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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Rotoscope > French > Science Fiction > Detective > Crime > Renaissance (2006/DVD-Video/Miramax)

Renaissance (2006/DVD-Video/Miramax)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: C



First he was liked as an upcoming actor, than attacked by some before he had the chance to show himself worthy of James Bond, than embraced as Bond like no actor new actor since Roger Moore and now the race is on to try to capitalize on his success.  That means a few projects in between his past success and megahit are surfacing and we are now getting the in-between works, like Christian Volckman’s Renaissance (2006) on DVD from Miramax.


Set in 2054, an unregulated corporation named Avalon has overtaken Paris and has made the beauty/youth obsession into a billion dollar exploitation scheme by intruding into the lives of any and everyone there.  They do this in police state fashion, but this can only go on so long, giving us a story.  When a very bright, talented young scientist is kidnapped, hard boiled detective Karas (Craig doing the voice for this U.S. version) delves into the ugly, unseen underbelly of what was the real Paris and is now its greatest bastardization since the Nazis invaded.


Despite some goods ideas, we have seen most of this before and done far better.  The result is 105 minutes that seems to run on and on and on and on.  Johnathan Pryce, Catherine McCormack, Ian Holm and Sean Pertwee are among the other familiar English dub voices and they do a decent job here, but nothing was going to save this from being more than an average retread of many better films in the genres it attempts.  That makes the odd animation feel more and more like a gimmick as you watch, so this is only for the very curious.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is clean and is in a digital rotoscoped-like black and white, but it is no match for similar work by Richard Linklater, nor is it supposed to be.  However, this was shot in the Super 35mm film format, not just DV.  Some people will like this, but for most, it will look like a flat videogame and/or graphic comic book novel and is definitely not Film Noir.  The presentation will do here, but seeing this in Blu-ray should make for an interesting comparison.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is good, clean and lively, with Nicholas Dodd creating the score.  Dodd usually is a conductor for other films like the late, great Greg McRitchie, with similarly good results in scoring here.  It often saves this from being worse.  A French Dolby Stereo track of the original voices is also included.  A making of featurette is the only extra.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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