Far from only being able to imitate other directors, Brian De Palma is also capable of producing some very special films, and one of those is "Carrie". Already released back in 1998 on a feature-free DVD, this movie now gets the special edition treatment from MGM, and it was worth the wait.
While seasoned DVD veterans may feel initially disappointed by the picture quality, they should go grab the old VHS version as a comparison. The DVD transfer has some minor flaws, but it's a vast improvement over the video release with its horrible faded colours, white blooms and murk burying the image.
The 5.1 sound mix does a wonderful job of enhancing the music score around the speakers and adding rear atmospherics to the school scenes. Time and trouble has also been taken to create directional effects between the speakers, particularly for the impressive final denouement.
Heading up the special features are two documentaries, 'Acting Carrie' and 'Visualising Carrie', which deal with the casting and design of the film. Apart from John Travolta, there doesn't seem to be an actor missing from the comprehensive interviews, that take us from the casting process through to the performances. Along the way, Brian De Palma discusses the relative merits of each actor with obvious affection for his or her individual input.
As we soon learn, De Palma was sitting in with George Lucas during the auditions, which were for both "Star Wars" and "Carrie". Both of them were able to keep the actors they liked, but as Sissy Spacek reveals, De Palma wasn't so keen on her. This enraged her so much that by the time it came for her reading she "blew everyone away", as De Palma explains. Eighty-two minutes of documentaries later and there's still more to come - another featurette, a large animated photo gallery, and an analysis of the book versus the film.
Ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital
Extra Features: Scene selection, 'Acting Carrie' documentary, 'Visualising Carrie' documentary, 'Singing Carrie' featurette, animated photo gallery, 'Stephen King and the Evolution of Carrie' text featurette, original trailer, animate menus, and multiple languages and subtitles, and English for the hearing impaired.