XChange (2000) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's comments in white 

XChange (2000) is a very smart little Canadian Sci-Fi thriller. It is set in the not too distant future, where we have become a two class society. We have the "corpies," or corporate executives, who are rich, vain, and enjoy all of the privileges of wealth, and the rest of the people who work their tails off merely to get by. We also have a unique new method of travel, known as floating, where two people can exchange bodies, even at long distance. This is done by the XChange company, which has a monopoly. They have also invented a clone shell, a human body that can survive up to a week with a real person's spirit inside. These are used primarily for cheap labor.

There is also an entire underworld of anti-corpie terrorists.  Our hero, Toffler (actually played by three people) is a high ranking corpie who is forced to "float" to get from New York to San Francisco in two hours. His ex girlfriend, Pascale Bussières is a reporter highly critical of the corpies. When he tries to return to New York, he learns that someone has stolen his body. Since he must return his current body to its owner,  he is temporarily stored in a clone. He has five days to live as a clone, after which he either must get back to his own body or die.

He returns to New York against the wishes of XChange to look for his body, and ends up in the middle of a high stakes game of corporate politics, greed and terrorism. I completely enjoyed this film the first time through. Nothing seemed especially ground-breaking, but it had just enough sci-fi to earn a place in that genre, and was also a very good thriller. 

When I watched the film a second time, months later, I realized that the plot seemed to invent new rules every time it was backed into a corner, and they frequently had to narrate the story rather than show it, which often turns me off. I lost interest half way through, feeling there was the basis for a good film here, and the cast was fine, but a better sc4ript could have been written.


It had lots of breast exposure and simulated sex from Pascale Bussières, Janet Kidder, Lisa Bronwyn Moore and Amy Sloan.
Scoop's comments in yellow:

I think they did a great job with a zero budget. The movie is eminently watchable, there is plenty of sex and nudity, and the concepts are interesting. It is somewhat confusing to remember whether X should think that he's meeting Y when Y is in body Z, especially if X himself may not be in his own body, that sort of thing, but I didn't feel that was really a major problem as the plot played itself out. 

The only major flaw is something that they couldn't control. It's a sci-fi film that takes place in some indeterminate future, yet the low budget did not allow the filmmakers to make the future look even a little bit different from the present. I think San Francisco had one extra computer-generated skyscraper, and that was it. Everything else appeared to be taking place in our time and place. Therefore, the imagination of the script wasn't backed by the imagination of the visuals. Let's face it, a sci-fi film with no unique look and feel, no sense of otherness, is pretty bland. I think it would have been very interesting to see what they could have done with some money to create their own universe, ala Dark City or Blade Runner.

But they didn't have that money, and I think they did great with what they did have. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features.

The budget problems extended to the actors as well, I guess. Three different people played Toffler, the hero, but he should have had exactly the same personality in all three bodies, and I didn't really see any continuity. I think I would have worked harder to cast those three roles. Oh, it wasn't a horrible flaw. It's not like the first guy was Nathan Lane and the second guy was Tom Waits, but I just never got any sense that it was the same persona occupying those three bodies.

The Critics Vote

  • Those critics who reviewed it saw it in the range of two and a half stars. BBC 3/5, Apollo 64/100. We generally agree.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.4
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, Tuna rates this film is a C-, Scoopy a C to C+, but we both enjoyed the concept, the plot, and the eroticism, and we both recommend it to fans of Sci-Fi or naked women or both.

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