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Cool World

review by Zach B.




This summer 1992 bomb, often compared as a darker (and less enjoyable) "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" was directed by cult animator director Ralph Bakshi. The film is about Jack Deebs (Gabriel Byrne), a jailed cartoonist who created "Cool World." However, Jack doesn't realize that Cool World is actually a real place. But when the real world and Cool World intersect via a pathaway, Jack is soon sucked into his own world and his fantasy, Holli Would (Kim Basinger). Holli has big dreams and big plans, so when she takes human form and heads to Las Vegas, trouble is bound to happen that could destroy Cool World and the real world.

Fun Fact: Director Ralph Bakshi is probably best known for directing the 1972 animated movie "Fritz The Cat."



The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer isn't too impressive - most distracting is just how grainy the picture looks. The print is in terrible shape - dirt pieces, blemishes, nicks and all sorts of little instances plague the print. In fact, I'd say the transfer makes the animation interaction with the live action look even worse and artificial. Fleshtones aren't particuarly exciting, detail is mediocre and color saturation is average at best. There are no real problems with the color saturation but it could look a whole lot better. The transfer is incredibly soft too, has noise, has edge halos and has some slight edge enhancment. Given the film's lack of success, it's no surprise there was no clean-up invovled.



The English 5.1 Dolby Digital track caught me by surprise - it's rather discrete and robust. Featuring some great imaging and split surrounds, this track does hold its weight. There is a lot of action of the movie that make for great surrounds, such as the dance club scenes and all the cartoony violence. There's also some action scenes in the real world that pump up the channels. The music sounds decent and is mixed pretty well through the speakers while dialogue is easy to hear and clear. The 5.1 track is definitely the highlight of this release and complements the on-goings in the film much better than I expected. Also included on this DVD are Dolby Surround tracks in French and English, English subtitles and English closed captions.



Nothing at all - though I'm sure something could have been here.



"Cool World" has its fans and they'll probably pick this DVD up, but there's nothing really notable about this DVD. No extras and a terrible transfer, but the 5.1 mix is surprisingly strong. Still, you can probably find this DVD for cheap and if you want it, then it won't break your piggybank.

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $`14.99

Features: None

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, English Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (15 Scenes)

Released: November 11th, 2003



MPAA Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 101 minutes

Starring: Kim Basinger, Gabriel Byrne, Brad Pitt

Written by: Michael Grais

Directed by: Ralph Bakshi