First Independent Movie ••½Picture •••• Sound •••½Extras •••
Writer David Mamet teams up with director/horrormeister Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) on a movie that tries to be equal parts mystical, erudite, and shocking. William H. Macy is sufficiently creepy as the antihero of the title, and you also get treated to Mamet's patented staccato dialogue. Trouble is, it's all philosophically lean - and neither sexy nor scary. There's plenty of image detail lurking in the seedy bars, strip clubs, and brothels that Edmond is drawn to. Colors are crisp and accurate, both under the lights and in the shadows, with no noticeable smearing or oversaturation. The 5.1-channel mix offers a wide city-at-night soundstage, with some nice punctuating effects and pulsing midbass when Edmond succumbs to the lure of ultra-violence. Gordon and Mamet provide a commentary, where it's made clear that the movie in their minds was much more compelling than the one we see on the screen. Other extras include some decent deleted scenes and a by-the-book making-of featurette. [R] English, Dolby Digital 5.1 and stereo; letterboxed (1.78:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.