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OK - seen this one this afternoon with my girlfriend. As usual, Brad Mirman delivers an interesting Cyberpunk-like script (even if some plot- holes are "intriguing" - to say the least), as usual, Christopher Lambert is the only one in the cast to be a little bit involved. The photo is okay too and the score has its moments (even if the "Absolon Theme" by Howie B. is almost without interest). Some good FX (very few in fact).
But for his directional debut, David Barto overused already outdated effects (slow/fast effects in the editing for example), made some serious continuity mistakes (the car chase in the 2/3 of the movie for example) and directed it like a poor TV-movie. That's it : Absolon is no more than a (very cheap at times) TV-film : the female cast is terrible - even if enjoyable to see, Lou Diamond Philips looks like he's not really enjoying his part (he needs a new agent) and overplays it, Ron Perlman plays it simply bored (i'm sure he was on the set one day only : he always stays at the same place). Some secondary characters are far more better (dialogues, characterization), that is counter-balancing a little bit but not enough to save the film from oblivion.
I'm very sorry to type this but some things are definitely missing here : a cast, a budget (twice would have been enough i think - how much it cost : no more than 5M$ i'd say), some more concerned "stars" (with the exception of Lambert), a good editor and finally a director with some idea and motivation.
All fans of the legendary German "krautrock" / electronic / ambient group Tangerine Dream were eagerly waiting for a video of their favorite - and still living (from 1967-today) group. The band deserved it : those who followed TD during their rich and fruitful career knew there were tons of amateur videos shot (by the group's members or the late Monika Froese) during the recordings, rehearsals, press conferences, live performances and so on. Some videos had been made too - mainly for promotional purposes...
So, when "Three Phase" came, it was considered as the really first attempt to give the group a visual identity. It will resume 25 years of career in... uh, 45 minutes ? - i gasped : everybody knew it was too short. And it would have been a "tour de force" to catch 25 years of music vision in less than an hour... But it was hope.
What we feared was nothing compared to the actual vision : disappointment was the word. This video is mainly focused around the Seattle's live performance from the 1992's "Rockoon" tour : the music is OK, but the poor show and the performance itself lack of magic, warmth (even if the Dream was often more of less considered as "music intellectuals", there were a lot of "fun" in their early-mid-90s albums), and to say the least, originality : the exact replica of the "220 Volt live" - not a bad album, but that's another point.
The worst was yet to come : if we except one video and the closing titles sequence, NO archive footage, no unreleased music of any kind. Where was the "Past" gone ? Here : one remixed tune from the 70's (with "catchy" - i mean : outdated today, but already at the time of release - computer visuals) plus a "Melrose" (1990) video and that's it (+ the closing titles music, circa 1982) : all the rest is early 90's oriented.
My closing words : obviously not a video for their legions of fans, but more a cheap "How to begin with Tangerine Dream" for the American audience.
B-Side at its best...
Woah... I saw it in 1996 in a theater near my small Provençal village, and i simply wasn't expecting that... Christian Duguay proved once again he was terribly underrated by both the press and the public, "Screamers" ("Planète Hurlante" in France i/e "Screaming Planet", nice title too...) is the B-side at its best, the B-efficiency with an almost-A script. The cast is OK (Roy Dupuis was almost a star here in the early 90s, the VFX impressive (for the most of them), and - as some viewers wrote earlier - the first part very promising. Overall, a good job. Take it on video with a couple of friends, some chips'n'soda (ok, beer if ya want).
One of the best Cyberpunk pic ever...
An European hard-science action movie is rare these days, especially a good one, and Nirvana was a good surprise when released in France... The critics bashed it - with some interesting exceptions, and the public did not come to see it (bad promo material)... Nevertheless, it's still one of my favorite. This is not a Wakowsky Bros frenzy festival with "bullettime effect" (did you know that it was a french who created them ?) and kick-ass fighting, but Gabriele Salvatores (an "intellectual" director as it seems) did an excellent low-budget film with GREAT scenario, GREAT acting (Lambert at his best, seriously), a credible world...
It's not centered on the VFX, and it's great. Sometimes a bit slow, but it's for the "ambiance", and, what an ending... A must-see, not especially for Lambert-fans... Be open-minded, and try it...
One of the best films EVER seen recently
I read the books just before the release of the 'Fellowship', and Wow... I was already a great fan of heroic-fantasy literature and movies, but it was too much to handle in just one screening I've seen it a lot since 2001, and each vision was like a childhood pleasure
Great adaptation. A lesson of cinema. A lesson of life. Don't tell me i'm an addict. I'm not. I hope so.
Peter Jackson rocks. He already rocked in the 80s during the "Bad Taste" years (cult-fan favorite), but THAT was/is... beyond words.
Edit (13/08/28) : still unique - yeah, you still can say it is a unique experience. The comparison with the most recent "Hobbit" work confirms it big time (unfortunately for Peter Jackson, i'd add).
Kamikaze 1989 (1982)
Fat Fassbinder in dull movie.
I'm sorry to say that, but i can hardly say it's a good film... The cinematography is dull, the photography is so cheapo that you could think you're in a "Derrick" episode. The scenario losses some parts during the timeline... Even the music (composed by the professional Edgar Froese) is - uhm... Outdated? No 80s revival will save this film from the brink of extinction. The only advantage for its producers is that you CAN'T forget it after a vision. Uhmm... Not for the good, i'm afraid..