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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder in dreams, with a crafty, honest performance by Dennis Quaid
They're sitting at a table in an off-campus restaurant close to Thornhill College. A pitcher of beer sits between them. "Let's play a little game," says Dr. Paul Novotny, head of a secret psychic research project, to Alex Gardner, who had been one of his top subjects a few years ago. "Let's pretend that a man, with a little help from science, could psychically project...
Published on 9 Aug 2007 by C. O. DeRiemer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dream therapy with a difference!
The story is centred upon Alex a very talented psychic who has chosen to fritter away his tremendous talents at the race track, drinking and womanising..... Until the inevitable happens, Alex is in serious trouble with some of the local criminal fraternity and is duely picked up by CIA to help work on a dream therapy program.
In order to evade the hoodlums Alex...
Published on 19 April 2004 by D. R. Silvester


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder in dreams, with a crafty, honest performance by Dennis Quaid, 9 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dreamscape [1984] (REGION 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [US Import] (DVD)
They're sitting at a table in an off-campus restaurant close to Thornhill College. A pitcher of beer sits between them. "Let's play a little game," says Dr. Paul Novotny, head of a secret psychic research project, to Alex Gardner, who had been one of his top subjects a few years ago. "Let's pretend that a man, with a little help from science, could psychically project himself inside the dream of a sleeping person. Then pretend, once inside the dream, he becomes an active participant in it. He'd actually be there, right in the middle...would feel the dream...experience it...even shape and alter the dream itself. What would you say to a notion like that?"

Alex (Dennis Quaid), who had left Dr. Novotny (Max Von Sydow) previously because he was tired of being an experimental subject, reluctantly agrees to help a man he respects and likes. He meets Paul Novotny's associate, Jane DeVries (Kate Capshaw), and an edgy, tentative romance starts. He enters the dream of a nebbishy husband with sexual inadequacy issues and helps identify the cause of the problems. He volunteers to enter the dream of a small boy who has debilitating nightmares about a horrific snakeman and guides the boy, within the dream, to conquer fear. And he meets Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer). He learns Blair is the head of the government's covert intelligence operation, and that it is Blair who is funding Novotny's research program. Just think, Blair says at one moment, how important it could be to have U.S. agents enter the dreams of our enemies...or our friends. Unspoken is the potential to assassinate through dreams. Blair has a problem. The President of the United States (Eddie Albert) is having nightmares about nuclear destruction; he is determined to come to an agreement with the Soviets on nuclear disarmament. Blair is opposed...and sympathetically convinces the President to come to Thornhill College where the special dream program may just be able to help. What Blair doesn't mention is that one of those trained to enter dreams is his creature, and this person, Billy Ray Glatman (David Patrick Kelly) is a psychopathic killer. Blair intends to solve the President's nightmare problems permanently by having Billy Ray be the one to enter the President's dreams.

And the plot deepens. Alex and others learn of the plot. Some die. Alex must find a way, while being hunted by Blair's men, to enter the President's dream, cancel out the presence of Billy Ray and bring the President back safely. If he's successful, he will also have to find a way to deal with Bob Blair, who is an unforgiving sort of man.

I like this movie a lot, but it seems often overlooked. It has a weird, interesting premise, a performance by Quaid that is crafty and very attractive; Von Sydow is immensely sympathetic and solid, and Plummer is smooth and ruthless; the story line moves along at a fairly rapid pace, taking its time to set up the story, then moving fast to the climax. The movie carries along a romance and some comedy, but plays it serious when it gets down to business. The dream sequences, in particular, I think are well handled. They aren't overpowered as they would be today by Computer Generated Overkill. We find ourselves in strange landscapes, red dusks, ruined escalators diving down into blasted buildings, odd time shifts, hounds with glowing red eyes, swaying steel girders high above the streets, twisting pits and endless staircases, deep shadows in dark greens and purples, odd-angled railway carriages, the dead with radiation scars and dripping wounds, the snakeman all scales and teeth. And in the president's dream we have Billy Ray out to kill, changing shape, merciless. When he tells Alex to have a heart, he means it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Close your eyes and the adventure begins, 16 Feb 2007
By 
Sheryl Jackman "Wildstar" (Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dreamscape [DVD] (DVD)
Starring an extremely young looking Dennis Quaid, 'Dreamscape' focusses on the exploits of Alex Gardner, who is recruited into an exciting new experiment into dream research, in which trained dream linkers actually enter the dreams of volunteers. Quickly establishing himself as one of the project's more talented dream linkers, Alex finds himself drawn to the beautiful Dr Jane DeVries (Kate Capshaw). Together, the pair discover a sinister plot to murder the President in his dreams. The only person who can prevent this is Alex - he must enter the President's dream and confront his own darkest nightmare.

By today's standards, 'Dreamscape' looks extremely dated, but it has some imaginative ideas and some of the dream sequences look amazing. By far the creepiest sequence is the one in which Alex enters the dream of a young boy suffering from recurring nightmares. One dream linker has already been 'taken away in a basket' after entering the boy's dream, so is Alex brave or foolish to think he can help? All I'll say is, watch out for the snake man!

The DVD comes with a double sided insert so that you can decide which picture to display. One side shows a portrait of Alex, the other a montage of characters and scenes very reminiscent of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. This could be very misleading to younger viewers if they got hold of the DVD by mistake, expecting a light-hearted kiddies adventure. Some of the dream sequences could be quite scary for youngsters. So keep the DVD out of reach of tiny hands if you like to display the montage picture!

With a bigger budget, this could have been an amazing movie and I'm suprised no one has attempted to remake it, because the ideas are certainly worth expanding on. As it stands though, 'Dreamscape' makes for entertaining viewing, but keeps us wishing for more long after the credits have rolled. If only there had been a sequel ....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dream therapy with a difference!, 19 April 2004
By 
D. R. Silvester "Clandestine Knowledge Seeker" (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dreamscape [DVD] (DVD)
The story is centred upon Alex a very talented psychic who has chosen to fritter away his tremendous talents at the race track, drinking and womanising..... Until the inevitable happens, Alex is in serious trouble with some of the local criminal fraternity and is duely picked up by CIA to help work on a dream therapy program.
In order to evade the hoodlums Alex agrees to take a ride to the centre where he is introduced to an innovative dream therapy research program whereby psychics like Alex enter into the dreams of those epxeriencing constant nightmares.
Alex soon learns that the old susperstitious belief that if you die in your sleep, you do actually die. After risking his life and helping a young boy named Buddy to overcome his own dream demons, ALex makes a life threatening discovery concerning a more sinister element of the now CIA directed research program. Now Alex is fighting for more than just his life as he enters an apocalyptic nightmare with the intention of saving the world and western democracy!!
Watching this film may drive you ask which inspired which? Did this film inspire the Elm Street film or vice versa?
If you enjoyed the Elm Street films then the chances are that you will also enjoy this. Where the Elm Street films don't really make me uncomfortable in any way a couple of the nightmares in this film do. Obviously the effects have aged somewhat now, but if you like the Elm Street films then this one should appeal to you also.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Sci-Fi thriller from the Early Eighties - For Fans of Inception and The Cell, 22 Sep 2014
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
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This is one of my favourite 80's movies, a superb sci-fi thriller. The American President is having terrible nightmares, which torment him and affect his judgment. Dennis Quaid plays Alex, a feckless, ne'er-do-well grifter, who has the ability to link his mind with other people through and inside their dreams.
He can step inside their dreams and alter what happens. Dr Paul Novotny, played by Max Von Sydow, runs a scientific research centre, which is investigating sleep control, and he recruits Alex into his experiments. The research centre is looking to aid patients whose sleep is disturbed by horrifying nocturnal visions.
Kate Capshaw (who later went on to become Stephen Spielberg's wife), is one of Dr Novotny's assistants, and she inevitably falls for Alex's bad boy charms. Whilst Dr Novotny has altruistic motives for rescuing people from their nightmare visions, there's also a corrupt, high-ranking government official, named Bob Blair (played by Christopher Plummer), who has nefarious plans for Alex's special skills. Blair wants Alex to use his special powers to get inside the President's dream and to murder him - if you die in your sleep, you die in reality.
Blair also has another man with the same special skills, Tommy Ray, who is played by the suitably creepy looking David Patrick Kelly (Kelly is best known as for his role as the leader of the punk rockers in The Warriors - The Warriors [Blu-ray] [1979] ). Tommy Ray, unlike Alex, is only too ready to use his talents for evil purposes. The film culminates with Tommy Ray and Alex going head to head in the dream state, with the life of the President at stake. Dennis Quaid is his usual likeable, naughty boy self, and portrays his character with attractive verve.
The film score is very good, suitably oddball and quirky. The special effects, albeit 30 years old now, are very good; the dream sequences, when Alex transports himself into another's mind, are highly imaginative and carried off with real flair. This film thoroughly deserves a modern remake. It has some great ideas, and with modern CGI, it could make for a stunning reboot.
The Cell, starring Jennifer Lopez, has a very similar story, about an individual who can transport themself into others dreams and change their fates - Cell [Blu-ray] [2000] [Region A] [US Import]. Inception, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, once more tells the tale of an individual who can place themself into another's dreams, and change their thoughts and realities - Inception [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] . If you've seen and enjoyed The Cell and/or Inception, there's a very good chance that you'll like this film too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for the film - just a comment for the sellers, 25 Oct 2008
This review is from: Dreamscape [1984] (REGION 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [US Import] (DVD)
Fond memories of this film, although it's looking a little dated now. Interesting that the DVD states region 2 on Amazon yet all of the sellers are USA ones with R1 versions - a bit misleading...

Interesting that with all of the recent remakes this one hasn't been redone - would think it could be done quite well too, after all, men in rubber suits don't really carry much sway nowadays!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dreamscape" on BLU RAY - Compatibility Issues With The 'US' Disc...Euro Option Available Instead..., 20 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
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You will notice that most of the reviews for the enjoyable “Dreamscape” are for the ‘DVD’. But if you want to upgrade to BLU RAY and you live in the UK - it poses a problem on the one hand...and a sometimes pricey alternative on the other...

The American BLU RAY issue on Image Entertainment is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are). But there's a EURO alternative on BLU RAY (I think it's a German Region B release) that will work without playback problems and has a good picture.

Unfortunately it’s not cheap. Look on Amazon.de for a good price and check the seller does 'International Shipping'....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "It's a dream, you can do anything you want!", 17 Nov 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Dreamscape is one of those good ideas that just didn't make it. Dennis Quaid is the psychic who, courtesy of Max Von Sydow's experiments, enters other people's dreams. There he must ultimately have a showdown with David Patrick Kelly, who Christopher Plummer's evil CIA man (is there any other kind in movies?) has sent to kill the pro-disarmament President Eddie Albert on the assumption that when you die in your dreams you die in real life.

The supporting cast do what is expected of them, Joseph Ruben directs like he means it but the script never makes the leap of imagination it needs to work. "It's a dream, you can do anything you want!" shouts Kelly in the finale, but unfortunately that's not very much. It's not helped by some extremely poor blue screen work that actually looks worse on the small screen than it did in the cinema. Watchable but never the premium pulp it aspires to.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film, worst DVD Special Feature, like, ever, 25 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: Dreamscape (DVD) (DVD)
I watched Dreamscape recently, the forgotten 1984 low fat sci-fi / horror (contains 98% less horror than the leading brand) starring The Quaid as a cocky young punk with the ability to enter people's dreams. I thought I'd better watch it because I talked about it being quite good in this post, despite not actually having seen it for about 20 years. I'm happy to report that it wasn't entirely awful, although The Quaid's hair is the real stuff of nightmares.

What struck me more than anything, however, was what I think might be the least special feature ever committed to a DVD. Clearly embarrassed by the dearth of anything interesting on the disc, somebody has cobbled together a 13-second compilation of clips and bunged it on the Special Features menu with the title "THINGS THAT MAKE YOU JUMP!"

No doubt you have already soiled yourself with fear just thinking about the terrors that lie within. Well just for you I braved this frightsplosion of scaregasms, and barely came through it with my sanity. Here, if you think you can take it, are some of the most blood-curdling, bone-chilling horrors to which my eyeballs bore witness:

An unconvincing rubber snake monster

A zombie wearing a cap, sitting down

Some dogs with funny eyes, barking

It's OK, you can look now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dream a Little Dream of Me, 24 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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Is it true that if you die in your dream that you die in real life?

The Upanishads show that dreaming is just another reality.

This is revolutionary for its time. Now we have seen the schema several times since and there is more versions to come. However, this still plays well today. You will have to overlook the cheap cheesy electronic background music. O.K. and the cheap cheesy graphics. However, there is a beautiful shot of the Pacific coast Highway.

Psychic Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) is compelled to take part in an experiment that as with any science can have a great impact for good or evil. Therefore, we need to figure out who are the good people and who are not. He works with a beautiful doctor Jane DeVries (Kate Capshaw), his old mentor, Doctor Paul Novotny (Max von Sydow) and a mysterious authority Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer).

Watch the commentary with producer Bruce Cohn Curtis, writer David Loughery and special effects artist Craig Reardon on the Blu-ray version. This will fill in all the items that the review overlooked.

The Thirteenth Floor [Blu-ray]

Inception (2010)
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5.0 out of 5 stars dated but still excellent, 3 July 2013
By 
Ms. S. Quinn "Archie Goodwin" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dreamscape [DVD] (DVD)
For those of us who don't like our horror too horrible this movie is the ticket. Suspenseful and building up to a fairly exciting climax. I really like Dennis Quaid and this probably influences my review. The final dream scene of the movie is a a bit far fetched but it does tie up the loose ends nicely. I watched this film because it is mentioned in the reviews for Inception(another very good film of the same genre) which in part is supposed to have been influenced by Dreamscape. This is a 1980s film that is still good to watch and I certainly enjoyed it.
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Dreamscape [1984] (REGION 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [US Import]
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