The 5 minute feature film, volume 3: virus | Adam Lippe

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Adam Lippe

The 5 minute feature film, volume 3: Virus

Here is my 5 minute interpretation of John Bruno’s Virus, a sci-fi thriller from 1999 starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Sutherland, and William Baldwin. As a movie, about a mysterious electrical life-force that animates killer robots on an abandoned Russian research vessel in the South Pacific, Virus is somehow simultaneously frantic and low energy. It’s the slowest moving 90 minute haunted house movie on record. Bruno was obviously hired because he helped design the visual effects on Terminator 2 (and a number of other James Cameron projects), but he appears to know very little about adapting his expertise towards putting together an entire movie. Virus is heavily fragmented; it’s either a glacially paced tour of an abandoned Russian ship (complete with the silly moment where Curtis happens to have a book about the Russian ship on board their own rusty, dilapidated ship) or a jittery mix of CGI cloud formations, tsunamis, and silly looking miniatures being blown up. The conclusion is so rushed it almost functions as parody; Curtis fights a robot, gets knocked unconscious, wakes up, and then finds an escape route, all before a bomb with a 15 minute timer goes off. The fact that it feels like there are still quite a few scenes missing from this section means that the editors finally, somewhat, came to their senses about how time works. As for my edit of the film, one amusing thing is that there almost wasn’t enough plot to fill out a 5 minute montage, and so I explored the endless repetition of scenes and shots more than worrying about hammering home the story points. The soundtrack features tracks from Michael Nyman’s score for The Claim and Henry Mancini’s theme from a certain 1970s TV show.

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