Sunday, August 07, 2005

Altered States (1980)

Ooo, Altered... upside-down... wooo!!

Genre: Drama Horror Sci-Fi Fantasy

Starring: William Hurt (Lost In Space; Kiss Of The Spider Woman), Blair Brown (Dogville; The Astronaut's Wife)

Directed By: Ken Russell (The Lair Of The White Worm; Gothic)

Overview: A driven scientist seeks to find his meaning of life, his place in the universe, his soul in the vastness of reality. A drug he finds leads him to unimagined explorations into the self, but at what cost?

Acting: The roles portrayals are very human. From time to time there's some directorial flaws, but the human nature is maintained. A man driven seeks to find and his obsession becomes both a curse and a boon. William does a great job, though the direction of the other players could have been a little more forceful.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: The images were pretty regular fare, but those scenes at the end, ever reminiscent to 2001, yet understood, add such depth to this piece that it makes up for the standard scenes presented to us. The whole thing was pretty entertaining to watch, especially that Neanderthal bit.
Rating: 7

Script: The writing is ultra-intelligent. It's almost like someone made a cyberpunk sci-fi thriller movie with research! Honestly, watching this, I was going along enjoying the personal banter and watching the story unfold, then all of a sudden, some theory or motivation behind the experiments and the characters would come through so clearly and intelligently that I wondered why this movie was considered as 'fine' or 'not so good'. I was blown away by the depth of the intellect and science in this. I never wondered why, it was clear as day to me.
Rating: 9

Plot: The only reason I selected this as being Romance Sci-Fi is because the element of love is ever-prevalent. doesn't even classify it as romance, which I found somewhat as a shock, since the plot stems from the lack of and leads to the realization of, love and its eternal state. The development of this story is unique and interesting, and there are little cheese moments here and there, but ultimately, it's good stuff.
Rating: 7

Mood: The overall mood of this is fine, not all that immersive, but that zoo scene and the moments with the visions really make up for a lot. Love is a constant theme, and well maintained.
Rating: 7

"Well I figured they'd catch up to me eventually, lookin' like this..."

Overall Rating: 74% (Smart and Entertaining)

Aftertaste: The mixed reviews I had about this made me almost regret buying it at that garage sale. I'm glad I spent the 4 bucks after all and you know as nigh-horror goes, I thought it very entertaining. Not completely indelible, but a good time well spent building that ginormous repertoire.