×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Virtual Obsession

Written by scripters Preston Sturges, son of the renowned writer-director of the same name, and director Mick Garris, "Virtual Obsession" zings off into sci-fi, horror, computer and domestic worlds in a brave but misguided look at where computers may be hurling us.

With:
Cast: Peter Gallagher, Mimi Rogers, Jake Lloyd, Andy Comeau, Lee Garlinton, Michael O'Neill, Dan Martin, Robert Vaughn, Bridgette Wilson, Tom Nibley, Charles Gruber, David Jensen, Cynthia Garris, Frank Gerrish, Mary Bishop, Nicole Guertin.

Written by scripters Preston Sturges, son of the renowned writer-director of the same name, and director Mick Garris, “Virtual Obsession” zings off into sci-fi, horror, computer and domestic worlds in a brave but misguided look at where computers may be hurling us. Despite Garris’ brisk direction and David Ensley’s prime production design, this Future World looks, like the vidpic, ho-hum.

Utah Central U. Artificial Intelligence scientist Joe (Peter Gallagher, navigating the telepic’s shallows with an earnest face), researcher into how possibly to attain human immortality, and fellow scientist Tom (Andy Comeau) are pursuing the idea of instilling human intelligence into a computer that’s already badly running Salt Lake’s citywide utilities. They’ve come up with computerized Albert (Tom Nibley), a semi-real intelligence who’s a would-be ringer for Einstein.

Joe’s happily married to Karen (Mimi Rogers), who rightfully laments a lot. Lovely redhead Juliet (Bridgette Wilson, beautiful though rarely convincing), after joining Joe as a researcher, confides, “I have a couple of months to live, if I’m lucky.” Suffering as she is with a fatal brain aneurysm, she wants him to inject her brain waves into the computer so she can live on after her body’s dead.

She displays no sign of illness, has no doctor, nurse or support system to fall back on, but she does come on to Joe with a brashness that would make a L’il Abner guffaw. Of all things, Joe’s a pushover.

Wife Karen’s busy checking out household duties as well as young son Jack (Jake Lloyd), and doesn’t tumble to trouble over the new assistant till she gets a whiff of the pretty girl’s perfume. Joe, caught lying a couple of times, does apologize to Karen. Again and again.

And what’ll happen if amorous, ambitious Juliet worms her way into the computer?

Since the videocassette furnished reviewers is woefully short of final visual effects, supervisor Craig Weiss’ handiwork — an approximately eight-minute blank screen, for instance, represents crucial visual material half-way through the telefilm — the storyline’s the center of attention. It doesn’t deserve such concentration.

Except for the stalwart Gallagher and for Comeau — and for a strong entry by Robert Vaughn as Juliet’s rightfully angry dad –the acting’s indifferent at best. Shelly Johnson’s camerawork sparkles, and, under the circumstances, Patrick McMahon’s editing shines.

Virtual Obsession

Thurs. (26). 8-11 p.m., ABC

Production: Filmed in Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah, by Stephanie Germain Prods., Hallmark Entertainment and von Zerneck/Sertner Films. Executive producers, David A. Rosemont, Frank von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner; producers, Stephanie Germain, Randy Sutter, Mick Garris; co-producers, David C. Thomas, Ted Babcock; director, Garris; writers, Preston Sturges, Garris; based on novel "Host" by Peter James.

Crew: Camera, Shelly Johnson; editor, Patrick McMahon; sound, Richard Schexnayder; music, Nicholas Pike; production designer, David Ensley; casting, Susan Glicksman.

With: Cast: Peter Gallagher, Mimi Rogers, Jake Lloyd, Andy Comeau, Lee Garlinton, Michael O'Neill, Dan Martin, Robert Vaughn, Bridgette Wilson, Tom Nibley, Charles Gruber, David Jensen, Cynthia Garris, Frank Gerrish, Mary Bishop, Nicole Guertin.Camera, Shelly Johnson; editor, Patrick McMahon; sound, Richard Schexnayder; music, Nicholas Pike; production designer, David Ensley; casting, Susan Glicksman.

More Film

  • John Williams Pens Theme for Disneyland's

    John Williams in Disneyland: The Story Behind His 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' Theme

    For only the second time in more than four decades of “Star Wars” music, legendary composer John Williams has written a new theme for a “Star Wars” project that is distinct from his film scores for those galaxies far, far away. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the much-anticipated attraction that will open at Disneyland on May [...]

  • Young Ahmed

    Cannes Film Review: 'Young Ahmed'

    There’s a darkness to “Young Ahmed” that audiences have never seen before in the work of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the gifted Belgian brothers whose profoundly humane, unapologetically realist dramas have twice earned them the Palme d’Or in Cannes. Like surrogate parents to troubled children, the sibling directors have taken on their share of difficult [...]

  • Radegund

    Cannes: Fox Searchlight Nabs Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    Fox Searchlight has picked up rights for U.S. and several international territories on Terrence Malick’s contemplative World War II drama “A Hidden Life,” following its enthusiastic reception at the Cannes Film Festival. “A Hidden Life” tells the true story of the Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter, who rejected Adolf Hitler and objected to the war. He [...]

  • China's Zhou Dongyu Is Focusing on

    China's Zhou Dongyu Plans to Focus on Acting, Says Female Roles Improving

    China’s Zhou Dongyu may have taken a recent turn as a producer, but the 27-year-old actress plans to focus on honing her craft in front of the camera rather than branching out too much into other roles behind it. She also believes that female roles are increasing in quantity and quality in China, and is [...]

  • German Films Cocktail Cannes 2019 CannesMay

    Cannes: German Films Celebrates Festival Films at Villa Rothschild

    Pictured: Peter Herrmann, chairman of German Films, Michael Weber of The Match Factory, and Simone Baumann, managing director of German Films. Simone Baumann, the managing director of German Films, celebrated the many German co-productions screening in the Cannes Film Festival at the promotional agency’s cocktail party Saturday at Villa Rothschild in Cannes. “Germany is one [...]

  • Steven Gaydos, Jacob Weydemann, Katriel Schory,

    Variety Celebrates 10 Producers to Watch in Cannes

    CANNES–Variety honored its 10 Producers to Watch for 2019 at a brunch on Monday morning at Cannes’ Plage des Palmes. Launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, the annual event fetes 10 producers from the U.S. and the international film community who share a common commitment to bold, original, provocative storytelling. The films produced by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content