After Image—Miramax

Video: 3
Audio: 3
Extras: 2

After Image stars that A-list phenom John Mellencamp as a burned-out crime-scene photographer who returns to his hometown and hooks up with a woman with mysterious visions. What happens beyond that is anyone's guess, as this bleak and convoluted thriller plays out with no semblance of a coherent story. It's beautifully shot, but the cinematography isn't enough to distract you from the deficient script.

The 20-minute making-of, refreshingly shot home-video-style, is the DVD's highlight, and it may be the first interview with a producer in front of a urinal. Its emphasis is on the difficulty of mounting a low-budget film, and it plays out like an episode of Project Greenlight. An interested studio, we learn, agreed to finance the film if the producer could enlist a name celebrity. Well, Mellencamp's a name, right? This is also the first disc I've seen in a while to include screens of written production notes—an affront to anyone who thought those were relegated to the $5 DVD bin at Wal-Mart.

The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture is sufficient if not stellar. This is a dreary movie and was deliberately photographed in a drab manner. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is marked mainly by a strong bass line that underscores the movie's ominous tone.

Star power aside, there's little to recommend about this film unless you like your thrills delivered with question marks.