Avalon is a strange little film. Originally filmed in the Polish language but dubbed into english, written by Japanese, directed by the person who brough us Ghost in the Shell, and borrowing heavily from The Matrix in terms of style and design, Avalon is a film that seems like it would appeal to a lot of science fiction fans. Instead, it will likely wind up languishing in obscure video stores, forgotten and unwanted. It's unfortunate but not unexpected. Without the anime-fan appeal that the rest of Oshii's animated features enjoy, Avalon doesn't have a market that will actively seek it out. Admittedly, Avalon doesn't live up to the rest of Mamoru Oshii's films, but it's still a good film, and definately worth a look, especially if you can understand the Polish voicing without subtitles. The film is set in the near future, where young people who have nothing else to live for participate in a fantastical virtual reality wargame called "Avalon". Some never return from it, winding up in hospital beds requiring medical attention. Despite the explosions featured on the cover, the action sequences are short, and there aren't very many of them. The special effects look very unique, and the sepia-tone filter put over the film makes it hard to distinguish the real world from the virtual world, unlike The Matrix where it's surprisingly easy. Really, whether or not you will like this film is whether or not you can put up with Mamoru Oshii's continental-drift pace style of film. It will go on for ages with seemingly nothing happening, and then act as if many, many things had just happened. It's up to the viewer to piece everything together and figure out what's going on for yourself... Which brings me to Miramax's butchering of the English dub. It takes out a lot of the appeal of the film by explaining EVERYTHING via voiceovers. While it might help the average viewer understand, what Miramax apparently did NOT understand was that this film isn't aimed at "average" viewers, it's aimed at a small niche of film-lovers willing to put up with Oshii's directoral style and dig deeply into the metaphorical meanings of every single shot. For them... it's pretty good. Not amazing. Even for someone like me, it seemed to be dragged out. But it's still worthy of your support, just know what you are getting into.