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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 105 minutes, featurette
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English, French 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish
STUDIO: Miramax/ Onyx Films/ Millimages/ Luxanimation/ Timefirm LTD/ France 2 Cinema
RELEASE DATE: 7-24-2007

RENAISSANCE is a cool sci-fi noir film in the tradition of BLADE RUNNER. It uses motion captured actors to capture the movements and emotions before animating everything. The stark black and white tones make RENAISSANCE stand out in addition to a very intelligent film noir story set in Paris of 2054. Greed, vanity, and murder populate this film like any good film noir or hard boiled detective thriller. Karas, a police officer, is told to find a promising rsearcher, Ilona Tasuiev. Avalon, a company that deals in youth and beauty, wants her found. Ilona may hold the key to Avalon's future. Karas becomes entangled with Ilona's older sister as everyone connected to Illona is bumped off one by one. The see-through building and people who can turn invisible with a special suit are some of the nice visual ideas in this film. Also it tackles the idea of immortality. Would living forever make life meaningless and give the powerful more power over the weak and poor? How does the past color the characters of Karas and Bislane (Illona's sister)?

RENAISSANCE is one of the better sci-fi films I have ever seen. It is one the same level as BLADE RUNNER. The writers of RENAISSANCE chose to set the movie in Paris because many sci--fi films have been set in New York, L.A., or Tokyo. They wanted to be able to transform Paris and spin the future into it as a cautionary fable.

You can watch it with the original French language track or the English dubbed track (which isn't too bad). Daniel Craig does well as the English voice of Karas. He was well chosen for the dub track. He lends credibility to Karas if you don't want to watch subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES: the only extra are previews for other releases and a featureete- THE MAKING OF RENAISSANCE which plots the development and production of RENAISSANCE. The featurette was a fantastic behind-the-scene look at this film. It's worth watching. Too bad the trailer for RENAISSANCE wasn't included on this DVD.

FINAL ANALYSIS: RENAISSANCE is an intelligent adult sci-fi mystery that will appeal to fans of BLADE RUNNER, GHOST IN THE SHELL, and James Ellroy (and Raymond Chandler).

this DVD Review is (c)7-23-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com