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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Urban > Thriller > France > IP5 (aka IP5: The Island Of Pachyderms 1992) + Mortal Transfer (2001/Jean Jacques Beineix/Cinema Libre DVD)

IP5 (aka IP5: The Island Of Pachyderms 1992) + Mortal Transfer (2001/Jean Jacques Beineix/Cinema Libre DVD)


Picture: C+/C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Films: C+



Though not a fan of Jean-Jacques Beineix, I was surprised how even watchable two of his older films now on DVD from Cinema Libre were.  IP5 (1992) is about the journey of two young men (a graffiti artist played by a young Oliver Martinez and Sekkou Sall) who like to steal and act irresponsibly at every turn.  In the strangest twist of all, they steal a car only to discover that the owner (Yves Montand in his last acting role) who will soon become a man to guide them and change their lives.


Some of it is predictable, but it is still done with energy and is a colorful, well-shot film with good performances all around.  Unfortunately, despite locations we may not always see, this is much of the kind of thing we have already seen before, but Montand is great to the end and you can see why Martinez became a star.  He is not just posing like a male bimbo, but can act.


Mortal Transfer (2001) stars Jean-Hughes Anglade as a psychoanalyst who is not for sure, but may have strangled his patient to death after falling asleep.  This is a more ambitious project that combines psychological thriller with wild comedy, but to mixed effect.  While he (in the mode of Hitchcock’s Spellbound and in effect, Mel Brooks’ High Anxiety) tries to figure out what is really going on and avoid capture until he can clear his name, no one is actually suspecting him yet.


This gives the film a reason to allow his imagination (as well as the editor, director and cinematographer) the chance to go wild (think Scorsese’s After Hours) but the energy and ambition does not add up to enough, so you either laugh or you don’t.  If you are like me, it is the latter and you can skip it.  If you think this might be funny, try it but don’t expect much.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on IP5 and letterboxed 1.85 X 1 image on Mortal are colorful, but Mortal (no pun intended) is weaker with paleness and some motion blur IP5 does not suffer from.  I would like to see both on Blu-ray to compare, but why Mortal is not anamorphic is odd.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound is good on both for what they are and have limited surrounds.  Extras on both are stills and interview segments devoted to the respective films of Beineix by MovieMaker Magazine publisher Tim Rhys.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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