Waffling Taylors Goes To The MoviesDon’t forget to check out the other episodes in the series. Make sure to click here to see which movies we’ve already covered - we’re sure that you’ll love what you have to say.
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In this “Goes to the Movies” episode, we wanted to tackle a movie which isn’t necessarily based on an actual game, per se
but keep a look out for Jay’s interpretation, very soon
so we tackled Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
As with our House of the Dead episode
do check that out, if you want to hear the boys talking smack about an Uwe Boll movie
we decided to change up the format of our “goes to the movies” episodes. Instead of working through the plot, we decided that it would be much more fun to focus on a handful of scenes from the movie. This serves the double purpose of:
- Simplifying our episodes, and getting to the gags quicker
- Not having to discuss the plot which this movie doesn’t have
Just before we started recording though, Chief uttered the following famous last words:
I’m a pro at this now, I’ve done that many episodes that I could probably do this myself.
With that said, we jumped to jump straight into a description of this movie…
Basic Info on the Movie
Jay dropped some key facts on this movie before we could get to our discussion on it:
This is a movie that was released in 2001
… it is THE reason why a whole bunch of Square-Enix games that came out after that were PlayStation exclusives for a long time
… it is known as the 4th biggest box-office bombs of all time
… it cost (in 2022 dollars) $190 MILLION to make, and almost drove Square out of business… and only ever made $85 million back, which is less than half of it’s budget.
Interestingly, the story that this movie was based on
the script was originally called Gaia
was written during the final few days of working on Final Fantasy VII, and was written by Hironobu Sakaguchi shortly after his mother passed away. It was then re-written by Al Reinert (co-writer of Apollo 13) & Jeff Vintar (writer of I, Robot), and was combined with three years of RnD in Hawaii to create the final movie.
It’s also important to remember that the fallout of this movie lead to the merger between Square and Enix almost being canned. Both companies were in pretty dire straits
even with the rousing success of both Final Fantasy VII and VIII
and Sony had to step in to buy a (reported) 20% stake in Square to keep the merger alive (as Enix wanted to pull out). And this is why a large number of Square-Enix games of the early 2000s were Playstation exclusives.
Just think about that for a second: The Spirits Within was that expensive and that much of a flop that it undid all of the profits from both Final Fantasy VII and VIII.
Each of the boys agreed that the movie is beautiful to look at, especially for it’s time.
I don’t think I’d willingly go back and watch it again, though.
Before we got into the movie proper, Jay asked:
With 0 being the worst and 10 being the best, how would you rate this film as a film? Imagine that it’s an IGN score though: it doesn’t mean anything
|Host||0-10 rating (0 being worst, and 10 being best)|
|Squidge||Numberwang (or a 7)|
Chief had this to say about his score:
What I mean is it’s a middling film. The plot is serviceable, if a little uninteresting and uninspired. It makes sense, and the animation is good… but one thing I will say about the sound, though. You know when they’re firing the weapons? It always feels under-powered.
Squidge had this to say about his score:
I’ve seen some good CGI movies, and I’ve seen some $h!t. And so many years later, it holds up… some of the best parts of the movie are Steve Buschemi… the pacing is way too fast, then way too slow.
And the boys all agree that the movie would have made a great limited series or a game. In fact, they all agree that it plays out very much like a video game.
You could probably make [this into] a tactical shooter, survival horror game.
Had Netflix been a streaming service back in the tail end of the 90s
rather than just a DVD rental service
they would have bitten Sakaguchi’s hand off to make it.
It’s just done too quick, isn’t it? There’s good stuff in there, but it’s so rushed over that by the time you get to it, you think "ugh, well I’ve seen that now."
The Scenes We Want To Highlight
The boys would’ve usually talked through a number of scenes in the episode, but since the majority of the film lacked a large enough amount of plot, there wasn’t much of a point in listing them out. The boys definitely talked about a few scenes, but mostly as a jumping off point for comedic bits.
How Would We Rate It?
We don’t usually rate games or movies, in fact we have never done that. And this was a conscious decision that we made early in the life of the site
we discussed this with Chief on one of his early episodes
But we needed to figure out a way to tell you all whether we think you should watch this movie or not. Normally we would rely on three ratings across three categories, which are:
- Love it (best)
- Try it
- Fling it into a tree (worst)
Across these categories:
- As a science fiction movie
- As a video game movie
- As a Final Fantasy movie in the Final Fantasy canon
|As a video game move||Try it|
|As a science fiction movie||Fling it into a tree|
|As a Final Fantasy movie in the Final Fantasy canon||Fire it out of a cannon into a tree, then fling the cannon into the tree… then fling the studio into the tree|
|As a video game move||between Fling it into a tree and Try it|
|As a science fiction movie||Try it|
|As a Final Fantasy movie in the Final Fantasy canon||Fling it into a tree|
|As a video game move||Fling it into a tree|
|As a science fiction movie||Try it|
|As a Final Fantasy movie in the Final Fantasy canon||Try it|
One Final Thing
For those who made it this far in the show notes, here’s the Thriller Easter Egg from the DVD release of Final Fantasy Spirits Within. It is provided without any context:
External Links of Interest
- Join our Discord server and be part of future episodes
- Us on Twitter
- Our Facebook page
- Support us on Ko-Fi
- Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Links to the music used in the podcast can be found below. Definitely check them out, because they're amazing tracks by awesome musicians.
- Intro music is Behind the Lines by Ian Sutherland
- Spoiler Break music is Spectrum (Subdiffusion Mix) by Foniqz (BandCamp)
- Pallet Cleanser music is Breath Deep Breath Clear (Wu Chi) by Siobhan Dakay
- Resident Evil 2 - Robert Kendo © Capcom
- Final Fantasy (NES) Music - Overworld Theme © Square-Enix
- FF7 OST-Overworld_Main Theme © Square-Enix
- Final Fantasy V Battle Theme © Square-Enix
- Outro Music is I N e e d Y o u 私の側て by G.H (removed from BandCamp)