Reviewer's Rating 5 out of 5   User Rating 5 out of 5
The Usual Suspects Special Edition DVD (1995)

As the DVD reveals in some detail, "The Usual Suspects" not only came out of nowhere to become one of the definitive films of the 90s, but it started filming before "Pulp Fiction" - a movie whose success many initially thought it was trying to cash in on.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

Picture Back in 1998, "The Usual Suspects" was one of the only DVDs you could buy in the UK. It was also (in technical terms) the suckiest disc-shaped piece of poop that ever did disgrace DVD. This new disc... is very much better in terms of picture quality.

Sound Hey, that goes for sound too! 5.1 - very nice. John Ottman's score works beautifully in a mix that adds another layer of sophistication to an already classy dame of a movie.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Audio Commentary One (Disc One) With director Bryan Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie. The title for the movie came from a magazine article that McQuarrie turned into the poster design (subsequently used for the movie), which he then presented to Singer, and from there they built the film (a technique used by many indie studios of the past like Hammer and Cannon). This is quite an anecdotal commentary, and you'll find plenty of chat about what changed through the drafts, and from script to final edit.

Audio Commentary Two (Disc One) John Ottman sits in for track two, and he was in the interesting position of not only editing the movie but composing the music score for it, too. At times Ottman does get quite technical, but he has a very clear understanding of how the film fits together having worked so comprehensively on it. As a result his track makes for a satisfying and interesting experience.

Disc Two Special Features

Pursuing the Usual Suspects This 23-minute documentary opens with footage of McQuarrie in 1994 saying, "My hope will be that no one really knows what's going on until the end of the film." So successful was he at this aim that Kevin Spacey had to read the script twice before he twigged, but luckily for the film makers he picked the very role they hoped he'd go for. As for how the other actors got involved, well, you'll find out from this feature if you don't already know.

Doin' Time with the Usual Suspects In this 25-minute documentary, Singer admits that were he to direct this movie now, he'd have problems being as clear in his ambitions. At the time, he treated it very much like the 8mm films he'd make with his friend - where there'd be only one way in his mind. Also covered is the behaviour of the cast, which was hobbled with laughter during most of the shoot - to the point where Singer had to chew them out over their behaviour. What did they do as a result? Laughed even harder, of course.

Keyser Soze: Lie or Legend Interviewee Stephen Baldwin sums up the film as "a maze of lies, not clues". This 17-minute piece deals with the editing of the film to make it exactly that, and the difficulty which the cast had pronouncing the mythic Keyser Soze.

Introducing the Usual Suspects This is a six-minute featurette from the time of release, and is only of vague interest.

Heisting Cannes with the Usual Suspects "The success of the film became evident in waves," says Singer on the rampant reception the movie got in Cannes, as you'll see from this footage of the event.

Singer's Gag Reel Five minutes of Gabriel Byrne going "feck", plus other highlights.

Taking out the Usual Suspects In this section are outtakes from the cast and crew interviews conducted for this DVD, plus Ottman on using the film to launch his career as a composer, and a short moment with Kevin Spacey "and friend".

Deleted Scenes and trailers John Ottman introduces five deleted scenes, plus the eventual release trailer. You'll also find the international trailer and TV spots on this DVD.

Region: 2
Chapters: 32
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Technical Features: Scene selection, animated menus, multiple languages and subtitles, and English captions for the hearing impaired.

This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.

End Credits

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie

Stars: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Pete Postlethwaite, Kevin Spacey, Benicio Del Toro, Suzy Amis

Genre: Thriller

Length: 105 minutes

Cinema: 25 August 1995

DVD: 29 April 2002

Country: USA