The Cell (2000)
Tarsem Singh & Tarsem
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In this science fiction thriller, child psychiatrist Catherine Deane (Golden Globe-nominee Jennifer Lopez "Selena," "Maid in Manhattan") has developed a technique that allows her to travel through the minds of her patients. When Stargher (Emmy Award-nominee Vincent DOnofrio TV's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Full Metal Jacket"), a serial killer who methodically drowns his victims and performs bizarre rituals with their bodies, falls into a coma, FBI agent Peter Novak (Vince Vaughn "Wedding Crashers," "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story") asks Deane to enter the killers psyche in hopes of finding the location of a missing girl whom Stargher has kidnapped and, if she isn't found soon, will drown in her torture cell. However, once Deanne enters the bizarre world of Starghers mind, she finds getting out being a very difficult matter.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 144
- Fresh: 65
- Rotten: 79
- Average Rating: 5.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Had Tarsem stuck a Chanel bag or bottle of Calvin Klein perfume into the picture, he'd have ruined nothing.
Fresh: Tarsem uses the dramatically shallow plot to create a dream world densely packed with images of beauty and terror that cling to the memory even if you don't want them to.
Rotten: All torture, all the time, all photographed (by Paul Laufer) and production designed (by Tom Foden) as if it were a TV spot for Chanel.
Fresh: One of the best films of the year.
DONT BUY FROM iTUNES - READ THIS FIRST! BUYER BEWARE
It doesn't matter if you love or hate this film, if you are thinking about buying it from iTunes DON'T and here is why...
The film transfer (process where the original film print is transfered to a non-film format - in this case a digital file) was done VERY poorly. It also looks as though the film print that they used for the transfer was a poor quality print because you can see all sorts of film artifacts (hits, hairs, scratches) - but WORST of all, the beautiful, vivid color that made some of the sequences in this film living art has been washed away and all you're left with is a excruciatingly dull, washed out picture. It honestly looks like someone videotaped it off of a TV - it is almost that poor.
This is definitely not the best movie I've ever seen. That said, the film is fantastically original and the visual aspects of the film are truly astounding. It's one of those movies that has an alright story line, but the special effects and imaginative genius of the film make it an awesome and fulfilling watch. Jennifer Lopez and Vincent D'Onofrio work well in this film, but I'm not really sure I like Vince Vaughn in any role that requires emotion or depth. If you love a good thriller or just want to see a very unique cinematic creation - This film is for you.
Creative but somewhat predictable in other aspects
The overall plot is quite predictable hollywood type movie: a crazy psychotic killer is in a coma and his prisoner will die in 48 hours in an unknown location --- someone has to enter his mind and deal with his demons to figure this out; race against time; some strange computer+drug system allowing one mind to enter anothers; etc. But the idea of what goes on inside another mind, the idea of entering it, and the scenes describing the "adventures" in this strange (and disturbing) wonderland are certainly well executed and visually well done. The crazy killer from an abused childhood with a warped and fanciful interior space may be a bit cliche, but this is a very powerful visualization of that cliche --- overall, I enjoyed this movie. Just don't expect to be blown away by the acting or the overall character development and plot. Rather, just prepare yourself for a strange journey and some distrubing (some might say disgusting?) visual effects...