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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Hideaway
Hideaway
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 6, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Director Brett Leonard's 1995 thriller "Hideaway" is a perfect example of one of those bad films that ultimately ends up as being still moderately entertaining in its own junky way. Apparently adapted from a Dean Koontz novel (which may be perfectly good, but this was also the case with "Phantoms" from a few years back, which also turned out to be a rather weak film), the film stars Jeff Goldblum as Hatch Harrison, a father who is brought back from the "other side" after an accident.

Also, he's brought something "back" with him - the ability to have visions of terrible events, and eventually he realizes that he's tied psychically to a killer and must find him before Hatch's daughter is singled out as the next victim. That's the plot. The movie, reminds me of the line in "Bowfinger" where the Eddie Murphy character says, "we're trying to make a movie here, not a film!" Goldblum and Christine Lahti as the parents of Regina(Alicia Silverstone) turn in their least interesting performances, and Goldblum especially seems uninterested. Silverstone is fine now and then (see "Clueless"), but what has she done since then? Exactly.

The film often uses special effects that seemed rather exciting at the time, but 5 years later, aren't really all that impressive. The film is a moderately watchable one, but in the way that you watch a film on cable when there's really nothing else to do. I haven't read the Koontz novel, so maybe the book told the story better than this film does.


The DVD

VIDEO: Tristar's anamorphic transfer for "Hideaway" is only partially successful, which is a rare statement for the studio, whos work is almost always above average. Sharpness tends to vary throughout the movie, and scenes go from looking sharp and crisp - excactly how we'd like to see a film, to looking soft and somewhat hazy. Detail and clarity vary, but are usually passable.

Aside from the sometimes soft-looking picture, there really isn't much to complain about with the image quality, since no pixelation or shimmering appears. There are some slight marks on the print used a couple of times, but these aren't much of a distraction.

Colors vary; some scenes have a bit of a blue-ish tone to them by intent; colors are subdued in many scenes, although in some areas bolder colors do come through. This isn't a bad transfer from Tristar, but it just seems more towards "average" than the studio usually produces. A pan&scan version is on the flip side.

SOUND: The sound is quite excellent, and suprisingly good at times. The film is pretty much moments of dialogue and music driven scenes with the occasional scene that really puts the surrounds to very heavy use.

The film's few "virtual reality" (think of it as a "cousin" of the zips through the stargate in "Stargate") really envelop the viewer with strong and effective use of the surrounds as we zip through. A number of other scenes in the film use the surrounds well to cover ambient sounds or some less agressive effects. The music generally includes a lot of metal bands, and if they're your favorite genre, you'll enjoy the film's audio, which heavily focuses on the songs during their moments on-screen. Dialogue is clear and easily heard. A soundtrack that has great sounding sequences in-between some less-agressive periods.

MENUS:: In a movie with effects sequences like the ones here, some animated menus could have been created, but we get basic menus here.

EXTRAS: .

Commentary: This is a commentary track from director Brett Leonard, who suprisingly discusses the film after the picture recieved some controversy(I believe novelist Dean Koontz wanted his name off the film). It's a very good-natured and energetic commentary that, the final result of the movie aside, generally serves to be entertaining and moderately informative. We hear about what it was like working with the film's cast, information about the special effects of the film and the director's tales from the set.

Also: A featurette, an uninteresting alternate ending and talent files.

Final Thoughts: Fans of the film might enjoy this DVD release, but not recommended for others.

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