BluRay/DVD Reviews


By • Feb 29th, 2000 •

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What’s up with Gabriel Byrne? He’s Satan in End of Days, then he’s the good priest in Stigmata? With a suitably biblical moniker, I’m surprised it’s taken him this long to find his niche. Sturdy actor though he is, he’s been in so many poor (financially) performing pics, and both of these did well for him. And he did well for both of them.

The FIR screening committee found the film engaging, if confusing, and lavishly overproduced, not what we’d been led to believe by reviews and word of mouth. True, it’s overburdoned with symbolism, and director Rupert Wainright has it all clear in his mind what each and every symbol means on the commentary track, but I wonder how clear it all was to the mass audience. It wasn’t that clear to us. The disc contains his original, preferred ending, which is downbeat, but we felt that after all the misery the unwitting girl went through, she, and we, deserved a little relief. Patricia Arquette gives an uneven performance, but that’s less her fault than the filmmaker’s. It seems to come with the territory when you’re piecing a film together out of music video mini-bites of footage. Every now and then we catch her doing something really wonderful, but it’s hard to sustain a performance in twice as many cuts. Gabriel, however, does fine in that regard. He was holding onto very specific emotions longer, and that may have helped.

The disc quality is free of sin, with lots of rain and thunder to fill the back speakers. Colors and sharpness are immaculate. If possession-themed films are your bag, this is a palpable one to own.

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