Brainstorm | Chicago Reader


106 minutes 1983

Douglas Trumbull's stab at science fiction for adults (1983) turns out to be an unconscious remake of Roger Corman's classic cheapie X—The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, though refitted with a sappy, spiritual ending. A group of research scientists construct a machine capable of recording and playing back every human sensory stimulus; as in the Corman film, the device becomes a metaphor for the privileged vision of the movies. Though the film finally succumbs to a trite and uncertainly constructed thriller plot (military nasties are trying to turn the project to their own evil ends), Trumbull deserves credit for trying to tie his special-effects extravaganza to some moderately complex character relationships. With Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, and Cliff Robertson.

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