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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated blast from the past
Dreamscape is a fun, if undeniably underrated, thriller from the early 1980s. Dennis Quaid plays a psychic who is recruited into a secret, government-funded operation by Max Von Sydow. Under the direction of Von Sydow and colleague Kate Capshaw, Quaid learns how to enter other people's dreams. Amongst other things, this ability allows Quaid to romance the reluctant...
Published on February 18, 2006 by Jeffrey Ellis

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93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I have a dream...for an unedited version...
Do you ever remember your dreams? I rarely do...unless they are of the really intense kind and I wake up during the dream, and even then the images tend to slip from my conscious like grains of sand through your hand. Why am I bothering telling you this? Well, I needed some kind of opener for my review of Dreamscape (1984), a film that deals with dreams and such, and...
Published on July 8, 2004 by cookieman108


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93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I have a dream...for an unedited version..., July 8, 2004
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This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
Do you ever remember your dreams? I rarely do...unless they are of the really intense kind and I wake up during the dream, and even then the images tend to slip from my conscious like grains of sand through your hand. Why am I bothering telling you this? Well, I needed some kind of opener for my review of Dreamscape (1984), a film that deals with dreams and such, and this was the best I could come up with at the time, lame as it may be...directed by Joseph Ruben, who later did Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) and Money Train (1995), Dreamscape presents quite a cast with Dennis Quaid, Max Von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Kate Capshaw, Eddie Albert, and even George Wendt (Norm!).

Dennis Quaid plays Alex Gardner, a young man of fantastic psychic abilities who has since dropped off the radar, preferring to use his `gifts' to manipulate women and pick winners at the horse track, rather than continuing to subject himself to an endless series of tests meant to study and learn of his abilities, tests conducted by Doctor Paul Novotny (Von Sydow). Seemingly content to squander his skills, Alex's path once again leads him back to Dr. Novotny and his assistant, Jane DeVries (Capshaw) as they've developed a machine that would allow someone with Alex's talents to enter the dreams of others, and possibly help those plagued with reoccurring nightmares, specifically in the President (Albert) who is suffering from apocalyptic dreams that are beginning to affect his ability to do his job. Seemingly concerned with the President's well being, Bob Blair (Plummer), government head of Dr. Novotny's project and shadowy leader of an intelligence group even the CIA fears requests Dr. Novotny assist in relieving the President of these nightmares, but we soon learn he has other plans, plans of a sinister nature involving another, less stable psychic within the project by the name of Tommy Ray Glatman (David Patrick Kelly). Can Alex uncover the plot, help the President, and stay alive? Possibly, but the odds are certainly against him...

Given some of the films that came out in 1984 like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, Amadeus, Footloose, Romancing the Stone, Starman, A Passage to India, and The Killing Fields, it's no surprise this `sleeper' got lost in the shuffle. I've always enjoyed it, and thought it deserved a bit more credit than it's gotten. Dennis Quaid is really good and charming as hell as the smart alecky Alex Gardner, a character who seems to be able to handle himself, yet exhibits a smidgen of naiveté which possibly stems from a core belief of decency, despite his ventures into gray areas, specifically using his skills to determine winners of horse races, earning him money to live. Max Von Sydow is also very good, although I feel as if I've seen him in similar roles so many times before, as a doctor involved in ground-breaking research, not being able to see the forces which conspire to use his research for their own, sinister means until it's too late. As far as Kate Capshaw, I have to admit I've never cared for her all that much as I found her character in Temple of Doom to be highly annoying and distracting. She's not bad here, even though she does suffer from a common malady of the 80's here in big-hairitis syndrome. Plummer is good as the conniving powerful government agent with a secret agenda, although I've seen this whole `evil government stealing research meant for the good of mankind for it's own corrupted means' theme about a thousand times before. Even so, he's perfectly suited for the part, oozing a smarmy, almost quiet charm that hides disturbing ulterior motives...I did like the aspect that his goals were driven mostly by his desire to protect what he thought needed protecting, even if he was misguided by his own sense of twisted patriotism.

The special effects, while seeming quite dated now, were actually very good for the time this film came out, especially the dream sequences of the President detailing post-apocalyptic visions of decimated cities and ruinous wastes. The stop motion work, while not really appreciated by many, is really pretty good and reminds me of those old Ray Harryhausen films I love so much. One thing that annoyed me the most about this release is what's missing due to a hack editing job on a few scenes, all within dream sequences, I suppose, to more aptly fit the movie's PG-13 rating. One scene involved Quaid and Capshaw and a romantic interlude on a train with some pretty steamy stuff, but here it's cut short, removing the nudity. A second edited scene had Quaid inside a mousy man's dream about his wife, which contained some nudity that was excised out of here, and finally another scene has to do with Quaid's character helping a little boy overcome a terrifying reoccurring nightmare about a monstrous snake man. The part removed had a bit of gore in it, but it certainly wasn't anything, in my opinion, that deserved to be removed.

It says the movie is available in full and widescreen anamorphic formats, but I only saw the widescreen format. The picture quality is pretty good, but the transfer print does suffer very minor age deterioration at some points, but it's hardly noticeable. The audio is much better, with Dolby Digital 2.0, new Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Audio available. Special features include an audio commentary track by producer Bruce Cohn Curtis, writer David Loughery, and special effects artist Craig Reardon that's pretty good, although dry at more than a few points. Also included are a behind the scenes special effects makeup test reel and a slide show. I really wanted to give this four stars, but given that's it missing parts from a few scenes, I have to go with three...

Cookieman108
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153 of 166 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The DVD censors at it again. On a special edition, no less!, June 7, 2000
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
I love this movie. It was one of the first PG-13 flicks to come out, so when I was a kid this was quite exciting. It had some action, some nudity and a snake-monster all rolled into a fun pseudo sci-fi package.
Imagine my disgust and horror upon discovering that the DVD of the film had been edited for content! Don't believe me? Compare it to the video or laser version. The comical sex dream scene at the beginning has been altered so that there are no breasts. There are also no children watching. This may not seem all that important to you, but I think that this silent trimming is quite insidious. The film is rated PG-13 after all, which means that parents should be cautious about showing it to younger kids. Why then must it be cut without telling us so on the package?
To sum it up, I love the movie, but I hate this version. Hooray for Hollywood.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, except for the cuts., June 30, 2000
By 
Daisy Ghostly (Odense, Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
I adore this movie for various reasons; the good script, lots of memorable scenes, and a great cast including the very inviting Capshaw and the very underused Kelly. To me it's not so much the movie's special effects, but the genius story that involves you and make you want to watch it from time to time. -Especially now that it's been letterboxed. However, as good looking as this DVD is, there are a couple of ridiculous cuts. -The kid cutting off the snakeman's head, now with less blood spurting than before. -This cut is rather pointless since there wasn't that much red stuff seen to begin with, and certainly not more than people are used to today. Even worse though, are the changes made to the Homer Simpson guy's dream sequence. -What was before a very amusing bedroom scene, now is shortened to an unfunny mess leaving those who know it uncut perplexed. It really makes no sense to cut this film, when it wasn't before. Who are they trying to protect ?. Just because it's out on DVD, doesn't necessarily mean it's now suddenly more available to folks with small children, does it ?. They've jammed the disc with lots of extra goodies, like a commentary track, but why go to that extent and still cut it ?. Did they plan it for the family market, or what ?. We, the true fans of the movie are left feeling somewhat cheated, and so in the end nobody really wins.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Version Is A Rip Off, April 8, 2010
This review is from: Dreamscape (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I am disgusted that companies can market a movie as a blu ray which implies enhanced sound and picture only to provide you with an unaltered straight from DVD transfer. While the sound was on par with standard DVD audio the picture was horrible. The movie had all the little white static-like spots in every frame as if you were watching a high school reel projector movie. It was VHS quality visuals. Nothing is touched up visually from the original movie. The green screen scenes are obvious. And with barely 5 minutes of extras, most of which are still photos, this can hardly be considered a "special edition" of anything.

Image Entertainment has made a name for themselves releasing IMAX and concert blu rays. Reviews of those discs have me scratching my head as to why they would release "Dreamscape" on blu ray at all when they enhance other films for the blu ray upgrade. It is apparent to me this movie came out to capitalize on the upcoming blu ray release of "A Nightmare On Elm Street" which shares some similar themes.

Do not buy this blu ray. You can purchase the "Special Edition" DVD release here on amazon.com for $6.99 or this movie shows up in the Walmart $5 bin from time to time. There is no difference in the quality of the DVD and blu ray releases except for the price. Someone should prevent these companies from releasing "fake" blu rays at once. And amazon.com should pull this release from their site before someone else makes the same mistake I did and purchases this "fake" blu ray.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Edited Version Cut The Best Of The Film., July 17, 2000
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
The film has always been one of my favorites, but this new DVD version has edited out some of my favorite most memorable scenes!
I really wish I had know this before I picked myself up a copy of this title! I'd have rather rented it just to see it again than own this terribly edited version of the film. Heck, you could tape it off of television and get this print of the film.
I hope that some other company will release the real version of this film one day, as it stands, I really wish I could return this poor excuse for a release. I would love to complain to Image Entertainment about this release but after searchin all over the place, cannot find a single email address or phone number on their site! If anyone has any contact information for this purpose please contact me.
The film in itself is one of my all-time favorites, the humor and horror, along with it's sci-fi elements I've always loved in this film. Back in the day when this was released along with the film Nightmare On Elm Street, the invading people's dreams was a pretty new topic in film. Now it may have been overdone since, but this is a gem. It's just too bad that this cut ruined one of my favorite funny scenes, and even lowered to blood content.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated blast from the past, February 18, 2006
By 
Jeffrey Ellis "bored recluse" (Richardson, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
Dreamscape is a fun, if undeniably underrated, thriller from the early 1980s. Dennis Quaid plays a psychic who is recruited into a secret, government-funded operation by Max Von Sydow. Under the direction of Von Sydow and colleague Kate Capshaw, Quaid learns how to enter other people's dreams. Amongst other things, this ability allows Quaid to romance the reluctant Capshaw and to help a small boy who is haunted by nightmares involving a demonic creature known as Snake Man (who, years later, remains one of screen history's scariest monsters). However, Quaid also discovers that the real force behind the project is Presidential advisor Christopher Plummer and Plummer has somewhat more sinister goals in mind for Quaid's newfound abilities. President Eddie Albert, it seems, is having nightmares of his own and there leading him to sign a disarmament pact with the Russians. While Plummer makes plan to send his own personal assassin (David Patrick Kelly) into the President's dreams, Quaid and Capshaw struggle to save the President's life.

Dreamscape is an entertaining film that, luckily, doesn't take itself all that seriously. The film itself is a hybrid of several different genres -- part horror film, part political conspiracy thriller, part speculative science fiction, and part comedy and director Joseph Ruben manages to pull of an impressive balancing act by seemlessly integrating all of these elements into a cohesive whole that actually holds together pretty well. Ruben keeps the action moving nicely and brings a truly memorable flair to the film's dream sequences. As stated previously, the Snake Man (a creation that would simply be a cartoonish computer-generated image if the film were made today) is still truly frightening and the President's nightmares, with their images of nuclear devastation, still retain their power to disturb. Ruben also gets uniformly good performances from his cast with special praise going to David Patrick Kelly who creates one of the most memorably quirky and hateful film villians of the 1980s. All in all, Dreamscape is a blast from the past that is more than worth tracking down.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars altered, June 18, 2006
By 
Paul Keating (burlington, ma United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
i love this movie, however, for some reason, someone has decided to edit all of the romantic scenes, brief nudity, etc. from the dvd version. if that isn't bad enough, they don't tell you that it has been altered from it's original content. i bought this dvd thinking i was getting the original that i loved only to get a chopped up version. rotten deal!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Title Deserved Better, July 17, 2005
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
No movie censored for content deserves to be called a "Special Edition". Recommend this as a possible rental, but not as a buy, even for the current price.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film - shame about the cuts, June 25, 2000
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
I saw this film years ago on TV and loved it. In fact I've still got an ancient video version that I taped over 10 years ago.
It was great to see it again in widescreen and with DVD quality and it was as good as I remember - except for the cuts.
In the UK we get films cut all the time, a little at the cinemas and often more on VHS. So imagine my shock to discover a Region 1 DVD with more cuts than the UK television version of over 10 years OK. In the version I originally saw the nudity in some scenes was limited, mild and "in context" in my opinion. So I am amazed it was cut from this DVD release.
However - I'd still say this DVD is still well worth owning if you like this film. The picture is great and the sound is even better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great writing and tension, precursor for Inception, October 15, 2010
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD)
I saw this movie when it first came out. I liked it and found it had great writing and acting, well casted, and looking back, it WAS a great movie for the times. Everything in the 80's was big; big guns, big muscles, big hair, big mouths and foul language. This was one of the few movies that had some intelligence put into it for the times and instead of having millions of sense-draining special effects, it relied on very few graphic special effects and just good ol' directing and decent writing. The only part I felt was 'weak' was some of the dream sequencing. Because our dreams can seem more real and vivid than real life, and because of the very serious nature of the dreams in the lives of these characters, I would have embellished the dream sequences a bit more. Seems like they were lacking a bit more detail. But coming from a background as a Hollywood production background development artist, I would notice things that maybe some people wouldn't give a patoot about. So ignore my comments about the lack of detail in the dream staging of this movie if backgrounds are of no interest.

The acting is great and the writing is great. Nice to see a movie come out of the 80's that wasn't all sex, violence, and foul language - and yet can keep audiences interested through the tension much like a Hitchcock movie. It is understated on the surface but hits you with powerful surprises to keep you intrigued every step of the way.

Yesturday's audiences were not as anesthetized of their senses like today's audiences. With all the Fx, graphics, and digital computerized effects that comes with movies like "Inception", I still didn't find "Inception" as interesting or written as well as this movie Dreamscape. Dreamscape was the FIRST to explore what it would be like to make rescue operations while in the dream state and it was accomplished in a very believable way. And the characters in Dreamscape didn't need drugs and medication to be induced to get their job done. Seems like today's audiences can't believe the supernatural without some kind of drugs or physical manipulation explanation for everything. With all of our technology and special effects and computerization sensationalizations up to our eyeballs, no wonder there is a lack of appreciation for good intelligent writing which relied on our imagination instead of having everything explained to us like children. Dreamscape is an excellent move and after 26 years of watching movies, it still stands out in my mind as worthy entertainment value. It keeps you on the edge all the way through!

Also, another excellently written and directed movie is "Frequency". It is another very well written movie and keeps you guessing and on edge till the very end!
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Dreamscape (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
Dreamscape (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] by Joseph Ruben (Blu-ray - 2010)
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