Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

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Released 7-Apr-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 92:38 (Case: 94)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert Longo
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Keanu Reeves
Dina Meyer
Ice-T
Takeshi Kitano
Dennis Akayama
Dolph Lundgren
Henry Rollins
Barbara Sukowa
Udo Kier
Tracy Tweed
Falconer Abraham
Don Francks
Diego Chambers
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Mychael Danna
Brad Fiedel
Sascha Konietzko


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

   Johnny Mnemonic is a failed attempt to bring Author William Gibson's Cyberpunk stylings to the big screen. Gibson, a gifted writer, found acclaim in the early 1980s with the science fiction novel Neuromancer. Johnny Mnemonic is based on a Gibson short story of the same name. To the credit of the producers, they hired Gibson to adapt the story into a screenplay, which should have been the catalyst for a successful translation to silver screen. Unfortunately, the resultant film is a mess of clichés, poor dialogue, half-baked ideas and uninspired direction.

    Keanu Reeves is Johnny, a much sought after Mnemonic courier who specialises in high risk data transferral. Johnny possesses a wet wired brain implant capable of storing electronic data, ideal for black market information transferral. However, there is a limit to the download space available inside the mnemonic's head. A massive overload will eventually leak into the brain, becoming irretrievable and eventually killing its host. Looking for the big score, Johnny accepts a job requiring him to overload his implant. With time running out before the overload kills him, he must deliver the information whilst avoiding execution at the hands of a rival corporation, intent on acquiring the downloaded material.

    You would think that a screenplay fashioned by the subject's original author would coherently translate into a viable story. Not so in this case. There are several interesting ideas involving human implants and mankind's dependence on technological growth, but for the most part the film is an absolute washout. The cast do their best with dreadful dialogue, but the direction by first timer Robert Longo is bordering on incompetent. Action scenes are lethargic and uninspired, and plot revelations are contrived and predictable. The film's visual effects are also second rate and never effectively convey a world bordering on self destruction. Johnny Mnemonic was savaged by critics when it was released in 1995 and performed dismally at the box office. Time has been even less kind to this film, especially in the wake of films like The Matrix. At the end of the day, Johnny Mnemonic is very much a wasted opportunity.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Johnny Mnemonic is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen viewing.

   The films transfer has acceptable sharpness levels. I did not notice any unwanted aliasing or edge enhancement during the film. Shadow details are solid with strong blacks and detailed background information. There were no low level noise problems to be found.

    Colours were intentionally muted except when the film ventures into cyberspace. It is here where the transfer is the most pleasing. Colours are vibrant with no bleeding apparent at these times.

    There were little to no film artefacts present during the film.

    Overall, this is a very reasonable transfer of a poor film.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The film has been given a solitary English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track.

    Dialogue is always clear with no audio sync problems that are not directly related to post ADR changes.

    The film's music is by Brad Fiedel. I usually like Fiedel's work, especially his scores for the first two Terminator films. This score is fairly uninspired, but never overly intrusive - it's just extremely forgettable.

    The film's 5.1 surround channel usage is very pleasing. Directional fields are extremely active with the rear channels busily firing sound effects at the couch potato.

    The subwoofer adds a decent reverberation to the film's louder moments.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    The film's music plays over a static menu.

Trailer

    An anamorphic trailer for the film's theatrical release.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    All versions of this film are currently the same.

Summary

    Johnny Mnemonic is a poor sci-fi film, poorly conceived and clumsily executed. The disc has quite a pleasing transfer, but the extras are non-existent. A rental at best.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

Other Reviews
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impulsegamer.com - Tory Favro
AllZone4DVD - RobertW

Comments (Add)
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To be fair... - Gavin Bollard (bio - updated 9 Nov 2005)
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