Twisted DVD: Review By justincase

  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
Ashley Judd plays Jessica Sheppard, a recently promoted San Francisco police inspector working her first big homicide case that may very well turn out to be a serial killer. The problem, however, for Jessica, is that all the evidence points to her as the perp. Samuel L. Jackson plays the police commissioner and Jessica's surrogate father, who helped raise her after her father became a killer and ultimately ended up killing her mother and himself. Andy Garcia is Jessica's new partner who seems to have her best interests at heart and is trying to build on the burgeoning chemistry between himself and Jessica. David Strathairn rounds out the principal cast as the police psychologist who wants to help Jessica understand herself and the skeletons in her various closets.

After realizing that the rapidly mounting body-count fills out in the exact order of her most recent notches in her bed post, Jessica, her partner and the commissioner all want, desperately, to get to the bottom of the killings. At the same time, Jessica's illicit off-hours behavior contributes to her accelerating loss of credibility in the department.

Philip Kaufman (director) weaves a reasonably tight psycho-thriller played by an all-star cast. Overall, this film should have delivered a much more substantial punch. Judd, Jackson and Garcia are all capable of much, much more. There were several scenes where the dialogue and direction definitely dropped the ball. There were a few that were downright uncomfortable to watch, seeming contrived and over-the-top. One scene, between Judd and Garcia was so bad, we almost had to fast-forward past it. It was just downright unsettling.

Not entirely unpredictable, the film is a reasonable piece of entertainment and will kill-off a little over an hour and a half of your time. The theatrical box office receipts on this little piece of fluff do tell the story, though. At only $25 million, this film that was plauded as A snappy, sexy trhiller... by Michael Sragow of the Baltimore Sun is really a decent attempt at a psycho-thriller with a reach at an erotic element. Sragow's snippet, in truth, would more accurately describe what the film aspires to be.
The disc delivers a rather unexceptional blend of special features. The list includes:

* Commentaryby Director Philip Kaufman

* Creating a Twisted Web of Intriguefeaturette

* The Inspectors: Clues to the Crimefeaturette

* San Francisco: Scene of the Crimefeaturette

* Cutting Room Floordeleted / extended scenes

The featurettes were reasonably entertaining, but only if it is too early to turn-in and too late to start another movie and if there's nothing interesting happening on Fox News Channel. Nothing really groundbreaking here. Yeah, the script was compelling to the producer and director and, yeah, the project interested Ashley Judd. Bottom line is that all of that is a "given". If it weren't, we wouldn't have this fine bit of cinematic fluff to add to our collections, preserved for all eternity on a shiny optical disc. We don't really need to hear this stuff or see it played out over this many little mini-features. One behind-the-scenes or making-of featurette would have easily done all this stuff justice.
On the new 23" LCD TV and DVDR that Philips provided for my evaluation, the progressive scan display on this disc was exceptional. Solid transfer, with no digital artifacts. The only think I'd have liked to see would have been a bit more contrast, with blacker blacks. This isn't of course, an issue with the disc and is probably strictly the result of operator error in the settings for the picture. I can guarantee that I'll be playing with this more in the VERY near future.
In 5.1 Dolby Digital, the sound blisters off this disc. The tracks are blended to add texture to the psycho-thriller storyline. If you're not careful, when your sub thumps and the sounds surround you, you'll fall right off the couch.
A decent film if you don't over-think the thing or hold its many faults against it. Just relax and let it play. When it's done, return it to Blockbuster.

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