Monday, March 30, 2009

Cyberjack

The Movie: Cyberjack (aka Virtual Assasin)

Year: 1995

Director: Robert Lee

Cast: Michael Dudikoff, Suki Kaiser, Brion James, Jon Cuthbert, James Thom, Topaz Hasfal-Schou, Garvin Cross, Dean McKenzie, Duncan Fraser, et al.

MPAA Rating: R

Format Viewed: DVD (R1)

Premise: Evil corporation invents a super computer virus. Terrorists seek to gain the virus to use it for their own ends with only a janitor to stand in their way. Can he save the day?

The Reality: BLADRUNNER meets DIE HARD in a wannabe JOHNNY MNEMONIC future world where villain Brion James seeks the ultimate computer virus with no one in his way but ex-cop turned janitor Michael Dudikoff.

The Story: Cop gets involved in a shooting. Has problems. Ends up working as a janitor at a tech company. Hooligans invade seeking to steal tech. Cop turned janitor must overcome his demons and face down the hooligans to save the high tech McGuffin in this run-of-the-mill action potboiler.

Assessment/ Verdict: This week's end review analysis is a bit unusual. Rather than the usual attempts at witty riposte we'll be examining the difference between two different DVD releases of this same movie.

DVD #1: This DVD was purchased at Big Lots for the princely sum of $3. The title in the opening credits is "Cyberjack" and the label is Echo Bridge Home Entertainment*. Overall a decent budget label release. Contrast levels seem a tad dark but, beside suffering the sort of minor 80s era DTV problems, the video appears pretty good. Audio is crisp and clear and the "extras" include chapter stops and a trailer for the movie. Now compare to. .

DVD #2: Found this DVD at a Flea Market for $2. It was released by Lion's Gate Home Entertainment as "Virtual Assassin" and appears to be otherwise identical to the Echo Bridge release. However this is a barebones DVD without so much as single promo trailer or chapter stop. Worse, on some players, if you try to skip forward because you erroneously assumed there were chapter stops this DVD forces you to sit through it's lame anti-piracy intro all over again. Lame.

My verdict is Cyberjack is a clich├ęd derivative barely worth the $5 (unless you're a hardcore Brion James fan). But if you can find it in the bargain bin for less or, better yet, are able to talk a friend into renting it then it's worth watching once; if only for the VFX cut scenes.


(*) According to the jacket cover. The DVD says Platinum Disc Corp.

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Copyright © C. Demetrius Morgan

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