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Overall rating: 4/5
Tagline: Low-key science fiction with art-house style
Film: A good movie that aspired to greatness, but fell short. In a cold near-future, Ethan Hawke is a “love child” born without genetic engineering, and therefore subject to constant discrimination. Assuming the identity of crippled golden boy Jude Law, he gets inches from his dream of becoming an astronaut, and also gets Uma Thurman (here and in real life, lucky bastard). A murder investigation threatens to undo everything. Well acted, written and directed, this interesting, intellectual film somehow fails to achieve greatness, due in part to a silly and easily cut digression with Hawke’s brother. Also, could you have three more stylized actors? Gives the movie a plastic feel. Yet very much an underrated piece of thoughtful science fiction.
DVD: Widescreen on one side, full-screen on the other, for those trained by television. Dolby Digital 5.1. The film looks and sounds great. Special features are principally a few deleted scenes that don’t enhance the film. The trailer is coupled with a “documentary” that is essentially a really, really long trailer explaining the plot and setting of the movie with no behind-the-scenes aspects.
Easter Eggs: Nope, unless they’re hidden at a microscopic level.
Five Degrees of Separation
Solaris – like this, but less accessible and more Clooney
Minority Report – faster pace in equally fascistic future
2001, A Space Odyssey – You want pretty and cerebral? Here.
Blade Runner – Noir, mood, genetic engineering – but with more rain.
Henry & June – Early Uma, great filmmaking, the reason NC-17 was invented.