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Before I begin I just want to say that the R4 Australian DVD of The Cell is the Director’s Cut containing never-before-seen footage. The Cell is a trippy movie. A druggo’s dream, this movie is filled with surreal and imaginative visuals, while in my opinion providing quite a captivating basic plot. Probably like you’ve heard it isn’t brain surgery in the detail of the journey department, but it is keeps you drawn in and has some clever twists, and isn’t that what we want in our entertainment after all?? The Cell to me isn’t about the flaws in the plot or two dimensional characters, but more in the succulent visual feast we are presented with. It’s dazzling in it execution, very atmospheric and an ultimate pleasure to watch with its vibrancy. It does look like a movie length music video, not surprisingly director Tarsem Singh directed R.E.M and Madonna before this artistic work.

Cell, The
Movie
Catherine Deane (Jennifer Lopez), a child psychologist, is the first to work with a new concept of entering the minds of her patients to help them via a new invention, which looks pretty darn cool. She basically tries to solve the problems that are interrogating her patients minds by using what looks like an advanced virtual reality device connected between her and the patient that lets her enter the world of her patients, somewhat scary mind. This is where the actual plot comes in, FBI agent Peter Novak (Vince Vaughn) is trying to stop a serial killer Carl Stargher(Vincent D’Onofrio) from killing his next victim. Carl gruesomely puts his female victims in a enclosed glassed tank and slowly lets them fill with water. He then takes them out dead, bleaches them to maintain a doll-like status and then pleasures himself above them, suspended from hooks that are inserted into his back. YUCK!! Novak catches Carl, only after he has gone into a Coma...see where it’s going?? But the real magic begins (badly put after the prologue) when Catherine enters the totally wacky and sensually assaulting mind of Carl and not only has to survive the horror but assist the case and find out where his last victim is, who is slowly being drowned.

Cell, The
Video
For me you can tell which movies are 2.35:1 and 1.85:1 and suitably so...The Cell is definitely a 2.35:1 because it needs the extra length for its artistry. I was very exciting about reviewing this title because it was a New Line picture although not a New Line disc (RoadShow). I found it a little disappointing to begin with, after being told the flawlessness of the R1 transfer I was a little annoyed. Although only in the beginning! The desert sand and the blue sky looked a little off to me, exhibiting a sought-of artifact, a Chroma noise as it is referred to - being that the even constant blue sky becomes grainy/noisy as does the sand. This was a little off putting at first and very minor (hardly noticeable), but I became used to it and it pretty much disappeared after the opening title...it may have been an effect - a bad one :( Other than that though it was smooth sailing apart from a few artifacts in the closing titles. It is a very clean transfer and was a joy to watch, bar those few problems.

Sound
A little less than I expected here aswell...but I also realised that this movie was a little fooling. I thought from the cinemas that it was very musical and effectual, but when I saw it again on DVD I realised it was way more dialogue driven than I remembered. It isn’t as loud as it should be though, obviously converted at a lower rate than normal. The surrounds are used most often for the minimal effects present and the arabian-like score. It wasn’t very bass-y as I thought it would be either, and not that directional. But when effect scenes(mostly in Carl’s mind) arose the subwoofer became more active and worked effectively.

Extra's
The Cell has quite a few great features which is a welcome treat for such a stunning movie.
Director Commentary: Singh is a little repetitive and hard to understand sometimes, mainly because of his accent, but overall it is quite an enlightening commentary.
Isolated Score: A great feature in terms of quality, which I personally find quite useless, but will be fought with vigourously over. Although for The Cell it is pretty cool, making the movie into even more of a music video and showing how and what music was used throughout the movie.
Deleted Scenes with optional director commentary: 8 deleted scenes, some fillers some alternates, and not the most exciting of scenes either. There is a new scene with Edward and an alternate ending...but nothing that I really think that would’ve helped the movie.
Behind The Scenes: A 10 minute promo for the film, which is quite interesting showing some behind the scenes work and the often praising of the director and cast.
Theatrical Trailer: Nothing new here a teaser and a theatrical both in excellent condition.
Interactivities - Empathy Test & Brain Map: A little fun about weather you have empathy power and what the different parts of the brain do and what they look like.
Visual Effects Vignettes - Multi Angle: A great behind the scenes feature showing how they created scenes using special effects, makeup, drawing boards. There are 3 multi-angles and are the first multi angle feature I have seen. Not very exciting multi angles are they! But it suits the featurette.
Filmographies: Run of the mill description of the cast and crew.

Cell, The
The Cell is a visually stunning movie presented on a solid DVD, in its uncut form. The transfer is a little troublesome to begin with but otherwise looks fantastic and the audio is a little low but does the job excellently.


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