Altered States [Blu-ray]
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Altered States (BD)
The main problem with this 1980 science fiction drama is that it is oh-so derivative. However, it is classier than your average Wolf Man rip-off, as Ken Russell directed it and the screenplay it is based on the 1978 novel by Paddy Chayefsky. However, Chayefsky so disliked the finished version of the film, with its preposterous ending, that he asked to have his name removed, with the credit for the screenplay attributed to his pseudonym, Sidney Aaron.
William Hurt, in his screen debut, plays the mad scientist who develops a kind of think tank that regresses him to a primal state. In other words, he enters a meek scientist, but emerges a hairy ape. The film's pacing is part of the problem, as it talks us to death in the beginning, than lapses into more typical fare, disregarding the intellectual aspects of the original material. This film marks the screen debut of Drew Barrymore. --Rochelle O'Gorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was just speechless afterwards.
Not only did it combine elements of romanticism while also appealing to horror and sci-fi movie fans but the fast pace and the characters are just so out of the ordinary that you can't help but become entranced by them. Just when you think you have the movie figured out, it spins you in the complete opposite direction and then takes you to places you never thought existed.
An especially memorable scene is one of the hallucination scenes in which everyone just turns to sand. Remarkable. I would highly recomend this movie to anyone even slightly interested in things such as philosophy, religion or even just interested in watching a good movie.
Though most people will probably strongly dislike this film, a small minority might greatly value its artistic, ridiculous and surreal feeling. Sometimes, it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I recommend this film for anyone that liked Requiem for a Dream, Anarchist's Cookbook, Waking Life, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and similar films.
The plot is a little thin, given the rather repetitive nature of the "experiments", though the concept is certainly interesting and could be adapted for a more contemporary film, given the film's age.
By and large, I recommend this film, though can't guarantee everyone would feel the same way. Ultimately, don't take this film too seriously.
THIS FILM BLEW MY MIND!
I highly recommend this movie, bar the last 10 minutes which is just your typical Hollywood control ending to help keep the masses happy, but if you want to see a film that THINKS and has it fair share of trippy moments then this will bend your mind for all that it is worth. If you like cultural films, ethogens and directors that can create some remarkable imagery then this is well worth watching. For the doubters who think that drugs+films have nothing to do with movies then I will only point you in the direction of Kubrick and Clarke with their production of 2001 and the ending that was designed for the 60s trippers and what do you get? Probably one of the best sci-fi movies ever made and an instant classic! So put that in your pipe and smoke it! (wink)
The moth-eaten story is patently undigestible to anyone with even an iota of knowledge about the laws of nature and science. The performances turned in by Hurt and Brown go way too far into melodrama in the actors' attempts to bring some kind of interest to their otherwise completely unlikeable characters. The dialogue between all the primary players is consistently pretentious and unrealistic. The special effects (even for 1980) look much more like an offering from an unimaginative film student than something approved by a longtime filmmaker like Russell.
I would have said that this film deserved zero stars, but one factor does make the film viewable to a select audience even if it isn't digestible by the masses. If you're a fan of William Hurt, turn the sound off and fast-forward to the nude scenes Mr. Hurt provides. His physical beauty was exquisite at this point in his career and is definitely worth seeing.
ALTERED STATES is the pinnacle of pseudo-intellectual self-gratifying Ken Russell cheese. With so many other great films out there to watch, why waste your time on this refuse?
Most recent customer reviews
Kind of cheesy and dated. Interesting discussions, though. The DVD didn't work all that well on my PC.Published 8 months ago by JKS
i found this sci-fi fantasy/horror film to be interesting.it has all the earmarks of a David Cronenberg film,but it isn't a Cronenberg film. Read morePublished on March 15 2010 by falcon
I guess you will either love this movie or hate it. For me i loved it, trippy scenes, and rad story line.Published on May 20 2006 by Anthony Bucci
I'd happily soak up endless gallons of SWAK with my tongue, rather than watch this festering pile of crappola ever again!!!Published on July 6 2004 by JASON HRICAK
My mother recommended this film to me and I found it was definitely worth watching at least once. The premise is that a brillant scientist desires to transcend our human... Read morePublished on June 27 2004
The sci-fi film Altered States, is on the one hand, a landmark for the genre, while at the same time, it's not quite a classic either... Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by T. Lobascio
by most reviews on here, i bought this DVD thinking it was some movie about the psychedelic trip of an experimental scientist and all the good fun he had with going back in time. Read morePublished on April 21 2004 by [inactive user]