HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
BRAINSTORM (BLU RAY)
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Doug Trumbull

Starring:
Christopher Walken
Natalie Wood
Louise Fletcher
Cliff Robertson

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Zany scientists Michael and Lillian just figured out how to essentially body-jump (or at least live vicariously through footage) with some kind of crazy contraption you strap to your head. Of course, they want to use it for good, but the military wants to turn their gadget into a weapon. Can Michael and Lillian overcome the oppressive Army? More importantly, can Michael learn to work with his ex-wife, played by Natalie Wood?
Is it good movie?
I don't really know much about Natalie Wood, but apparantly she passed away during the filming of this flick, which made it her last. The studio wanted to scrap it, but director Doug Trumbull used effects shots and and body doubles to try to finish it.

The movie does present some complex and interesting ideas. It's super interesting when something happens to one of the main characters that results in their death (and of course, they record it), and another character becomes obsessed with watching (and experiencing) the death tape. Other neat ideas for the technology of course include improving communication and the natural sex implications.

Unfortunately though, the flick is just all over the place and proves to be pretty uneven as it lacks confidence. The movie seems to be a wacky sci-fi plot to begin with, then sort of shifts to the anti-establishment deal, then shifts once again to the crazy obsession of watching and experiencing a characters death. It just doesn't hold onto any one idea for long enough.

Ultimately though, the movie is just too scattered to be of any substance. This flick was designed around the director's strengths in SFX (but this was his swan song as he was blackballed shortly after), which does make for some super cool imagery, but there just isn't enough meat to enjoy. The whole thing starts off light and airy as they begin to explore the technology but once things start getting dark the movie gets lost.

The characters are laughably pretty wooden and one dimensional, even the great character actor Cliff Robertson can't get anything going with his lame corporate character. As always, the most fun comes from watching a younger Chris Walken run the emotional gamut as scientist Michael Brace. The guy has a lot of heavy lifting to do and is quite capable. As for Natalie Wood, I don't really know much about her but her performance is pretty blah in this one.

If you're really into cool imagery and the beginning of what could have been a pretty great idea, Brainstorm might be for you. Sadly enough though, it's not a lot of fun to watch and winds up being pretty messy.

Video / Audio
Most of Brainstorm's video comes in 1.66:1 widescreen (aside from some Brainstorm sequences), and looks muddy and off somehow, like the ratio just isn't right.

Audio sounds great though, with an impressive, clear and well-balanced 5.1 DTS-HD track rounding things out.

The Extras
One thing: a theatrical trailer! That's it.
Last Call
This Blu-Ray has been cleaned up pretty well and as a result looks pretty great during some of the neat special effects scenes. Still though, I can't think of any great reason why you should run out and pick this up unless you're a Walken completist or a sci-fi die hard.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Mistress Of The Week

More
Winnick, Katheryn