One of, if not the best films of last year(25th Hour was another one), "ANTWONE FISHER," is being released by FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT, and trust us on this one, it "MUST BE IN YOUR DVD COLLECTION!" It's truly a magnificent film! It's shocking to find it did such mediocre business at the box-office, and even more shocking that Academy Members didn't nominate this film for every major Oscar. Again, it's that "GOOD!"
Sure, whenever a major actor decides to become a director, one can't help but have a bit of skepticism. But, Denzel's debut here is nothing short of spectacular. This reviewer can't wait to see what he's going to direct next! To begin with, unlike many successful directors today, Washington knows how to tell a story without resorting to one cliche' after another. His careful use of music, imagery and flawless casting, makes "ANTWONE FISHER" a classic, really ranking up there with the most inspiring films of any year!
"Inspired" by a true story, "ANTWONE FISHER" tells the story of a young seaman, ordered to obtain a psychiatric evaluation after his most recent fight with a superior officer. It becomes evident, almost immediately that the young man is panged with childhood memories and needs help. Somehow, without ever feeling heavy-handed, the story of how these two work together, feels fresh and true. It will be virtually impossible to find someone who isn't completely won over by this film.
The acting is outstanding, and Derek Luke, a newcomer, should have been nominated. But, then again, practically everything about this film should have been nominated. The score is wonderful, and the cinematography is often stunning. This is also an important reason that "no one" should opt for the pan&scan version, mysteriously being released separately? If "BANGER SISTERS" received both options on one disc, why not this film?
FOX has preserved the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this release, and it's flawless! In spite of some tough emotional scenes, it's a beautiful film, both figuratively and literally. Colors are solid, and often rich. There's great detail in every scene, and contrast is flawless. Fleshtones appear natural.
FOX has presented a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While not an aggressive mix, it makes effective use of surrounds and directional effects at key moments, for maximum impact, again, without ever becoming heavy-handed! The musical score is wonderful, and thoroughly complimented by all speakers. The dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
FOX has included some commentaries for this release. A running commentary with Washington and producer Todd Black offers plenty of production insight as well as the "story behind the story." The two click well together and it's hard to watch such a great film, without wanting to hear from the team responsible for it, so undoubtedly "many" will be pleased by what's offered here.
There are also three featurettes, one focusing on the real "Antwone Fisher," another about the film's production, and a briefer one about the navy's cooperation with the filmmakers. All three are worthwhile, and they enhance an already great release
"ANTWONE FISHER" is a "must" for every dvd collection!