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Nirvana
Reviewed by Andrew Kozma, © 2006

Format: Movie
By:   Gabriele Salvatores (director)
Genre:   Science Fiction Hell
Released:   1997
Review Date:   July 17, 2006
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   2/10 (What Is This?)

After Kurt Cobain's death, Nirvana never really recovered. Sure, they tried to struggle on through tours, recordings, and new band members, but still, his ghost conquers all. Let's face it: For many, Cobain was (and is) Nirvana. As the latest in a long string of attempts at reviving their image and fame, the hiring of Christopher Lambert as the new lead singer was destined to failure even before his first, scratchy, French-accented note.

In a perfect world, I would be reviewing Nirvana's new album. Unfortunately, I have instead this DVD poised seductively in front of me.

In fact, I was first tempted to review this movie without watching it. On the cover it has managed to compare itself to Tron, Blade Runner, and The Matrix, while referencing Grand Theft Auto and The Sims and, of course, the Highlander franchise, all while calling itself an "acclaimed story".

I wish I had listened to my initial instincts. I'd like to say this is the worst movie I've seen, but I've seen worse. Not many, however. Nirvana is a dreg; movie backwash; it is the toenail parings of Armageddon, a big, honking, hawked up loogie of what may have been a vague idea of a movie at one point but has degraded into a overexposed, torpidly edited, mishmash of both cyberpunk and video game clichés.

That's right, I said video game clichés. If only Uwe Boll could be blamed for this mess. At least with his movies I can always think back fondly on how it was to play the game without all that messy plot in the way.

In short, chum, this movie is chum.

So, if that's what you like, yum yum. This is a veritable feast.

Not a Good Bad

For those non-sharks in the audience, I'll let you know a secret: I love bad movies. Not that I intrinsically enjoy watching bad direction, horrible lighting, atrocious acting, pathetic plotting, or overuse of alliteration, but I love making fun of bad movies, getting together with a group of people, drinking, eating, and collectively enduring the horror that is an effective bad movie. However (for those thinking of trying this at home), there is a risk.

Of course there are those movies that don't work, that are just too boring or slow or what have you. Those you get through by talking over them or reminiscing about how the movie could have been much better or much worse. Think of the hundreds of movies MST3K overlooked.

Then there are those movies that are hypnotizingly bad, so horrible that your eyes start bleeding but you can't look away, you can't stop watching, even though your soul is fleeing, has fled, and you are now simply a receptacle for the badness. The bad badness. Do not watch: The Alchemist. Anklebiters. Nirvana.

One thing that you can look forward to in a Christopher Lambert film is the possibility of someone having their head cut off. See The Hunted for a textbook example. See Nirvana in order to test the hardness quotient of your fingernails -- using your eyeballs.

God forgive me, I've already wasted enough (virtual) ink on this smegmatic slip of drool from Philip K. Dick's paranoid dreams. The plot: Game designer designs game and his main character is sentient and says, "Oh god, oh game creator, please kill me so I don't have to live the same life over and over again, like watching a bad movie." Lambert endeavors to fulfill this cause, running through the B-list sets for Blade Runner. He has lost a girl, meets a girl, the girl has the previous girl's personality injected into her brain. Imagine all this chopped up finely, sautéed with a little garlic butter and cayenne pepper, then packed into an open wound.

At least the girl who gets injected with the other girl is hot. Also, if you'd like a dissenting opinion, check out the IMDb page for the film where an erudite gentleman explains how the movie actually enacts the titular search for Nirvana. You know, heading towards nothingness. Which you'll certainly want to reach while watching this film.

Oh kill me now.

DVDetails

Zip. Zero. Nada. Nuttin'. Unless you consider scene selections and language subtitles to be extras. If only they allowed the original language track to come through (assuming that would be Italian) then maybe, maybe, the DVD could consider itself detailed.

The Movie Itself: 2 out of 10

The DVD Extras: 1 out of 10


RevSF Assistant Film Editor Andrew Kozma has reached Nirvana. At least, we can’t reach him by telephone and his answering machine is all full up. If you see him around, please let us know, as he owes us two dollars.

 
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