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The K-Files



::Dan Aykroyd : Unplugged on UFOs::
Review: Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs (2005)
Directed by David B. Sereda
Runtime 81 minutes

-The Movie

Of all the people to get unplugged on the subject of unidentified flying objects, Dan Aykroyd was someone definitely not on my list. But as it turns out, the revered comedian, known most notably for his run on Saturday Night Live and for co-staring in the Ghostbusters films, is actually quite the scholar when it comes to UFOs.

In 2001, UFOlogist David Sereda sat down with Aykroyd and interviewed him on topics ranging from the Phoenix Lights and alien abduction to the possibilities of traveling through time and other dimensions. Apparently Sereda thought it an interesting enough interview, as here we are with the feature-length documentary, Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs.

Ultimately, the title does not lie. The majority of the film focuses around an intimidating, cigarette-smoking Aykroyd speaking his mind on a subject he obviously thinks highly of and is quite knowledgeable in. The camerawork in these scenes is primarily an extreme close-up on Aykroyd's face. With minimal editing involved, you really get to see as well as hear Aykroyd responses to Sereda's questions. It also creates a very personalized experience, feeling as if you're sitting right there in the room with them. In this regard, the film's production and editing is spot-on.

To fill in between sound bites of Aykroyd, Sereda goes on to document some of the most recent UFO sightings as well as the usual classics. It seemed that just about all of the big UFO topics got covered in some way, including Roswell, the Phoenix Lights, Area 51, alien abduction, and men in black. Also featured were interview clips from UFOlogy and esoterica bigwigs such as John Hutchinson, Gordon Cooper, and John Schuessler. These clips were further enhanced by an impressive amount of pictorial and video evidence--many of which I had not seen before and were quite convincing.

So, suffice it to say, Unplugged is pretty jam-packed. Unfortunately, unlike the Aykroyd sections, the bulk of the editing in the filler segments appeared to be frenzied and disorganized. Without anything that appeared to be a reason, Sereda moves haphazardly between topics before fully covering them, only to return to it later. Likewise, on more than one occasion, the images or video clips on screen had nothing to do with the topic being discussed. Although none of this is terribly detracting to the overall experience, these minor flaws and the noticeably berserk pacing will be a turnoff to some viewers.

-The DVD

The first thing I noticed about the Unplugged DVD is its quality cover. With a well thought out theme and unique imagery, the case, insert, and disc itself all have the look and feel of professionalism. Likewise, the in-movie graphics, transitions, and title effects are sufficiently attractive. Video and audio quality is also quite good for a documentary of this kind. Dialogue is clearly audible and free from noise or distortion. And although it is kept to a minimalist level, the music by David Sereda and John Johnston is appropriately ambient and mood-setting.

The transfer of Aykroyd's interview segments is great, being free from artifacts and plenty crisp. However, most of the UFO images and video clips are rather blurry and often heavily pixilated. Although this really isn't the fault of the filmmakers, a lot of time is spent zoomed in on the same few blurry clips. For a  believer like myself, they still make for convincing evidence, but skeptical viewers will have more than enough fodder to discredit a lot of what is presented (especially considering more than a few Billy Meier photos are used).

Special features are about as barebones as they come, too. Provided is the Unplugged preview trailer and a trailer to some indie skateboarding movie. So don't expect any behind the scenes footage. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a stand-alone image and video gallery, allowing you to view the featured evidence on its own and at your discretion.  

-Final Thoughts

An excellent compilation of the most pressing matters of UFOlogy today, Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs serves as a great history lesson for part-time UFOlogists and field enthusiasts. However, although the video evidence is particularly convincing, the sheer mass of information presented may be too much to keep track of for newcomers on a single viewing.

When it comes down to it, Unplugged is most successful when working on a personal level with star Dan Aykroyd. Despite Dan's view that the debate as to the existence of UFOs is over, this is not the be-all, end-all of UFOlogy--far from it. But just as Aykroyd describes the field as entertaining and fun, Unplugged is likewise enjoyable.


Information: 9
Editing: 7
Audio/Video: 8
Special Features: 4

Overall (not an average): 8.1

~Khyron, 2007

:: Final Cut ::

Well, that's all for this week. I trust you enjoyed your trip into this shadowy nether-realm known only as the K-Files.

For the latest updates on the world of Khyron, bookmark http://www.khyron.net/. With content updated regularly, you're sure to find your fix for all things entertaining and paranormal. As always, feel free to send any questions/comments/suggestions to KFiles@khyron.net.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next  K-Files, arriving sometime next week. Later.

~Khyron, 2007.


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