directed by Patty Jenkins
USA 2003

The true-life story of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute executed in 2002 in Florida after being convicted of murdering six men. While Wuornos confessed to the six murders, including a policeman, she claimed to have killed only in self-defense, resisting violent assaults while working as a prostitute. In 1989-90, a love story unfolds in the midst of the horrors and pathologies of two misfits: Wuornos (Charlize Theron), a drifter prostitute and Selby Wall (Christina Ricci), sent by her parents to live with an aunt in Florida in order to "cure her homosexuality". Nearing suicidal despair, Aileen wanders into a bar, where she meets Selby and falls in love. To keep her and Selby's relationship alive, she continues hooking, only to fuel an increasingly escalating deadly rage, a fury vented with a lurid string of killings and the media's sordid designation of her as the first female serial killer--a monster.

***

I confess that I walked into the screening not knowing who the star was, and that I did not recognize Charlize Theron until I read her name in the closing credits. Not many others will have that surprise; she was just honored as best actress of the year by the National Society of Film Critics. I didn't recognize her -- but more to the point, I hardly tried, because the performance is so focused and intense that it becomes a fact of life. Observe the way Theron controls her eyes in the film; there is not a flicker of inattention, as she urgently communicates what she is feeling and thinking. There's the uncanny sensation that Theron has forgotten the camera and the script and is directly channeling her ideas about Aileen Wuornos. She has made herself the instrument of this character.

I have already learned more than I wanted to about the techniques of disguise used by makeup artist Toni G. to transform an attractive 28-year-old into an ungainly street prostitute, snapping her cigarette butt into the shadows before stepping forward to talk with a faceless man who has found her in the shadows of a barren Florida highway. Watching the film, I had no sense of makeup technique; I was simply watching one of the most real people I had ever seen on the screen. Jenkins, the writer-director, has made the best film of the year. Movies like this are perfect when they get made, before they're ground down by analysis. There is a certain tone in the voices of some critics that I detest -- that superior way of explaining technique in order to destroy it. They imply that because they can explain how Theron did it, she didn't do it. But she does it.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's review at the Chicago Sun Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 16, 2003 - AFI Film Festival

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DVD Comparison: 

Metrodome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Metrodrome

Region 2 - PAL

First Look Pictures

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:44:16 (4% PAL speedup) 1:48:49.523
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 9.41 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,029,180,772 bytes

Feature: 22,005,626,880 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.784 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-2 Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate DVD

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, 2.0 Stereo) Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1488 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1488 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Subtitles English, none English, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Metrodrome

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with Charlize Theron, Patty Jenkins and Clark Peterson
• Monster: The Vision and Journey
• The Making of a Monster
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Film Making Demo
• Interviews with Patty Jenkins and BT
• Trailers
• Cast Filmographies

DVD Release Date: October 11, 2004
Double Slim Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: First Look Pictures

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,029,180,772 bytes

Feature: 22,005,626,880 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.784 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-2 Video

 

Edition Details:
• The Making of a Monster (14:42)
• Mixing Demo (Music, Effects, Dialogue)
• Interviews with Patty Jenkins and BT 'Evolution of a Score' (15:43)
• Trailer (2:15)

• Previews

Blu-ray Release Date: September 1st, 2009
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 1

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: First Look - Region 'A' Blu-ray - August 09': The image improvement is definitely there but being an MPEG-2 encode (same as the DVD - as opposed to, standard for hi-def, MPEG-4 AVC or VC-1) it is no where near the strength that the format can go to. Detail is better, colors tighten up and the 1080P visuals even show a shade of depth. The DVD looks to have a shade of green beside the single-layered Blu-ray. The First Look disc runs in the theatrical running time (as opposed to the 4% PAL speed-up of the Metrodome).

The Blu-ray offers TrueHD audio but it's not a barn-burner at less than 1500 Kbps. The film has a few aggressive moments and some, disheartening, gunplay and the track supports it with some lean separations. The US disc offers optional English or Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu tells me this Blu-ray is Region 'A'-locked.    

we seem to get the same supplements, that Stan discusses below) minus the commentary, one of the featurettes and the deleted /extended scenes. Kind of funny about the package - you know a digital production is stretching things when it advertises 'Scene Selection' as a bonus feature - but there is actually only one chapter stop - so they can't even toot their horn over that!

First Look have created some decent-to-strong Blu-ray offerings in the past - but I don't feel this is one of them. This may be the best Monster looks for your home theater so far - but it's a far cry from the definitive package. First Look seem to know this as the best thing about it is the price - less than $13 at the writing of this review. If you haven't seen it - go for it... but it's not worthy of a double dip in my opinion.

Gary W. Tooze

****

ON THE METRODOME DVD: The DVD's picture is mostly sharp and with good contrast. Because the film has a raw, gritty look, the picture seems a little hazy, but I think that's a creative choice by director Patty Jenkins (that works in my opinion). The audio quality is very good as well. The rear speakers are mostly occupied by the soundtrack, and sometimes by background details. The dialogue is clear and perfectly understandable.

This is certainly a well-packaged DVD. On disc 1 you can view the film with audio commentary by Patty Jenkins, Charlize Theron and producer Clark Peterson.

Disc 2 presents the documentary "Monster: The Vision and Journey" and offers interesting insights into the film by its participants. Jenkins, Theron and Ricci talk about the feeling of the film and of course about Aileen Wuornos. There's another similar feature named "The Making of a Monster" which contains material from Nick Broomfield's documentary "Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer" and the press conference for "Monster" in London. "Deleted & Extended Scenes" features an interesting dream sequence, an extended monologue by Aileen sitting on the couch talking to Selby, a scene in which Aileen witnesses a newsflash about one of her murders, a few very funny outtakes at the job interview and an extended performance at the bus station (which is one of the most dramatic and perfectly acted scenes in the film). Every sequence can be viewed with additional commentary by Patty Jenkins.

Then there's another interview feature with Jenkins and composer BT providing information about the music score of the film and a film making demo which may be inventive but isn't really useful. Trailers and filmographies can be found as well.

Pristine picture and sound quality and a lot of interesting bonus material. What do you want more from a DVD?

 - C.P. Czarnecki

 

 



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Metrodome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Metrodome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Metrodome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Metrodome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Metrodome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Metrodome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


  Metrodrome (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

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DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Metrodrome

Region 2 - PAL

First Look Pictures

Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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