The Usual Suspects (BLU-RAY)

The Usual Suspects

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Running Time: 
106 Minutes

Al Pacino also read the part of Dave Kujan, but had to pass due to scheduling conflicts. Pacino has since noted that this is the film he regrets turning down the most. ~ IMDB

Before Bryan Singer tackled the X Men franchise and brought comic book films into a new era he directed the Christopher McQuarrie penned The Usual Suspects which launched him into movie fandom fame. The story of five felons all thrown into a room together and then forced to pull off an impossible job not all of them would walk away from. A job put to them by mythical bad guy boogieman Keyser Soze. Kevin Spacey and Christopher McQuarrie walked away with Oscar wins for Best Screenplay and Best Actor In A Supporting Role. Though the film can technically only be seen once as its big reveal at the end of the film is what it’s most famous for all of the actors who played a part in the film put on great performances. A great gritty masterpiece.

The good news is that The Usual Suspects Blu-Ray release far surpasses its DVD predecessor. The bad news is that this is not the definitive version of this film as far as BD quality goes. There are some soft spots in the film where sharpness goes a little out of whack, some grain issues throughout the film, and color gets zapped now and again making it seem muted and off. While these issues are present the film is amazingly sharp and detailed where softness is not an issue and colors are vibrant, or as vibrant as you would imagine they could be in a film set in a dark aesthetic. Close up shots prove just how perfect the picture can look but all in all the quality here is acceptable and satisfying even if there are a few hiccups. Audio is amazingly life like with guns sounding as if their going off directly in front of you and the films soundtrack offering up that cinematic ambiance you would have found had you seen it in theaters. Full immersion is a miss here which is sad but from what I read about the films original sound source it wasn’t all that fantastic to begin with. I also didn't care for the BD housing which is the cut out which holds the disc with a lip. Two days after opening the film I had issues with the disc staying in while the case was being transported from one spot to the next. 

Here is where the DVD version of the film trumps the BD version. In the special edition version on DVD you had your choice of 8 different bonus feature sections including deleted scenes, commentary, TUS at Cannes, and more. Here the bonus selections are limited to trailers for other movies, as far as Disc supplements go. That’s about the same as having no bonus features at all considering most of the trailers are for older movies that are coming to BD. Not sure what happened here but that’s pretty weak. Of course the BD comes in a BD Book format which means you get a high gloss booklet inside with a piece by Richard Tanne on the film, Actor Profiles, Director Profile, Trivia, and another piece by Travis Baker on the films mind blowing twist at the end. True adding true special features to the 25GB disc probably would have done more to retract from the films overall quality, but like so many BD’s before it MGM could have gone with a second disc either in BD or DVD format with the missing bonus features.  Still, if you’re a fan of the film your going to want to upgrade your DVD version with this one or the one before it which is even more thin on special features with just the theatrical trailer for the movie. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.


AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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