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Brainstorm

review by David G.

 

Rated PG

Studio: Warner Bros.

Running Time: 106 minutes

Starring Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson

Written by Robert Stitzel and Philip Frank Messina upon a story by Bruce Joel Rubin

Directed by Douglas Trumbull

Retail Price: $19.99

Features: Theatrical Trailer

Specs: Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround English, French and Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search

In a top-secret laboratory, a team of scientists leading by Lilian Reynolds (Louise Fletcher) and Michael Brace (Christopher Walken) discover a way to transfer the emotions and sensations from one person to another. In their mind, this technology could help in situations where language or images fail: people could understand each other by directly feeling the thoughts. Michael is first to try this invention with his wife Karen (Natalie Wood) with the hope it will break the silence that separate them more and more.

Of course this exciting machine is desired by the army but the researchers do not intend to leave their invention to military applications. Unfortunately, Lilian dies from a heart failure but she manages to plug herself to the machine before to go. By now, the tape is wanted by the army, and by Michael who sees here a way to contemplate the afterdeath.

Douglas Trumbull, the special effects maker of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Blade Runner", directs a great sci-fi movie. Surprisingly, this movie does not contain a lot of special effects except in the last quarter, and this is very interesting because he gave the time to the characters to express themselves, and made us understand the implications of such an invention: the good side allowing peoples to understand themselves without words and the bad side: the army (like always) wanting this machine to make more sophisticated weapons. But beside this already known plot of good scientists vs. bad army, Trumbull go further and centres his story on the tape recorded by the dying Lilian and so taking the opportunity to shot his vision of afterdeath. Of course, his vision is not different of the classical hell-suffering-heaven-angels canvas, but the images are beautiful although a bit dated.

In conclusion, Trumbull directed a real, pure sci-fi movie with great characters. Buy this if you love the movie.

 

Brainstorm is presented in non-anamorphic and for a movie from 1983, the picture is pretty clear despite the unavoidable artifacts that pop up now and then. Good work here.

Two soundtracks are proposed : English and French Dolby Surround with English, French and Spanish subtitles. The movie, being a bit old, does not sound so exciting.

The main menu is animated and the only extra is the theatrical trailer.

Technically, this is a good DVD, nothing more nothing less.Before buying this movie, I suggest you to rent it.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(3.5/5)

(.5/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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