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Lets’ face it; FREEJACK ($25) is a guilty pleasure. FREEJACK is preposterous science fiction at its best; wholly unbelievable, yet thoroughly entertaining for some of the talent it brings to the table. In FREEJACK, Emilio Estevez portrays Alex Furlong, a racecar driver who is supposed to die in a racing accident when his car goes careening into an overpass. However, a split second before his death he is snatched out of the car and transported eighteen years into the future. It seems that in that brave new world, the rich have found a way to live forever by depositing their consciousness into new bodies. Unfortunately, the only truly healthy bodies can be found in the past, which is why Alex was rescued a mere instant before his death. However, complications arise, which prevent the harvesting of Alex’s body and allow him to escape.

Lost in the future, our hero finds himself on the run from the unrelenting Victor Vacendak (Mick Jagger), the mercenary hired to retrieve his body from the past. FREEJACK also stars Rene Russo as Julie Redlund, Alex’s girlfriend who watched him die, and the woman he tries to make a new connection eighteen years after the fact. Anthony Hopkins shows up late in the proceedings as Julie’s enigmatic boss McCandless. Hopkins maintains his dignity, despite the unbelievability of the situation that the plot places him in (hopefully Hopkins was rewarded with a fat paycheck for his efforts). The cast of FREEJACK also includes Jonathan Banks, David Johansen, Amanda Plummer (who is an absolute scream), Grand L. Bush, Frankie Faison, John Shea, Esai Morales and Jerry Hall.

Warner Home Video has done their usual great job with the DVD release of FREEJACK. FREEJACK is presented in its proper 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio and the DVD has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. Visually, there is nothing to complain about here, the image on the DVD is clean, sharp, detailed and quite colorful. There are no visual anomalies worth mentioning and the film element used for the transfer is free from very noticeable or distracting blemishes. Blacks are accurately reproduced and the picture delivers a solid level of shadow detail. Digital compression artifacts do not make their presence known on this DVD.

FREEJACK features an all-new Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack that has been re-mastered specifically for home theaters. If you are a fan of the movie, then you will certainly enjoy the newly remixed soundtrack. The sound is pumped up and utilizes all of the discrete channels very well. There is good channel separation across the forward soundstage, plus the rear channels produce a number of split effects, while the whole package creates a cohesive sonic environment. Dialogue reproduction is clean and clear, plus the bass channel provides a solid foundation for the entire track. A French 5.1 channel soundtrack has also been encoded onto the DVD, as have English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound have been integrated into the interface of the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, plus a theatrical trailer and cast filmographies.

Like I said above, FREEJACK is a guilty pleasure. If you like this movie, you will want to own this fine looking and sounding DVD.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 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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