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Eden Log (2007)
Magnolia Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 5/19/2009
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 6/1/2009
Here's question for you -- How do you like your science fiction? Do you like it somewhat lite and frothy, like Star Wars or E.T.? Sure, both of these stories involve aliens and futuristic, but they don't get much more technical than that. Or, do you like deeper, more complicated entries like 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Matrix? You know, the kind of movies where you have to pause the movie every few minutes and consult with other people in the room to make sure that everyone is on the same page? French sci-fi film Eden Log falls closer to the complicated side, as it presents a futuristic story which will challenge the viewer.
As Eden Log opens, a man (Clovis Cornillac) awakens in a dark place, having no memory of who he is or where he is. He is wet and is covered in what appears to be mud. He suddenly sees a light in the distance and begins to move towards it. What has looked like a cave gives way to an industrial structure, which is surrounded by something which resembles plant roots. The man enters a gate which triggers a recording, welcoming him to "Eden Log". He begins to make his way through the structure and soon encounters armed guards who appear to be searching for something, and monstrous humanoid creatures. As the man ventures upwards through the presumably subterranean levels, he begins to feel strangely out of control. Somehow, he knows that he needs to reach the surface and he hopes to find the answers to his questions there.
There are two very distinct things about Eden Log which will immediately tell you if it’s something that you’d like to see. As noted above, this is pretty hardcore science-fiction (As far as I’m concerned. I’m sure that there are plenty who would disagree.) The setting is clearly futuristic what little plot we get is very similar to some other dystopian sci-fi films. The dialogue contains some weird words (rezos?) which mean little to us but clearly mean a lot to the characters. This isn’t sci-fi in the outer space, robots, etc. sense -- this is something with science has clearly gone wrong and we learn, little by little, about it. There are also some unique things in the movie, such as the character who insists on moving around a room on wires instead of walking.
The other thing that many of you will immediately notice about Eden Log is that watching the movie is a lot like watching someone else play a video game. The “character who awakens with amnesia and must learn who they are” is a staple of video games and has been used time and time again. The fact that the main character must make his way through many levels also harkens to video games. To me, this felt like something which Capcom would make, as we watch the man plunder computer files for information and interact with other characters.
The drawback here is that it really does feel like watching someone else play a video game. There are long stretches where the man doesn’t interact with anyone or anything and there is very little dialogue in the film. So, the 100 minute running time feels a little too “real time” in some scenes as we watch him wander through “Eden Log”. The somewhat subjective viewpoint of the film also means that we, the audience, get very little information. Essentially, we only learn what the man learns, and the vague nature of the movie will irritate many viewers.
Those issues aside, credit must go to Director Franck Viestel for giving the movie a very interesting look. The movie wasn’t shot in black and white, but at first glance, it certainly seems that way. Once the man makes it out the darkness, we realize that nearly everything in the movie is either black, white, or grey, and we only get a few flashes of red or blue. The production design in the film is amazing and I kept thinking, “For once, I wish that this had extras just so I could know where they filmed this.” I have no idea what the film’s budget was, but it looks like no expense was spared in creating the world of “Eden Log”. If the idea of something which is sort of like Logan’s Run,The Matrix, and Resident Evil, but still different from all of those things sounds interesting, then give Eden Log a try.
Eden Log runs through the darkness onBlu-ray Disc courtesy of Magnolia Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains a VC-1 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no defects from the source material. Considering the faux black and white look of the film, it’s very surprising that there’s no distracting grain here. The absence of color really makes the blacks stand out here. This is a very dark film and there are some scenes where the action isn’t visible, but for the most part, the picture is well-balanced. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.2 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. This track is very effective and helps to create a sense of space. The stereo effects are quite good and nicely detailed. The surround sound effects are great and really work when the mutated creatures are nearby. Many areas give off a low humming sound and this keeps the subwoofer busy.
The only extra on the Eden Log Blu-ray Disc is the French version of the film which runs 4 1/2 minutes shorter than the other version. Why not just put one version on the Disc with multiple soundtracks?
Review Copyright 2009 by Mike Long