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Sublime is a red hot tamale hidden within the predominantly bland cheese pizza of the horror industry. Some like it, some hate it, but no one forgets the unexpected taste of it. I do not like the box cover, though -- to me, at least, the image conveys the notion of cutting and scarring, and that made me expect this film to be some kind of slasher film -- psychological, of course, but still a slasher. Well, it's not a slasher; I would classify it as horror, though -- definitely; it's just a deeply psychological, symbolic type of horror that actually plays quite effectively. I should note that there are a few scenes of a medically gruesome nature, which may have squeamish folks squirming, but this story is not about blood and gore at all. I haven't seen the commentary on the DVD, which is probably both fortunate as well as unfortunate. While I would be very interested in hearing the director and writer explain their insights into the story, the rabble I hear about one of them saying the unfortunate main character of this film somehow represents George W. Bush leaves me happy to enjoy the film as it was, free of any directorial politics. I see no connection whatsoever to my President in this film, and I'm happy to keep it that way (putting such a political spin on the film I saw seems utterly inane from my perspective). This is a rare case when I believe the commentary can actually harm your enjoyment and impressions of a film.
It would be a crying shame for any reviewer to divulge any spoilers about this film, so I'm rather limited in what I can talk about. At its most basic level, Sublime is the story of a man who goes in to the hospital for a routine colonoscopy, but -- to his great misfortune -- that routine procedure ends up being the polar opposite of routine.Read more ›
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As Daniel Jolley has already written a very detailed review, I will only say that I found Sublime to be a somewhat weird, disturbing (at times), but very thought provoking movie. And as I reflect upon it, which would be hard not to do, I can certainly say that Sublime is very well done, has very believable characters, and has a most wonderful and haunting soundtrack. Unfortunately, there is no soundtrack available, but I'll be trying out some Bird York CDs.
The Blu-Ray picture is good, although the movie was so engrossing that I'll have to rewatch to determine ultimate picture quality. The sound was also quite good. I have no regrets at all about the purchase, which I made because of the Amazon recommendation system.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
ExcellentSept. 9 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I am a physician who has dealt with people going through similar experiences. This movie is quite thought provoking in this regard. I tend to agree with a prior reviewer that those who trash it are either looking for a slash movie or do not have the intelligence to realize the implications of this movie. This movie is quite deep on a number of levels. The acting is excellent, the photography is excellent, the plot is intriguing and thought provoking. I would highly recommend it to people who like to do some thinking while watching movies. And to those who watch a lot of movies and enjoy something out of the ordinary. Exraordinary in fact.
97 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Caution Horror FansMarch 19 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Due to the the intensity of the reaction to this film by fans of the horror genre (who are so disturbed as to spoil the story in their reviews) I thought I'd throw this in, for what it's worth:
SUBLIME was an experiment on nearly every level. Raw Feed is a Warner Bros. experiment to make "horror" films within the BROADEST definition of the genre. Films designed to be released directly to DVD.
John Shiban, Tony Krantz and Daniel Myrick would each make a film in 15 days for a budget of roughly 1.5 million dollars. Any one of them essentially could do whatever they wanted to do - to play into the genre, to satirize it, to bend it. Mr. Krantz's notion was to take the present atmosphere of fear and doubt that has pervaded our world; the very real statistics about "health care"; and the horror of the Terry Schiavo case, and make a movie.
My involvement in the film came out of my close friendship with Tony. Inspired by an Ambrose Bierce short story "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge"...the mystery of coma consciousness...the idea that when you close your eyes, your visual experience is limited to what you can remember...we crafted the script.
Trying to capture our version of a fear-and-incident-inspired "coma consciousness" led to the film's intentionally languorous and lurid pace. It was a specific choice. Right or wrong, we were determined to stay true to George's vision: George is stuck in a 10-month-plus Persistent Vegetative State within which all of the things that he worries about manifest. His only respite is when he closes his eyes and remembers his "last supper"; and many of his coma-realities are inspired by incidental details experienced that night:
Is Jenny actually unhappy in spite of what he wants to believe by "looking into her eyes"? Is she going to leave him? Will his colonoscopy go wrong? Is his daughter experimenting with her sexual identity? Why is his son so fascinated by fear and evil? Is his partner going to stab him in the back? And what about the Unknown - the utterly unaddressed racism, abuse of minorities, and fundamentalist Islamic-terror that we've all been taught to fear? George is a version of a successful Everyman who worries about a lot without choosing to examine much.
He thinks it's enough to look in someone's eyes to know their truth. Well, clearly, it isn't.
And what happens when you lose complete control of your destiny and are stuck in a world of fear made manifest? Well, if your guardian angel happens to be a demon incarnation of "the dark unknown" who will guide you through a confrontation with your fears...that journey might just free you to make a tough decision and take control of your detiny again. And that's what George does, tragically, at the end.
As for the symbology of the film, it was governed by the myth-base of a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant - it's entirely Judeo-Christian. And we piled it on with a shovel. It's on the nose because it's familiar, learned pretty much during adolescence, and it's all that George knows.
It was extremely satisfying to indulge in the lurid Grand Guignol tradition of this film. Commercially, it was risky, because we were straying from the current tradition of the horror genre.
Shooting the film in 2:35, framing and pacing the story the way we did was utterly intentional.
Could it stand to lose 10-15 minutes for the sake of modern day attention spans? Sure.
Is its subject matter, approach and execution inappropriate for the "horror genre"? Possibly.
Sublime is more in the tradition of psychological thriller/horror. The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Angel Heart, Jacob's Ladder, Memento, Eyes Wide Shut.
Sublime is not a pleasant movie.
If it's an experiment that failed for some and succeeded for others, I'm glad. I'd much rather that the film inspired strong opinions - even dismissive ones - than just lie there like another derivative grade B grindhouse gore-fest.
Everyone involved in Sublime took a chance...and we're all very proud that we did. Five star proud.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Smart film marketer to entirely the wrong crowdMarch 31 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
For what it's worth, I enjoyed Sublime. Was it a tad too long....absolutely, but that is a forgivable point. I believe that this film is getting bad reviews primarily because it was marketed to the wrong crowd. I think that had this film been presented as a psychological thriller with some supernatural overtones, I think it would have been received much better.
The acting is quite impressive, and so is the writing and cinematography. Kudos to all of the individuals who were involved in the making of this film as I find that they have all gone above and beyond their call of duty considering the time and budgetary challenges that this movie presented.
I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys stories which challenge you and make you think and talk about what you just saw. If movies like Memento, Insomnia, Jacob's Ladder and anything that Lynch or Cronenberg have made adornes your DVD collection, then Sublime will make a good addition!
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Horror Has Never Been So RealOct. 2 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
*** NO SPOILERS ***
This might possibly be the greatest horror movie I've ever seen. If not, it's definitely up there. The line on the cover of the box states "reminiscent of a really great "Twilight Zone" episode. I thought........ I grew up on "Twilight Zone" episodes. I was a "Twilight Zone" junkie. I had "Twilight Zone" with my cereal in the morning. If I could, I would inject "Twilight Zone" straight into my brain. Heck one New Years Eve (or was it 4th of July??)I stayed up for three days straight just to tape all the "Twilight Zone" episodes without the commercials. (So there's my credentials.) And I positively loved this movie. Thought it was brilliant. Up my alley?!?! This movie was living in my apartment building!!!
What makes this movie frightening..... No, what makes this movie scary as (....) is that it deals with a modern problem, a fairly common problem. A problem that is very possible. And they based this problem around something that every man eventually has to do.
Blown away doesn't begin to describe what this movie did to me. This flick blasted me off my futon, out the window, and onto my neighbors lawn. I felt like I got kicked in the chest by a bionic-kangaroo. If you're looking for psychological horror, look no further. This movie does for hospitals, what "Psycho" did for motels. Really scary stuff here, 'cause it happens every day. I don't want to give anything away, and if you read the reviews, some of them might ruin the impact this flick will have. If you're a serious horror fan, and definitely if you're a "Twilight Zone" fan; I absolutely DARE you to watch this, you will so NOT be disappointed. I'm a gorehound, (my reviews reflect that)and even I loved this movie, despite it's lack of gore, and I'm willing to bet you will too.
Alot of folks will say "it's the same old hat" or "it's too slow". But those people are either jaded, or smoking the hard ones. Personally, I believe they were mis-led by the cover art, which makes the movie appear as if it's a slasher flick, which it absolutely isn't.
This is what horror is all about. A straight to DVD movie, that flew under alot of radars, which is better than anything the theateres have to offer. This movie demands a viewing. It may change your life. It definitely changed mine.
Bravo!! Tony Krantz & Eric Jendresen. Bra-freakin'-vo!!!
MORAL OF THE STORY: Sometimes the place you go get better, will make you even worse.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Lives up to its nameApril 27 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a love-it or hate-it affair. I was drawn to this package by the comparisons to The Twilight Zone, and the association with John Shiban (formerly of the X-Files). I have grown weary of the endless stream of copycat Asian horror and welcome something new in this genre. If you're of the same mindset, I'd suggest you give this one a serious look.
I can't go into too much detail without spoiling the plot, but suffice it to say that that action and psychology of the film spring from the mind of a middle aged white-bread male who is bedridden in a very strange ward in a hospital. There's little splatter or blood here (save for a surgical incision), and we the audience follow him as he goes from reminiscences - mostly family and friends - to the strange east ward of the facility.
Despite the rather limited location, the movie kept my attention from beginning to end. Clocking in at 113 minutes, things were just about right, and the creators freed themselves from the token 90-minute horror standard. The movie tackles issues of innermost fears, and while I think the race issue was overplayed, there is some interesting political satire thrown into the mix, which is explained in detail during the director\writer commentary. The soundtrack is noteworthy, particularly the use of ethnic\techno hybrid sounds in the percussion. Used unobtrusively, it enhances the visual experience.
So take your pick: if you are looking for troubled girl ghosts, serial killers with sickles, or the monster shtick, this isn't for you. If something more cerebral appeals to you, don't miss this one.