Note: this is a modified version of my SDCC 2011 review of Gantz II, incorporating a look at the recent Blu-ray release.

A live-action conclusion of GANTZ was an unlikely candidate for one of my favorite films of last year's crop of summer movies, which was ultimately disappointing stream of big-budget comic-to-screen efforts that were better tech demos for their game tie-ins that actual movies. That GANTZ II seems to overcome the recent trend of failure among big-budget Japanese action extravaganzas to figure out how to spend their money on effects--GANTZ is pretty, and its effects generally plausible-looking--is a triumph in and of itself. But most importantly, the movie maintains its own rhythms without losing the audience, bringing together about two and a half hours of story in without feeling overlong, providing a few real characters moments to shine while still leaving enough of an enigma to warrant future installments.
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New People Entertainment to release the second half of the live-action manga/anime adaptation on January 14th.
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The adaptation of the brutal sci-fi manga loses some of the original's gruesome charm, but (mostly) sticks the landing.
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Going to San Diego next week? Then why not check out this bloody sci-fi duo?

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