Twenty-two years ago, Billy Bob Thornton killed a cashier in a botched robbery. He hasdwelt on this crime ever since, and doesn’t want to be released from prison. He is, though, and re-enters society very much adrift. His life begins to take on a sense of direction when he meetsand strikes up relationships with an embittered preacher (Morgan Freeman), a young woman onauto-destruct (Kirsten Dunst) and the sister of the man he killed (Holly Hunter). Low key,gorgeously photogr…phed, and the title isn’t completely ironic.
A very moody, very nicely done soundtrack. There are strong contributions to the ambiancefrom the music and the effects, which intertwine with each other. The sound of the wind isparticularly well done, creating a simultaneously chilly and enveloping mood. The dialogue isdistortion free, and Thornton’s voice is reproduced with a very rich timbre. A first-classeffort.
The format is 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is gorgeous. The palette could bechilly blues (in a subway) or warm reds and browns, and the effects are always striking. Thebeautiful cinematography is given full justice in the transfer, and there is no grain to spoil it. Theblacks are very deep, but the contrasts are strong and the night scenes are never murky. There is alittle bit of edge enhancement visible, but all in all this is a gorgeous-looking disc.
The menu is basic, and the font is a bit on the small side. The featurette is more thoughtfuland (at 15 minutes) more thorough than many of its ilk, though it is still a promotional tool. Thecommentary is by writer/director Ed Solomon, producer Addam Meriims and editor PietroScalia, and is a much more restrained, informative round table discussion than many I’ve had towade through. Solomon’s themes are certainly addressed, as are technical elements, sometimes inextreme detail (I now know more about the financing of the film than I would have really thoughtnecessary). There are also trailers for Levity, Laurel Canyon and The ManWithout a Past.
The plot may sound like a total downer, but an undercurrent of sly wit provides the story withsome of the levity of the title. The writing is strong (if a bit unsubtle in the presentation of itsthemes), the performances assured, and the look quite breathtaking.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary