BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
For those of you out there wanting to gain access into the celebrated madness that is the b-movie world, Dreamscape is a certified rite of passage. You. Must. Enter. Here. All paths lead through its twisting corridors. Scream Factory celebrates this fact with their updated 2K restoration of director Joseph Ruben (The Stepfather) and co-writer Chuck Russell’s (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) mind-bending film and the results are exceptional.
One might guess – simply by checking out Dreamscape’s theatrical release poster with Dennis Quaid holding a torch over his head – that it’s vying to be an Indiana Jones flick. Certainly, that was something the studio wanted to accentuate through its marketing; yet nothing about this blended trip through science fiction and horror suggests a bullwhip-snapping action romp. All comparisons should begin and end with Drew Struzan’s artwork.
Dreamscape is a political thriller by way of psychic astral projection. In it, Quaid plays Alex Gordon, a former psychic study gone rogue, who gets lured away from his gambling and womanizing ways and back toward "honest" psychic studies through his former mentor Dr. Paul Novotny’s (Max von Sydow) involvement with a government-sponsored project in which psychics can jump into the dreams of other subjects. He's just not all that serious about it and always meets each and every single day with a grin. But things quickly become less about fun and more about gravity when some dark elements are revealed about the other members in the program.
What is uncovered – thanks to the taunting Tommy Ray Glatman (David Patrick Kelly) and a powerful government agent (Christopher Plummer) – is a plot to murder the President of the United States (played by Eddie Albert) because he wants to end the Cold War once and for all with nuclear disarmament. Yes, Virginia, there are profits to be made over each and every war that America gets involved with.
With Kate Capshaw and George Went in tow, Quaid absolutely delivers a fantastic and witty performance in a trippy adventure full of practical creature effects and some oddball sexual encounters. It seems that some psychics can hop into the dreams of others without the aid of Novotny’s machine. Good thing Quaid’s character is on the side fighting for our best interests.
Kelly, who would go on to Twin Peaks fame, has always been a mad genius in how he becomes his roles. Dreamscape, which sees him transforming into a snake monster, is no different. From spiky nunchucks to saxophone stealing, his character is pure evil of the most ruthless kind.
Dreamscape is a wickedly imaginative adventure. It is also full of humor and horror that aligns itself more toward an adult world than one aimed at children. There is a child involved, of course, but that’s only to provide the movie with another boogeyman that must be beheaded.
While not its debut on blu-ray, the Dreamscape: Collector’s Edition – with NEW interviews from Quaid, Kelly, and the filmmakers – is the version to pick up. It is, after all, a chance to …
go beyond your wildest dreams.
MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime: 93 mins
Director: Joseph Ruben
Writer: David Loughery
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer
Genre: Action | Adventure
Tagline: Who in hell has peace of mind..?
Memorable Movie Quote: "Alex, it's very simple. Either you work for me or you die."
Theatrical Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release Date: August 17, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: December 13, 2016
Synopsis: A young psychic on the run from himself is recruited by a government agency experimenting with the use of the dream-sharing technology and is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of the U.S. president.
Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray - December 13, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Okay, okay so some of the effects – especially during the day and high atop a skyscraper – don’t hold up so well, but Scream Factory’s 2K scan of Dreamscape is damn impressive. Colors are pumped up. Shadows are more defined than ever. Interior scenes have depth and warmth and the university itself feels alive and vibrant. There are textures in the clothes of the cast and, overall, a bit more vibrancy to what has previously been issued on 1080p. The sound is presented in a thunderous DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 which adds a bit more thump to some of the action scenes.
The audio commentary with Bruce Cohn Curtis, David Loughery and Craig Reardon is a fascinating look at the movie as its roots are traced from script to screen.
If the NEW 2K scan of this effects-heavy movie is not enough to convince you to pick it up, Scream Factory also offers brand new interviews with the film’s writers, its director, and its actors. They are quite lengthy and offer great insights into the film.
- The Actor's Journey: Interview With Dennis Quaid
- Dreamscapes And Dreammakers: Retrospective Including Brand-New Interviews With Director Joseph Ruben, Co-Writer David Loughery, Actor David Patrick Kelly And Other Members Of The Special Effects Team
- Nightmares And Dreamsnakes: Looking Back At The Snakeman With Craig Reardon, David Patrick Kelley And Others
- In-Depth Conversation Between Bruce Cohn Curtis And Co-Writer/Producer Chuck Russell
- Snake Man Test Footage
- Still Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer