Tracy Letts’s 2004 Off Broadway play about conspiracy theories and codependent relationships doesn’t exactly scream “comeback vehicle” for somebody like New Hollywood golden boy William Friedkin. It takes place entirely in a dingy motel room, which leaves scant opportunity to stage car chases down Brooklyn avenues or Los Angeles freeways; X-Files–ish rants or not, there’s no place to drop in a demonic 360-degree head turn. But Friedkin’s take on this tale about a lonely waitress (Judd), a mysterious stranger (Shannon) and some serious heebie-jeebies showcases the stylish, screw-tightening precision that made the director’s early-’70s work such a rush. Friedkin appears to have rediscovered a sense of purpose. You can say it, fans: Finally!
Theatrical Release: May 19th, 2006 - Cannes Film Festival
DVD Review: Lions Gate - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Lions Gate - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.36 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
Lionsgate's DVD transfer for Bug is progressive, dual-layered and anamorphic. It looks acceptable but not stellar. Detail has some strong moments but there is still a shade of digital noise popping up here and there. For the most part colors look good but if this ever goes hi-def I'm sure they will be much more vibrant. As expected the image is clean and very 'watchable'. The 5.1 audio has is limited in its function by the score and dialogue which is fairly standard and mundane but when a surprise is enacted it can be quite bombastic - there is also a 2.0 channel option. English or Spanish subtitles support the audio.
Although it is not easy to discern - this film has a something beyond its surface mainstream perception and marketing. An interesting snapshot of paranoia. A bit surprising to be at Cannes where the reaction was:
'William Friedkin cranks up the aesthetic meds in Bug, a garden-variety variant of the psycho-solider genre which should snare first-weekend horror fans as surely as a No-Pest strip. Lionsgate, with another one-word title, will be challenged to lure mainstream viewers with a title mug like Bug.'
I kind of warm to the enigmatic Friedkin although as I always feel his films have an attempt at unique subversiveness if not always succeeding in their expressionist goals.
In the half hour supplement 'A Discussion with William Friedkin' he responds to queries about his limited output considering he has been making features since 1966 and his immense studio popularity in the 70's and 80's. There is another featurette - a 10 minute kind of 'making of...' with various cast and crew discussing their theories of the narrative. Friedkin's full-length commentary is another good one from the director - he talks at quite a slow pace but really focuses on the enclosed psycho-drama aspects of Bug. His points are usually very interesting to hear - evolving another layer beyond the obviousness of the storyline. It has some boring parts to it though. Aside from that are some Lionsgate and DVD credits. Pretty good package in my opinion for less than $20. Well, I enjoyed it anyway.