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Altered States [Blu-ray] (2012)

William Hurt , Blair Brown , Ken Russell  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)

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Altered States (1980)   $1.99 $9.99

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Altered States [Blu-ray] + Jacob's Ladder [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid
  • Directors: Ken Russell
  • Writers: Sidney Aaron
  • Producers: Howard Gottfried, Daniel Melnick
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007NQCKL6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,595 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's easy to understand why the late, great screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky removed his name from the credits of Altered States and substituted the pseudonym Sidney Aaron. After all, Chayefsky was a revered dramatist whose original source novel was intended as a serious exploration of altered consciousness, inspired by the immersion-tank experiments of Dr. John Lilly in the 1970s. In the hands of maverick director Ken Russell, however, Altered States became a full-on sensory assault, using symbolic imagery and mind- blowing special effects to depict one man's physical and hallucinatory journey through the entire history of human evolution. It's a brazenly silly film redeemed by its intellectual ambition--a dazzling extravaganza that's in love with science and scientists, and eagerly willing to dive off the precipice of rationality to explore uncharted regions of mind, body, and spirit. William Hurt made his bold film debut as the psycho-physiologist who plays guinea pig to his own experiments; Blair Brown plays his equally brilliant wife, whose devotion is just strong enough to bring him back from the most altered state imaginable. From the eternal channels of sense memory to the restorative power of a loving embrace, this movie rocks you to the birth of the universe and back again. And while it's clearly not the story that Chayefsky wanted on the screen, the directorial audacity of Ken Russell makes it one heck of a memorable trip. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

A scientist experiments unlock the horrors of his mind. Visual wizard Ken Russell directs William Hurt, Blair Brown and a mind-blowing array of special effects.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
(139)
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice DVD Remaster of Award-Winning Sci-Fi w/ Great Cast! December 23, 2000
Format:DVD
A sci-fi favorite of mine, this Academy Award winning film had fallen into obscurity on the video shelves, but is now back with all its original impact in a sharp, well-colored remaster with a brilliant digital 5.1 rendering of the Oscar-winning soundtrack. Ken Russell directs one of his more accessible films (compared to, say, THE DEVILS) based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky, who, in a move remeniscent of Stephen King on THE SHINING, had his name taken off this movie because he didn't like the director's interpretation of his subject matter.
The film boasts a high-quality cast of young actors from William Hurt in his major film debut to John LaRocquette in the small role of an X-ray technician. Whoever cast this knew whom to select from the period's roster of young talent. Charles Haid, frankly, has never been more impressive as the fast-talking and brilliant skeptic and Bob Balaban is outstanding and self-assured in the role of the supportive friend who forgives Hurt his eccentricities but worries that he may be going crazy. Blair Brown is sexy and appealing and frequently nude as Hurt's just-as-brainy wife anthropologist, and one of the most interesting aspects of this movie is the dialog between these two intellects from the moment they first begin their sizzling sexual liason through their matter-of-fact decision to marry, then divorce, then finally redeem their relationship -- while nearly losing Hurt's character to his high-risk experiments.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exhilarating cinematic experience! January 27, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If there is such a thing as genetic memory, than all the phases of human evolution must lie somewhere in our genetic code. What if there was a way we could tap into that stream of information through consciousness? What would we see? What would we learn? Professor Eddie Jessup (William Hurt in his debut role) is intrigued by the data being produced by the use of isolation tanks to induce altered states of consciousness, and decides to undergo the experience himself. What he discovers at first is the ability to relive with total clarity experiences of his childhood. As he continues these experiments, his visions become more acute and filled with religious illusions. Years go by and Jessup has become sedated with the trappings of academia, leaving him unfulfilled and longing for the good old days of experimentation and wonder. He visits a tribe of Mexican Indians that use a hallucinatory drug to evokes a common experience in all users and has the trip of his life! What might he learn inside an isolation tank while being under the influence of this drug? Would he be able to peel away the layers of evolutionary time back to early man and beyond? Perhaps even back to the first thought? His scientific curiosity will not let him resist this challenge. With Ken Russell's visuals and the incredible musical effects of John Corigliano, this film can be absolutely exhilarating.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, aweful transfer to DVD September 4, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This movie is one of the great movies ever made. The visual and auditory effects are amazing. John Corigliano's score to this movie brings out many of the ideas set forth here.
HOWEVER, the transfer to DVD nearly ruined it for me. The quality of the picture was fine, but they neglected to sync the sound with the picture. Sound effects and talking are at times about one-half of one second off. This I find inexcusable.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly intense sci-fi January 7, 2006
Format:DVD
"Altered States" written by the gifted Paddy Chayevsky and utilizing the unique directorial talents of Ken Russell is a staggering piece of film making. Russell's use of incredible psychedelic graphic imagery is unparalleled in cinematic history.

William Hurt is his inaugural starring role portrays Eddie Jessup a brilliant Harvard research physiologist who is conducting unprecedented experiments using himself as a guinea pig. Hurt had been introduced to mushroom based hallucinogenic drugs by a tribe of primitive Indians in Mexico courtesy of an expedition with a university colleague. Using these drugs in combination with sensory deprivation in an isolation tank he records astonishing findings much to the disbelief of his colleagues including his wife Emily, a physical anthropologist played by Blair Brown.

Hurt apparently undergoes a genetic reconfiguration and morphs into an altered state of primitive consciousness to become a simian ape man. In one segment of the film, he startlingly emerges from his isolation tank as this ape-man and goes running wild through the bowels of a Boston hospital, out onto the street and winds up in the zoo. He climbs into an enclosure kills a sheep and then devours it. He is subsequently discovered by the police, having transformed back to his human form, in the cage lying next to a bloody carcass.

Wife Brown, endocrinologist friend Dr. Mason Parrish played by Charles Haid and partner in the experiment Arthur Rosenberg played by Bob Balaban are stunned but allow him to redo his experiment under their supervision. The ensuing segment of the film depicting the creation of life, while preposterous, rivals only the graphic effects of Kubrick's phenomenal "2001".

Not having seen this one of a kind film for 25 years, it still had the same stupefying effect as it did when I experienced it the first time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Fair
This film is long on thought and short on quality effects and presentation. Seems like the film is going to take off. It never does. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Stefan Hayes
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of Love Hate Thing.
The movie was pretty well acted although a few actor were eating the scenery. The story had lots of possibilities but somehow it just does seem like the sum of the parts is less... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joseph R. Norman
5.0 out of 5 stars as good as i remembered.
for its time one of the freakiest movies id ever seen, a man being physically consumed by his hallucinations, great movie, great cast.
Published 1 month ago by Z. galvins
4.0 out of 5 stars Has aged really well
I hadn't seen this since it came out in the theater. Got to talking to someone about the tanks they used in the movie and it prompted me to watch it again. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nancy K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing if not intense
This remarkable film was William Hurt's feature debut, and is nothing if not intense.

A scientist experiments on himself, with hallucinogens, and in the process causes... Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Sockel
5.0 out of 5 stars for those who like strange
I don't write reviews as movies likes and dislikes are subjective, so check it out a timeless oldie but worth watching.
Published 1 month ago by Paul Nielsen
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is a classic.
I love the work that went into making this movie. One of the great movies from eighties. I bought it to have in my Amazon cloud because I watch it once a year and the VCR doesn't... Read more
Published 2 months ago by SCOTT E HARRISON
5.0 out of 5 stars Only for nerds (or the inner nerd in us all)
There's a lot of university faculty mumbo jumbo in Altered States which, for those not familiar, is pretty accurate. Read more
Published 2 months ago by c. bautista
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Seller!
Excellent movie. Best yet. Have always loved movies and music. This is the best!
Thanks You always for giving me this.
Published 3 months ago by leslie
5.0 out of 5 stars I believe this is possible...
I believe this is possible, and with the right meditation, we can all achieve the unbelievable. Good adventures of OBE;s...
Published 3 months ago by George Sebrof
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