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Cool World Blu-ray Review

Not as cool as it could or should have been.

In 1945 a war veteran (Frank) returns home but ends up in a motorcycle accident that claims the life of his mom. He also finds himself transported to an animated world called Cool World which is comprised of Doodles (animated beings). In 1992 a cartoonist (Jack) is released from prison. He is best known for creating Cool World comics (featuring the blonde bombshell character Holli Would) which are based off of images he has had. In the Cool World, Holli Would is obsessed with the real world and wants to become a real person. This is possible if a human has sex with a Doodle (although it is entirely forbidden). The laws are enforced by Frank who is now a Detective in Cool World. Alas, all hell is about to break loose when Holli breaks the law which could prove catastrophic to both worlds. 

Clearly made in reaction to the success of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,’ ‘Cool World’ is an original live-action/animation hybrid tale from veteran animation director Ralph Bakshi (best known for ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘Fritz The Cat’) and writers Michael Grais and Mark Victor. On the surface ‘Cool World’ is brimming with ideas and opportunities about two different worlds and humanity, but nothing is explored in any great depth. There’s barely a coherent story holding the movie together and the characters are one dimensional at best. Visually, the movie is a triumph with some fun Las Vegas location shooting and wild, surreal, twisted set-designs and animation which feel like the anti-Disney. This is a much more adult, sexual, darker, and violent world than say ‘Roger Rabbit.’ It’s a very risque movie (especially for PG-13) and it would almost certainly never be made today. It was even a gamble at the time of its release and it didn’t pay off at the box office as it flopped. It’s not hard to see why though as there’s just not enough here to latch on to. It feels like a movie in progress that is in need of rewrites and more tinkering. 

Cast wise, this is basically a 3 person movie. You have a very young Brad Pitt who is NOT ready to be a leading man at this stage in his career. You have a sultry Kim Basinger who seems to be having a blast in both live-action and animation form. And you have Gabriel Byrne who seems like an odd choice for this, but he’s reliable as always.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The film has been given a 4K scan of the original camera negative and the result is good. The colors are richer but some of the animation elements look a bit rough nowadays.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? An all-around solid 5.1 track.

Extras:
* 2 ‘Cool World’ trailers
* ‘The Wild Minds Of Cool World’- A brand new 22 minute retrospective featurette with interviews with Kim Basinger, producer Frank Mancuso Jr., and director Ralph Bakshi. Expect tidbits about the original horror concept, a showcase of rare art, character/cast discussions, and more.

September 12, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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