Brainstorm | Chicago Reader

Brainstorm

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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