The Usual Suspects (1995) – DVD Review

Usual Suspects DVD

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Christopher McQuarrie
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Spacey

Features:

  • Deleted scenes with John Ottman introduction
  • “Pursuing the Suspects” Featurette
  • “Keyser Soze – Lie or Legend” Featurette
  • Original “Heisting Cannes with The Usual Suspects” Featurette
  • Gag reel with an introduction by Singer
  • Running audio commentary with Singer & McQuarrie
  • Running audio commentary with composer John Ottman
  • TV spots
  • Theatrical trailers

Released by: MGM
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Own it.

Yes of course you should own it. Even though you’ve already determined the identity of Keyser Soze, you should want to watch this movie over and over again. Why? Because you learn something new every single time you watch it. For example, the first time you see Kevin Spacey‘s character at the police station, he looks bored, weak. Give the film a second viewing, and he’s not bored–he’s SCHEMING. I love a film that boggles the mind and prompts you to watch it repeatedly, looking for the moments in the film that slipped past you the previous time. Now, after years of staring at its first, mediocre incarnation of its DVD at the video store, The Usual Suspects has a decent DVD to take home.

Beginning with the viewing of the film itself, there’s a noticeable improvement. As I recall, the transfer on the first DVD was pure crap. With this upgraded DVD, the video is as crisp and clear as you can expect a film like this to be. The 5.1 audio track isn’t stellar, but it’s still an improvement and kept me happy and the neighbors awake. Fortunately, this isn’t a mega-budget action movie by any means, and doesn’t really warrant an overwhelming sensory experience, but rather a clean one, that doesn’t intrude upon the film itself.

The special features are where this disc really builds its value, and where it becomes clear that Bryan Singer and company have actually put in some extra work to make this DVD worth the price. In addition to the original Featurette, and the usual trailers and artwork, the disc features four all new featurettes: “Pursuing the Suspects” Parts 1 & 2, “Keyser Soze – Lie or Legend,” and “Doing Time With the Suspects.” For these new additions, which will take you from the casting process, through the film’s production, to its successful release, Singer, McQuarrie, and much of cast (Including Oscar winners Kevin Spacey and Benicio Del Toro) provided all new interviews.

Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects

Kevin Spacey, innocently enjoying some coffee, in The Usual Suspects

The tag-team commentary with Singer and McQuarrie is excellent–not too technical, certainly not too serious, and just fun to hear. Editor/Composer John Ottman’s commentary, however, just about put me to sleep. Probably the worst part of the disc’s features is the gag-reel and deleted scenes section of the disc. Firstly, the gag reel is just plain strange and not really funny. Singer himself even admits that it was just a random addition that he didn’t want to put on the disc, but it was added anyway to pump up the disc’s value. And the deleted scenes, introduced by Ottman, were just boring. None of the deleted or extended scenes really added to the film’s experience as I expect such supplements should, nor were Ottman’s introductions particularly informative. Still, despite all this, what you’re left with is a solid disc, an excellent movie, and some new featurettes which easily make the disc a great buy.

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By | 2011-07-19T07:45:03+00:00 December 7th, 2003|Reviews|0 Comments

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