COLUMBIA TRISTAR has re-released “ENIGMA”, but only this time as a “Special Edition”. A fine and clever dramatic thriller, the previous dvd presentation looked horrible! Even while it was correctly letterboxed, the image was in such horrid condition, its detail paled in comparison to the VHS full-frame counterpart!
While it didn’t resemble a “bright” film in its theatrical release, it was anemic in its previous presentation. Even in this new remastered transfer, it’s never vibrant looking, but colors aren’t as muted, and the detail is sharper. Contrast is also improved, offering deeper blacks and grays, hence better detail in darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural. Again, the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement, is intact.
COLUMBIA TRISTAR has presented the same Dolby Digital 5.1 remix as before. While there are some surround effects, they’re mostly used to enhance the wonderful John Barry score. “ENIGMA” is essentially a dialogue-driven film, and at least it’s always crisp and intelligible!
Director Michael Apted provides a delicate hand in crafting this thriller/mystery. While there are a few action sequences, most of the film’s suspense is generated via old-school filmmaking know-how! The editing is wonderful, and one particular sequence, wherein the two main characters are viewed rushing to hide in an abandoned barn from the oncoming police, is reminiscent of Hitchcock’s best work! No fooling!
While critically acclaimed, “ENIGMA” didn’t reach a large audience. At least now, COLUMBIA TRISTAR has thrown together enough extras and a decent presentation that will, hopefully, win its due audience.
Director Michael Apted provides a commentary, and it’s great. He discusses anything and everything that anyone could possibly want to know about the film from its inception to the finished product. It’s never too dry.
A "behind-the-scenes" documentary, "PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER", offers a chance to hear from Apted as well as Mick Jagger, the film's producer!
“BLETCHLEY PARK AND ENIGMA” is an intriguing documentary, in which novelist
Robert Harris and cast members discuss the history surrounding the real site.
Add to all of this, a deleted scenes section and trailers, and there’s more than enough reason to recommend “ENIGMA: SPECIAL EDITION” as an addition to every dvd collection.