THE FORBIN PROJECT
Colossus: The Forbin Project
Starring: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark
Director: Joseph Sargent
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Format: Full Screen, Dolby
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 Amazon.com 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 . . .