Kalifornia (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
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Excitement, adventure and unimaginable terror await on the road to Kalifornia. "Brad Pitt is outstanding" (Rolling Stone) and "Juliette Lewis is utterly, heartbreakingly convincing" (Boxoffice) in this chilling psychological thriller co-starring David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes. When urban intellectuals Brian (Duchovny) and Carrie (Forbes) set out on a cross-country trip to research a book about serial killers, they share the ride with a couple they barely know, Early Grace (Pitt) and his girlfriend, Adele (Lewis). Locked in a car hurtling westward, the four travelers struggle to find some common ground. But when they finally do connect, Early's violent nature abruptly emerges, and the terrified Brian and Carrie realize that they don't need to go very farto learn about ruthless killers...because they're already face to face with one!
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a review of the blu-ray and the transfer is crisp with great sound. Much better than the dvd version.
A case where the visceral scenes stand out even more coldly because of the hi-def somehow enhancing their effect.
Forty years later Dominic Sena directed the neo-noirish color road thriller *Kalifornia*. The bare-bones plot basics of the two movies are the same: a couple of folks driving through the desert on their way to California give a ride to a stranger who turns out to be a serial killer. But Sena and his crew build upon the simple though effective *Hitch-Hiker* plot to construct a complex, bleaker and more chilling vision of a carload of people on their way deeper and deeper into hell.
Usually David Duchovny's acting fails to move me. But in *Kalifornia* he's perfect as laid-back magazine writer Brian Kessler, wannabe author of a book on famous American serial killers. Kessler embraces a liberal, pop-psych, sympathetic view of the monsters in human form who murder again and again. Always ready to argue that serial killers can be understood if we lay aside our prejudices and try, Kessler aspires to be counted among the few rare intellectuals who really do understand them. I liked the line Earlie Grace says about how "Brian" becomes "brain" if the i and the a are switched. That sums up Kessler well--he floats through life like a brain-shaped balloon filled with helium. Earlie seizes Brian by his string--his ambition to become a famous author--and drags him into a liberal intellectual's worst nightmare.
Kessler's girlfriend, a mannish yet insecure art photographer in black leather named Carrie, is a stand-out role by Michelle Forbes. The relationship she and Duchovny play out is postmodern in a very believable way. Cool, sexy...yet empty.
It's a cliche to use the word awesome, but it's the only one that does justice to Brad Pitt as Earlie Grace, the killer on the road whose mind is squirming like a toad. He's a jaguar. That's what I thought of: Earlie is a big jungle cat, watchful of everything around him with his fixed, glittering eyes that betray no emotion except when the urge to kill is upon him. Earlie's tone of voice falls somewhere between a growl, a snort, and an edgy cat's howl. He's usually hulking and lazy, yet when he needs to be, he's blindlingly swift. When he strikes, it's not with the object of enjoying the violence. His goal is to make his prey dead as fast as he can. Yes, just like a big cat that bites its prey once, hard, on the back of the neck to crush the spine. Yet Earlie can be friendly, even kind. But the people around him, no matter how close he seems to them, are never far from the category of his prey.
Earlie's white trash girlfriend Adele is played convincingly by Juliette Lewis. She's simple, kind-hearted damaged goods with a need to be protected and to see the best in people. That's why she's with Earlie. The friendship that forms between Adele and Carrie is touching.
*Kalifornia* is the kind of thriller that spills over into a horror film. Whenever the plot comes to a point where "either this or that could happen," what usually happens is the worst thing. Earlie tells the nice guy attendant in the gas station he robs that he has to kill him. The guy is so polite that Earlie changes his mind. But then the poor guy has to go and ask Earlie to hand him his Bible from behind the counter. Bad move. Why, we don't quite understand, since Earlie professes belief in God himself. But that's Earlie. You can't predict what a jungle predator will do next.
There are some clever, even symbolic touches in *Kalifornia*. It's interesting that the action culminates in Dreamland, where atom bombs were tested in the Nevada desert. Carrie, the feisty postmodern woman, all attitude with very little substance, ends up like one of the mute test dummies frozen in time, its only purpose being to get blown to pieces. Notice what she does when, at the end, she makes her move against Earlie.
I rate *Kalifornia* 5 stars because 1) it's an improvement upon an earlier great film, because 2) Duchovny got through to me for once with his performance, and because 3) Brad Pitt scares the hell out of me as Earlie Grace.
David Duchovny is the male yuppie driver and he is a liberal writer who wants to write a book about serial killers. He even has stops along the journey at different crime scenes of various serial killers. The supreme irony is that he doesn't realize he has a serial killer in the back seat of his car while he pontificates endlessly about his book in progress. I know this actor is a big tv star now and one can see by watching this film why one actor became big in tv and the other big in film. Pitt simply eclipses everyone in the movie as far as acting talent with only Juliette Lewis coming close to him in total impact. If you are looking for the typical sexy Brad Pitt movie, this isn't it. If you are looking for Brad Pitt, the actor, this is the movie to see.
Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nothing more. There's no substance whatsoever. I recorded this movie a while ago. I finally watched it.Read more
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