Memoirs of an Invisible Man

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

In my opinion, Chevy Chase is more than just a city in Maryland. The actor (by the same name) was a major star in my favorite movie of all time, Caddyshack. After that, he made Vacation and since then has ceased to be funny. Yes, really. On the other side of the token, John Carpenter has made some of the scariest and most pop-culture-esque movies out there (Halloween, The Thing and They Live). Now why oh why am I mentioning Chevy Chase and John Carpenter in the same paragraph? Well, they teamed up for the 1992 movie, Memoris of an Invisible Man; Chase’s attempt at a dramatic career and somewhat of an offbeat turn for Carpenter. The movie, naturally, didn’t light up the box office, but has found somewhat of a cult following ever since. Chase has his good moments and bad (he had a lot more success with the recent ,Snow Day) than with his previous five efforts combined. As for Carpenter, well the role of a horror movie director is somewhat different than that of a comedic actor…

The movie has a bit of humor (hence Chase’s casting), but not a whole lot. Chase plays Nick Halloway, a fairly likeable guy who likes to dodge work and look at his yuppie self. But, as fate would have it, he gets caught in part of an experiment that leaves him *gasp* the victim of an experiment rendering him invisible (hence the title of the movie). Now as the movie Hollow Man (a much better, if not darker, movie on the subject) pointed out, this can be a lot of fun and very dangerous. Who can catch a man that can’t be seen? Almost immediately, David Jenkins (Sam Neill) plays a corrupt CIA agent in search of Nick because he wants to use him for what all CIA agents want…defense of the United States. The movie is a cat and mouse game with Nick and David with Alice (Daryl Hannah) as the love interest for Nick. While all the right elements are there, I feel that there’s just a better choice of actors out there to fill these roles. Though mildly entertaining, I feel that the roles were miscast and it might have been a lot better of a movie had some different people been involved. For a better play on the same subject, check out Hollow Man instead.

Video: How does it look?

John Carpenter usually shoots his movies in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and this is certainly no exception. The movie seems a bit dated, though, and the color palette used here isn’t the best either. And no, I’m not just trying to say bad things about this movie and disc! There is some evidence of artifacting in some of the early scenes and though it dissipates in the middle, it seems to “come back” again during the closing scenes. Though the CGI effects were done by the best (ILM), these seem to be a bit dated as well. But it’s hard to pull off being invisible, so I’ll let it slide. Not too bad here, but I have seen and expected better.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby Surround mix is all that we get here and it’s not much to hear. Dolby 5.1 could have been used, but I don’t think it would have added much to the mix here (no pun intended). The dialogue is clear and free of any errors, but the matrixed surrounds don’t do that good of a job conveying what’s happening on screen. Though we’ve seen a million versions of Halloween on DVD, and they all sound decent, this mix here doesn’t really do the trick. It’s simple and standard and though it gets the job done, it could have been a bit better in my opinion.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The trailer and some outtakes are the highlight of the disc as well as a brief featurette “How to Become Invisible: The Dawn of Digital FX” is included. It does point out a lot of handicaps of the time and the drawbacks are noticeable on screen. Still, this is a cult favorite and I’m sure they would like more. Not a bad effort as some titles don’t even have a trailer (Paramount).

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