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Fox Lorber presents
Adventures of Felix (2000)

"Sometimes a little trip can change everything."
- Tagline

Review By: Daniel Hirshleifer   
Published: April 18, 2002

Stars: Sami Bouajila, Patachou, Ariane Ascaride
Other Stars: Pierre-Loup Rajot, Charly Sergue
Director: Jacques Martineau, Olivier Ducastel

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:31,:24s
Release Date: February 19, 2002
UPC: 720917531724
Genre: foreign

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C- D-C-B- C-

DVD Review

According to the tagline, "Sometimes a little trip can change everything." In the case of Adventures of Felix, a little trip changes nothing except that by the end, the audience is one hour and thirty minutes closer to death than they were before they started watching. The story, about a man in France who travels to see his long-lost father, seems like a good old bildungsroman, but the fact is that Felix is not significantly changed from the beginning to end. Adventures of Felix is one of those movies that tries to show a little slice of life, but ends up showing nothing.Felix (Sami Bouajila) is a gay, HIV positive (although this little fact seems to have no effect on the story whatsoever) sailor who has just been fired. He decides to go find his father in Marseilles. On the way, he meets a host of characters. Some are mean, most are nice. Some are nice until they can't get what they want, then they're not. In theory, each encounter should leave Felix just a little changed. In practice, they don't. Felix meets people, some of whom he gives advice, and other who give him advice. He seems momentarily affected by each encounter, and then goes on to the next one as if the previous hadn't happen. By the end, the film tries to prove that Felix is actually a very changed person, but I don't see it. It's not a matter of subtlety, either, it's a matter of effective content.I don't really see what the directors were trying to convey with this movie. Is it about racism? Homophobia? Functioning in the world when you're HIV positive? Is Felix actually important at all? This movie seems to have no message. What's worse, it seems to be trying to formulate a message, but never does. This is the cinematic equivalent of watching a slide show of your Aunt Ruth's trip to Mexico. It's slow, it's boring, it's full of small details that you don't care about, and you're just glad to leave when it's over. There's not much more to say about this picture.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Adventures of Felix is presented in its original aspect ratio, but not in an anamorphic transfer. Moreover, the film looks washed out, with a lot of grain (although the grain could have been the result of the film stock used). This isn't the worst Fox Lorber transfer I've seen, but it's not as good as it should be.

Image Transfer Grade: C-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 mix isn't terribly active, but then again, the soundtrack on the film isn't full of explosions or cars whizzing by or anything that would give the surrounds a workout in the first place. Mostly it's the score that gets to the surrounds. Everything sounds clear, at least, and nothing sounds gimmicky.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The biggest draw in terms of extras is a fairly interesting commentary by the directors, where they talk about getting the film made, supply anecdotes, and all the other things that make commentaries fun. Other than that, there's just some biographies and filmographies, and the theatrical trailer.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Adventures of Felix tries to be so much, and ends up being nothing.


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