more now, and in the end destroys both Loz' s and Yazoo' s weapons, leaving the final bombing to the Turks. Cloud heads for Kadaj, while an explosion behind him ends once and for all Loz' s and Yazoo' s motorcycle ride.

Kadaj reaches the cathedral in Midgar, and braking in the midst of the flower carpet, holds closely the box he has brought with him and maliciously - or tenderly? - whispers: " Mother... ". But then he gives a closer look at its contents, and something is definitely terribly wrong, for he begins to cry louder and louder:


Cloud interrupts the tearful scene entering the cathedral too aboard Fenrir. Furious like never before, Kadaj fires some magic at him, and Fenrir is hit and gets upside down, while its rider tumbles down to ground. Cloud seems beaten, for Geostigma seems to react to Jenova that is nearby, and once again strikes him with gusts of pain and anguish. In a spasm, he strips off his left sleeve, showing his bare arm infected by the disease, but also wearing the signature pink ribbon as a memento for his dearest flowergirl. However, he cannot keep on fighting in such a condition, and he' ll surely lose to Kadaj. But he is not alone: a pleasant rain begins to fall in the cathedral, a cleansing water that, by its miraculous drops, heals Cloud' s arm defeating Geostigma in no time. Cloud holds his left arm, and realizing the origin of such a divine rain he goes back to the Promised Land for another while, to continue the speech he had left unconcluded last time he was there.

" But I let you die... " says Cloud with his remorseful voice.

" Complaining, complaining... all you do is keep complaining! How about I say " I forgive you " ? But why don' t you instead try to forgive yourself? (what you truly have to do is to learn to forgive yourself) " says Aeris with her candid and hilarious voice.

Cloud is back to the cathedral, and he' s now healed in body and spirit. Aeris' voice tells him:

" Let' s go... Cloud... "

And so he retrieves all his strength to keep on fighting, and follows Kadaj again for a little while longer. Kadaj had escaped from the cathedral because that heavenly rain was badly hurting him, and he' s now reached the ruins of the Shin-Ra building. Another great fight takes place between Cloud and Kadaj, a sort of final showdown that couldn' t be faced before. But first, Cloud asks Kadaj:

" When the Reunion takes place, what will happen next? ...You wouldn' t know, would you? After all, you' re just a Remnant, you cannot possibly know. "

Kadaj gets irritated by those words, and replies to Cloud:

" So I' m just a puppet, right... but so were... you!!! "

And another powerful magic blast is launched from his arm, but Cloud avoids it by jumping high and coming towards his opponent.

Cloud' s friends have come aboard the Sierra, and are now watching the fight. They begin discussing Kadaj' s existence.

" Kadaj' s a Remnant, and he is destined to eventually become Sephiroth. Is Cloud aware of that? "

" Maybe. "
answers Barret.

" I' ve brought a lot of Materia for Cloud! " says Yuffie, trying to hold within her arms a whole bunch of colored spheres.

" If it' s Sephiroth, then it' best for Cloud to face him alone. " says Tifa calmly. Then she adds: " In the final battle of two years ago, a particular strength we managed to use... Remember how it felt? Remember how it was like? Well, now I believe that Cloud has remembered those emotions... what it meant to be strong. "

" I' m giving him 10 minutes! "
gruntles Barret, impatient to join Cloud in the fighting.

The battle is indeed hard, but in the end, Cloud wins again, Kadaj loses his sword which fall down for thousand of meters, and he too would be destined to follow it. However, he does not fall, for Cloud stretches out his hand to grab Kadaj' s and save his life.
Nevertheless, the boy lets go Cloud' s hand, and holding tight to his chest the small box he had retrieved he entrusts his whole self to his " Mother " . Something begins to change in Kadaj while he floats in the air, and Cloud jumps to try and reach him before it is too late. But when the two land on some platform, the transformation takes place: long hair begins to flow from Kadaj' head, his outfit morphes, his face turns into another thinner and more adult, and a long katana takes shape horizontally from one side to the other.

" Long time no see, Cloud. " says a malicious voice, that is no more Kadaj' s, but is instead the voice of Cloud' s nemesis, the voice of the one he could not get rid of yet, from his body as well as from his mind. The voice of Sephiroth.

One-Winged Angel, in its new rock-mix form, begins to play, and the final battle starts in the blink of an eye. Cloud, not suprised at all by the return of his past mortal enemy, asks him while fighting:

" What are you going to accomplish, Sephiroth?

Sephiroth replies:

" I' m going to sail the darkness of the cosmos using this Planet as my vessel. Then I' ll find another paradise, an incontaminated Planet not corrupted by humans. "

" And then you' ll ruin it and destroy it too, right?? "

" Who knows... heh heh heh... "

One of the greatest fighting scenes ever broadcasted, or better, perhaps THE gretest fighting scene ever designed, is the one we see now, the one involving our hero Cloud and the most charismatic villain of all time, Sephiroth.

Sephiroth obscures the sky, and an aerial battle rages on, shifting from the sky itself to a skyscraper nearby, where in the darkness of the narrow corridors the two opponents and their moves can only be seen through the million sparks generated from the clash of their swords (AWESOME!!! EXTRAORDINARY!!!) . Sephiroth, noticing Cloud' s skills, asks him:

" Where did you find this strength? "

" I' m not telling you! "
answers Cloud.

The battle continues, out of the skyscraper towards a higher building, with Sephiroth that flies and says:

" I have a present for you, Cloud... SHALL I GIVE YOU DESPAIR? "

Sephiroth makes fall almost half of the building towards Cloud, who receives a storm of rocks and debris from above. But he does not faint, and with his sword cuts the debris and makes his way to his enemy. Then the fight is taken to the top of the Shin-Ra building, where Sephiroth continues to talk:

" What is it that is most precious to you, Cloud? I' ll enjoy stripping that off you! "

The music rises and the last part of the song reaches the ears of the audience. Sephiroth sends Cloud towards a wall, and his back feels the impact. Swiftly, Sephiroth takes advantage of that short moment of distraction and stabs Cloud in the shoulder. Flashes of all the precious things Cloud is holding within his heart are shown, and among them we see the flowergirl praying for the Planet at the Forgotten City.

Cloud, though, is stronger than ever, and extracting the sword from his flesh (just like he did back in Nibelheim) pushes Sephiroth away and says:

" You still don' t understand, Sephiroth, huh??? There isn' t anything that isn' t precious to me!!! "

Cloud manages to hit Sephiroth by throwing his Buster Sword at him, but immediately the sword splits into the six other swords which were composing it, and they float in circle all around Sephiroth, blocking him with a sort of a magnetic field. Sephiroth didn' t expect that and he is now in trouble, and Cloud leaps toward him and perform his most powerful attack: LIMIT BREAK - OMNISLASH (version 2.0) . Cloud himself splits into various golden shades, each one using one of the six swords to attack Sephiroth repeatedly and without any chance of counterattacks from him. Sephiroth receives every blow, and is finally defeated by the tornado of slashes and lunges originated by Cloud. Our hero lands on the rooftop, watching Sephiroth suffering from the hits while still floating in the air. He shouts firmly to him:

" Go back to my memories! "

Sephiroth, showing for the first time a black wing rising from his back, ineluctably replies:

" I... won' t be... just a memory... "

Sephiroth disappears engulfed in his black wing, leaving in his place the dying Kadaj who falls right into Cloud' s embrace. The battle that had just taken place, more than an exterior fighting, was an inner struggle that Cloud had to face against his own memories, his own ghosts that Jenova brought back to life in the shape of her champion, using Kadaj as the material host. But Cloud has won, and Kadaj has lost all of his energies.
It is then that the cleansing rain, the purifying water that had first dropped inside the cathedral, falls from the dissipating clouds, wetting the whole city, and curing all the infected children that are there to receive it. As the downside of the medal, Kadaj, touched by the rain, begins to dissolve into green particles, while a female voice, warm and reassuring, says to him:

" Kadaj, you can let yourself go now... "

It' s Aeris. Kadaj, hearing that, whispers:

" Mother...? "

And then he disappears completely, leaving Cloud to taste on his own face and body the pleasant drops of heavenly water that keep on falling from the skies.

Tifa, noticing a drop of water being attached on the ceiling of Sierra' s cockpit, says:

" I knew you have been here all the time... "

All seems to have ended well, our hero is healed and triumphant, and his friends celebrate inside the airship. Then a gun shot pierces Cloud from the back, the screen freezes on him in black and white, and he falls on his face on the ground. From behind, Yazoo, held by Loz, has fired at him with his last remaining strength, and looking at what he has done, says to Cloud:

" We' ll go to our Mother together, Brother...! "

And so Yazoo and Loz disappear too becoming green spheres and fading away in the air.
Cloud lies on the floor, and all around him is no more, for it is replaced by an endless white background. Tifa, sensing something has happened to him, cries:

" Cloud!!! "

See the movie yourself to watch the ending!

" I' m not alone anymore. "


Tetsuya Nomura' s AUTOGRAPHS AND PICTURES session

Heaven' s Door began to close as the credits rolled on the screen. The lights were on again, and all the people in the cinema hall stood and turned around to face Nomura, giving their backs at the screen. An awesome STANDING OVATION, an applause that lasted as the credits themselves thundered in Sala Grande, waking Nomura up ( he had fallen asleep... after all it was 3:00 a.m., and he sure had a tiring day! ) . Every single person in that hall had almost tears flowing after having seen HEAVEN' s DOOR so closely. The movie was a complete success: Nomura had succeeded in bringing us almost exactly what we wanted to see and what we were expecting from such a long awaited work. But the movie wasn' t finished yet: after the credits, another, about 4 minutes long sequence was shown, with an image song as the background music (CALLING from Kyosuke Himuro?) , and other heart-breaking sequences which I WILL PURPOSEFULLY NOT DESCRIBE.
Then, as I had promised Tommaso and myself, after the end of the screening, when Nomura and the others were trying to get away and disappear forever, I rushed again towards them, or better, I rushed to the exit I knew they would have come out from, and I blocked them asking for autographs and pictures as I did last year. First it was Ayumi Ito' s turn, who kindly signed her autograph for me.

Ayumi Ito, Tifa' s voice actress, signing her autograph for me!!!

And then Nomura, whom I made sign THREE AUTOGRAPHS (one for me, one for Tommaso, and one for Senpai Adry who couldn' t be there to attend the screening) , and then I made him have other pictures with me, and I couldn' t thank him enough for his endless patience... he was REALLY tired! Thank you Mr. NOMURA!!!

Tetsuya Nomura signing his autographs for me!!!

Tetsuya Nomura posing with me despite his tiredness... DOMO ARIGATOU GOZAIMASHITA, NOMURA-SAMA!!!

Excellent! The challenge was won, and Tommaso had his autograph (don' t ever tell me I don' t keep my promises...) Then, as I had predicted, like last year the Japanese press took a hook on us, and the Official Playstation 2 Magazine asked me, Tommaso and his friend for a brief interview session in order to make an advertising video for the magazine. We gladly accepted, we provided them our impressions of the movie, and then they asked us to shout out a personal slogan related to the movie, invented by us while showing their magazines on the cam. After a few moments of thought, I realized what the slogan would have been: AERIS: WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU!!!

Tommaso' s friend, Tommaso and me posing for the Japanese Playstation 2 Magazine!

" Advent Children is fan-service, no doubt about it... but it' s HELL OF A FAN-SERVICE!!! "


Advent Children Impressions and Review

Technical aspects: Almost unbelievable... it is the most advanced Computer Graphics ever used in a movie, in an anime, or in everything else, with ultra-detailed characters and an overall graphic performance equal to ( or even surpassing ) that of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. It will take ages for any other movie production house, American or Japanese might it be, to reach and overtake such a level of technological advancement. The only minor flaw is seen in the scenes where there are lots of common people together, where their details are visibly poorer than the other characters ( otherwise the graphic engine would have collapsed to handle that many polygons at a time ) . Aside that, to reiterate: EXCELLENT WORK!

Combat scenes: The most spectacular ones you can ever encounter in any action-oriented production, and every description of them will inevitably lack their tremendous appeal completely. So it' s best to see them for yourselves!

Storyline ( MINOR SPOILERS ) : Predictable, because the trailers almost clarified everything up for us, and everything else that was left unclear is something a hard-core fan could easily guess. Even a lot of the director' s choices were something you could expect (or at least that is what occurred to me) . By the way, it' s all put in a smooth and linear way, and the overall feeling it leaves you is just plain satisfaction. A couple of remarkable moments, however, succeed in captivating you in an undescribable manner, and really let chills run through your spine. Everything else is, nevertheless, very moving and accurately presented, and there is very few one can complain for.

Themes ( MINOR SPOILERS ) : Shinto, Gaia, the animated nature as the mother of all things from which all things come and to which all things return still play a major role as the main themes of the movie, just like they did in FFVII. Water in the shape of the cleansing rain, water as the primal life-source and the greatest healer returns too and this time with a vengeance, symbolizing Aeris' constant helping presence in the world. And once again, the innermost struggles within the protagonist' s heart, the clash of his past memories and remorses against the present reality and any future hope are dominant in the development of the story, and they are far greater and harder than any external battle he may have to fight. It is always by defeating one' s inner phantoms and demons that it is possible to win any other duel outside... FFVII had already teached us that.
It has to be also underlined that Advent Children, in terms of setting, ends up mainly using the crepuscular, dark, Blade Runner-like tones that we had seen in the earliest part of the game (inside Midgar) , instead of widening its scope towards the other extraordinary and unforgettable settings of the rest of the FFVII world (Kalm, Cosmo Canyon, the Golden Saucer, the Temple of the Ancients... ) . Even the Forgotten Capital, as presented in the movie after nightfall, does only possess a dark shade and there is few of it that can make us think of that place as the holy ground where our dearest flowergirl died and was buried. But after all, in just 100 minutes of feature, there was so little time to broaden the viewing horizon as the 60+ hours of gameplay of FFVII had instead succeeded in doing. Conclusions: FFVII: AC is first and foremost fan-service, and there' s no doubt about it. But let me be clear, it' s a HELL OF A FAN-SERVICE, in all of its aspects! Even though the storyline is rather linear and predictable, it all flows well and the drama develops smoothly and fine, with a couple of heart-pounding shocking scenes that really hit the spectator. You' ll see combat like you' ve never seen it before, you' ll find all the characters of Final Fantasy VII we ended up loving, and everything will lead to an ending that is sure to satisfy almost every fan of the game. To say it briefly, FFVII: AC gives you exactly what you want ( almost, at least ) , and watching it in a cinema theater is an experience you' ll always remember and treasure, something mere words are not enough to describe.


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