Possible Worlds (2000)

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Released 8-Dec-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 91:51
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert Lepage

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Tilda Swinton
Tom McCamus
Sean McCann
Gabriel Gascon
Griffith Brewer
Daniel Brooks
Steve Adams
Russell Yuen
Mariah Inger
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Possible Worlds is a pensive science fiction tale, whose dreamy narrative plays out like David Lynch lite (which is certainly a good thing in my book). Based on a play of the same name, the film juxtaposes two narratives that flesh out a man named George Barber's (Tom McCamus) journey through many tangential possible worlds.

    The first narrative follows the investigations of two police officers investigating the discovery of a Barber's body, in his apartment, whose brain has been surgically removed and is nowhere to be found. Their investigation leads the pair to investigate the neurological experiments of a nearby Doctor (Gabriel Gascon) who is working for a big faceless research firm to explore the animal minds.

    The second narrative is that of Barber himself, as he journeys between multiple possible worlds with little to no control over his travel. In each world he meets and attempts to engage with the same woman (Tilda Swinton), though the circumstances of her life are radically different each time, as he tries to make sense of how and why he keeps shifting worlds.

    The acting and direction are both quite stiff and theatrical, however this quite suits the dreamy, philosophical flow of the narrative.

    Possible Worlds never reaches any real level of greatness or philosophical understanding, and its limited budget is glaringly obvious, but the film remains an engaging ride for the duration. Certainly engaging enough to overlook its technical limitations. This is an indie well worth seeking out if you are into offbeat philosophical stuff.

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Transfer Quality


Video 91:51

    The film is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which is arguably the ratio the film was shot for (it was shot by a television group but given a token theatrical run on the festival circuit). The framing looks fine.

    The video is pretty much that of a freshly recorded VHS tape. The image is perfectly watchable and of consistent quality throughout, it just lacks the clarity and finer detail you would normally expect of DVD. The image is moderately grainy and a little soft throughout. The colours are a little flat and muddy.

    There is no sign of compression artefacts or substantial aliasing. Only one or two film artefacts, fine specks of dust, are noticeable throughout the entire feature.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts



    A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track is present.

    The audio does not sound particularly good, but is clear enough to understand. There are no noticeable clicks, pops or dropouts, however the whole thing sounds as though it was recorded inside a tin can - low fidelity and heavily compressed. The dialogue is reasonably well placed in the mix and easy enough to discern.

    The film has an unusual minimalist electronic score, that suffers heavily from the poor mix.

    There is no noticeable surround or subwoofer usage.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



R4 vs R1

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

    Possible Worlds is not available in Region 1, as far as I have been able to ascertain. This Region 4 edition is pretty much identical to the UK Region 2 edition of the film.


    Engaging low budget sci-fi that plays out like David Lynch lite.

    The video and audio are fair, though really no better than a fresh VHS copy. There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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