|Index||7 reviews in total|
This was my second Philip J. Roth picture in three days, after A.P.E.X., which was also his previous film to this one. Digital Man does some things better and some things worse, mostly it's just stolidly competent. The story boils down to the old saw of a crack military team attempting to take down a renegade robot, although there's context and a spot of complication wrapped around the basic events. Nothing too sophisticated but it at least provides a mild interest to sustain things, which comes in handy once the umpteenth round of gunfire and explosions get tiresome. Set on the outskirts of a desert town there's a feel of arid isolation here that works well as a backdrop and contrasts with the larger than life, bumptious characters, the setting and the more humorous than average writing as well as faint flashes of emotional connection or suspense are the biggest advantages here. Well, fans of explosions and ludicrous guns will be pleased by the frequent pyrotechnics and comically huge weaponry on display. The acting just about conveys the appropriate sense of battle hardened veterans, the anonymous likes of Ken Olandt, Kristen Dalton and Sherman Augustus fill their roles with a kind of solid bad-assery, though the main plaudits go to Don Swayze as a daft redneck and Adam Baldwin as a military bigwig. Swayze is fitfully amusing in his utterly clichéd role, while Baldwin has the right sort of brusque authority to convince. The titular digital man is played by Matthias Hues, he has nothing to do other than walk around slowly and look tough, this he does in fine fashion, being a pretty imposing sized guy. Oh, and there are little cameos for the quirky Clint Howard and scenery chewing favourite Susan Tyrell (Night Warning). All in all nothing to write home about performance wise but everyone is suitably committed. Like A.P.E.X. the one black character is an obnoxious caricature which is a bit sad, but I don't tend to look for sensitivity in these sorts of junk flicks anyhow. Broadly speaking this is worth watching if you go for this sort of low grade sci fi action, I suspect I would have liked it more had I seen it a decade or so back when I first caught sight of the video box in a local rental place but despite its problems I was still glad to finally see it. Occasionally decent in both action and effects, with amusing old school cheap cgi and one or two brief but neat robotic effects, there's just about enough to go on even though its never any great shakes. Worth a watch if nothing else is on and you like the genre
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the future, if there is a situation too dangerous for human soldiers
to go into, there is such a thing as the "D-1 Weapons System", or
"Digital Man" (Hues). Such a situation arises when terrorists steal the
launch codes for some nukes and demand 2 billion dollars in gold.
Digital Man spoils their plans, but he uploads the launch codes on to
his system. He then ends up in Badwater, Nevada, a small, dusty hamlet
in the desert. When it is found out he has the nuclear launch codes, a
special, crack team led by Anders (Olandt) is sent to Badwater to "take
him off-line". Also there's some sort of stupid intrigue involving Adam
Baldwin and Ed Lauter that is impossible to care about. So it's a
scenario with a multi-racial team trying to stop Digital Man, Digital
Man eluding them, and rednecks and trailer park dwellers such as Billy
(the Swayze of the Don variety) interacting with all the high-tech
Maybe it's just us, but I hate these low-budget sci-fi future movies. The dialogue consists of nothing but gobbledygook which is completely unrelatable to any audience. Thus they mentally "check out", lose interest and stop caring about the proceedings. Digital Man in particular is guilty of this, with very few, if any, likable characters. The most likable of the bunch is probably the emotionless supersoldier Digital Man. It's a perfect role for Hues.
In 1995, CD-ROMs were huge, and this movie feels like one long, painful CD-ROM, with all the graphics and silly "morphing" effects that would entail. I've played flight simulators that are more thrilling than Digital Man. Flight Simulators.
Just imagine a mish-mash of Virtuosity (1995), The Terminator (1984), Neon City (1991), Robocop (1987), American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993), Hologram Man (1995), Circuitry Man (1990) and even the Sega Genesis game Vectorman. The idea of the "sci-fi western" has been tried with everything from Westworld (1973) to Oblivion (1994). While the novelty of Don Swayze in a Chad McQueen-style sleeveless shirt angrily spouting lines like "You can't tell me what to do, robot!" in utter seriousness to such people as Matthias Hues is worth noting, Digital Man is just so dumb and tedious it wears off quickly.
For example, the weaponry the cast uses look like spray-painted leaf blowers, and robots die like the Itchy and Scratchy robots in that episode of The Simpsons. The "crack team" does hone their craft, whatever that's supposed to be, by fighting "Virtual Ninjas" (you gotta figure the word "virtual" is going to show up sometime). The idea of a virtual ninja is cool and is probably strong enough to support its own movie. Maybe there will be a spin-off (please God not a sequel).
So while the movie does have a professional look thanks to the cinematography, and there are a lot of explosions, the only real reason to watch this is for Matthias Hues. Which is the only reason we watched it. So that works out. The climax does feature some Hues hand to hand combat, which is nice, because Hues walking around a trailer park with a leaf blower for 90 minutes sounds more entertaining than it actually is.
In the end, Digital Man seems like something you'd happen to catch on HBO or Cinemax in the middle of the afternoon sometime in the 90's. Sadly though, the strong B-movie cast cannot save the dire stupidity within.
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Digital Man is a very entertaining movie, with good acting, excellent photography and outstanding F/X. It does suffer from a mediocre script however. A very good, overall effort from a bunch of actors who fall into the category of "where have I seen them before?" A rating of 8 out of 10 was given.
In an era of movies like TERMINATOR: GENISYS and CHAPPIE, can a B-grade
robot adventure from the mid-90s find an appreciative audience? The
answer is yes, at least if it can find its way into my hands. No
low-budget filmmaker loved the sci-fi genre more than Philip J. Roth
("APEX"), and this particular cyborg-themed outing highlights the best
that he or almost anyone could bring to the table under B-movie
constraints. Though not terribly original, DIGITAL MAN is engaging and
action-packed enough to accommodate its target audience and perhaps win
over a few new fans as well.
The story: A squad of futuristic soldiers (led by Ken Olandt) is sent to a backwater Earth settlement to neutralize a deadly combat cyborg (Matthias Hues) run amuck.
It bears emphasizing that viewers who need expensive production values and state-of-the-art special effects to enjoy sci-fi flicks will be disappointed by this one, with its outdated CGI and gooey prosthetics. Personally, I love the production design, which is so skillfully implemented that there's no stylistic discord even when the setting shifts from a high-tech space station to the dusty Earth setting. Despite a handful of esthetic lifts from ALIENS and THE TERMINATOR, DIGITAL MAN looks and feels very much like its own movie, and in the process manages to avoid the artistic pitfalls of basing a production in the desert: it's never not fun to look at, despite its limited color palette.
The action's comprised primarily of explosions and shootouts, with a smattering of kickboxing. Though bluntly effective, the firefights aren't worth the price of the picture alone, and it's disappointing that Hues' physical talents are limited to only a single, one-sided brawl. Despite looking cool in his armor, Matthias is generally the worst-utilized performer of the film, having next to no lines and virtually nothing to do other than stalking and shooting. The rest of the cast does much better, with especially the soldiers getting enough character moments so as to not feel expendable. The rest of the cast is pretty memorable, too: Don Swayze (brother of Patrick) is a decent supporting goof, Amanda Wyss does what she can in an uncredited role, and the great Susan Tyrell has two glorious cameo scenes.
Director Roth infuses the picture with the enthusiastic pacing and gusto so often missing from low-budget productions, thereby keeping the film upbeat and rolling along nicely. He might have also included a tad too much story for his own good, as the paranoia angle of squad members potentially being cyborgs themselves feels unnecessary for a movie this small. Nevertheless, the film is worth a rental, and potentially even a purchase if you still own a VCR.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not really that much to say about this one other than this movie about
a cyborg (for lack of a better word) who goes AWOL and causes all sorts
of trouble is not anything great but on the flip side it's not really
too bad either. Perfectly suitable as either a flick you turn on for a
rainy Sunday or even just as background noise while doing something
else. It's not the type of film that you have to pay rapt attention to.
The digital mans interactions with some local white trash is a
highlight of the film. Forgettable, but still a solidly average popcorn
Eye Candy: Chase Masterson gets briefly topless
My Grade: B-
I've seen Digital man almost a decade ago when it came to video. My dad
rented me this movie to watch over the weekend since he was leaving with
mom. I loved it so much that I've watched it five or six times in 48
My memories of this movie are quite vague. I can't really remember the quality of the acting and script. But I definitely remember how scary Mathias Hues was as the killer robot. A team is sent in a small community somewhere out in the desert to terminate him but soon find out some of them are robots themselves. Woon and Jackson are two bad*ss soldiers who can't match Digital Man.
I think I'll buy this movie in the near future since I can't find it at the video store anymore. I think fans of Terminator and Robocop would love this movie. It's the traditional "Shoot the bastard !!!" kind of flick with lots of action and sci-fi. I rate it 7/10. See it if you get the chance.
Has the world gone mad if anything this movie is average and i mean AVERAGE the explosion scenes are good but the special effects are pretty bad the scenes are slow the acting is like somthing ive seen on a movie with a budget of about £10 a ive seen sticks with better facial expressions. on a scale of 1-10 this movie is 3 and thats being kind
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