'Control' ** 041305
DVD Review (1975)

The Work = **
'Control' is ultimately a wishy washy movie about problem solving. Do we take medication to solve our anxieties or do we solve them ourselves, through say therapy? That is more or less what is toyed with in the film 'Control'. The problem is the movie just didn’t seem engaging enough to keep me interested. 'Control' was also downright preachy in some passages.

The movie Stars Ray Liotta and Willem Dafoe (who were my primary reasons for checking this film out.) They give good performances and do their best to carry the film. There simply isn’t enough here for a movie. If this had been an episode on a TV series it might have worked but as a film it just didn’t.

Essentially the movie is about experiments done on violent criminals. They are given medication to make them law abiding citizens. Sort of a law enforcement Prozac or something. This leads into several scenes and plot twists around the prescription and whether or not it is really changing the criminal’s personality.

The film looked to be fairly small budgeted and I must say there wasn't a whole heck of a lot going on. Criminal gets medication, criminal goes straight, gangsters from criminal’s past want to kill criminal and criminal must deal with the repercussions from his actions in the past while trying to start a new life. I suppose all this could have been worked into an interesting film but here it just seems kind of slight. Liotta especially goes some distance towards carrying the movie with his performance. Dafoe too, makes an effort but it is not enough.

At the end of the day this movie just didn't do it for me. There were some good moments but they weren't enough to elevate the material. Twists towards the end turn out to be extremely ridiculous and seem tacked on to drive home the message of overmedication. While overmedication may or may not be a problem this silly film won't do anything about it.

DVD = ***

The Look
Not the best of transfers but I don’t know how good the source material is. It may not have been the best to begin with since this looks like it was a fairly low budget movie. It is presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1.

The Sound
'Control' had decent sound. The effects came through pretty strong and the dialogue was clear. Sound was presented in 5.1 Dolby digital with optional French and Spanish tracks.

The Bonus
Well, there's a trailer for the film and a few other direct to video looking features. There is also a making of featurette that is just a collection of on set footage and EPK interviews. Not too great. The cast talked about the writing drawing them to the project but I couldn't help but think it might have actually been an easy pay check for a quick shoot in Bulgaria.

All together = **
I can't recommend this one. There's just not enough here. As an episode on some TV series it might have worked. Liotta and Dafoe do have some good scenes but not enough to make the movie. I say if you are a fan or curious you will probably want to try a rental first.


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