Johnny Mnemonic (Bilingual) [Import]
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You might be tempted to call it "Johnny Moronic" after you've seen this illogical and derivative adaptation of William Gibson's cyberpunk short story (available in his book Burning Chrome), which is all the more depressing since Gibson himself wrote the screenplay. First you have to ask yourself why valuable top-secret electronic data would be stored in the "wet-wired" brain of a human courier (played by Keanu Reeves), who then transports the data from China to New Jersey as part of his last, most dangerous assignment. Surely there are better ways to transmit sensitive information, but since this is really just a conventional thriller with near-future design and spiffy special effects, Gibson and New York artist Robert Longo (making his directorial debut) are more interested in surface gloss and cyberpunk atmosphere. On that level the movie's fairly engaging, and Japanese film star Takeshi Kitano makes a pretty good villain, tracking Reeves down for the information in his data-packed brain. The movie also boasts an eclectic gallery of supporting players including rapper Ice-T, performance artist and rocker Henry Rollins, beefcake actor Dolph Lundgren, and transcontinental oddball Udo Kier. They can't stop this trip through virtual reality from being botched up, but sci-fi fans will certainly enjoy the echo of Gibson's fiction that remains on the screen. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
initial thrust of the film as well as the soundtrack from the
directors and the screenwriters original concept. Having done my homework on this film -- and having read the original screenplay and listened to the audiotape version of the original, the changes are significant. The glitch in the matrix of Johnny M came about after SPEED became a huge boxoffice success. What was meant to be a small art theater film became
overblown and distorted so that Sony could take advantage of Keanu Reeves, who was paid next to nothing for making this pic.
Sony's greed sank this film, with disastrous editing, post production scene re-shoots, early release, a bloated as campaign.
Still some of the original poetry still exists -- the cyber interface, the melding of machine and human (the ghost in the machine), and some knock out effects -- The short story can be
found in Gibson's Burning Chrome, or you can purchase the screenplay on line used. From the reviews it looks like it may become the cult classic that it deserves to be. And the Japanese version retains much more of the original flavor -- albeit still flawed, its a piece of work!!
I must confess that I have never read author William Gibson's short story, on which the film is based, but I can't believe it's as bad as this movie...or is it? It's amazing to me, that Gibson also wrote the screenplay. Needless to say, I will not be reading that, any time soon. That said--this review must go on. Johnny Mnemonic (Reeves) is a futuristic courier who loads important data straight into his brain for storage and safe keeping. This information is so vital, in fact, that Johnny has given up brainspace that houses cherished childhood memories, in order to save space to do this last job. He's got just 48 hours to transport a large load of data from Beijing to Newark NJ--and some futuristic samurai warriors--for reasons that don't matter--are out to make sure he doesn't make it to his destination alive.
Hollywood conceptual artist Robert Longo decided to step behind the camera and direct--he should have stayed put. While the movie does make a strong case for itself on a visual level, it is just a mess, in every other way. The cast, including Dina Meyer, Ice-T, Takeshi Kitano, and the greatest actor ever, Dolph Lundgren (I'M KIDDING), seem lost here...What a mess!!
Thank goodness the DVD doesn't have any extras (not even the trailer) on it. If it did, that would have been like rubbing salt on the wound, and I couldn't take the pain. If you decide to watch Johnny Mnemonic anyway, despite my warrning, at least you'll be able to see the film in either the full-screen or widescreen formats. Not that those options will make things any better. Watch at your own risk
Keanu Reeves plays Johnny, a cold, unhappy, robot-like data courier who wants to quit the business and have his long-term memory, which he had to dump in order to store data in his wet-wired brain implant, restored. But in order to get the cash for such an operation, he must make one last Big Job. After being setup by his "agent", Johnny finds that he cannot get the 80GB of data out of his head and if he doesn't do so in time, bad things will happen to his brain. Along the way he fights yakuza hitmen and crazed robotic street preachers, and is helped by rock star back alley doctors, hot female body guards, a gutter punk rapper, and a Super-Intelligent Dolphin.
Johnny isn't as unbelievably horrible as many other critics have claimed, but it certainly isn't going to win any awards. As it is, it is a fairly engaging sci-fi adventure with some serious handicaps. It's at least worth checking out.
If you like the film and you want to see and hear it better than you have ever been able to hear it before, this DVD is worth getting. There are no extras as all of the disc space is utilized in giving the highest possible bit rate possible. I hope some truly classic films will offered using the Superbit process in the future. I would also like to see an additional disc of extra material being offered for those films that have available extras.
Johnny Mnemonic should have been a delightful camp-fest with some remarkable sequences full of colorful digital effects. An excellent pop-artist Robert Longo directed the film, and it's all based on famed cyber-punk/ science fiction writer William Gibson's short story. He even adapted it for the screen.
The film to me is about as much fun as getting dumped off the internet just as your finishing writing a long e-mail you've not saved. I'd have to strain quite a bit to tell you something that is worthwhile in the film. The cast might look promising on paper, (Keanu, Dina Meyer, Ice-T, Takeshi (BEAT)Kitano, Henry Rollins, and Udo Kier) but nobody is particularly good in the film.
There's a pretty interesting sequence when Johnny quite literally surfs the internet. It's got some dazzling visuals for a few minutes.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
j'ai tout lue les commentaire avant d'acheter
et ce n'ai pas vrai qu'il n'y a pas de 16:9 dans cet copie du film
les personnes qui non pas d'autres format que 4:3... Read more
Ordered this DVD because I wanted the widescreen version of this movie but to my disappointment it is full screen (4:3 AR). Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2011 by layer8
A Warning for those looking for a widescreen copy of this film: THIS DISC IS FULL FRAME. I know the amazon listing here states that it is in widescreen, but this is wrong, and it... Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2011 by noyer
It's a given thing that people are automatically gonna hate a movie if it has Keanu Reeves in it. Yet he's still one of the most bankable A-List stars. Read morePublished on May 27 2004 by Meesha
I don't recommend buying this DVD. It's the type of movie that you might watch and enjoy once or twice, but never again. Read morePublished on April 12 2004 by Michael Dippery
It's not Keanu Reeves' acting, but rather that the screenplay was written by the author of the short story. And it just doesn't seem to be up to the quality of most of his work. Read morePublished on March 28 2004 by Samuel Goodin
I actually liked this film when it came out but seeing it again this past week I was struck by how flat Reeves' performance was. Read morePublished on March 28 2004
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