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BLAST FROM THE PAST ($15) is a sweet, little romantic comedy that has a number of genuinely funny moments. BLAST FROM THE PAST opens during the Cuban missile crisis with Calvin Weber (Christopher Walken), an eccentric genius and his very pregnant wife Helen Sissy Spacek) retreating down into the state-of-the-art bomb shelter beneath their suburban Los Angeles home. As luck would have it, a jet fighter plane crashes into the house, making Calvin and Helen believe that the Russians have dropped the bomb on Los Angeles. Since Calvin has been planning for such an eventuality, he seals himself and Helen into their well stocked shelter for the amount of time that it will take for the radiation to clear- exactly 35 years. Soon after entering the shelter, Helen gives birth to a son, whom she appropriately names Adam. Calvin and Helen give Adam a classical education as well as instilling upon him all the moral virtues of American life in 1962. However, after the 35 years, the fully-grown Adam finds himself ill prepared for the harsh realities of La-La Land, when he ventures outside of the shelter to replenish the family's supplies, as well as finding himself a non-mutant bride.

BLAST FROM THE PAST is basically a fish out of water tale that stars Brendan Fraser as the adult Adam Weber. While Adam is highly intelligent, he unfortunately lacks the necessary skills required to deal with the world around him. Just as Adam is about to sell his classic baseball card collection for next to nothing, in steps Eve (Alicia Silverstone), a modern LA woman who becomes his guide to life in the nineties. Of course, Adam is immediately attracted to Eve, however she's been battered and bruised by relationships and isn't interested in taking the plunge again. So instead of becoming Adam's wife, Eve agrees to help him find a bride before he returns to the relative safety of his parent's underground shelter. While BLAST FROM THE PAST is a bit predictable, the cast continuously keeps things fresh and funny. Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone make a cute cinematic couple and have good chemistry together. While the leading performances from Fraser and Silverstone are engaging, Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek are even better. Both of these seasoned pros can take the smallest moment in the film and tun it into something truly special and truly funny. Additionally, Dave Foley delivers a hilarious, scene-stealing performance as Eve's gay best friend Troy.

New Line Home Video has done a terrific job of bringing BLAST FROM THE PAST to DVD. While the disc doesn't include all the features of New Line's Platinum Series, BLAST FROM THE PAST is a blast on DVD. The dual layered disc offers both full frame and wide screen presentations. Those who must fill every bit of their monitors with picture information will find the full screen version up to the task, however everyone else is going to be bowled over by the spectacular 16:9 enhanced wide screen version of the film. Jaw dropping is about the best way to describe the 2.35:1 Letterboxed transfer. New Line continually redefines state-of-the-art in regards to image quality- BLAST FROM THE PAST is no exception to this rule. At times, the transfer seems to take on a hyper-realistic level of detail and clarity. The rest of the time, the image is simply stunning. Additionally, color reproduction on this DVD is just outstanding. Flesh tones are faithfully rendered, while the rest of the fully saturated hues are reproduced without a bit of chroma noise or bleeding. Both the black level and contrast are right on the money. Digital compression artifacts never even entered the equation on this well authored DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a surprisingly active mix for a comedy, plus there is a special effects sequence that is right up there with the best action movie mixes. Dialogue is clean and precisely recreated with natural timbre to the actor's voices, plus the bass component of the track is potent enough to reproduce a nuclear explosion. A matrixed Dolby Surround soundtrack has also been encoded onto the DVD, along with English subtitles. The interactive menus have a goofy retro design that is in keeping with the style of the movie, plus the menus contain animation, full motion video and music. Through the menu system one can access the standard scene and language selection features, as well as a theatrical trailer, "The Love Meter" game and cast biographies/filmographies. BLAST FROM THE PAST also contains several DVD-ROM features that are accessible through a PC (some of which are Macintosh compatible).


Blast from the Past (1999)


DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 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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