City of Lost Children

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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City of Lost Children is a French film based in a strange world somewhere between Brazil and Wonderland (the one Alice is in) with an atmosphere of a sewer gutter after the St. Patrick's Day parade. As we dive into the green/brown muck, we follow a circus strongman named One (Ron Perlman of Aliens "I am not the man with whom to fu--") and a young street hood named Miette (Judith Vittet, a 10 year old Winona Ryder). Our unlikely heros climb their way through the strange world (including cyborg cyclopes, assassin fleas, siamese witches, futuristic nightmare off shore oil platforms, crazy undersea divers who collect key chains, etc.) as they search for One's little brother who seems to do nothing but burp. The real appeal of the movie is the growing relationship between Miette and One. I almost ran out of hankys during the final confrontation between our heros and the crazy interwoven witches where One is forced into attacking Miette (you don't see stuff like that in any american film! I guess child abuse isn't such a bother in France). The world of the dream master (the one who looks like a Myan with tv tubes growing out of his head) is also just as gruesome with his six clone brothers (a mix of J.F. Sebastian and the Cowardly Lion) and his advisor, a brain inside of a 1920's record player / aquarium. The DVD has both an English dubbed Dolby Pro-Logic soundtrack as well as the original French score. The picture is 16x9 enhanced. The DVD also includes a commentary with Ron Perlman and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (of Alien Resurrection fame). Overall it is one head trip of a movie, and a very good DVD. If you are a die hard sci-fi lover or maybe your local dealer didn't have anything but suppositories in stock (see Trainspotting), don't miss it. If you thought Sphere was good sci-fi, go check out Universal Soldier 2 instead.