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Warner/1998/99m/ANA 2.35, PS 1.33

    I found myself strangely moved by Todd, the main character in Soldier, a cold vision of the future with definite Nietzchean overtones. The unwaveringly cold opening sequences in Soldier set Todd up for even the slightest subtleties of emotion and the screenplay delivers powerfully in its quieter moments. Okay, this is a big action flick. The guns are powerful, the explosions relentless and the inevitable confrontations are played out predictably with only moderate satisfaction. Yes, and there are more wholes in the plot and concept than I'd care to acknowledge. But I wanted to ignore the dubious technological time frame and the string of kitchy parking meters used to link the wind life-lines, and the pretty awful concept of a villain, a colonel with enough power to self destroy a multi-million dollar program through cowering idiocy. It all came down to Todd. If the character of Todd does not work for you Soldier dies an ignominious death. But if you can creep inside Todd's skin, feel the action through his expanding consciousness, perhaps Soldier will move you in unexpected ways.
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Check out Todd's service record:)ŠUniversal

     Kurt Russell is a much underrated actor. Soldier, while on one level seems a limited range for an actor, presents a challenge to Russell in finding an economy of emotional range that conveys enormous feeling with only the slight use of facial expression. Somewhere behind the cold blue of the eyes lies the heart of a man trying to find his humanity.
     The screenplay by David Webb Peoples is more than a dozen years old. It has the qualities missing from many of today’s action films and that’s character development. Even the compact opening indoctrination sequences taking Todd and company through infancy to killer force readiness have enough information in them to create an interesting history. With a filmography. that includes Blade Runner, Twelve Monkeys and even Unforgiven, Peoples must get respect.
     Director Paul Anderson moves Soldier along like a Blitzkrieg. He captains this team of moviemakers with the spirit of adventure and excitement. While Anderson's prior Scifi venture Event Horizon was the slick and empty ,Anderson displayed a great visual sense which carries over into Soldier.
     Soldier delivers everything you could ask of a DVD. The visual impact is consistently stunning. The very sharp transfer is virtually free of artifacts. Difficult image material like fog , smoke and dust flows over the screen smoothly. Contrast levels in testy sequences are well handled preserving the mood without sacrificing clarity. The Dolby Digital 5:1 sound is a show in itself. Directionality is pinpoint, explosions have bass impact to spare and bullets penetrate every corner of the room. No one is safe.
     Soldier is delivered with an provide an audio commentary from Director Paul Anderson and Producer Jeremy Bolt and actor Jason Issaics that reflects a love of the movies. They present many details of the filmmaking process and look with fairly objective eyes at their finished product.