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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Mystery > French > Eden Log (2007/Science Fiction/French/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray + DVD)

Eden Log (2007/Science Fiction/French/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B & B-/C & C+     Sound: B & B-/B-     Extras: *B-     Film: B-



So few good Science Fiction films are getting made that are not space operas or outright bad that it is amazing when one comes along and works without selling out to the lowest common denominator.  In a nice surprise, Franck Vestiel’s Eden Log (2007) arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from MagNet and this French film is the best of its kind since Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (reviewed elsewhere on this site) offered a serious, ambitious work in the genre.


This time, it is not outer space or the sun, but the underground of the near future where one man finds himself without a memory of what has happened to him and happens to be covered in mud.  Plastered might be the term, but he slowly rises out as we try to figure out what is going on.  As clueless as he is, the story begins as he moves around in what makes for an interesting mystery.  Of course, the idea of a near naked man (or any life) coming out of a body of water has its symbolism and the film delves into that on occasion, but never becomes heavy handed in doing so.


Anything beyond that is a SPOILER, so you might not want to read on and just see the film.  However….   (here we go) he finds a strange, dangerous world to navigate through and one that includes mutated, dangerous life.  He has to figure out everything, plus learn what is really going on.  I liked all of this very much and if the film could not totally find the best resolution or avoid resembling several other Sci-Fi classics (Alphaville, Brazil, THX-1138 before Lucas tampered with it, Zardoz and of course, Metropolis) yet better than the few that have tried to be like them of late and the many bad commercial over-digital, over-priced, over-produced duds we see too often that aren’t about much of anything.  Not being like the latter is an achievement in itself, but that the film works is great.



The 1080p 1.85 X 1 image on the Blu-ray is offered in two versions, with the English print looking best and French print looking weaker, but this is the opposite case with the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 DVD where the French version looks better than the main English dub.  Done in modern black and white, lacking silver and being more grey scale than having actual Film Black, the image has detail issues in all versions, but the higher the letter grade, the sharper the image.  Of course, there is often limited light since they are underground for most of the film.  Director of Photography Thierry Pouget has created a look that is different enough to be distinct, even if it will remind on of Terry Gilliam’s work in the genre.


The DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless 5.1 track on the Blu-ray is the best of the sound choices between the two releases, but is only available for the English Blu-ray cut, so we have Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes that are not bad for the rest, including ambient sound, but they fall short with this older codec.  Still, the sound design has character and is a solid complement to the visuals.


*There are no extras, unless you count the alternate cuts of the film in French, which work better than the English since that is the way the film is originally made.  However, with the lack of dialogue throughout, the difference is on the narrow side.  In any language, Eden Log is a must-see for serious film fans.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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