PRIMAL FEAR - HARD EVIDENCE EDITION
by David S. Lane
The movie that launched the career of Academy Award® nominee Edward
Norton (The Incredible Hulk, Fight Club) comes to DVD and
Blu-ray in the new Primal Fear: Hard Evidence Edition
on March 10, 2009 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
A high profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney's career
in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard
Gere stars as Martin Vail, a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his
services to Aaron Stampler (Norton), a Kentucky teenager charged with
the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Vail uncovers evidence that the
archbishop was involved in a corrupt land scheme and may have molested
young parishioners, and is further complicated by a psychologist�s diagnosis
that Stampler suffers from multiple personality disorder. Now the cynical,
opportunistic attorney is faced with a daunting prospect, a client who
may actually deserve his best defense.
Primal Fear was released to theatres in 1996 and
originally came to DVD in 1998. However, it was a movie-only edition
that solely included its theatrical trailer as a bonus feature. Now
in 2009, Paramount's new "Hard Evidence Edition" is being
released simultaneously on Blu-ray and standard-defition DVD.
Upon review, the first thing you will notice is the very creative packaging.
The disc is housed in a standard plastic case, but that case comes inside
a Crime Scene Investigation "evidence" style ziplock bag.
It's a very clever packaging design and fits the theme of the movie
The DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced format and Dolby Digital
English 5.1 Surround. Paramount has remastered the 130 minutes of film
for this "Hard Evidence Edition". It is a vast improvement over the
original release and includes many bonus features (see below).
- A Star Witness: Edward Norton = a brand new interview with Norton
and fellow cast members as they reminisce over his role as Aaron Stampler.
- Audio Commentary by director Greg Hoblit, writer Ann Biderman, producer
Gary Lucchesi, executive producer Hawk Koch (as Howard W. Koch Jr.)
and the casting director Deborah Aquila
- Primal Fear: The Final Verdict = presents a "making-of" package constructed
around interviews with the filmmakers.
- The Psychology of Guilt = Judges, psychiatrists, and psychologists
discuss the disorder and its relation to the film.
- Original Theatrical Trailer = including other Paramount releases.
The movie is a skillfully-made thriller with a great cast. Overall this
new DVD release provides great entertainment and it worth adding to
your collection. Check it out, even after thirteen years - you will
enjoy the plot twists whether you've seen the movie once or a dozen