Dreams May Come(SE)/C,B
There's a big leap of faith to be made if one is to enjoy the philosophy of What
Dreams May Come. Even given the ability to leap that chasm, the maudlin romance
presents a gap too wide for my intellectual or emotional bridge to close.
When Chris Nielsen, an amiable physician, dies in a automobile
accident, he arrives in a Heaven like no one I know has ever imagined. While he paints a
world through his own imagination, it is incomplete for him without the love of his life. What
Dreams May Come turns into Chris's quest to save his lady love. Most of the quest is
little more than an excuse for incredible visuals. There's a does of down home philosophy,
but it thrown into the pot to add some tension to the saccharine mix. The chief assets of What
Dreams May Come are the imagination and production design and the special effects that
make it possible for it all to come to vivid realization.
A romp of the imagination.İPolygram
Robin Williams does an adequate job with the material he is
given as Chris Nielson. He is asked to travel some syrupy waters and he manages not to get
stuck in the muck. But he can't rescue the character from being overly sentimental.
Annabella Sciorra is his Annie, the love of his life and the love of his death. She laughs
with a throaty enthusiasm, smiles happily and stares into space effectively. But her
character is a mere shell and she cannot do much to bring Annie to life in either world
depicted in What Dreams May Come. Cuba Gooding, Jr. has a virtually impossible task
in finding any solid ground to land his performance as Chris's guide through Heaven.
There is significant edge enhancement in many scenes, yet it does
not seem to affect the small details. The picture looks quite clean and the transfer is
sharp save for a couple of scenes that go soft. There is also momentary vertical jitter in
one scene. The layer change hangs up for a long time, almost as if a fast laser disc
player were changing sides. The positive aspects of the DVD transfer and production far
outweigh the negatives. Color is intense and exciting. The basic color schemes pop off the
screen like candy and the subtler scenes, with bucolic sunsets, have a lovely range. The
sound is airy, one could even say Heavenly. Surrounds create a consistent ambience.
What Dreams May Come has been packaged as a
first class special edition DVD. Along with a technically informative director's audio
commentary, there's an alternate ending that seems to go on forever, a making of
featurette, a photo gallery and other requisite special edition bonuses.
Poster Archive for short bios and images of Susan Hayward, Kirk
Douglas, Katharine Hepburn and many more. This month's featured star is John Wayne.
The Feature Archive
has articles ranging from Akira
Kurosawa to Blonde
Bimbos and John
Click on the image of The Heistmasters
for an interesting feature on the tough guys that pull off the big jobs.
Venerable Internet Magazine etown.com is making
a big growth spurt adding veteran home theater writers to their editorial and review
staff. Look for many new hardware reviews in the coming weeks.
Brad Lang movie site continues to be a great tool for Internet
surfers and movie lovers. As usual, he's found some interesting links. Check out the link
for a fine Japanese site on Kurosawa films.
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