Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Subconscious DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
In 1943, the Navy submarine USS Lionfish was inexplicably shut down, and its commander, Tony Sterling (Cambridge Jones), disappeared without a trace. Seventy years later, Sterling's grandson, professor Peter Williams (Tim Abell), is recruited by a top-secret government agency to investigate. Aboard the Lionfish, Peter and his team uncover clues to the sub's cryptic past and are plunged into a terrifying supernatural journey that will take them across the dark abyss of time, with history hanging in the balance.

Film (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
In August of 1943, the USS Lionfish was decommissioned after some strange events occurred on the boat. Commander Sterling, the captain of the boat was not allowed back on the boat and was told to accept his promotion and keep his mouth shut. That night, he disappeared. Seventy years later, his grandson, Peter, is a professor at the Naval College. He has tried for many years to find out what happened to his grandfather and the Lionfish, but has been stonewalled at every turn. Finally, he receives a call from the Department of Defense allowing him access to the Lionfish.  Coincidentally, it’s exactly 70 years from its decommission date and from his grandfather’s disappearance.

Peter gathers his team, which consists of his ex-wife, his assistant, and his friend Mike, and they head to Fall River Naval Base and to the Lionfish.  Upon arriving, they meet up with their DOD contact who gets them on the boat.  Once on the Lionfish, the team begins their search for the truth and finds that things are not as they seem.  When the ship comes to life, the team races to figure what happened and finds that the reason could possibly change the course of world events.

Subconscious is an okay movie.  I was expecting more of a horror movie, but was not disappointed that’s not what I watched.  It’s more of a paranormal-ish movie with some death in it. The story was interesting, the acting not so much. I think that if this had been a big budget movie, with A-list actors, it would have been much better. The script was not without its flaws – cheesy lines, weird transitions – but it wasn’t terrible. I really hated the actress who played Peter’s wife. I can’t pinpoint it, but everything about her bothered me. I would have liked this movie much more with better actors and a better script. 
Video (2 out 5 stars)
Subconscious’ widescreen presentation is not great. It was pixilated, and transition from scene to scene was a little rough.  There isn’t much color to the movie since it takes place in a submarine. It’s dark and there are blue and red lights. When flashlights are used, it didn’t seem natural. With today’s technology, even a low budget movie like this should have had better video quality. 
Audio (1 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio was terrible. It was really low. So low that I had to turn the volume almost all the way up on the television just to get it at a normal level. There’s quite a bit of mumbling and background audio that you just can’t hear. I thought that with the volume up so high I’d have to eventually turn it down when shots were fired or background music played.  Unfortunately, that was not the case. English and Spanish subtitles are available if needed, and honestly, you just might if you don’t turn the volume way up. 
Extras (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The special features included were interesting but short.  None were over seven minutes and I was really disappointed in the alternate ending.  The best one was the gag reel.  
  • Alternate Ending – A different ending from what was in the movie.  This was only about a minute or so long.  I expected a totally different ending and one that was much longer that what was given.
  • Deleted Scenes – Four deleted scenes from the movie.  All were good choices to have left out of the movie.
  • Interview with the Last Surviving Member of the USS Lionfish Incident – This feature is an interview with a crew member who what present at the time the USS Lionfish was decommissioned. In it, he talks about the events of August 13, 1943.
  • Gag Reel – Six minutes of outtakes from the movie.  I found myself giggling at many of these.
  • Torpedo Loading Sequence – Watching the actors load the torpedo from all four cameras used to shoot the scene.
  • Subconscious Trailer – The trailer makes the movie sound like a horror movie.  It’s not.
  • Also from Lionsgate – The previews from the beginning of the disc. 
Summary (2 out of 5 stars)
Subconscious was a disappointment as it could have been so much better. The script, the acting, and the effects – all were below average, but I liked the story and the concept. Given more “Hollywood-ization,” it could have been so much better. I don’t recommend buying it. Instead, wait for it to come on the SyFy Channel. Don’t waste your money on this one.

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