Viewed – 01 October 2010  Blu-ray

This dark and dreary thriller from David (Fight Club) Fincher has Morgan Freeman as the world-weary detective on the verge of retirement having to take under his wing a young newcomer (Brad Pitt), and stumbles upon a series of shocking murders seemingly linked to the seven deadly sins.  This cracking premise is intelligently put together and cemented Fincher’s reputation as a director to watch after an admirable debut with Alien 3 left audiences thirsty for more.  With the great pairing of Freeman & Pitt, who both offer dramatically different viewpoints on the crimes, and with an atmosphere of dread that thankfully never overwhelms, this truly delivers as a film up there with the infamous The Silence of the Lambs.   Add to this one of the most astonishing endings I think you’re ever likely to see, and with the scene stealing Kevin Spacey, who at the time wasn’t the name he is now – this is without doubt one of the best movies of the 90s, and has gone on to become a classic. 

I recall on first seeing this at the cinema that I thought it was a bit slow.  Yet with  maturity and several viewings under my belt, I have begun to appreciate all aspects, from Gwyneth Paltrow’s gentle performance as Pitt’s wife to the incredible eye for detail in ever scene, and especially the rain soaked city backdrop which is pretty much a character in its own right, increasingly keeping me unnerved throughout.

The Blu-ray, housed in an attractive book (available exclusively in the U.S.) boasts a very detailed, immediately impressive picture that was overseen by the director himself, along with a remastered DTS HD 5.1. Master audio soundtrack, this should tick all the boxes of any home cinema lover.  Extras-wise, the four commentaries from the DVD special edition are carried over, as well as publicity material, photo galleries and deleted / extended scenes, rounding out what is a very impressive package.  In a word: essential.

Verdict:  5 /5

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