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Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch
Writing Credits:
Chad St. John

A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 4/16/2019

• Audio Commentary with Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Executive Producer James Dodson
• “Imprint Complete” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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Replicas [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 25, 2019)

Hot off his late-career resurgence via the John Wick movies, Keanu Reeves returns as the lead in 2019’s Replicas. Neuroscientist William Foster (Reeves) works toward a technology that allows humans to transfer consciousness into computer form, a technique that could allow people to live forever, albeit as androids.

As he researches, tragedy strikes. A car accident kills William’s wife Mona (Alice Eve) and kids Matt (Emjay Anthony), Sophie (Emily Alyn Lind) and Zoe (Aria Leabu).

Despondent about this loss, William partners with fellow scientist Ed Whittle (Thomas Middleditch) to clone his family and bring them back to life. However, complications create a dilemma for Will that brings on unforeseen consequences.

Though I understand his limitations as an actor, I admit I’ve always kind of liked Reeves. While he may not show great talent, he creates a likable presence when placed in the right project.

Unfortunately, Replicas doesn’t become the right project. The film earned relentlessly bad reviews and mustered a mere $4 million at the box office.

Indeed, these factors branded Replicas as such a potential clunker that I avoided it theatrically. I thought it looked intriguing but in the face of both critical and audience disdain, I couldn’t pull the trigger.

And I probably made the right choice. While perhaps not the ultra-stinker its critical and box office failure implied, Replicas nonetheless never threatens to become anything more than a silly mess.

With an emphasis on “silly”, as too much of Replicas falls into the category of “laughably ludicrous”. Granted, one needs to allow a massive suspension of disbelief for any sci-fi story like this, so I don’t fault the film some of its flights of fancy.

That said, Replicas comes with such a flimsy framework that it forces the viewer to obliterate disbelief, not just suspend it. From start to finish, the movie packs in one eye-rolling scene after another.

Perhaps if Replicas boasted some actual excitement, I might not mind the idiocy so much. However, the tale’s attempts at drama or thrills fall almost entirely flat and never give the story a kick in the teeth.

Reeves doesn’t help. As I noted, I like Keanu in some roles, but he completely lacks the emotional range necessary for a character as complex as William.

Though the blame doesn’t all reside on Reeves, as the entire project lacks a sense of gravity. While William and Ed engage in remarkable endeavors, they seem oddly glib, and they never give the movie the dramatic edge it needs.

More of a long, bad Twilight Zone episode than anything else, Replicas largely falls flat. It wastes a few intriguing ideas as it becomes a brain-dead thriller.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Replicas appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.

Overall, sharpness seemed very good. Some interiors came across as slightly soft, but the vast majority of the film appeared accurate and concise.

Jagged edges and moiré effects didn’t mar the presentation, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

In terms of palette, Replicas went with a fairly teal orientation. A lot of amber appeared as well, and we found splashes of other hues on occasion.

Within stylistic choices, the hues seemed well-depicted. Blacks were dark and dense, and low-light shots gave us good clarity. I felt pleased with this solid transfer.

Similar thoughts greeted the fairly good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Replicas, as the soundfield mostly delivered a mix heavy on atmosphere. Environmental noises cropped up in the side and rear speakers, and action moments added to the track. Those elements created a nice sense of place and added impact to the material.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music appeared robust and full.

Effects were accurate and dynamic, while low-end response showed good warmth and richness. Nothing here dazzled, but the audio merited a “B”.

A few extras appear, and we open with an audio commentary from director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and executive producer James Dodson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and path to the screen, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing, cinematography, stunts, effects and connected areas.

For the first 75 percent or so of the movie, this becomes an excellent commentary, one that touches on a wide array of subjects with honesty and energy. Nachmanoff and Dodson lose some steam toward the end, but I still think this qualifies as a well above-average track, one that proves radically more enjoyable than the movie it serves.

Called Imprint Complete, a featurette fills 25 minutes, 45 seconds with info from Nachmanoff, Dodson, story writer Stephen Hamel, director of photography Checco Varese, production designer Johnny Breedt, visual effects supervisor Gunnar Hansen, producer Luis A. Riefkohl, and actors Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Aria Leabu, Emjay Anthony, Emily Alyn Lind, Thomas Middleditch and John Ortiz.

“Complete” looks at story and characters, Nachmanoff’s impact on the production, cast and performances, cinematography and various effects, sets, production design and locations, and music. It becomes a reasonably good overview, though it packs plenty of the usual happy talk.

Two Deleted Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, 12 seconds. The first uses up most of that running time, as it spans six minutes, two seconds and give us more information about complications William encounters.

The second goes for two minutes, 10 seconds and shows issues related to William’s work. Neither of the deleted scenes adds much.

The disc opens with ads for John Wick 3 and Chappaquiddick. No trailer for Replicas appears here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Replicas. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

At its core, Replicas enjoys some ideas that could create an intriguing sci-fi story. Unfortunately, virtually every aspect of the film’s execution flops, so we wind up with a goofy, idiotic effort. The Blu-ray brings positive picture and audio along with some informative bonus materials. Replicas squanders whatever modest potential it boasts.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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