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Flatliners

  • Flatliners
    Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience - giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife. // Pour découvrir ce qui se passe après la mort, cinq étudiants en médecine se lancent dans une expérience aussi audacieuse que dangereuse. Sur eux-mêmes, volontairement, ils provoquent des arrêts cardiaques pendant de courtes périodes afin de vivre des expériences de mort imminente. En poussant le processus de plus en plus loin, ils vont devoir affronter non seulement leur part d’ombre et leur passé, mais plus effrayant encore, les phénomènes paranormaux liés au fait qu’ils sont revenus de l’au-delà…

Critique de Sedai

  • An instructor in a film course I took once told me the phrase "it is what it is" has no place in describing movies. But sometimes things just are the sum of their parts, no more, no less. We think that's the problem so many critics have had with the new release of Flatliners (the problem so many critics have had with the new release of Flatliners), a story of five medical students exploring the afterlife to disastrous consequences. On paper it seems like it could be good: strong and recognizable stars in Ellen Page (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Diego Luna (Rogue One) and Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries). The trendy director of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and a few episodes of Mr. Robot and Under the Dome. And a writer who penned the sci-fi success Source Code. But then there’s the single, but important, weak part that dragged down the sum: the original story.

    This iteration of the film was based on the 1990 Joel Schumacher movie of the same name. Some details have been changed to lend the story more gravitas, and it definitely plays up the horror more than the original. But the basic story is the same. The thing is that 1990 version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=51fqhYSPboU) wasn't a great film. It was a fun film, it was something new, it starred actors with recent huge success among young adults. It was the kind of thing we’d go see two or three times expecting to have a fun night (of course movies cost a lot less back then.) But nobody ever expected it to win awards or launch a franchise. It was a throwaway story.

    If anything this update of the original has corrected some of the original’s failings. As pointed out in this Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/flatliners-2017-atones-sins-1990-movie-1044626 ) piece the original version was full of white masculinity, a situation addressed in this movie by the diverse cast and female leads. And the happy ending for the original was problematic, as it let both toying with the afterlife and the rich kids who were able to do so off the hook. In this film, without revealing spoilers, suffice it to say the stakes are higher.

    It’s still a throwaway film that isn’t going to win awards, which is a little sad. The afterlife is an interesting premise and medical school is a treasure trove of fascinating potential. Who would have thought that the simple premise of dreaming could produce a movie as rich and complex as Inception? But the producers and writers chose to leave all that on the table and, nearly note-for-note, give us simple stories of young people coming to grips with the past. Don’t expect a night of Oscar-caliber pathos, but don’t rule Flatliners completely out either and you can enjoy a couple hours of simple entertainment.

    Flatliners
    Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
    Produced by Laurence Mark? Michael Douglas? Peter Safran
    Written by Ben Ripley
    Based on Flatliners by Peter Filardi
    Starring Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons
    Music by Nathan Barr
    Cinematography Eric Kress
    Edited by Tom Elkins
    Production company : Columbia Pictures, Further Films, Laurence Mark Productions, Cross Creek Pictures
    Distributed by Sony Pictures
    Release date : September 29, 2017 (United States)
    Running time : 110 minutes

    Seen October 4 2017 in Cinemark 16 in Las Vegas (Nevada)

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