Format: Limited Edition Blu-Book
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Pete Postlethwaite, Kevin Spacey, Suzy Amis, Benicio del Toro, Giancarlo Esposito
Studio: MGM, 20th Century Fox
Review by: Bill Jones
The Usual Suspects is part of the lexicon for most film buffs at this point, whether for its big twist ending (and how to execute that ending in a way that lends itself to repeat viewings), its ensemble cast, as the film that catapulted the career of director Bryan Singer (X-Men, Valkyrie) and of course for Keyser Soze and the film’s unreliable narrator.
As the years have passed, many critics have had differing opinions on whether the story of five top-tier criminals who maybe not-so-coincidentally wind up in a police lineup together en route to hashing their next major heist is great or terrible. Many love and some hate the twist ending that involves all but one of the crew being murdered aboard a boat in the middle of their mission gone awry.
But I think what cements The Usual Suspects as part of our culture is that the conversation about it continues. That is still a point of argument and discussions for all these reasons more than 15 years after its release is a testament to more than just its staying power. And for the record, I’m on the side that champions The Usual Suspects as a great film, despite any flaws it may have.
It’s hard not to be a bit torn on the Blu-Book release of The Usual Suspects. The new, thin Blu-Book packaging from 20th Century Fox is absolutely fantastic with a hardcover binding, nice big photos and text facts, bios and more about the film. The indented pocket for the disc in the back of the book is also a nice touch. Presentation is top notch.
But fans get a Blu-ray transfer that is under par in comparison to what other, older films have accomplished in their digital transitions. A bigger mark against it, though, is that there is absolutely zilch in terms of special features, leaving Blu-ray fans out in the cold once again, when a previous DVD Special Edition offered much more. And though the presentation is nice, it’s hard to recommend this over the DVD because of that fact.
For more info, foxmovies.com
Pads & Panels received a copy of the Blu-Book courtesy of the studio for review purposes.