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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Eye See You (2002)

"You see someone coming up those stairs, you let faith guide that bullet straight through they [sic] head."
- Jones (Courtney B. Vance)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: March 04, 2003

Stars: Sylvester Stallone
Other Stars: Tom Berenger, Charles Dutton, Sean Patrick Flanery, Dina Meyer, Robert Patrick, Robert Prosky, Courtney B. Vance, Polly Walker, Jeffery Wright, Kris Kristofferson
Director: Jim Gillespie

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence/gore, language
Run Time: 01h:36m:00s
Release Date: December 31, 2002
UPC: 043396099593
Genre: suspense thriller


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C D+B+B C-

DVD Review

Sylvester Stallone's D-Tox was originally supposed to hit theaters in 1999. It ended up wasting away in the Columbia vaults, then opened to pitiful business overseas in 2000. Finally, it has come to DVD in America, skipping the theaters altogether, trying to pass itself off as a slick thriller with the new and ridiculous title Eye See You (my spellchecker amuses me by suggesting the alternate title "Eye Seen You," which sounds like a much more entertaining movie).

Stallone plays detective Jake Malloy (who obviously became a cop because his name alone guaranteed him a string of speedy promotions), burnt out after a cop-hating serial killer with a personal agenda decided to off his fiancée (the lovely and talented Dina Meyer, who really needs to hire a new agent after this and Birds of Prey) by drilling her eyeballs out (I wonder what would have happened had she decided not to look through the peephole? Please, Mr. Psycho, pick a simpler M.O.). Jake chases down the suspected murderer and thinks he has taken care of him, but he descends into despair and alcoholism anyway, constantly carrying around the ring he'd purchased for Dina just before her death. If only the killer hadn't struck at such a melodramatic time, Jake may have been able to get his life back in order.

Soon, his boss, Hendricks (Charles Dutton), the patented tough guy who nevertheless is unafraid to explore his emotions, orders him into rehab, and sends him to a remote former army base that has transformed itself into a detox center for cops. The other patients are all addicts, too. And, incidentally, all well known character actors, Tom Berenger, Kris Kristofferson, and Sean Patrick Flanery among them. No sooner have they all been introduced (and their cardboard personalities established—Robert Patrick, for example, is an ass), do they start dying, picked off one by one by Stallone's taunting nemesis.

Director Jim Gillespie, who also helmed I Know What You Did Last Summer, likes to play up the isolation and seclusion of the detox center, turning the latter part of the film into a low-rent version of John Carpenter's The Thing (the snowy scenery and maze-like surroundings invite furthur comparison), but his style is too slick to be scary. Unfortunately, the script is too overwrought and morose to be campy, which means it doesn't even work as purely cheesy entertainment. The dialogue is clunky and expository, and the characters are interchangeable and totally meaningless. The identity of the killer is almost a non sequitur, because his rivalry with Jake has no compelling basis (and I thought the motive in Scream 2 was bad).

As for Stallone, well, he just looks tired. The character is a bit of a departure for him, and I respect the fact that the script tried to do something different by crafting a flawed action hero capable of mourning and showing emotion. Too bad no such scenes were actually written.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: D+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - P&S
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: In order to open up the film to the widest audience possible, Columbia TriStar has included both a 2.35:1 anamorphic version and one that's a pan & scan at 1.33:1. Both look fairly good, and the Hollywood budget certainly shows up on screen. Detail is nice and crisp, and black level is quite good. Colors are consistent with the muted palette intended by the director. The compression required to fit both versions on one side of a DVD-9 results in some minor aliasing and artifacting, but nothing too glaring.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 English track is very active, but not exactly subtle. There is a snowstorm going on throughout the movie, and the wind can be heard blowing in the surrounds, but the effect gets a bit numbing after a while. Dialogue is anchored in the center and sounds clear, while the front soundstage handles the majority of the music and sound effects, and features a few instances of directionality and panning.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
8 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Cast Interviews
Extras Review: Even movies so bad they are relegated to a video premiere deserve a few extras, right? Columbia TriStar has certainly given Eye See You more than its share. First are eight deleted scenes that offer some extraneous bits of story that were chopped for time (and certainly not because they could have made the movie any worse).

Also included are fluffy PR interviews wit the entire cast, save Stallone. These are the little useless bits that are generally edited into equally boring (but shorter) EPKs, and their presence here is not really a bonus in my book (but then, I actually had to watch them all). If you'd really like to spend around 20 minutes hearing the cast answer the same questions over and over again, be my guest.

Closing out the disc is the trailer, which succeeds in marketing the film to look like something halfway decent.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Eye See You rightfully earned its dusty place on the studio shelves, and I'm kind of sad that they finally decided to release it, because it's just one more nail in the coffin of Stallone's career. Unreleased, it had an air of mystery... perhaps it was a brilliant, unmarketable masterpiece? Now that it's out, we can all see it for the straight-to-video sludge it truly is.

Whatever. Like anyone thought the movie would be good, or that Stallone wasn't as washed up as a toddler on Sunday. Hey, these paragraphs don't write themselves.

 


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