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NEXT ($30) is best described as a popcorn movie; one of those films that can be enjoyed if one checks their brain at the door and doesn’t think too hard about what they are watching. I certainly know I am not thinking about plot or characterization anytime Jessica Biel is on the screen. If you are like me, you will certainly have some fun with NEXT while you are watching it, but it is doubtful if you will remember much about the film afterwards (other than how hot Jessica Biel is).

NEXT is based upon The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick, an author whose stories have been extensively mined by Hollywood… but with decidedly mixed results. The premise of the film finds Nicolas Cage in the role of Cris Johnson, a low level Las Vegas magician, who takes advantage of his ability to see two minutes into the future to eek out a living. Cris’ abilities attract the attention of FBI Agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore), who wants to utilize his talent to assist her in tracking down terrorists, who are in possession of a nuclear weapon that they intend to set off somewhere in California. The cast of NEXT also features Thomas Kretschmann, Tory Kittles, José Zúñiga, Jim Beaver, Jason Butler Harner, Michael Trucco and Peter Falk.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made NEXT available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. It should come as no surprise that NEXT looks terrific on DVD. The image is very crisp and nicely defined. Colors are fully saturated and reproduce appealing flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, whites are stable and the picture produces excellent shadow detail. Contrast is just fine. The film elements appear virtually pristine and there is little appreciable grain during the presentation. Digital compression artifacts always remain out of sight.

NEXT features a great sounding Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Since we are in action movie territory, NEXT features a fairly aggressive sound design that makes good use of all the discrete channels. Fidelity is fairly terific, producing convincing sound effects and a full bodied musical component. Dialogue is always crisp, easy to understand and never drowned out by the sound effects. The bass channel is deep, forceful and adds the necessary punch to the proceedings. French 2.0 and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice extras. Making The Best Next Thing is a pretty standard promo/interview program. Visualizing The Next Move looks at the special effects. The Next Grand Idea looks at a location shoot from the production. Two Minutes In The Future With Jessica Biel provides an additional two minutes to stare at the actress.

NEXT may not be great cinema, but it is mindless sci-fi action with the added benefit of Jessica Biel. Paramount’s DVD looks and sounds great. Nuff said.



Next (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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