Plot: What’s it about?
Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is a scientist who works with transporting matter in new and unusual ways. Brundle is a brilliant worker and person, but he sometimes wanders into some eccentric behavior habits. In between experiments Brundle tries to gain the affections of a reporter named Veronica (Geena Davis). He uses his natural charms to win her over, but soon resorts to offering her some inside information on his latest experiments, which could revolutionize the way travel and other tasks are done. His new work revolves around transporting matter from one place to another via teleporter, which he has had some success with. After he is able to move an animal via his creation, he decides to attempt to transport himself. But a mistake happens and Brundle finds himself in a world of danger and mutation.
The director of The Fly was David Cronenberg, who certainly knows how to make an unusual and unnerving film. This proves to be no exception to that idea and Cronenberg delivers a potent and downright eerie movie, equaling and perhaps surpassing the original version. This film is loaded with disturbing images and visuals, which add volumes of suspense and tension to the atmosphere of the movie. In fact, I think this movie is worth watching just for the visuals alone though there are many more reasons for viewing it also. Cronenberg seems to have a mastery when it comes to making a movie that sticks in your head and this one sticks even more than usual. This Blu-ray release offers improvements in all areas, even if the visual transfer isn’t as impressive as I hoped. In other words, an upgrade is essential for fans, who should be quite pleased here.
Video: How does it look?
The Fly is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I’ve seen this movie in numerous incarnations and while this is the best of the lot, it won’t have you in disbelief. I think the main benefit here is the overall refinement, as compression issues are absent and no artifacts are present. This gives us a cleaner picture and allows the visuals to shine, which is great. I wasn’t dazzled by detail however, as in side by side comparisons with the Collector’s Edition DVD, this new transfer doesn’t offer a lot of added depth. There is a step up in most scenes, but by no means a drastic one. I also think black levels are more accurate here, though colors aren’t given much of a boost. In the end, this is a very good visual effort, but it doesn’t provide the kind of crystal clear, razor sharp presentation we’ve come to expect from high definition.
Audio: How does it sound?
As always with Fox Blu-ray discs, we have a lossless DTS HD option and it sounds fine. I couldn’t tell a whole lot of difference with this new soundtrack, but that isn’t a concern. The audio was impressive on the Collector’s Edition DVD and it sounds as good, if not a touch better in this release. The musical score is effective and sounds very rich in this mix, which uses all the surrounds to present the score’s texture. The sound effects remain subtle most of the time, but some scenes will have those speakers working double time to keep up with the action. I found no problems with dialogue either, which came across clean and with no separation or volume troubles. The material does come off a bit dated, but it still sounds quite solid. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Korean.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc has most of the supplements from the Collector’s Edition DVD, plus some new goodies. All new for this version are a trivia track and Fear of the Flesh: The Making of the Fly, an extensive look inside the production. This is a loaded, interactive piece that has enough information to satisfy even the most demanding of fans. The rest of the extras are brought back from the Collector’s Edition DVD, starting off with an audio commentary track with David Cronenberg and as usual, he provides an insightful session. He is well spoken and recalls a lot of production details, as well as some humorous stories from the shoot. A nice blend of brisk anecdotes, background information on the project, and more technical information. Next up are such treats as a trio of featurettes that examine the production from start to finish. All three stages of production are covered here and if you want to know about it, chances are you’ll find out within one of these pieces. I was thrilled to find some deleted scenes and the “never before seen” alternate end sequence, which are sure to have fans in a panic to watch them as fast as possible. You can also check out the original short story, the original screenplay, and the rewrite by Cronenberg, which lets see how the material evolved over the course of the project. This release also includes a few promotional featurettes, rare special effects test footage, interactive articles, tv spots, and the film’s teaser and theatrical trailers.