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Equilibrium A man who dares to feel finds his life in danger in this cautionary science fiction drama. In the future, after a Third World War has decimated much of the Earth's population, a new nation known as Libria rises up under the unquestioned leadership of Dupont (Angus MacFadyen). Believing human emotions and their expression were to blame for the failings of past societies, The Father has decreed that all citizens must take a daily dose of Prozia II, a drug which levels out the emotional landscape, and that all forms of creative expression are against the law; violating either regulation can be punished by death. John Preston (Christian Bale) is a Grammaton, an elite law enforcement officer who tracks down and punishes "sense offenders." One day, Preston accidentally fails to take his Prozia II, and for the first time begins experiencing emotions himself. Preston becomes aware of an underground of rebels who refuse to take their medication and have embraced art and literature, and he finds himself becoming infatuated with one of their number, Mary O'Brian (Emily Watson). Equilibrium is the second feature-length directorial effort from Kurt Wimmer, whose screenwriting credits include The Thomas Crown Affair and Sphere. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Get off the
Posted by: GOJIRABoy from: Spokane,Wa on
Disappointed with "The Matrix Reloaded"? Felt let down? ACHIEVE "Equlibrium" by watching this movie.
First of all, this is another much needed and sorely missed breath of fresh air that we've seen so rarely come down the pike from the cookie-cutter that is Hollywood. This movie made me feel the same way after viewing such films as "Boondock Saints", "The 1st Matrix", "Smoking Aces", "Memento", "Donnie Darko", "Brotherhood of the Wolf", as well as The films of Paul Thomas Anderson, Takeshi Kitano, Guy Ritchie, and Takashi Miike--which is completly surprised, and pleased with the blend of intelligence with action and an ever increasing difficulty level of taking elements of genres and giving them a unique new twist (true originality is all but dead).
Granted this movie uses elements of stories we've seen before whether it be the oppressive dystopias of movies like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, A Brave New World, THX 1138, Metropolis, Brazil, Gattaca, Logan's Run, Rollerball (the original), or "The Handmaid's Tale".
It's interesting to note that Libria's citizens are encouraged to "rat" each other out. It brings to mind Mao or McCarthy although not to such hysterical fever pitches...that would be a "sense offense". Instead of books, or political idealogies, emotions themselves are outlawed. Instead of "A Brave New World's" ~soma~ the good citizen's of Libria have the opiate for the masses "Prozium". This is Libria's cure to end war (unlike Rollerball's "game").
Not that ALL emotions are eradicated , as director Kurt Wimmer shares, rather prozium eliminates mankind's tempestous highs and lows. And those emotions, ambition, jealousy, that might further Libria's cause of promoting "Non-feeling" are allowed such as Taye Diggs character's motivation to bring John Preston (Christian Bale) down. It's also interesting to note that the director meant this as a parable, a cautionary tale of socio-politcal ideology gone wrong, rather than a literal story.
The Grammaton Clerics similarity to the sandmen in "Logan's Run" ("Minority Report" has similarities to "LR" as well) was interesting--two partner cops hunting down "offenders" whether they be "runners", "Pre-criminals", or in this case "sense offenders". One has to pursue and kill a partner then have his conscience / soul pricked to have an epiphany and find they are questioned or pursued themselves.
I can't say enough about the performances other than agreeing with the director he batted a thousand with his casting. Everybody was superb, Christian Bale is a delight to watch grow with each new performance (it took Hollywood long enough to wise up to this proven action star with acting chops to boot-- like the late Brandon Lee, Christian Bale packs a deadly combo of ripped physicallity with a deep emotional wellspring to draw on). Sean Bean continues to blow me away with performances of his "flawed= REAL" characters, whether in "Goldeneye", "Patriot Games", "Ronin", or "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" Bean wrenches a very soulful, human performance out of what little screen time he's given.
The action of this movie is a much needed shot in the arm for HARD CORE ACTION JUNKIES. The impressive "Gun Kata" invented by the director is a fresh, inventive next-step in the evolution of the cinematic gun battle. Hong Kong innovators such as John Woo / Chow Yun Fat ushered in the Balletic "Gun Fu" (as coined by writer Ric Meyers). This film unlike "The Matrix" and it's sequels does not rely on "wire-fu" stunts-- (the flip by Cleric Preston was accomplished by a diving champion stunt double) --refreshing after being bombarded by the likes of "D.O.A.", the 2 "Charlie's Angels" entries, augmentation of Jackie Chan (The Tuxedo), Jet Li (Pick one), and Chow Yun Fat (Bullet-proof Monk) movies. Don't get me wrong wire work is a great tool in use of projects involving super-human ability (such as Jet Li's multiverse titan in "The One") any number of recent Superhero movies, or the Swordplay classic "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".
The action sequences resonate with the speed and beauty of the best of Jet Li's Hong Kong work, married with the swordplay scenes with Preston's use of the "Zatoichi" underhand swordhold style. The opening introduction to the prowess of the Grammaton Cleric's "Gun-Kata", the numerous confrontations between Preston and the many "sweepers", the Kendo bokken match between Preston and Brandt, and the climactic Hallway "weeble wobble-clip" gun battle, Preston and Brandt's "Face-off", and the final confrontation between Dupont (Angus MacFadyen / Braveheart) which innovatively uses the hand locking styles reminiscent of Wing Chun's 'chi sau'/'lok sau', or Tai Chi Chuan's 'toi sau' only with guns!
I find "Matrix" comparisons rather tedious. As for Preston's clothes copying Neo, other than they are sleek tight fitting and black I don't see the comparison (I mean Neo was wearing a trenchcoat!) I also remind all that "Equilibrium" predates "Matrix re-loaded" in which the tables are turned Neo's "uber-mensch/superman" persona has on the "GOD Smock". I find that on occasion that 2 or more creative people will come up with the same idea independently from one another. So I agree with director Kurt Wimmer that the bros. Wachowski were giving Neo religious garb to outwardly represent his 'deity' which coincidently took on the 19th century deacon smock motif.
In conclusion I find this to be a very enjoyable, overlooked movie that you should definitely check out. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Best Buy for this forum.
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Great movie, utterly poor bluray output
Posted by: AccelJunky from: Marietta, GA on
Obviously Equilibrium is up there with the Matrix as far as great distopian action movies with unforgettable scenes. However, PLEASE be aware that this particular copy of the movie is unbelievably gimped. I cannot believe how the publishing company got away with such a poor output. IT HAS 2.0 STEREO...on a bluray disc. The aspect ratio has been cropped from the original as well. I have nearly 100 blurays and about 95 are DTS HD or Dolby TrueHD. 4 are at least DD 5.1. Only 1 is 2.0 stereo and that is Bullitt which was filmed in the sixties so I can't fault it. Do yourself a favor and do not buy this version of the movie. The publisher needs to learn a lesson about producing a copy that doesn't meet even the average of bluray standards. The bluray disc association should not have let this copy get certified. Vote with your wallet.
3 out of 4 found this review helpful.
Better than the Matrix
Posted by: ginnegurl from: on
I heard people say before I watched this movie that it was comparable to the Matrix trilogy. I would actually disagree and say that this movie is *better* than the Matrix movies. Not only does this movie star some wonderful actors, but the plot also alludes to outstanding books such as 1984 by George Orwell.
This movie gives the audience an action-packed, emotional, and mentally stimulating environment. Right from the start, you get involved with the plot--the painting The Mona Lisa is purposefully destroyed before your eyes while human beings stand aside and watch. And that's just the beginning. Christian Bale and Taye Diggs give stellar performances, and for those Batman fans out there, I would say Mr. Bale betters that movie by leaps and bounds.
If you're not into action, you may not find this movie your cup of tea. After all, with a rating of R, there is some violence (duh!). Definitely more stimulating than so many movies out there, I would recommend this to ANY guy friend you have. I actually bought this for my Dad for his birthday, although I was secretly excited to have it handy for my perusal whenever I pleased. Check this one out and see for yourself!
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Great film, Very poor blu ray
Posted by: Axlehead from: California on
Equilibrium has long been an all time favorite of mine. The film takes a more realistic approach to what The Matrix tried to pull off. I have patiently waited for this to come to Blu Ray in the U.S. as it has been released in every other country. Unfortunately thanks to Echo Bridge (The company that authored the disc) the U.S is left with the absolute worst blu ray offering. The film has been cropped from its 2:35:1 aspect ratio to a full frame 1:78:1. Yes thats right, apparently we've entered the the age of Blu Ray's where full frame is ok. That's not even the worst part. There is only one audio track and that is 2.0 Stereo!! No 5.1 track. So basically if you own the dvd you are better off with that for now since you retain the original aspect ratio and have the 5.1 track. A huge disappointment. If you really want this on blu ray then go after the canadian release that is also sold on this site. While it still has the full frame video at least it has a 5.1 track.
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Love this movie, Hate this release
Posted by: JavaJoe96 from: Saint Louis, MO on
Equilibrium is an amazing movie. This Blu-ray release is an insult. First off, while they might of given the movie a HD transfer they decided to do that while cutting away a lot of the film. This fim was released in theatres as 2:39 :1 aspect ratio and this Blu-ray was released as 1.78:1 aspect ratio(also called "HDTV full frame"), so you are losing some of the image. Not only that but the audio has been included as DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, which just begs to ask why. This pretty much makes your surround system usless for this movie. The only Blu-ray release that kept the original aspect ratio and a amazing transfer and a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio is the Japanese release and while it is expensive to import it is region free.
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Very underrated sci-fi thriller
Posted by: RLB72 from: Baltimore, MD on
Been a fan of this movie since I first caught it on cable awhile back so when I seen it for such a great price on Blu-ray I had to pick it up. An incredibly underrated sci-fi thriller that I actually enjoyed more than the Matrix. I'm sure it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but a favorite of mine.
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Doesn't Make Sense
Posted by: kevman79 from: on
'Equilibrium' falls apart early on in that its plot and content are completely illogical and irrational, and the film too often becomes a victim of its own contradictions. Yet, for all its shortcomings, the movie still presents an interesting idea, and some great stunt and effects sequences. Widescreen.
0 out of 2 found this review helpful.
One of My Favorite Movies
Posted by: LEW1 from: Baltimore, MD on
I've seen this movie on more than one occasion and finally decided to add it to my personal collection. The plot makes you think and the action sequences will make your jaw drop. It's like Fahrenheit 451, 1984 and the Matrix all rolled into one. It's a bit predictable at times, but still a very enjoyable film.
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Posted by: CamTheMan from: Lubbock, TX on
This movie is so cool that even four years after it's release date, I tell people that my nickname is "Cleric", because of the awesome character that Christian Bale portrays. It is my opinion that Christian Bale is the best actor of our generation, and he is terrific in this film as John Preston, better known as the senior Cleric of the Tetragrammaton, who uses the art of "gun karta" to outmatch any number of foes. Equilibrium is a chilling look into a potential future with lots of censureship and violence. If you have ever read the book "Fahrenheit 451", it's like that, only lots of cool guns and special effects. One of my favorites.
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Epic Gun Fights
Posted by: Fernis from: Atlanta, GA on
In some ways, greater than the Matrix trilogy. The movie is a must-see for Matrix fans. The fight scenes are incredible in terms of cinematography, delivery, production, and execution.