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Click above to purchase "Antitrust Special Edition" at amazon.com

 

Antitrust
Special Edition

review by Zach B.

Rated PG-13

Studio: MGM

Running Time: 108 minutes

Starring Ryan Phillippe, Rachel Leigh Cook, Claire Forlani and Tim Robbins

Written by Howard Franklin

Directed by Peter Howitt

Retail Price: $24.98

Features: Audio Commentary with Director Peter Howitt and Film Editor Zach Staenberg, "Antitrust: Cracking The Code" Documentary, Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary, Alternate Opening and Alternate Ending Sequence with Optional Commentary, Everclear Music Video "When It All Goes Wrong Again", Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search (16 Chapters)

There's one thing that makes "Antitrust" stand out and actually made it a little noteworthy when it debuted at the start of the year 2001, but if you get past it, you may actually like it. Actually, you may like the movie for this reason or hate it to death, either way, there's a good chance you'll mock it. Now class, repeat after me. TIM ROBBINS = BILL GATES. Say it with me now. TIM ROBBINS = BILL GATES. DAMNIT, IT'S SO SCARY. GARY WINSTON (Tim Robbins) LOOKS JUST LIKE BILL GATES. AND WINSTON'S LIFE IS SIMILAR TO IT. IT'S FUN, IT'S CREEPY, IT'S "ANTITRUST"!

Sorry for that crazy outburst, but I just had to say it. So yes, this is "Antitrust", MGM's new "cyber-thriller". I guess it was good to get the bad out of the way before the good - this being MGM's first release of the year 2001, critics bashed it and it bombed at the box office. However, after it, they scored an instant hit with "Hannibal" and got a good gross for "Heartbreakers". The bad films and weird trailer turned me off from the film, but after watching it, I have to say "Antitrust" isn't that bad. It's no masterpiece, but it is pretty fun and entertaining... I was pretty surprised.

Some of the film's background with the Winston character is clearly inspired by Gates, but the film's story is a run of the mill paranoid thriller. Winston owns NURV, basically, the Microsoft in this film - a giant computer monopoly. Milo Hoffman and Teddy Chin have just graduated from Stanford and plan to start their own company, as they do appear to be incredibly bright with programming. Winston invites both of them to work for NURV. Teddy refuses, but Milo easily accepts the job and becomes a key player in Winston's new operating program. However, Teddy soon dies mysteriously, and Milo begins to become really paranoid. He begins to unravel the mystery of his murder as well as others. But NURV couldn't be involved... or could they? (Believe it or not, I thought this movie was simply a screenwriter's idea, but there's a site in the movie called Skullblocks, and upon going to the site, the film is actually really, and I mean REALLY loosely based on it).

The film really did draw me in at the start (that did surprise me), but as it went on, around the fifty minute mark, it just get a little dull for me. It starts out pretty well with corny jokes, interesting scenarios and some fun moments, but then it tries to hard to be a thriller with a lot of paranoia and a bunch of crazy situations, and by the end, it gets pretty stupid. While the last half is not so great, it's still enjoyable. I just felt the movie lacked some logic and was not as even as it could have been. Basically, the film tries too hard to be a thriller. It's just a fun movie, but in that respect it gets the job done because it is entertaining. While you can mock the movie, you can enjoy what happens, you do get into it pretty easily and wonder what happens next despite the fact you probably already know. This movie will never win any awards (maybe Razzies), but audiences do like this sort of thing, it produces the kind of stuff people like. Though it did not interest many at the theater, people are sure to catch it at the video store and will have a good time when watching it (or not).

The acting is fine for this movie. Robbins is excellent and fun as Bill Gates look-alike Gary Winston, while Leigh Cook (who has little screen time and still gets second billing), Phillippe and Forlani fit the characters perfectly. They play it out nicely. The script, again, is a bit rocky. There are fun moments, monotonous moments and stupid moments, but it needed a lot more development. I did like the ending though, despite the stupid dialogue, but the ending is well shot with some good music against it. The direction is actually pretty solid for the movie, and the editing, from Oscar® winner Zach Staenberg, is actually really good. Maybe flawless, in fact. Though I didn't find this movie to be thrilling, the appropriate shots shown are used at the perfect times (at least I think so) so if it was thrilling, it'd work out perfectly. There's just a nice flow and clean look to the editing. There are also nice camera shots as well.

So if you're looking for a fun movie for a rainy Saturday afternoon, or a fun movie in general, check out "Antitrust" It's not a good thriller, but the fun, corny factors make it a good ride.

MGM has delivered an incredibly sharp transfer for "Antitrust". Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, colors are well saturated and vibrant. I noticed some shimmering here and there and a piece of dirt or grain now and then, but I didn't find those annoyances very distracting. Exterior and interior shots look superb, the lighting and dark tone to the film are represented greatly in this transfer. Definitely one of the finer transfers I've seen in awhile.

MGM has also included Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in English, Spanish and French, as well as French and Spanish subtitles (that in typical MGM fashion). There are some nice surrounds throughout the film, and the music makes great use of the channels. During the "thrilling" moments tension is built nicely with some key surrounds and music. I was pretty impressed with the Dolby Digital mixes, and I think you will be too. Also included are French and Spanish subtitles.

MGM has delivered a nice special edition of "Anitrust", despite the critical and financial failure it was. Leading the disc is an Audio Commentary with Director Peter Howitt and Zach Staenberg. Howitt is pretty enthusisastic about the film and is eager to talk, while Staenberg does have his share of comments, though Howitt dominates the track. This track is really good, as Howitt has some really good stories and insightful information about the film's production. Staenberg also has some good info. If you liked the movie, don't miss this track. One of the better ones I've heard of lately.

Antitrust: Cracking The Code is a full frame "documentary" (more like featurette) that has interviews with the cast and crew, such as Phillippe, Howitt, Robbins and more. It's pretty promotional, and features behind the scenes clips and films footage. You may like it, you may not.

There are Six Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Opening and Alternate Ending Sequence. It's pretty obvious why they were cut, but Howitt gives his Optional Commentary to provide further insight. Very nicely done and some interesting scenes as well. The scenes are in non-anamorphic widescreen and pretty much editied, but still rough with markers at the top.

Finally, there's the Everclear Music Video "When It All Goes Wrong Again" in full frame (which is a bit nutty if I say so myself) and the Theatrical Trailer in anamorphic widescreen and two channel sound.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked "Antitrust", and MGM has delivered a pretty fantastic package for the movie. If you've seen the movie and liked it, it's worth to add to your collection. If you haven't seen it give it a rent... you may be pretty surprised.

(3.5/5 - NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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