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    Harlock: The Peak of Piracy

    Posted by Mike Finnegan on

    Pirate adventures are a cinematic mainstay – but Harlock Space Pirate (2013) is an amazing game-changer that rocks the known universe. Originating in the dynamic imagination of Japan’s manga titan Leiji Matsumoto in 1977, Captain Harlock is a fearless, glowering watchman and rebel whose crusade against totalitarian powers that would co-opt, colonize and crush freedom-loving civilizations is a watch cry that has held animation fans in its sway for nearly 40 years, beginning with a TV series in 1978 and continuing through several iterations to this day. Toei Animation’s extraordinary movie – a pioneering product of state-of-the-art CGI 3D animation – is the apogee of Harlock’s ongoing saga. Patrolling our solar system aboard his massive, elegantly and grungily designed space vessel Arcadia, he has become humankind’s only hope in the battle to resettle a despoiled Earth guarded by the ruthless Gaia Coalition, inspiring his motley crew to heights of personal bravery they never imagined and triggering some of the most amazing visuals ever captured on screen. Directed by Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed, Starship Troopers: Invasion, Halo Legends), the film premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival and in the year following garnered appreciative audiences around the globe. Twilight Time steps out to present this mind-blowing animated achievement in a special 2-disc edition with both its Original Japanese Version and International Cut in 3D and 2D, incorporating extraordinary extra content that enhances your immersion in its incredible world: interviews with the formidable creative talent behind the scenes, including the venerable Matsumoto; highlights from its Venice Film Festival launch; detailed Storyboard Galleries of the movie’s major action sequences; an Isolated Track (on the Japanese Version) of Tetsuya Takahashi’s massive and thunderous score; and an Expanded 24-Page Booklet, showcasing the film’s glorious imagery along with TT’s Julie Kirgo’s astute analysis of the Harlock phenomenon’s roots in literature and mythology. Piracy is a dicey word to use in the realm of intellectual content, expect perhaps in this case. As Titantic and Avatar director James Cameron advises: “This movie is already legendary. With its overflowing imagination and magnificent visuals, this movie is one the world has never seen before. Harlock leads the way to a world of new ideas.” Those ideas go way beyond the Jolly Roger, Neverland and the Caribbean. Harlock Space Pirate sets sail on TT hi-def Blu-ray December 8. Preorders open this Friday, November 20.