Cowboy Bebop the Movie
It took me quite a long time to get to this movie. I guess I was afraid it would not live up to my expectations. Fortunately it did! Keep in mind that I am writing this review after watching the series, I am not sure how I would rate it as a standalone movie.
I have to start with visuals as I was really surprised how well the movie aged. There is a classic feel to it, something a lot of modern HD flicks are lacking. It is the same thing I love about older live action movies. Cameras they use these days are so good, that the image looks unreal, no distortion at all. It might be just nostalgia^^. Still Cowboy Bebop look really beautiful, backgrounds are full of details, animation is excellent. Dogfights and martial art is choreographed in a way, that it looks amazing, while keeping the moves look "doable". I am not sure everyone will like the look of Cowboy Bebop, but it certainly is one of the achievements of the old era.
The soundtrack is awesome. How could it not be, when it was composed by one of the best. Yoko Kanno proves again and again how good she is. She gives the movie a soul in a way none other could. Different genres are mixed to create a unique mood for every character and place. If I went to see this movie and there was a problem with a projector, I would probably be satisfied just with the music.
Cowboy bebop has a strong cast, which was fully developed in the series. This might be a problem if you have not seen it. The movie is not trying to further develop those characters. The plot feels more like a "long" episode than a movie, but I as a fan do completely agree with the way they did it. The episodic style fits Cowboy Bebop and it has a few surprises, that are not easily predictable. All in all, enjoyable experience.
If you are a fan, don't waste your time reading this and go watch it. If you are not, then start with the series and come back running for more. ^^