DVD Video - Reviews [Interview With The Vampire: Enhanced Edition]
ORIGINAL FULL DVD REVIEW
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
Original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio (Anamorphic Widescreen)
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Brad Pitt, Stephen Rea, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst
· Behind-the-scenes documentary "In the Shadow of the Vampire" featuring never before released interviews with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Stephen Rea, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst, screenwriter/novelist Anne Rice and director Neil Jordan
· Original Theatrical trailer
· All-new introduction by Anne Rice, Neil Jordan and Antonio Banderas
· Feature-length audio commentary by Neil Jordan
· Production notes and filmographies
Reviewer: John Kaemmerling [Staff]
magine for a moment that you are immortal, no one can kill you and you are over 200 years old, yet look the same as when you were 24. Wouldn’t you have an incredible story to tell? Well look no further, we have one for you with the likes of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and Christian Slater!
The hotel room is eerily dark as the skeptical writer [Christian Slater, True Romance, Broken Arrow, Murder in the First] laughs while asking the question,”…so you think you’re a vampire?” Little does he know that he was almost prey to a vampire searching the night for blood. Louis [Brad Pitt, Fight Club, Meet Joe Black, Seven] decides to let him live when he discovers that he can tell this writer his story about becoming a vampire, or ‘birth to darkness’, as he calls it.
It was the year 1791 when Louis lost his wife and child during birth. He longed for death and offered an open invitation for anyone to kill him. It was a vampire that accepted. Lestat [Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible 2, Eyes Wide Shut, Jerry Maguire, Top Gun] bit into him and in turn drained him of life’s sustenance to the point of death, but then stopped and asked him if he really wanted to die. Louis declared that he die right then or live eternally as a vampire.
After becoming a vampire, things changed. He was immortal, but in accordance with vampire lore, he could not venture out in the light. He also had to kill for blood. Unfortunately for Louis, he had a lingering respect for life while his partner Lestat was a merciless killer.
Interview With The Vampire boasts a beautifully written script based on the Anne Rice novel with unbelievably real effects and props. You can thank the legendary Stan Winston [Aliens, Predator] for the awesome makeup effects. The score is also very fitting. It is eerie and gloomy, but with a bit of humorous intonation at times. The acting is top notch in this film, as can be expected by this list of accomplished actors. Interview With The Vampire is enjoyable, but definitely not your typical vampire / monster flick.
The video in this DVD is very dark (hey! It’s a vampire movie!) yet the colors remain nicely saturated. At times when the mood is light, warm colors prevail with rich detail. When the film portrays its dark and cold atmospheric feel, you can perceive the mood portrayed by the visuals displayed very accurately. I noticed absolutely no artifacting or color bleeding. For the most part the presentation is sharp, yet there are occasional portions that seem to be a bit soft. On the whole I found the video to be of excellent visual quality.
The audio selections on this disc are what I like to see. Dolby Digital 5.1 in both English and French as well as an English DTS track. Considering I like to turn up the volume in my home theater, the DTS track proved to be quite impressive. I compared segments of the DTS audio directly with the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and as you might guess, the DTS track was superior. The voices were more clearly heard and the music was better separated from the center stage dialogue allowing further clarity. With this film, I particularly enjoyed this clarity because in almost every moment of the movie there is consistent music in the background across the front stage. The sound effects were transferred clear and bright, but seemed mostly present in the front channels. With a movie of this sort I expected a bit more surround activity coming from the rears. The movements of sound in relation to those on screen were accurate, but again, I on a few occasions I noticed the lack of surround effects in scenes where it might have been useful. In conclusion, the DTS track is very enjoyable adding increased clarity over the Dolby Digital track. I think more DVDs should utilize DTS as Warner has begun to do. It’s a welcome addition.
Put the disc in and up pops an ominous title screen with flames and more of that eerie music. Navigation is easy and menus load quickly on my Pioneer 525 DVD player. The interviews, production notes and the documentary were all a big plus in my book. Being a fan of the film and the talent within, I found the extras very fascinating and informative. You learn a lot about moviemaking and the work involved in the creation of this film from these features.
I didn’t find any bugs in the menus, but I was hoping to see filmographies on more than Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. I also watched a portion of the feature-length commentary by the director. It gives you a decent behind-the-scenes insight from the director.
All in all, I enjoyed all aspects of this DVD and would definitely recommend it to watch over and over again if you’re a fan of the film and/or the actors involved. The presentation is especially rewarding if you switch on the DTS track. The disc is put together very well and is pleasing not only in sight and sound, but with original and entertaining content. Have fun, you’ll spend hours with this one!