Quantum Project

Directed by Eugenio Zanetti
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Fay Masterson, John Cleese.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated (contains some brief, discreet sexuality; no profanity or violence)

Review by Matt Heffernan
May 6, 2000

If you believe the promotion, this is an exciting time for the internet and the world of film. Quantum Project is being hailed as the first feature film made for distribution over the world wide web. Well, that's a bit of a strech, but with so much hyperbole in the air, such statements are expected. In reality, this film is only 32 minutes and 24 seconds long -- that's including credits. Last time I checked, that would still make it a short, but this film is certainly a record holder: it's the longest and most expensive film ever made for this medium.

The online movie site SightSound.com is selling it for download (at US$3.95). They also sell and rent real features that never made theatrical distribution. One such film is My Name Is Dirt, which I reviewed at the request of its director, who thankfully sent me a tape instead of forcing me to download the monstrous file. These are the only "online" films that I have seen, and they did have one thing in common: they weren't any good.

Stephen Dorff stars in Quantum Project as Dr. Paul Pentcho, a quantum physicist. While conducting an experiment with a particle accelerator, an electron seemingly talked to him, saying, "What do you want?" He is obviously distressed by this, and he gets into a car accident in a tunnel. At the scene, he meets Mia (Fay Masterson), literally the girl of his dreams. She takes him back to her place, then some very strange things happen.

They are so strange, in fact, that I couldn't begin to describe them. It all involved a lot of computer imaging, lightning storms, and John Cleese. Somehow there were references to (or rip-offs of -- I'm still not sure) Citizen Kane, The English Patient, and even Peter Pan. I don't think I could spoil any plot elements, because the film didn't seem to have any.

There were no characters to speak of, either. I know that a half-hour isn't a lot of time for character development, but they certainly could have done more. The style of the film was like an extended music video for the score. So, the actors in the film are no more important than any figures you would see on MTV -- just little snippets in between fast cuts that make no sense.

According to the filmmakers, Quantum Project will be re-cut several times, focusing on different aspects of the film. So, this review is only for the initial version of the film, and may become obsolete. I know that I won't waste my time downloading and watching any of the new cuts, and I recommend that you not even bother with the first.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Quantum Project (2000)

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Review © 2000 Matt Heffernan