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Golden Shadow Pictures presents
Prometheus Bound (2002)

"Between being and nonbeing...for an eternity."
- Deacon (Jon Jacobs)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: November 20, 2002

Stars: Daniel Tisman, J.C. Brandy, Jon Jacobs, Tom Hornoff
Director: Wic Coleman

Manufacturer: Ritek
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (Adult situations, violence)
Run Time: 01h:20m:25s
Release Date: November 15, 2002
Genre: suspense thriller

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ BC-C+ D+

DVD Review

Jon Jacobs and J.C. Brandy (Dogstar) star in Prometheus Bound, another release from indie house, Zero Productions, which borrows its title from Aeschylus' 460 BC adaptation of the Greek myth surrounding the last of the Titans and saviour of mankind from the Olympians. While there are vague elements common to both works, and a reference later in the picture, the film is in no other way related, despite what the sales blurb suggests. As expected for a very low budget film, it is a bit rough around the edges, but manages to hold together as an effective psychological thriller.

Journalist Alex Kenna (Daniel Tisman) is a man haunted by precognition when he returns to his old stomping grounds. After setting up camp at the house of his former schoolmate, Deacon (Jacobs), he becomes infatuated with a young, wheelchair-bound woman (Brandy), ostracized from the community after the death of her former boyfriend. Despite the warnings from his friends, Alex pursues a relationship, and after her initial suspicions that he is just out for a story, Kathleen accepts Alex's sincerity, and the two begin an affair. As they become more and more involved, the secrets of her past begin to come into focus, and a bitter jealousy flares that sets into play a deadly game of cat and mouse.

With an intriguing storyline and well-timed revelations, the screenplay by first time director Wic Coleman and star J.C Brandy is fairly tight, though there were a few places that didn't really make sense, based on how the characters were developed. However, the writing does provide the needed red herrings to conceal what is coming next. The performances for the most part are strong, however there is some emotional inconsistency between scenes and a few were over done. Suspense is maintained while the characters are being detailed and the love story presented, but in classic tradition there comes that moment where what the audience has known is cast in a new light, building the set up for the climax. The resolution is imaginative and, despite some foreshadowing, unexpected.

Prometheus Bound does have some major shortcomings in the technical department, that detract from the full impact the film could have had. In particular, the sound mixing could have used more attention to eliminate a lot of location background noise, which calls attention to itself by creating jarring cuts between scenes, and distracting from the flow. Forgivable given the budget, the handheld camera work is also a little rough, and lighting is occasionally under done, but there are also some creative approaches to the cinematography, such as the love scene, which demonstrate a more artistic touch. With a good story and exposition, this is a solid first effort, but its technical failings may limit the audience who can fully appreciate it.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Some concession needs applying due to the budget of the film, however the transfer here is only fair. The look is overly dark, and film grain extensive (this was filmed on 16mm), but is rendering adds unnatural video noise which especially evident in darker scenes, and there are some resolution issues. There is a fair amount of aliasing, and some compression induced anomalies. The source also has a few blemishes. While not unwatchable, this is in no way as good as I would have hoped for, but I suspect is the best we'll see unless some major investment is made in upgrading the elements.

Image Transfer Grade: C-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0no
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Prometheus Bound is presented in a 5.1 mix, but its imaging is primarily front and center. The musical soundtrack is full sounding and is nicely directional, but unfortunately an effect of the low budget is that much of the location audio contains a lot of background noise or hum, which causes abrupt changes when scenes change. There are a couple of brief dropouts, and a bit of distortion in a few places. This would take a bit of work to bring up to expected standards. The rating is a compromise between the voice and music elements.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
12 Other Trailer(s) featuring Lucinda's Spell, Dogstar, The Invisibles, The Wooden Gun, Pheonix Point, Hero Lover Fool, Mic and the Claw, Welcome Says the Angel, The Girl With the Hungry Eyes, The Blue Door, Rage, Prometheus Bound
1 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. The Zero Story
  2. Project Entropia commercial
Extras Review: Extras are in line with the rest of the Zero Productions library, with motion menus and trailers for Lucinda's Spell, Dogstar, The Invisibles, The Wooden Gun, Pheonix Point, Hero Lover Fool, Mic and the Claw, Welcome Says the Angel, The Girl With the Hungry Eyes, The Blue Door, Rage, and Prometheus Bound.

An introduction to Zero and an advertisement for the online Project Entropia RPG rounds out the supplements.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Prometheus Bound delivers an engaging thriller with some nice twists along the way. Tisman and Brandy work well together, and Jacobs does a fine psycho. It definitely has a low-budget look, but its biggest disappointment is the location audio post production, which is well below par for a professional product. If one is forgiving of the technical aspects, the film hold interest and packs a good punch.


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