Plot: What’s it about?
Arlington Road was a small budget thriller that was to come out at the time of the Littleton, Co shootings(not planned of course) and was pushed back to summer where it died in the wake of Phantom Menace. This being a small studio release also didn’t help the cause and normally I am reluctant to watch such a movie but was surprised and delighted so much that I had to go buy the movie the next day. Arlington Road’s concept is about paranoia but takes it to another level and uses this paranoia in a suspenseful way, quite a change I might add. Jeff Bridges plays a father who is suffering from the loss of his wife and saves the life of the neighbors kid and becomes friends with them. The neighbors played by Joan Cusack and Tim Robbins are an introverted pair and Bridges has an unsure feeling about them and their past as it is murky.
Bridges, who teaches American History and specializes in Terrorism, has his own suspicions about the next door neighbors and decides to let people know about it. While the story could have been delivered in a typical Hollywood overdone way, the director(Mark Pellington) delivers the goods in a stylish suspenseful way. Also Jeff Bridges does these bomb movies(remember Blown Away) quite well and delivers a solid performance. This is quite a wonderful movie to watch and quite honestly will surprise you with how well it is done. As noted before, the acting is quite well done and I will try not to give out the major points of the plot as to keep you in suspense. The point of a suspense movie right? I would be like if I told you the ending of Sixth Sense, It would ruin the experience.
Video: How does it look?
Laserdisc releases by Columbia/Tristar are very poor and strangely enough DVD releases by the same company are almost the best out there, Kind of odd I know. The picture doesn’t disappoint and delivers wonderful colors and vibrant picture. No artifacts, bleeding nothing. It is about as perfect as we can get.
Audio: How does it sound?
Like the video, the audio is terrific. The bass is frequent and extremely responsive. The front channels are used respectively and deliver a directional stage and the rears fill in nicely. Not the best that 5.1 could deliver, but extremely adequate considering the movie.
Supplements: What are the extras?
While most studios will give consumers a small amount of extras for this low budget of a title, Columbia gives us what we want, Extras!! and lots of them. First off, It has a commentary with Jeff Bridges that was a bit weak and also an insightful commentary by the director Mark Pellington who seemed at ease talking to us. Next up is the alternate ending, this is a nice feature and for a suspense movie I am sure he had multiple ideas and also discussed them. A definite bonus. Next was the making of the movie featurette that most movies give a short glimpse of, but not Arlington Road which gives us the consumer a more in depth look. There also talent bios and motion menus to round out the list. Needless to say, I spent over an hour looking through the different extras and that alone is worth the price of the disc. To top it off, the movie was terrific and the sound was rather decent. At least rent this if you aren’t sure of the plot, but if you are leaning I would go buy it and enjoy.