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eXistenZ

Jude Law , Jennifer Jason Leigh , David Cronenberg    DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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eXistenZ + Naked Lunch + Videodrome (Widescreen)
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Director David Cronenberg's eXistenZ is a stew of corporate espionage, virtual reality gaming, and thriller elements, marinated in Cronenberg's favorite Crock-Pot juices of technology, physiology, and sexual metaphor. Jennifer Jason Leigh is game designer Allegra Geller, responsible for the new state-of-the-art eXistenZ game system; along with PR newbie Ted Pikul (Jude Law), they take the beta version of the game for a test drive and are immersed in a dangerous alternate reality. The game isn't quite like PlayStation, though; it's a latexy pod made from the guts of mutant amphibians and plugs via an umbilical cord directly into the user's spinal column (through a BioPort). It powers up through the player's own nervous system and taps into the subconscious; with several players it networks their brains together. Geller and Pikul's adventures in the game reality uncover more espionage and an antigaming, proreality insurrection. The game world makes it increasingly difficult to discern between reality and the game, either through the game's perspective or the human's. More accessible than Crash, eXistenZ is a complicated sci-fi opus, often confusing, and with an ending that leaves itself wide open for a sequel. Fans of Cronenberg's work will recognize his recurring themes and will eat this up. Others will find its shallow characterizations and near-incomprehensible plot twists a little tedious. --Jerry Renshaw

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Blu-ray quality. Feb. 8 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Its a great movie, great quality with the blu-ray. The biggest difference with the D.v.d are the extras. The re are obviously more of them (interviews with Jude law, Willem Dafoe and the special effect supervisor), but they took some out of the D.v.d version. the Dvd version has a commentary track of the Cinematographer Peter Suschitzky and another with David Cronenberg. Somthing that can be very interesting for big cinema fans that is clearly missing from the blu-ray. Still, the Quality of the movie is great great. (Pardon my errors, I'm french...)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Cronenberg's world Aug. 16 2004
Format:DVD
Fantastic DVD here, and at a great price. You can also find an even more budget-conscious version, but there will be fewer extras.
Opinions on this film vary. Die-hard Cronenberg fans sometimes find eXistenZ to be a little lightweight. Especially when compared to more provocative films like Crash or depressing films like Spider or Dead Ringers.
On the other end of the spectrum, those unfamiliar with Cronenberg's work may find this movie to be too bizarre!
I won't talk too much about the plot, as other reviewers are better at it than I am, but I'll say that it's kind of a game within a game within a game (within a game?). Like a few other films of the day it explores the nature of reality (The Matrix of course is most popular).
eXistenZ was actually Cronenberg's biggest budget at 25 million (not including his current project A History of Violence). The special effects are fantastic, and there are some good moments of gore. A couple people get shot in and around the face. Yes, this is a return to his past in many ways, though again, in a slightly more playful manner.
There's plenty of extras on the DVD, most notably three separate commentaries and a long (almost an hour, I think) feature about production designer Carol Spier which mostly focuses on eXistenZ but also touches on some of her earlier work with Cronenberg.
Definitely worth getting, and an especially good introduction to Cronenberg's work (before moving on to more disturbing pictures like Videodrome and The Brood, and more slow, paced pictures such as Spider and Crash).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely intelligent and unique Sci-Fi March 1 2001
Where does one even begin to explain the genius of this film? David Cronenburg creates some of the most disturbing and controversial films ever put on celluloid. It's no wonder people have so many strong opinions about them. This movie grabs you, puts you in an uncomfortable position of a "where are we going, and where are you taking me to" feeling. It's only in the last three minutes of the film where you finally get the psuedo-assuredness of being halfway understanding when in the last few seconds you're thrown for a loop all over again. This movie is simply something you don't see in movies anymore. The story is dreamlike, the characters are peculiar and mysterious and the technology is frighteningly surreal under todays mesmerizing love of video game consoles. This movie taps into the principle and possiblities of how far big video game companies could really go in the near future. I actually loved this movie more than "The Matrix." Although both movies are completely different, for the sake of everyone comparing, this movie has a far more delicious story and a far more realistic probability presented by two very underrated movie actors. Which makes the comparison of the two sci-fi flicks no contest.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind - Bending Fun! Oct. 22 1999
By A Customer
With the exception of "The Dead Zone" this is the only other Cronenberg film I enjoyed, (and was able to stomach.)
Believe it or not, seeing a guy getting his face blown in half by a gun firing human teeth and people porting into a game system that looks like a bizarre fleshy body part is rather tame for Cronenberg. Certainly a lot easier to watch than the flesh-eating puke in "The Fly" or drinking fluid out of a fleshy straw on a large bug's head in "Naked Lunch".
One of the reasons I enjoyed this film was it reminded of the mind-bending plot twists of a really good Philip K. Dick story. By the film's end you have no idea what, if anything, is real and not just a game.
Some reviewers found the performances very weak. But often, this is done deliberately: one character named D'arcy Nader is played so cartoonishly that the main character, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, comments on how lousy his dialogue and accent were. Personally, I thought the two lead performances were very good. Leigh gives this picture her all playing a sexy game designer whose whole life revolves around this virtual world she has created. Jude Law is also very good, especially his humorous reactions to all the weird stuff that happens around him.
This picture is particulalrly entertaining if you've ever played a role-playing computer and are familiar with the "game loop" that computer characters go into when you're not speaking to them.
The movie also makes a very strong comment on how video games have de-sensitized us. In one scene Jennifer Jason Leigh shoots a character dead just because she didn't like him, but then she can't figure out if she killed him for real or just in the game. a brilliant comment about seperating fantasy and reality.
This is a very well crafted, highly underrated movie. Possibly the most intriguing science-fiction film of the decade.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A John Carpenter want-to-be
Allegra Geller has just created a new game called eXistenZ. At its début someone tries to tooth her to death in the name of reality. Read more
Published 3 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Cronenberg's best!
Before we had Inception we had this masterpiece by one of the best film-makers of all time! A must watch.
Published 8 months ago by Ryan Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
I am Karen's daughter and I was the one she got this movie for. I watch this movie with my husband. I had first saw it when I was living at home, and thought it was a good sci-fi... Read more
Published on March 7 2012 by Karen Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better
It's hard to rate this movie, especially without giving away any plot spoilers (which has to do with periods of bad acting). Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by JackDaniels7
5.0 out of 5 stars eXistenZ
What a wonderful movie. All of the mind twisting about just what is reality anyway? and a feeling for what it's like if you are a videogame character living in a videogame world,... Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by Garry Puffer
3.0 out of 5 stars Original and Strange - Still Cronenberg Has Done Better
A typical Cronenberg - blurred line between reality and fantasy, strange interaction between biology and technology, themes of addiciton and a psychological thriller plot. Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by SandmanVI
4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously underrated Cronenberg sci-fi film
The biggest strike against David Cronenberg's eXistenZ is the year that it came out - 1999. It was a summer dominated by Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by FairiesWearBoots8272
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind bending
Every once in awhile when I am feeling reflective I like to watch a David Cronenberg film. I have seen quite a few of them at this point, from some of his earliest stuff like... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Jeffrey Leach
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant Cronenberg film
Although eXistenZ came out around the same time as The Matrix, it seems to be a response to that film. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004 by SPM
3.0 out of 5 stars not the best work by Cronenberg
I like David Cronenberg movies. But this one was quite disappointing. I didn't look at the year the movie was created and thought that it's some earlier Cronenberg' work so... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Vahania63
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