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Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis

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An idealistic animated cousin to the Spielberg-Kubrick love child A.I., Metropolis tells of a futuristic Japanese city divided between the haves and the have-nots; in this case, the haves are human, and the nots are robots who are mounting a World War II-style resistance movement. Just as in A.I., there are CGI-enhanced scenes of staggering beauty punctuated by stretches of ponderous preachiness (thanks to a screenplay by Akira visionary Katsuhiro Otomo). Metropolis is a beautiful film, one that never would’ve been made here in the U.S., what with our insistence on little things like plot and characterization in our animation. Doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. B

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