Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans



Directed by David Cronenberg.
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, Kristen Stewart.
Science-Fiction, Canada, 107 minutes, certificate 18.


Released on 4K and Blu-ray in Limited and Standard editions on September 11th by Second Sight Films.




A year after its cinema release, CRIMES OF THE FUTURE arrives on screen again in this stacked disc from Second Sight Films, allowing the viewer a second chance to fully explore this late addition to David Cronenberg’s filmography. An exploration of the writer/director's most popular themes (body horror, outlandish surgery), this film counts as one of his stranger and more perverse works, which is saying something when you consider it. It is an exploration of a society in a rusted-out and near desolate future landscape where a post-pain society now literally looks inwards for entertainment in artistic displays of self-mutilation that may also offer a look at the next stage in human evolution.


While the film's themes may be familiar to long-time fans, it is evolutionary regarding Cronenberg’s storytelling. The propulsive pacing of his earlier works has now been replaced by a more thoughtful and philosophical exploration of the themes and often grisly imagery that helped make Cronenberg’s name. While perhaps more highbrow, a sense of humour and playfulness here, particularly in Kristen Stewart’s nervy and wired performance, perfectly complements the disturbing sights on display.


It is a film that rewards re-watching; my own review last year was perhaps a little lukewarm after a single viewing, and this release bolsters repeat viewings with a considerable set of extras. Alongside a comprehensive set of interviews with cast, crew and Cronenberg himself, there is also an audio commentary with Caelum Vatnsdal and an excellently assembled visual essay by Leigh Singer that examines the visual and philosophical tropes and motifs that pop up here and throughout the rest of Cronenberg’s filmography. The twenty-minute making-of documentary offers interesting insights from Cronenberg and his long-time production designer Carol Spiers, whose work and ideas are on further display in an animated production gallery also included here. The short (very short) film The Death of David Cronenberg is also included, which is a succinct look at the man’s preoccupation with the frailties of the human body.


Also available as a limited edition set, which includes a 120-page hardback book with more interviews and essays and a set of six postcards, this is a handsome set that will no doubt be an essential purchase for long time fans of the film and its director. The film is presented with excellent picture quality, particularly on the 4K disc that highlights the film's dingy, broken-down atmosphere. Maybe a bit too nicely, however, as some of the film's CGI involving the bizarre instruments looks completely out of place with the film's more gruesome and scrungy visuals. The sound design and Howard Shore’s excellent score also come across in a crisp and full-bodied fashion here.


This is yet another excellent release from Second Sight Films. While it may not feel essential Cronenberg yet, this is a near-essential purchase that celebrates the great director's long-awaited return to the genre. With the forthcoming release of his next film, THE SHROUDS, coming soon, it feels like a great time to be a fan, and this release is another nice excuse to celebrate and splurge your well-earned cash on to explore his most entertaining film in years.


Iain MacLeod.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans