07/30/2015  
Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 28The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray & DVD Aug. 18What We Do in the Shadows on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 21Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests on DVD Jun 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation' is breakneck, bre...
Ted Cruz backs out of scheduled 'Daily Show' appearance...
'Ant-Man' inches past 'Pixels' to take No. 1 spot at bo...
Jake Gyllenhaal's Evolution of Hotness, From Bubble Boy...
Judd Apatow: Bill Cosby "One of the Most Awful People t...
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Split 10 Years After ...
Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4...
Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18...
Marvel reverses scale, elevates comedy with compact her...
The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 2...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Fox Lorber presents
Conceiving Ada (1997)

"I'm writing about the soul of something... the soul, soul of an engine. I'm not sure whether it's mathematics I'm writing. I'm not sure whether it, it's... really pure enough to be considered mathematics. But, it doesn't matter because no one will ever see it. It's just a working model for Babbage's engine."
- Ada Augusta Byron King, Countess of Lovelace (Tilda Swinton)

Review By: Jesse Shanks   
Published: September 28, 2000

Stars: Tilda Swinton, Francesca Faridany
Other Stars: Karen Black, Timothy Leary, John Perry Barlow
Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (Adult situations, partial nudity)
Run Time: 01h:25m:00s
Release Date: February 01, 2000
UPC: 720917520223
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- BC+C+ C

DVD Review

I love a good time travel story and Conceiving Ada is not one per se, but it has many of the elements of one. Emmy (Francesca Faridany) is a computer genius working in a supposedly "cutting edge" area of computer technology. It's difficult to determine what that area actually is, because it is wrapped up in impenetrable mumbo jumbo, as is most of her "programming" (which seems to consist mostly of sitting in front of her monitor clicking her mouse.) But, geek offense aside, she is attempting to tap into information from the past that, in theory, is never destroyed. Her focus is Ada Byron King (Swinton), daughter of Lord Byron, who is hailed as the first programmer due to her work with Charles Babbage in the late 19th century on his Analytical Engine, a kind of mechanical counting device that some have identified as the first "computer." The Department of Defense paid tribute to Ada King by naming a programming language (Ada) after her.

Emmy is mentored by Sims (Timothy Leary), who convinces her to use DNA in her program to tap into this past information and make direct connection with Ada. A little more computer mumbo jumbo and Emmy is talking with the historic woman and seeing Ada's life through Ada's eyes. Well, a little bit more than a suspension of disbelief is needed to swallow this concoction; but Tilda Swinton is very attractive in the role of Ada and the story of her life is so darned intriguing that one struggles onward. I have to wonder if we are really that well served by the parallel story of Emmy's struggles to create this "technology,"which throws us directly into time paradoxes that have sunk many a time-tripping movie. It seems that as a device to deliver the life story of a figure like Ada, the contemporary story fails for the most part.

The direction by Lynn Hershman Leeson is erratic and the acting is very uneven. Several roles are essayed by obviously unrehearsed, inexperienced or just plain bad actors. The tone of the story is as overwrought as the inevitably intense expression of Emmy's face throughout. On the whole, if this movie was necessary in order to get some of the details of this fascinating woman before us, I will accept it until something else comes along.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The image suffers from the low-budget original besides being an average transfer. It would seem that the digital origin of the film would lend itself to a better DVD production. Picture quality is uneven and ranges from average in some early scenes to fuzzy later on. The pioneering blue screen effect which allowed some of the background scenery to be digitally added in, post-production, rarely is distracting but lends a certain "cheap" quality to the proceedings. Even a decent transfer could not keep this movie from looking like much more than a student film. The colors are imprecise and actually reveal more about the bad lighting in the production than is wanted.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Nothing special sonically. I heard an occasional pop on the soundtrack, but this could have been the disc. There seemed to be occasionally drop-offs in the sound but it was difficult to determine if this was a flaw or a purposeful effect. There are many levels of sound from the live action of Emmy's life to the computer generated realm of Ada's life. The mix included other computer-generated sounds, as well as Timothy Leary's voice.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 8 cues
Cast and Crew Filmographies
Production Notes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Technical Notes
  2. Weblinks
Extras Review: The Technical Notes provide details of the unique digital nature of this film.

The Web links are available for IBM-Compatible computers and include links to Winstar's web site and the web site of director Lynn Hershman.

With the filmographies and production credits, this is a serviceable amount of extras. I enjoyed reading Timothy Leary's filmography. Am I the only one that wishes these companies would consult with me on what extras would make these discs better? In this case, wouldn't one piece of Ada's writing or some things about Babbage's Analytical Engine make sense? I guess not.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

The story of Ada Byron King, the "Enchantress of Numbers", is compelling and is the heart of this movie. Although the overall method of delivering that story is flawed, this is still a somewhat interesting piece of science fiction. I cannot recommend buying this DVD at full price unless one is very interested in the life of Ada.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

movie, mission: impossible -- rogue nation, tom cruise, simon pegg, ving rhames, jeremy remmer, alec baldwin, television, late night, jon stewart, ted cruz, david mccullough, ant-man, disney, marvel, pixels, adam sandler, jurassic, inside out, minions, trainwreck, southpaw, jake gyllenhaal, october sky, donnie darko, bubbly boy, brokeback mountain, prisoners, celebrity, jeff apatow, cnn, new day, bill cosby, music, blake shelton miranda lambert, you are the reason god make oklahoma, gunpowder and lead, drama, payton reed, paul rudd, michael douglas, corey stoll, evangeline lily, horror, tom selleck, calleguas municipal water district, movies, star wars, harrison ford, dead pool, ryan reynolds, muppets, batman v superman, ben affleck, westworld, hbo, j.j. abrams, the gallows, cassidy gifford, kathie lee gifford, frank gifford, amy schumer, judd apatow, bill hader, comedy, inside amy schumer, ariana grande, dough-nut licking video, wolfee donuts, netflix, wet hot american summer: first day of camp, michael showalter, david wain, elizabeth banks, michael ian black, bradley cooper, judah friedlander, janeane garofalo, joe lo truglio, ken marino, christopher meloni, marguerite moreau, zak orth, amy poehler, david hyde pierce, molly shannon, sci-fy, star trek, justin lin, star trek beyond, zoe soldana, chris pine, donald trump, republican presidential candidate, nbc, televisa, ora tv, lupita jones, carlos slim, larry king, sex-assault lawsuit, associated press, george m. gowen iii, disneyland, disney california adventure, selfie sticks banned, california screaming, coachella, lollapalooza, jimmy fallon, tonight show, hand injury, x files, david duchovny, gillian anderson, fox, january 24, 2016, apple music, allen kovac, motley crue, taylor swift, elvis costello, calvin harris, animation, kids, the tonight show, colin ferrell, vince vaughn, true detective, nbc nightly news, brian williams, anchor, matt lauer, today, msnbc, lester holt, mark feldstein, pixar, mindy-disgust, amy poehler-joy, phyllis smith-sadness, fear-bill hader, anger-lewis black.

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store