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3.3 out of 5 stars
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3.3 out of 5 stars
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on June 16, 1999
It has to be said that when they open the annals of the worlds most underrated movies this will be at the top of the list. Keanu is well cast as JMn - some would say bereft of personality but I think that's missing the point, he's cool and professional, just as he should be. Ice-T plays the beleagured yet passionate freedom fighter with gusto and Dolph Lundengrundenhousen...en...whatever...is excellent as a twisted cyborg with a religious fixation. Everyone else is more than adequate in their roles. The plot is more subtle than the instant, intense visuals let on (and this is where a lot of people seem to trip up as they do not see past the cheese) and the movie stands up well to multiple viewings which is what you want from a video. All in all, a great package for any sci-fi fan and a must for Gibsonette's. Buy.
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on May 10, 1999
For those worried that Hollywood put this one out, rest assured the movie is purely Canadian. Made by a Canadian studio, with a Canadian star (yeah, Keanu is unfrotunately for me to admit, a Canadian) and it's based (ever so LOOSELY) on a book by a Canadian author. What someone forgot to do was look in on the production and see where it's director was spending the Canadian money, because it wasn't on the movie. The company up here that made it is more used to making some artsy movies (and they never have to worry) than an action flick, and I guess that's why this movie sometimes feels like it's trying to be artsy. But it makes no sense, it's dialogue is bad and it just goes on and on. The only cool thing was that guy with the whip. Even David Cronenberg couldn't have helped this one.
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on October 23, 1998
A disappointing treatment of a Cyperpunk classic, Johnny Mnemonic tries too hard and in doing so completely fails to impress. The dark, oppresive atmosphere of William Gibson's future comes across rather well only to be spoiled by blunt and unimaginative acting. The special effect sequences suffer the same fate and come across more like a poor advertisement for the land of tomorrow than an accurate depiction of Gibson's view of the Internet of the future. All in all the movie's a real let down and there's more to be gained by reading Gibson's Cyberpunk novels : Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive and Burning Chrome (the short story collection from which Johnny Mnemonic was taken) END
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on February 19, 2004
Words cannot describe the agony I experienced while watching this piece of crap. I would rather have 10 root canals then see ANY part of this junk again. Not only is the acting, plot, dialogue, and directing horrible - but in the end the whole world is run by a FREAKING DOLPHIN!!! A big plastic looking fake dolphin. I want my money back, I want a letter of apology from anyone even remotely involved with this film, and the executives who green lighted this crap should be fired. I wish I could give it a negative rating. This is THE worst movie I have EVER seen. Anyone who likes this movie must be really high or really dumb.
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on January 18, 1999
Some may say Keeanu Reeves is the worst actor in Hollywood... I would disagree... he does his spots very well (excepting Dracula) and he does very well in this role. The movie itself is VERY good if you like the Cyberpunk genre. If you have ever played the game Shadow Run then you will enjoy this movie very much. Keeanu as Johnny does a very good job playing a Dekker. If you can't get the movie, this probably is not your genre, but it beats The Net, destroys Hackers, and decimates most of the other competition in this genre for believability (no MAC's or PC's!!!)and plain fun.
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on March 28, 2004
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. He is so very good in "Speed" and in the "Matrix" films... but in this one, he is really weak and uninteresting... and knowing how good he can be, I can only blame the director. This was a good story, but poorly transcribed for the screen... and though the special effects were good for their day... those are pretty dated by todays standards. See either MATRIX film instead and leave it go at that.
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on September 25, 2003
Don't expect great acting, there isn't any. However this movie does dish up some good parts. The atmosphere of the movie is pretty cool. A very Techno Cyber Electronic Punk feel to the movie. The special effects are really sweet considering when the movie was made. Also the music is really cool. Such bands as "Stabbing Westward" and "KMFDM" really set the mood for the film. If you can look past the terrible acting you'll find an enjoyable movie. Techno-Industrial fans will be pleased. Everyone else, move along.
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on August 15, 2003
Like AI Artificial Intelligence and Blade Runner this is yet another film I didn't see at the time of its release because of the critics who don't see much value in and know nothing of the genre of futurist, technology oriented sci-fi. I'm beginning to believe these people parade around with single digit IQs trying to control what triple digits enjoy (I think I'll copywrite that statement). I saw it, I liked it, I bought it. But then I'm not threatened by something that takes me out of myself to another world in another time...hit me.
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on June 26, 2002
Johhny Mnemonic's biggest enemy wasn't the Yakuza, PharmCom, NAS, or Dolph Lundgren. It was the dreaded bad sci-fi movie script that seems to plauge a large number of otherwise promising films. Someone else mentioned that this movie seems more like live-action anime and I'm tempted to agree with that thought. The sets, visual effects, and costuming are good and help to create a genuinely interesting Gibsonian cyberpunk atmosphere. But cyberpunk is more than flashy futuristic effects and run-down city cores...and that is where this film gets lost. It is all the more disappointing when one realizes that William Gibson himself wrote the screenplay.
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.
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on October 24, 2001
This JUST RELEASED SPECIAL SUPERBIT version of this film (10/09/01), means that all available disc space is used to present the film supposedly at the very finest visual quality possible. The disc space is devoted to improving the resolution of the film. That means no extras, no bells and whistles, behind the scenes documentaries, commentaries, nothing, nada. Perhaps an extra disc of extra's would have been nice. . . but this release is not geared to please everyone, only the pickiest DVDophiles amongst us.
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. Well, that's about all I can come up with.
The plot sets up one long chase scene. Keanu Reeves plays Johnny, a human computer information courier. The safest way to transport corporate information from computer to computer is by implanting the information into a chip inside a human couriers brain. Johnny wants to retire from the courier business so he takes on a more dangerous than usual assignment which also means he needs to complete his assignment in 48 hours or his brain shorts out and he becomes a vegetable. There's some good guys who help him try get to where he needs to go, and there's the bad guys who want to download the information from him.
Most of the futuristic sets look too cheap to be convincing. The dialogue stops just short of being hilariously bad, which means it isn't quite bad enough to be fun. The film doesn't have the right tone or pace to be a fun, guilty-pleasure type camp-fest either. There's quite a few similarities to TRON , and the far superior The Matrix that might be of some interest to completists.
Still someone out there likes this thing. One of them obviously works within the studio and decided this was a good film to give the full SUPERBIT treatment to. I'm not sure exactly why…. But they have done it.
The DVD Image
SUPERBIT TITLES are produced by a team of Sony Pictures Digital video, sound and mastering technicians and engineers. Superbit DVDs are encoded at twice their normal bit rate which improves video resolution and gives you a choice of both Dolby 5.1 and DTS audio. They are fully compatible with region 1 DVD players already in use.
Utilizing more space on the disc for bit-rates improves the over-all picture resolution. It's not a dramatic difference but the image will look a little sharper and there will be additional detail in low light situations. It also means there is less compression of detail being used which should cut down on visible edge enhancement, what is called mosquito noise, haloing,artifacting, and color pinging or shifting. This also means grain and other imperfections on the film stock might be somewhat amplified as well. The disc type is a DVD-9 (a single sided and double-layered disc with a capacity of 7.95 gigabits).
Once again, it appears the digitally stored transfer that was used to create the previous edition of Johnny Mnemonic seems to be used. There are some blemishes on the print, and when it was originally transferred the black levels were not adjusted to the levels they should have been which resulted in some blacks appearing grayish. This results in selected scenes being robber of some added visual dynamics they would have had since the Superbit process increases the details over all.
The film looks very good, but if a new corrected film transfer had also been done, the results could have improved even more.
It's even more noticeable on this version, that not a lot of creativity went into the sound mix on this film. Brad Fiedel's electronic score utilizes the surround capabilities of a good home theater system much better than any of the sound effects in the film do. The center speakers are the primary focus of most of the sound and dialogue in the film. There is not much punch to any of the explosions or low bass effects used in the film. All of the sound (unless intentionally distorted) is clear and well separated.
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