Smart dialogue, well acted, eye-opening finale
Jeff W. Shimkus | Switzerland, Basel | 07/03/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Altered States was released on Christmas day 1980, made before I was born. But the special effects and makeup are still eye-catching and visually interesting. The scientific dialogue is played with shakespearean artistry by John Hurt. I had no idea that Mr. John Hurt started his career with Altered States. He is young, strong, and well casted as a genius with unfaltering determination towards his scientific goals. As hinted by its title, Altered States has a story about metaphysics. I enjoyed the Harvard approach, that is aspiring to be intellectual. Believe me, in the history of the genre of science fiction films, not many are even attempts at being intellectual.
I thought that the idea that the human brain contains humankinds entire history, buried somewhere within, a little hard to believe, but very original. No spoilers here, but the idea is that an ancient ritual, that requires some bizarre mixture of blood, something, something, and drugs, takes you on a wicked trip. You add in some chamber filled with oil and vitamins that monitors brain activity and allows the user to experience a sort of euphoria, and you're on to something new.
The magnificent ending is something to behold. I really implore you to finish the movie, especially since it's not that long, for the ending, and without giving away too much, it is an epic symbol of love conquering human evolution. You may one day ask yourself, "what is it all for", and although you certainly won't find your answer in a movie, I hope that love is always in your life to put balance to those unanswerable questions that can burn into your soul.
Altered States rewards its viewers with spectacular effects, especially the ending, which is impressive! Unlike some more serious films, it is shorter than say Kubricks Space Odyssey at 102 minutes; making it, perhaps, more accessible to more people. There are many small things to quibble about in this imperfect film that attempt to evade the great qualities of the film. The story telling is grade A, and the acting by the beautiful Blair Brown are additional highlights of this film. Blair accurately potrays the agony of unrequited love and her side of the story gives balance to the graveness of Altered States."
Joseph W. Reese | high point, nc | 07/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DO NOT, under any circumstances, WATCH THIS MOVIE WHILE UNDER THE EFFECTS OF ANY HALLUCIOGENIC. it is a TERRIBLE IDEA. do not take lsd. do not take shrooms. i'd even avoid weed or a few beers. this movie is a mind-f***. some parts are completely ridiculous and make you fall down laughing, but some of the parts make you feel like you're having a bad trip even when you're on nothing at all. so avoid mixing drugs with this film. that is all."
Pretty much what i expected
SD | 06/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this item going in having seen it a few times and mostly for collecter value. The dvd wasn't scratched at all and plays back fine, it did tkae a litle bit longer than expected to get in the mail but i wasn't really in a rush to get it. NO big problems at all but if ur expecting to view a movie in a rush u might wanna j get it from netflix."