Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

As anyone who went to see Silent Hill last weekend knows, taking a popular game and turning it into a movie isn't usually a successful process. With everything from the look of the characters to the style of the dialogue to try and port over, it's so confusing and complex that nobody ever seems to get it right. We can't forget that it's been over nine years since Final Fantasy VII debuted on the PlayStation, either. Times have changed - a lot.

But maybe thanks to the fact that Tetsuya Nomura, the guy behind the FFVII characters and Kingdom Hearts is the director of this movie, Advent Children manages to recapture the feel of that classic game. Your favorite characters are all here - for a couple of minutes, at the very least.

What's that? You don't have any favorite characters from Final Fantasy VII? Better get out while you can. This movie is laser-targeted at fans of the original game, and those fans only. The less you liked the game, the less you'll enjoy the film. If you never played it, you're totally screwed. The DVD comes with a recap of the game, but it's there to jog your memory, not replace the experience of playing the game. In fact, that recap might be most useful to see just how far we've come since 1997. Advent Children's visuals are so detailed, the animation so fluid and the action so fast that you'll be impressed whether or not you can puzzle out its story.

In the peaceful years that pass after Cloud and his pals sent freaky gray-haired swordsman Sephiroth screaming into the abyss, things aren't looking up for the citizens of Midgar. A bizarre disease called geostigma seems to be affecting a lot of the population - particularly the kids. And then three nutjobs burst onto the scene. Lead by the especially unhinged Kadaj, they terrorize the town with summoned monsters as they search for the remains of Jenova, the alien entity whose cells gave birth to Sephiroth and Cloud's extraordinary powers.