Plot: What’s it about?
What starts out as a crime drama quickly takes a turn toward the demonic as Detective John Hobbes, (Denzel Washington) slowly becomes a believer in the supernatural and realizes that evil is stalking him. As a game of cat (pay attention to the beginning…oh I mean the end…the beginning) and mouse ensues with the demon, his lieutenant, played by Donald Sutherland…I loved him in Kelly’s Heroes as Oddball…suspects Hobbes is responsible for a recent string of crimes. Desperate and on the run he must find some way to battle this ever changing spirit. I don’t want to give away too much of what happens, so definitely add this one to your collection or a least rent it.
I wanted to say more about the story but it would be easy to spoil it for you. Let’s talk about some interesting things besides the plot. Nicholas Kazan wrote the screenplay (yes he is the son of Elia Kazan, the multi-talented man who was the recipient of an Honorary Oscar this year and the man who folded under the pressure of the “Red Scare”) and I thought it was a refreshing and original look at good vs. evil. Many interesting camera shots (notice the camera focus on the birds flying in front of the subway car) captivate you as much as the demonic theme of the film. A good supporting cast lends the right balance to Denzel’s plight because his foe could be anyone or any…
Video: How does it look?
Your choice of standard or widescreen format, I admittedly watched the standard side…I just do sometimes. Good city locations and use of different textures, dark, clear and gritty to name a few (listen to the audio commentary) for the right scenes look great on this DVD.
Audio: How does it sound?
Quality sound through the entire movie in all aspects of 5.1 and even some bits of good music…Beck (Where it’s at) is heard in the beginning and the great Stones song Sympathy for the Devil (from Let it Bleed) starts up at the end…how fitting… and plays on as the credits roll by…it sounds great in 5.1.
Supplements: What are the extras?
No shortage of the good stuff. Excellent bios on the main cast/crew makes for very interesting reading. I found Dawn Steel to be the most interesting…what’s your take? Like Message in a Bottle, this DVD has a feature length commentary but after two hours of movie and all the special features it’s hard to sit through another two hours and listen to all the comments. I’d like to know how many can do it.