Colossus: The Forbin Project

Starring: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark
Joseph Sargent
1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Full Screen, Dolby



"I think Frankenstein ought to be required reading for all scientists," someone tells Charles Forbin at one point.

Forbin is the creator of a huge computer aptly named Colossus, which was designed to take over United States' nuclear arsenal and remove any human (and thus fallible) human interaction. The warning comes too late however and before you can say HAL, Colossus starts going haywire and turns against its human masters . . .

In fairness, Colossus: The Forbin Project was actually produced before 2001: A Space Odyssey but its studio, Universal, was so upset by the film's grimness that it delayed the film's release for more that a year. In the meantime, the Kubrick film quite simply stole its thunder when it comes to the computer gone amok stakes.

Anyway, this Cold War SF thriller has gained a bit of a cult following throughout the years. Never dull with a literate script and some tight ensemble acting, it should be seen by science fiction fans who demand more than merely flashy special effects.

Sure, it has dated to an extent, but its ultimate message about political power and control is unfortunately still relevant today.

THE DISC: Universal must be blissfully unaware of this film's minor cult status because it treated Colossus: The Forbin Project rather shoddily when it finally made its way to DVD during November last year.

Firstly, the film is in pan 'n' scan and not widescreen (this means that the sides of the image has been chopped off to fit standard TV sets). Secondly, even though the film has been divided into chapter stops there is no menu and thus no scene selection! Even the cheapest DVD releases have this feature! No trailers, no extras, nothing!

WORTH IT? Colossus: The Forbin Project retails for a mere $9.99 on which explains the lack of features and extras.

RECOMMENDATION: Image and Dolby sound are decent though, but Colossus: The Forbin Project deserved better than this. Still, you decide: I was glad to have finally seen this classic flick even though it was like this . . .


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