Just watch Brainscan.  Shit, there's your review.  I realize that Arcade was filmed a few years earlier than Brainscan, but this wasn't the most unique plot on the market.  Didn't Tron do the whole "trapped in a cyber game" thing in 1983?  It's irrelevant.  I always maintain that novelty and innovation, while important, are less imperative than simple execution.  Tell your story well.  In terms of ambition, Arcade doesn't aim at Ursa Major (or Minor), but its arrow manages to pierce the lower constellations.  Of course, all constellations reside in outer space.  I didn't think that metaphor through.  Hey, it's on me.  We need a fresh start.  Forget this bullshit paragraph ever happened.

1993's Arcade was written by David Goyer, and Charles Band wants you to know it.  The film was actually lensed in 1990, but its release was encumbered by a caboodle of issues, chief among them reshoots.  Apparently, you can still find the original CGI effects on certain tapes (including Paramount screeners).  There was also a legal miff with Disney.  Oy.  I'll be honest; I don't understand the minutiae of Arcade's inclement production history.  It's hard to blot it out, though.  Watching the final product, it's obvious that there was an inclement production history.  Arcade feels incomplete.

On the technical end, it's literally incomplete.  The winged skeleton on the cover?  It had potential to be cool, but it's rendered with the worst digital effects I've seen in something that was shot on film.  In fact, a distinctly PBS-scented smog pervades the entirety of Arcade.  We're only a half-baked whodunit away from an episode of Ghostwriter.  Yet!  In the prelusive prolegomenon (word of the day...it basically means "preamble") of the very review you are reading, I insinuated that this flick wasn't a full-scale fiasco.  The main players are trying.  Megan Ward is sturdy as the lead.  I knew she was dependable because I recognized her from Freaked.

Speaking of recognizable faces, A.J. Langer gives a genuine performance as The Other Girl.  I'm positive that she had a name.  Anyway, she turned up in a jillion TV shows and movies in the 90's, most notably My So-Called Life and The People Under the Stairs.  Seth Green is here.  Again, the 90's.  The script didn't piss me off or affront my sensibilities, but by the same token, it didn't send currents of electricity 'round my pubic hair.  Strangely, Arcade is one of those video game reels made by folks who didn't know much about video games.  What gives?  Goyer wasn't exactly a fossil when he penned the screenplay.  The same could be said for director Albert Pyun, a talented guy who helmed Cyborg and The Sword and the Sorcerer, to boot.

Robert Z'Dar says, "Meh."


No comments:

Post a Comment