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The 100




Electric Dreams
(1984)
Reviewed by Scott Marshall
Rating: 7 Beans

ow. Someone on the Internet Movie Database
actually compares this movie to 2001, TRON, and
BLADE RUNNER. All because they have something to do
with artificial intelligence, I guess.

I must say that I agree, with just a few
reservations. Unlike the other movies, for example,
ELECTRIC DREAMS does not have groundbreaking art
direction and special effects. The elegant
classical score of 2001 which underlines the wonder
of deep space exploration is replaced by the
synth-pop artistry of Giorgio Moroder and Culture
Club. For those too young to remember, Culture Club
is the band that is featured in the film ELECTRIC
DREAMS.

Unlike TRON, this movie does not take place
primarily in the fantastic (if Disneyfied) world
inside a computer. It takes place in San Francisco,
where any sentient being can feel free to love
another without fear of judgement- even if theyíre
Virginia Madsen. Whenís the last time you saw a
film that has a romantic romp through Alcatraz? No,
THE ROCK doesnít count.

Of course, ELECTRIC DREAMS isnít just the love story
of a nerdy architect named Miles and his attractive,
cello-plucking neighbour. Itís really a love
triangle between the human couple and Milesí new
computer, Edgar. It just so happens that I bought
my first computer in 1984, a Commodore Vic-20 with
an 8K expansion card, bringing its total RAM to
11.5K. Strangely, my good old Vic did not include
a microphone which it could use to sample sounds or
take voice commands; nor did it include AC plug
adapters which would allow it to wirelessly control
all the electric devices in my home. It certainly
could not receive and manipulate TV signals through
its monitor; heck ,it didnít really HAVE a monitor!

Gosh, Edgar is pretty amazing. He writes a love
song which impresses the girl, he communicates with
devices around town to strike back at his owner, he
impersonates voices, and just like Lou Gramm, he
wants to know what love is. Watch for the
mind-boggling computer dream sequence and the
Pac-Man allegory. Just about the only thing that
Edgar canít do is write a better film script, which
leads me to conclude that he was some kind of
Microsoft prototype.

What amazes me the most about this movie is the fact
that many reviews I have seen are actually positive,
not unlike the incredibly generous comparisons
mentioned above. But the fact that a film is
scripted, acted, and directed competently does not
make it a good movie. It wasnít good in 1984 and it
is incredibly weak now. I think a more accurate
comparison would be to describe it as a cross
between DEMON SEED and THE NET, with a little
PERFECT STRANGERS on the side.






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