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Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2016
The movie looks great on Blu Ray and is as fun as ever but it needs to be said that this Shout Factory release is still not the uncut version. Not sure of the whole legend of why some versions of this film have nudity and some do not but this is a "does not" version. I don't believe it is simply a matter of the way it was cropped when it appeared on television in the 1980s--the dream scene on this Blu Ray where the cheating wife is briefly seen topless looks to me like it is artificially zoomed in on her to remove the toplessness (and yes, it is weird to be writing about this in such detail). Whether that was the initial intent or not I couldn't say (maybe there's some sort of legal issue at play involving nudity clauses? Who knows?) That being said, this is probably as good a release as we can expect to see for this film and if you can get past a couple of fleeting seconds of nudity being missing you will still have a fun time with this flick.
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2018
This is a 1984 science fiction movie combining dreams, psychics, and a plot to kill the President. It stars Dennis Quaid as a young psychic who becomes involved with a government project that projects him into other people's dreams. The researchers believe this will help them to treat patients with sleep disorders and other psychological problems. The government, of course, wants to turn it into a new method of espionage and assassination. Kate Capshaw co-stars as a doctor also working on the dream project, and Quaid's love interest. The supporting cast in this movie reads like a who's-who of older stars. They include Max Von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, and Eddie Albert. Because of this, the scenes where these polished veterans interact are basically what saves the film. Quaid comes across as a brash, egotistical airhead who is more interested in saving his own butt than in any kind of altruism, and Capshaw's character is never given a chance to grow out of its project assistant cubbyhole. There are a couple of bright spots. The first is David Patrick Kelly as a homicidal psychic also involved in the dream project, who gives just the right amount of understated menace to his character. The other is George Wendt, known for his work on the television series Cheers, as an author doing research on the secret government project. However, even this stellar cast cannot keep this film from trapping itself in its own doldrums. The concept is great, the special effects are fantastic for their time, but the script lacks scope and the characters lack depth. On the whole, this is a good film, but it could have been a great one.
I loved this movie when it was released in the 1980"s but over the years it became very dated and the visual effects just looked terrible. VHS and then DVD versions didn't help and then large format tv's showed up and 1080 resolution. I never imagined that this movie could be pulled into the modern era without spending an enormous amount of money on a brand new restored and remastered edition. Scream Factory arrives on the scene and does a remarkable job. I only have a 1080 tv so perhaps that is why this movie worked for me. The movie is still solid and looks very good, if not excellent. There are still issues dealing with the compositing of images, but you can't change the source materials unless you are George Lucas. The story and characters still stand up and the acting is much better than I remembered. In all the new version is very good, but I still would like to see the deleted scenes that I've read about for years and still never seen. Maybe next time.
People who like "Wuthering Heights" would probably like this movie. What's so good about it isn't the special effects -- it's the way the archetypes are chosen, the way the sense of vertigo and reeling is brought home because that is what the *mind would respond to*. Suffice it to say, like Spielberg brining up tarantulas ("Raiders of the Lost Ark"), or sharks ("Jaws," natch!), there are some territories of the human mind more gloriously experienced by children or those entering early adolescence than later in life -- aside from the artist or filmmaker, say. (You, too, may descend in a dream into a room in your grandmother's house you've never been in, to find yourself in a basement you've never encountered becoming a couple of graves in the rain that you knew you didn't cause, firsthand, but still were responsible for -- you gave the order -- and, in *that* case, you'd be looking at a past life dream, even if you'd never read "Audrey Rose" or saw the movie and your family still went to church every week as a way of preserving social mores and little more!) Years before Richard Linklater's "Waking Life" brought lucid dreaming to the attention of the general public (and David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" came out, going over as well as *any* of his films ever have, giving the public a mass-dreamspace to enter), and about a decade-and-change before David Morehouse's "Psychic Warrior" memoir came out (about a *real* government program to go into psychic/astral spaces -- called "Project Stargate," no less!), there's this picture with Dennis Quaid at his most winning -- the "smartass genius who's worth it," like Val Kilmer in "Real Genius," or Bill Murray in almost anything -- with Max Von Sydow as his most imposing (post-"Strange Brew!") and Kate Capshaw at her most foxy and competent. Sadly, like the characters in Hal Hartley's first movie "The Unbelievable Truth" (and Douglas Coupland's first novel, "Generation X"), the people in it are haunted by nuclear fear, putting the kibosh on wild, free dreaming for a while ... caverns of the mind ... who knows with which they're filled? (NOTE: A few years after Matthew Broderick came to the fore in "WarGames" -- and a few years before John Hughes revived his hacking skills in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" -- this picture showed up, which shows it wasn't just "The Day After," "Threads," and John Milius's nonsense picture "Red Dawn" (a *land*-strike, really?) on people's minds. Like Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove," but a step down -- the artistry wasn't as high, and unprecedented -- the fears were on "low simmer," but still there.)
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2018
Shame that nobody made a more modern remake. The movie grabs your attention until the end but some visual effects are obsolete like the snake man. Cons: unrealistic to think that the President decides to participate in a antinuclear conference or disarmament agreement because of his dreams. Any political move comes from a discussion with other members of the goverment or whoever.
4.0 out of 5 starsmost of the principal actors in this are good, too especially Quaid himself
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2017
enjoyable adult Sci Fi drama (with a horror & hunorous twist )from the early 80's. The idea of venturing into peoples dreams was a neat one . The spfx may have dated , ( eg Snake man )but this doesn't dent the story's impact .most of the principal actors in this are good, too especially Quaid himself, Max Von Sydow , Kate Capshaw & Christopher Plummer .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2020
The Second Sight blu ray print of Dreamscape is beautifully remastered and watchable. Some brief partial nudity however is noticeable by its absence and the sensual dream sequence on the train seemed shortened for some reason. Alarmingly someone thought we should be protected from the slightest whisper of nudity (it has a 15 rating) but that we can cope with one person being shot and another skewered. Still a great film but I will not be dumping the old dvd.
Remember watching this film at a friends house, when we used to have 'Video Nights' - yes, a long time ago and a may say the film hasn't aged that well, but is still enjoyable. It does what it says on the tin and takes you into the world of dreams and our hero (a young Dennis Quaid), must save the President of the USA from being killed in his own dream... okay, it may sounds weird, but no-more so than Inception or Paprika - anyway, the cast is solid, it has some good moments and is worth a trip down memory lane (if you are an 80s kid).
4.0 out of 5 starsHave You Ever Seen a Dream Screaming?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2013
This is a competent little bit of Sci-Fi, made before all the high-tech effects took over. It bears comparison with the rather overblown "Brainstorm", although this is the far better film.
The idea of getting into another persons dreams in order to kill them is a scary one to be sure. This idea is put over with a completely straight face. Dennis Quaid convinces as the dreamy guinea pig, supported by a wonderful Max Von Sydow and a sinister Christopher Plummer. The highlight however must be the "snake transformation", a truly unsettling scene, that would turn any dream into a full blown nightmare.
Personally, I'm not normally a fan of Sci-Fi, but I remembered this film impressing me years ago on video. It's just as impressive on DVD.