It is 2027 Los Angeles and troubled cyborg cop Alex Raine (Olivier Gruner) is ordered by his former boss, police commissioner
Farnsworth (Tim Thomerson), to apprehend his ex-partner and lover Jared (Majorie Monaghan). Alex finds all is not as it seems
as he finds not everything is as it seems in this sci-fi action film from writer/ director Albert Pyun.
NEMESIS is one of those sci-fi B movie cyberpunk classics I first discovered on VHS in the mid 1990s and it was one of
the first films I discovered from Albert Pyun (I watched CYBORG by the time I watched NEMESIS). It has a great cast of genre
actors including Tim Thomerson, Majorie Monaghan, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jackie Earle Haley, Brion James, and Nicholas Guest.
It was a movie made at the height of when movies did well on VHS. It has been out-of-print for years after it had a DVD release
back in 1998. There was a blu-ray release of NEMESIS back in 2014 in Germany.
I had a love for this movie over the years. It has lots of ideas which are unfortunately overtaken by the action as the
movie goes on, but the action scenes are some of the best action directed by Albert Pyun. This movie was also my introduction
to Olivier Gruner who had a great sci-fi action career for a few years starting with this movie (now I wish AUTOMATIC would
get a release on blu-ray and DVD). Gruner wasn't asked back for the sequels because they were lower budget affairs compared
to the original and Gruner's salary would have eaten up half of the budget.
The HD presentation of NEMESIS can be watched in either a cropped 1.78:1 or the original 2.35:1. The transfer is about
the same one used for the 2014 German blu-ray (the Platinum Cult Collection one). The English subtitles are a little off
as they feature dialog not featured in this version of the movie. There is one scene early in the movie (during disc Chapter
2) that has two lines of dialogue showing in the subtitle track only to be replaced with another line. You can hear the original
dialogue in the director's cut (NEMESIS 2.0) and the Japanese extended cut.
MVD has mostly hit it out of the park with this collector's edition, but there are a couple of things that are missing
from this release compared to the German blu-ray which I have to compare for this review. The German blu-ray has all four
NEMESIS movie trailers in HD and widescreen where MVD only present them in 1.33:1 SD.
The blu-ray disc does present NEMSIS 2.0 with a director's commentary with Albert Pyun, but the source material presented
for the disc is like poor VHS quality. MVD did film two new interviews for this release- the first with Albert Pyun as he
talks about the project and why he wrote the movie under a pseudonym and the second interview is with producer Eric Karson
who talks about the origin of the movie, the production, and the sequels made at a lower budget to be profitable for the direct
to video market. The disc does have previews for all NEMESIS movies, CRAZY SIX, SHADOWBUILDER, and DOUBLE DRAGON.
The DVD disc contains NEMESIS 2.0 (2.35:1 SD) without the commentary track and the Japanese extended cut (1.33:1 SD with
brunt in Japanese subtitles (and it looks like it was probably sourced from a laserdisc transfer) which features an alternate
ending and extended violence (while not including part of the climax). Other extras include 1.33:1 SD vintage featurettes
made for the promotion of the movie back in 1993 (BEHIND THE SCENES: THE MAKING OF NEMESIS, MAKING OF- STUNTS AND EFEFCTS,
MAKING OF- VISUAL EFFECTS, KILLCOUNT featurette, and an interview with Olivier Gruner), a behind-the-scenes gallery, Key Art
photo gallery, TV spots, and introductions by Olivier Gruner and Albert Pyun (who also did an afterward) which probably were
recorded for the German blu-ray. Also included in the collector's edition is a small collectible poster.
FINAL ANALYSIS: I am glad NEMESIS is out on blu-ray in North America. It is an almost perfect collector's edition minus
trailers in HD, a retrospective documentary, and the English subtitle track problem (plus the audio sync some viewers are
experiencing on 1.78:1 version between 1:04 and 1:07). It is a decent sci-fi action movie which stands out above many of
the cult sci-fi action released back in the 1990s. It is miles above the sequels if you wonder if you should check out the
three NEMESIS sequels directed by Albert Pyun (which MVD Rewind Collection is releasing on March 26th).
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