Next (DVD & HD DVD)

DVD & HD DVD Covered In Review

Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
The cover offers a very different image of the movie than you will find in the box. The promise of action and adventure with a touch of style might be what they wanted to offer in Next, but the cover is as close as it’s ever gonna get to that delusion.

The menu is just awful. I’m talking boring, poorly designed, and cheap. It’s a collage of the three main characters, and a navigation bar straight out of DVD design 101 circa 1992.

Features: 2/10

  • Making The Best Next Thing – Interviews with the cast and crew talking about making Next.
  • The Next Grand Idea Featurette – How did this movie get made? That is a good question. I didn’t feel they really answered that question, but they do try.
  • Two Minutes In The Future With Jessica Biel Featurette – This is Biel talking about her opinion about what it would be like to know the future. She seems pretty preoccupied with her career…which makes me wonder, why did she do this movie?
  • Visualizing The Next Move Featurette – CGI is a delicate thing. If it’s done exceptionally well it can be incredible. If it’s done less than exceptionally well it can be nothing less than unforgivably distracting. They don’t seem to realize they are not in the first category as they talk about making Next.

The Movie: 2/10
Next is about a man who can see two minutes of his own future before it happens. This seems to give him the ability to predict and eventually change the events that unfold in his life. I still can’t figure out the concept of how he thinks he can glance into the future and go through every possible outcome for every situation and then figure out which one will actually happen, with or without his intervention…whew, I love Sci-Fi, but this even pushes my tolerance for fantasy.

He lives in Vegas, so naturally he disguises his natural ability with a job as a cheap sleazy hotel magician. Ok, stay with me here. I understand making characters as interesting as possible. It’s hard to make anything original these days. What I don’t understand is how a potentially intriguing character can fall so flat so quickly. His desperation and sadness, which seems interesting, goes away too quickly and gives way to the rest of the movie where he switches into a character I can’t even describe. I think that’s because the script wasn’t finished but was fleshed out during production which is almost always a mistake.

How did I come to dislike this movie so much? For starters, the opening scenes made me settle in thinking I was about to see a pretty good flick with one of my favorites, Nicolas Cage but then it became painfully obvious all to quickly that this was not the experience I was hoping for. At first the idea of a guy in Vegas who can cheat the casinos by seeing into the future sounds great. They make it fairly interesting with some stylized camera work and that juicy voice over goodness with Cage’s groovy tones telling us his story. The slippery slope begins to take me down when all of the boring peripheral characters like the casino security and Peter Falk as Cage’s old pal start creeping through the cracks.

And then they drop the bomb, almost literally. A neutron bomb has been stolen and has gone rogue in LA. WHAT??? What century do we live in? And why should we all give a crap about LA? Oddly enough, the FBI are already on the trail of our prognosticating hero, for some strange reason, so they are quick to conclude that he’s their only hope for finding the bomb. It’s so incredibly flakey and uninspired I was in shock for a few minutes while I watched Julianne Moore do some strange character who’s supposed to be a tough no nonsense chick, but who seems more like a badly written character in a badly written movie…unfortunate.

Jessica Biel is my favorite part of the movie. Yes, I know it’s bizarre to me too. I was so sure she would be my new Dr. Christmas Jones, but she surprised me. Her character is just as lame as everyone else, but she does a better job of being watch able and she turns out to be the only character in the movie I care about.

Cage sees this woman farther into the future than he can see anything else. We never get an explanation for this, but without this we would have no other reason to have Ms. Biel’s character in the mix. She’s totally disposable, if not looking hot with wet hair in a towel 🙂

Neutron bomb…bleck..sorry, I just thought about the plot again and it gave me bad flashbacks.

There are some explosions, most of which look semi-hokey. There’s a cool scene where stuff is rolling down a hill, but even a lot of the CGI in that sequence looks very questionable.

So, my overall opinion of this movie is not good. It was boring, poorly written, very poorly acted, and obvious gaps in the plot and character development for the sake of chopping in the “action” sequences. If they had stayed in Vegas and kept the story of Cage playing a guy who is scamming the system with his supernatural power, then he meets a prostitute and eventually dies from his addiction to gambling, now that would have been cool. It could have been called, “Cheating Las Vegas”…get it?

Video & Audio: 8/10
Next is another stunning looking title from Paramount on DVD and HDDVD, unlike the thin plotline the picture quality and sound are actually stunning. A standout scene for me is mid movie with Cage escaping from the mountainside, the 5.1 TrueHD track really brings you into the middle of the action. Picture quality while not top tier for a HDDVD release is pretty respectable with the lines on a noticeably older Nicolas Cage showing up in full 1080P glory. Next isn’t a good movie, but in HD at least you can admire the beauty of the picture and sound while laughing you arse off at the plot holes and non existent storyline.

Value: 1/10
No comment. Oh, I am required to make a comment? I can’t be a hypocrite. I will not recommend this movie to most people. HOWEVER, if you are into Nick Cage and Julianne Moore unconditionally, along with some action and Jessica Biel in a towel, you could consider a rental.

Overall Score 2/10