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Secretly Awesome - Virtuosity (1995)

Submitted by tom on August 20, 2014 - 7:54pm


90s Cyberpunk doesn't get much better, or much worse than Brett Leonard's Virtuosity. Okay, it probably gets a lot worse, but not while maintaining such a high level of enjoyability.

Secretly Awesome
Buy Virtuosity on DVD from Amazon

The plot of Virtuosity is nonsensical at best, though it is the best kind of nonsensical, revolving around a computer training program for police to track down serial killers that is given corporeal form and set loose on a killing rampage around L.A. Fittingly crude CGI effects involving Russell Crowe's limbs regenerating when he touches glass, silly demonstrations of predicted futuristic technology, and a mess of hokey computer interfaces are just a few of the wonderful things you'll find in this film. And that's not even mentioning the symphony of human screams scene, in which Crowe's Sid 6.7 terrorizes a nightclub and tries to orchestrate screams into music. It's twisted and bizarre, and played with a wink, as pretty much all of Crowe's scenes are.

People might just see a lot of this movie as being so bad that it's good, and they wouldn't be totally wrong; but it's also just a brilliantly strange film, and I always love to see a fully-realized Hollywood production of something that is this bizarre. That said, the one thing that is genuinely great, and the reason Virtuosity deserves to be called "secretly awesome" is Russell Crowe, who turns in what had to have been one of the most enjoyable performances of 1995. It needs to be added to the canon of the the all-time great over-the-top screen performances. Sid 6.7 is an attention-craving, cocky cyber-bully synthesized from the personalities of two-hundred notorious serial killers, who goes on a creative kill-spree in L.A. And Crowe just feeds off of the ridiculousness of it, playing Sid with a swagger and a gorgeous comically demonic laugh. It's beautiful to watch. As for Denzel... well, he pretty much phones it in. But even a phoned-in Denzel can be entertaining. According to the imdb trivia page, he accepted the role because his son asked him to. But honestly, Crowe more than makes up for it.

In addition to Denzel and Crowe, Virtuosity also boasts a nice supporting cast, which includes Louise Fletcher, William Fichtner, and William Forsythe, who gives the greatest delivery of "Anybody using this chair?" you could ever imagine. Seriously. And Virtuosity ends how all 90s action-thrillers should... with the good guy squaring off against the bad guy in a random, inaccessible-under-normal-circumstances location. In this case, on the rooftop heating combines of a skyscraper which houses the television station in which Sid 6.7 is broadcasting live murders to the world.

Brett Leonard also directed The Lawnmower Man, another 90s techno-thriller and surely a candidate for a future post, as soon as I can track down a copy of the out-of-print DVD. But for now, Virtuosity will definitely suffice.

Virtuosity (1995)
Virtuosity at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Brett Leonard
Written by: Eric Bernt
Featuring: Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe
Plot: A virtual-reality serial killer manages to escape into the real world.


Feature by Bradley Redder of This Week's Movie. Have a Secretly Awesome suggestion that you'd like to propose? Or have a past or present entry you'd like to argue about? Feel free to e-mail Brad at

Cool Movie Poster of the Week - Lord Of War (2005)

Submitted by tom on August 13, 2014 - 9:04pm


Lord Of War (2005)
Buy this poster from AllPosters Buy Lord Of War on Blu-Ray from Amazon Buy Lord Of War on DVD from Amazon Buy Lord Of War on Instant Video from Amazon

What do you think about this poster? Click here to let us know!

Lord Of War (2005)
Lord Of War (2005) at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Written by: Andrew Niccol
Featuring: Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan and Ethan Hawke
Plot: An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol agent.


Classic Movie Quote of the Week - Casino

Submitted by tom on August 6, 2014 - 3:37pm


Buy Casino on Blu-Ray from Amazon Buy Casino on DVD from Amazon

"No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And if you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he'll keep comin' back and back until one of you is dead."
-Sam Rothstein, played by Robert De Niro

Casino (1995)
Casino at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese
Featuring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone
Plot: Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobster best friends and a trophy wife over a gambling empire.


Feature Documentary “JAMES CAMERON’S DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D,” Directed By John Bruno, Andrew Wight & Ray Quint

Submitted by melissa on May 6, 2014 - 7:38pm


In Partnership with National Geographic Cinema Ventures


Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron emerges from the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible after his successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. The dive was part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research.

Reddit AMA with Director Richard Ayoade on behalf of THE DOUBLE!

Submitted by melissa on May 6, 2014 - 5:45am



When: 2:30pm-4:00pm PST/5:30pm-7:00pm EST  

Magnolia Pictures will release THE DOUBLE in theaters and on iTunes/OnDemand May 9, 2014.

Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. He feels powerless to change any of these things. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.

I'm looking forward to watching this again because this was my original reaction: It completely confused me. Confusion. Utter confusion. I liked the style, it was very retro and noir, but I had a really hard time following.

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