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Research scientists Louise Fletcher ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest") and Christopher Walken ("The Deer Hunter") invent a machine that can record sensory experiences only to have devastating results when Fletcher records her own death.
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The performances by the four main actors are quite good. Christopher Walken is known for unusual roles and this is one of them. I mean, how many Hollywood leading men get to play wonky research scientists? Natalie Wood is great in this too, and if you're Gen-X or younger and therefore not very familiar with her, you'll fall in love. Sadly, this was her last film, and was released two years after her death which happened before the film was completed. Louise Fletcher and Cliff Robertson round out the main cast, and there's even a cameo from Christopher Walken's real-life wife.
The visuals of the film are engaging, from the scientific hardware depicted to the buildings and locations- and yes, the futuristic company building shown is a real location, the former HQ of the Burroughs-Wellcome company, located in the Research Triangle Park in the Raleigh-Durham area in South Carolina. The house is real too, located near Chapel Hill. The Wright Brothers memorial at Kill Devil Hill is prominently featured as well. Special effects? Yes- Brainstorm was directed by Douglas Trumbull, who had a long career in special effects. The effects do not overwhelm this film, but rather do exactly what they are supposed to do: support the story and make the impossible look real.
The James Horner musical score is just enough too, allowing the story to give its own emphasis and only adding music where it supports the emotional content, which it does beautifully.
The DVD included the film, a trailer, and subtitles. I deducted one star for lack of any other special features, but then I'm a nerd and I can't fault Warner Brothers for not including any since this movie got hardly any attention when it was initially released and today nobody has even heard of it. I really should give five stars on the fact that you can get a copy at all.
been "re-FORMATED" so that the, main-footage, would fill the entire screen, with the "sensory-sharing" scenes--- remaining ---in the,
so-called, full-screen-ratio from back in the days when the film was released to theaters.
A shame Ms. Wood died so young; she was born in '43.