Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 5/9/01
Edition - 2000 (2001) - MGM
review by Bill Hunt,
editor of The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
108 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 1:02:29, in chapter
10), Amaray keep case packaging, audio commentary with director
Peter Howitt and editor Zach Staenberg, Antitrust:
Cracking the Code featurette, deleted scenes with
optional commentary, When it All Goes
Wrong Again music video by Everclear, theatrical trailer,
animated film-themed menu screens with music and sound effects,
scene access (16 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0),
French & Spanish (DD 2.0), subtitles: French & Spanish,
is one of those movies where... well... to be fair.... Ah, the hell
with it. Antitrust bites.
There's just no way around it. The movie is terrible. I'm talking
The story is as follows. Tim Robbins plays Gary Winston (think Bill
Gates), the head of a global market-dominating computer company,
N.U.R.V. (think Microsoft), that's about to release a revolutionary
new piece of communications software called Synapse (who cares what
it stands for - think Windows). Enter Ryan Phillippe, who plays Milo
Hoffman, a brash young computer genius that Winston recruits to help
him finish Synapse on schedule. It seems like the chance of a
lifetime for Milo (never mind the "all code should be free!"
credo that Milo and his programmer buddies proclaim) and so he
relocates himself and his girlfriend (played by Claire Forlani -
yowza!) to Portland, Oregon to take the job. So far so good, right?
Well, Milo quickly discovers that Winston is stealing code from the
best programmers in the business to complete Synapse on time
and he's killing them to cover it up. Insert appropriately ominous
You'd think that would be a cool premise for a film right?
Unfortunately, Antitrust is so
predictable and amateurish that you'll feel insulted for having
watched it. First of all, Philippe, Forlani and much of the
supporting cast couldn't act their way out of a plastic bag.
Philippe, in particular, is just saccharine awful. These folks were
definitely cast for looks alone. Only Robbins is truly good (he has
a lot of fun with his over-the-top role), and Rachael Leigh Cook (as
a fellow programmer working on Synapse) is passable. Second, the
directon is just silly. There's a scene, about 2/3rds of the way in,
where Milo starts to figure out what's going on... and the director
actually crash zooms/pushes into his face (lest we miss Milo's look
of shock) and cuts to a quick flashback montage to previous scenes
(just to make sure we get it - like we didn't remember what happened
20 minutes earlier?). There were moments where my wife and I just
laughed out loud. Throw in several SERIOUS plot holes, and a lame "This
is going to be important" plot point involving sesame seeds (no
kidding) and you've got a stinker that's only worth a rent if you
want a good chuckle.
And that's too bad, because this DVD is pretty nice for what it is.
The video is presented in a good looking anamorphic widescreen
transfer, with great color and contrast, and very nice overall
clarity. The audio is available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and, while it
isn't going to blow anyone away, it features nice ambience and
decent bass. A few directional effects are present in the mix, and
dialogue and music sound clear and audible at all times.
Extras include an audio commentary by director Peter Howitt and
editor Zach Staenberg (funny given how seriously they seem to take
the film, and how bad it is), a short featurette on the making of
the film, several deleted scenes (with optional commentary), an
alternate opening and ending to the film, the When
it All Goes Wrong Again music video by Everclear and a
theatrical trailer. Not awesome stuff, but better than you'd expect.
But not good enough, unfortunately, to make up for the film itself.
Right off the bat with Antitrust,
you can tell you're in for a cheesy flick. The opening credits start
with a visionary Robbins speech, intercut with shots of mysterious
computer code. You're thinking, "Hhhmmm... some kind of secret
computer program, a virus maybe..." and yet it's easily
identifiable as basic HTML. I guess the director figured that his
teen audience would be too stupid to notice. Funny - that's exactly
the crowd that's mostly likely to be able to spot HTML. Anyway, I've
said enough. Rent it, buy it... whatever. But you've been warned.