Existenz [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Director David Cronenberg's eXistenZ is a stew of corporate espionage, virtual reality gaming, and thriller elements, marinated in Cronenberg's favourite Crock-Pot juices of technology, physiology and sexual metaphor. Jennifer Jason Leigh is game designer Allegra Geller, responsible for the new state-of-the-art eXistenZ game system; along with PR newbie Ted Pikul (Jude Law), they take the beta version of the game for a test drive and are immersed in a dangerous alternate reality. The game isn't quite like PlayStation, though; it's a latexy pod made from the guts of mutant amphibians and plugs via an umbilical cord directly into the user's spinal column (through a BioPort). It powers up through the player's own nervous system and taps into the subconscious; with several players it networks their brains together.
Geller and Pikul's adventures in the game reality uncover more espionage and an antigaming, proreality insurrection. The game world makes it increasingly difficult to discern between reality and the game, either through the game's perspective or the human's. More accessible than Crash, eXistenZ is a complicated sci-fi opus, often confusing, and with an ending that leaves itself wide open for a sequel. Fans of Cronenberg's work will recognize his recurring themes and will eat this up. Others will find its shallow characterisations and near-incomprehensible plot twists a little tedious. --Jerry Renshaw, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
Top customer reviews
Thankfully - after experiencing several twists and turns - I saw why this was the case and all was right with the world again!
This is a great Sci-fi film with some deep concepts. Imagine a world where people plug themselves in (via a port in the spine) to a virtual world. This is a film where people use gaming devices which are actually organic rather than machine. People become obsessed.
This is a thought provoking film - with gaming becoming more realistic, and more involved. With people being able to interact with others through game and live second lives there, there is a possibility that the line between one life and the other may become blurred. I'm sure there are people out there who are unhappy in their real life, but comfortable in their second one. What could be the consequences of having people who care more for people in a virtual world than in the real one?
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