08/31/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

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

Palm Pictures presents
Demonlover (2002)

"No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don't understand."
- Diane (Connie Nielsen)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: June 16, 2004

Stars: Connie Nielsen, Charles Berling, Chloe Sevigny
Other Stars: Gina Gershon, Jean-Baptiste Malartre, Dominique Reymond, Abi Sakamoto
Director: Olivier Assayas

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, sexual content and some language
Run Time: 01h:55m:12s
Release Date: March 16, 2004
UPC: 031398111948
Genre: techno thriller


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B-A-A- D-

DVD Review

I remember the first time I saw Eraserhead, and I was completely struck numb by David Lynch's complete and brilliant disregard for conventional storytelling. Here was a guy with a clear bent for the weird and weirder—that much was plainly obvious—and I felt invigorated in that he was perhaps leaving it up to me to decipher the deeper meaning of things, like exactly who or what the hell was the Lady in the Radiator. Though it teetered into the realm of bad boy art house stuff, I liked that off-kilter uncertainty, and I liked being in control of filling in the cracks. I felt the same way when after viewing a few of David Cronenberg films (eXistenZ, Videodrome, Naked Lunch): watching strange things without all the details was kind of fun.

This brings us to Demonlover.

On one level, this 2002 film from French writer/director Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep) is a straight-forward corporate thriller, set in the high-stakes world of Japanese anime porn and 3D technology. Diane (Connie Nielsen) is a ruthless cog in the wheel of VolfGroup, a shady French mega-corporation working to snag the lucrative distribution rights for a Japanese anime company that has developed some new cutting edge 3D software. Diane, who one character refers to as an "ice queen," is indeed appropriately cold, and in the opening minutes of the film she has calmly drugged an associate and arranged her kidnapping just so she can take over her biggest account. Her involvement with Elise (Chloë Sevigny), an equally detached underling who has her own dangerous agenda only adds to Diane's mounting problems and moral dilemmas. What follows is the expected double-crosses and unexpected alliances, all of which lead to Diane learning more than she wants to know about The Hellfire Club, a website that is described as an "interactive torture site—it's difficult to access, and very successful."

That's all well and good on the surface. But on another level—the one that makes me think of Lynch or Cronenberg—is that Assayas has apparently made Demonlover difficult to follow and slightly incoherent on purpose. From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, Assayas and cinematographer Denis Lenoir made a visually powerful film; it just so happens to confuse and leaves more questions unanswered than answered. But it looks darn good doing it, and the frenetic Sonic Youth music on the soundtrack really enhances the detached techno vibe of the story.

For me, Assayas' Demonlover conjures up glimmers of Lynch and Cronenberg at times, because it brings to mind the same stream of disjointed storytelling combined with compelling visuals. The comparisons lie largely in the fact that these attractive looking films require the viewer to think, and to make some sense of what is occurring onscreen, without being spoon-fed all of the answers. Assayas isn't necessarily a nightmarish art house visionary, but Demonlover is one of those left-of-mainstream thrillers that tries hard to be daring and unclear, and it does manage to succeed more often than not.

This film made me think a little, and I enjoyed the process of being invited to do so. I had no problem with not particularly caring for any of the main characters, all of whom are reprehensible in their own way; I found that kind of refreshing. I didn't always understand clearly what was going on, but like a Lynch or Cronenberg film, I didn't care.

I just liked watching.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Well. I may not exactly be 100% clear on just what the story was about, but I do know that at the very least it was a beautiful looking film; Denis Lenoir's icy blue cinematography looks properly machine-like and distant on this techno-washed out 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. No noticeable compression artifacts, and the print itself is debris free.

Very, very nice.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: I suppose technically this would be considered a French language 5.1 Dolby Digital surround track, though at any given moment characters may be speaking French, English or Japanese. Regardless of what you call it, it is an appropriately aggressive one, full of active rear channel cues and well-placed directional pans. The score is built around some gritty techno-electronica, with aging groundbreakers Sonic Youth also contributing some feedback-laden sounds, and it all reverberates very, very loudly, adding to the discordant, off-balance feel of the film. Character voices are cleanly mixed, and even whispered dialogue is easily understandable.

A noticeably less robust 2.0 French surround track is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Director's Series, Vol. 1 - The Work of Director Spike Jonze, Director's Series, Vol. 2 - The Work of Director Chris Cunningham, Director's Series, Vol. 3 - The Work of Director Michel Gondry, Sex and Lucia, The Eye, Morvern Callar
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Those expecting additional plot clarity and explanations in the extras section will come away disappointed, unless you happen to speak French, that is. A series of interviews with cast members Nielsen, Sevigny, Charles Berling and director Assayas is presented in French, without subtitles, so I have no clue what they were talking about. I can only hope they explained something to someone.

In addition to some eye-popping trailers (specifically the collected works of Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham, and Michel Gondry), the disc is cut into 17 chapters, and features optional subtitles in English or Spanish.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

This film looks terrific, has two extremely watchable performances from Connie Nielsen and Chloë Sevigny, but is too clinically detached to make me care about anything that happened, even if by chance I actually understood exactly what was happening. Director Olivier Assayas and D.P. Denis Lenoir show off what seems like some kind of wise guy melding of identifiable fragments of Hitchcock, Lynch, and Cronenberg (and maybe a little Carol Reed thrown in for good measure) into a spiraling and confusing tale that admittedly is damn near impossible to look away from.

I liked what I saw. I'm just not sure what it was.

Recommended for adventurous viewers only.

 


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

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
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