Coming to 4K Ultra HD in a Limited Edition Steelbook from director Andrew Niccol and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the newly remastered and intense look at the road to GATTACA.
Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) lives in a future of eugenics where biometrics is used to conceive children known as ‘valids’. Deciding to forego lab conception, Vincent’s parents have a child who they discover has a heart problem and is labeled an ‘invalid’ with a very short life span. That does not stop him from having boyhood dreams of going to space while brother Anton (Loren Dean) is conceived by genetic selection.
Years later, Vincent meets Jerome (Jude Law) who volunteers to exchange his genetics, or borrowed ladder, so that Vincent can pass as a valid. All of this done so that Vincent, now Jerome, can work at the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation as a navigator for a trip to the Saturn moon of Titan. Daily he must rid himself of everything that is Vincent to pass for Jerome.
A short time before the mission he is to leave on, he meets Irene (Uma Thurman), who shares that she is a valid but with her own defects, so the chance of a mission is none. They become close but fall to being leery of one another when an administrator of Gattaca is murdered. Irene is directed by Mission Director Josef (Gore Vidal) to help the police in any way possible.
Enter Detective Freeman and partner Detective Hugo (Alan Arkin) who tear Gattaca upside down to find the killer. When an eyelash is discovered that leads to someone names ‘Vincent’, the police and Irene are not far behind in discovering the true relationship between Vincent and Jerome.
A dream is about to get lost in space!
Hawke as Vincent/Jerome has a deep story to tell and will go to any lengths to prove that he is just as good, if not better qualified to go on a mission. Society believes otherwise which makes his transformation even more important. Hawke gives us a calm, cool and well-dressed navigator of Gattaca where no one suspects a thing – until death begins to unravel things.
Law as Jerome is amazing portraying a young man who has had his life changed in such a way that letting Vincent in keeps his life comfortable. Providing him with all the things that make a human being a human being, Law has his moments of screw ups but begins to see Jerome’s vision and what he will do to go on a mission. Experiencing something like that can change a person, even someone like Jerome.
Thurman as Irene is also a straightforward, tightly wound worker of Gattaca who sees something in Vincent/Jerome that is close to her own feelings. She takes it upon herself to protect him at all cost. Thurman keeps us all wondering if she is will see everything through to the end. Dean as Anton is suspicious of everything and everyone which brings him closer to discovering the murderer than he could have realized. The problem is he is to focused on a trail he has created for himself to deal with issues from the past so he is a tad jaded.
Arkin as Detective Hugo is like a dog with a juicy bone and he senses that Anton is distracted by something he couldn’t possibly understand. Following orders in front of Anton does not mean he won’t do his own digging into the discovery of a murderer.
Other cast include: Jayne Brook as Marie, Xander Berkeley as Lamar, Elias Koteas as Antonio, Mason Gamble as young Vincent, William Scott as young Anton, Ernest Borgnine as Caesar
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The GATTACA Steelbook contains the Bonus Material of Deleted Scenes, Blooper Reel and Welcome to Gattaca Featurette.
GATTACA was released in 1997 and I can tell you that every time it has showed itself on my television, I stop to watch it. There is something intense and memorable about this film from the cinematography to the idea behind the story that is worth every watch. Director Niccol wrote and brought us GATTACA for $20 million after his first film THE TRUMAN SHOW.
Even in 1997 the question of humanity in technology was difficult to imagine and here we are in 2021 and it is still difficult even in the midst of a pandemic. He says of Gattaca, “characters are scared of leaving a trace of themselves, so the world is very sterile”, sound familiar? Hand cleaning, no touching and six feet of distance bring us closer to a GATTACA existence.
Also in this film is the will to exceed human expectations by any means possible (without hurting someone in Vincent’s case). He is willing to push the limits that are so extraordinary that I had to shake my head and say, ‘nope, I’m good’. Vincent/Jerome is smart, creative and yet so very unlike the Jerome he is forced to be while employed with Gattaca. Perhaps that is why he is such a believable character. Hawke gives him heart, soul and the so unexpected emotion of love.
The Steelbook is awesome to have and 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital copies all in one stunningly done artwork that, as a GATTACA fan, I could relate to for my own home entertainment library.
In the end – a life is a dangerous thing to share!