Sunday, May 22, 2011

DVD Review: 2033

2033 (2010) DVD
Label: Cinema Epoch
Region: 1 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 93 mins
Video: 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio: Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 with English Subtitles
Director: Francisco Laresgioti
Cast: Miguel Couturier, Marco Antonio Trevino, Sandra Echeverria
Tagline: The Illusion of a Better Future

Synopsis: In this futuristic sci-fi adventure, ultra-privileged young Pablo rejects his place among Mexico's ruling elite and joins a revolutionary religious movement bent on toppling the country's despotic military regime.

Film: Francisco Laresgioti's dystopian film takes place in Mexico City which has been renamed Villaparaiso (Paradise City) in the not so distant future of 2033. The country is ruled by a military dictatorship. Religion freedom is outlawed and the citizens are sated through the consumption of a mind controlling synthetic food called PECTI. It creates a slave army of workers who are addicted to the product they manufacture. Pablo (Claudio Lafarga) is an elite member of privileged society, his mother is set to marry the government's head of security but despite his affluence he finds the need to numb himself with drugs and alcohol. Perhaps dissatisfied with his life and the choices he has made. He's not a pleasant person, he hunts humans for sport, viciously attacks "rebels" who would dare mention God, and has a shitty relationship with his mother, he's just a difficult guy to like. If I was him I would do drugs to, just saying.

For years Pablo has believed his father died at the hands of "rebels" but moments before his grandfather's final breath he told that his father is alive. Shortly after a chance encounter in the men's room with a priest (no, not that kind of encounter) he is informed that his father was a rebel and is in fact still alive.

Up till this point I was going along just fine with the events in the film but Pablo's turn from government lackey to religious rebel was pretty shorthanded. The acting though passable just wasn't deep enough for me to buy into this young man's redemption who just moments before shot a man in street, brutalized a homeless man who mentioned God and shot someone for sport from a helicopter. Yeah, the realization about his dad, falling in love and cleaning a few toilets does not add up to inner self-discovery of that magnitude in my book. So, while the character arc of our protagonist bothered me quite a bit, he wasn't a redeemable character in my eyes, the fact that this is a film about religious rebels fighting for their right to express their beliefs openly and it didn't come across to heavy handed was quite commendable.  

The special effects in the film are top notch. There is a lot of digital architecture added to the city skyline, giant airships, and its seamless stuff. While I take exception with a few story elements as a sci-fi actioner this is one heck of an entertaining film. For the sci-fi nerds there's plenty of references to Blade Runner, THX-1138, Soylent Green, Gattaca, Logan's Run and Star Wars

DVD: 2033 comes to DVD from Cinema Epoch with a pretty stunning 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with eye-popping crisp detail, vibrant colors and deep black levels. This is a visually stunning films and the transfer does it justice. The Spanish language 5.1 is also well done with some nice action in the surrounds. Unfortunately the special features are nearly non-existent with only a trailer and slide show. This is an impressive project that surely could have made for a decent commentary track from it's first time director.

Special Features:
- Trailer (1:31) 16:9
- Still Gallery (12 stills)

Verdict: 2033 is an ambitious film from a first-time director whom has assembled an entertaining sci-fi thriller with well staged action, artful cinematography, and great effects. It's sci-fi eye candy from start to finish with some fun nods to classic sci-fi films. 3 outta 5