Not just another entry translating comic
books to the screen since the director, Sam Raimi, is a fine film stylist and Darkman
has his cinematic vocabulary liberally sprinkled from the earliest scenes. Liam Neeson is the
scientist who becomes disfigured when hoods seek papers left at his lab by his reporter girl
friend. Conveniently, Neeson's project has to do with cloning skin and features by using
photographs and he uses a partially destroyed photo of himself to provide an unscarred
replacement face. The catch is the skin only lasts a short time when exposed to light, so we
get glimpses of boiling cells and melting epidermis. Of course, ,he must revenge himself on the bad
guys at the same time trying to solve the technical artificial skin deficiencies.
Probably the weakest aspect of the film is the ease with which the
scientist is able to scavenge the remains of his lab after a colossal explosion and set up
his high tech lab in abandoned quarters in short order even for a comic book. Still, the Raimi
style makes everything look cool and moves the plot along to a swift conclusion. Neeson is a
powerful screen presence and looks great in Darkman duds. Francis McDormand seems a bit
wide-eyed and weak-willed as the girl friend. She's better a a pregnant cop in Fargo, Ya.
For the genre, the movie, with it's dark scenes and disfigured hero is a cut above the comic
An ana- morphic
1.85 transfer makes the most out of transfer elements. The film's grainy night scenes are handled
reasonably well in the compression bay. Overall, the images are sharp enough and color is the
normally lit interior scenes is fine. The bluish cast to the many scenes does not translate
especially well in this DVD production. Dolby Digital 2-channel surround sound is aggressive
and the major explosion packs some heavy duty punch.
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style to spare in reviewing films and producing feature articles. Check out their special
Derek Germano of The Cinema
Laser, a one man whirlwind of reviews, just announced the posting of his 600th DVD
The Feature Archive
has articles ranging from Akira
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Movie Rage: Death in the Aisles
Everyone knows what it feels like to get angry at the
movies these days. Here's a humorous but not so delightful view of big screen misery.