The Informers (Blu-ray)
SRP $34.95 2.35:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 SONY
 

Bret Easton Ellis's previous work, "AMERICAN PSYCHO" and "LESS THAN ZERO," for better or worse, won over cult audiences. The most recent film adaptation of his work, "THE INFORMERS," was adapted from his various stories, by himself and a co-writer. Again, he delves into the areas of drug use, sex, and power that, for some unexplained reason, were considered to be "daring" to explore, even in the '80s.  While "LESS THAN ZERO" had some fresh insight in its original writing as well as the film, it also had its share of predictability. "AMERICAN PSYCHO" may have been one of the most undeserving, overrated successes of the past twenty years.  However, even that one feels like Hemingway at its best in comparison to the storyline of "THE INFORMERS."  Even with a running time of under 100 minutes, it feels ten times longer than the wedding scene of "THE DEER HUNTER," without the magic. Interweaving various characters and seemingly disconnected storylines can work when executed with great skill and some form of catharsis. John August did this incredibly well with "GO," Tarentino with "PULP FICTION," and Paul Haggis with "CRASH." Unfortunately, Ellis's attempt to explore the highest and lowest class structures of Los Angeles are built around characters that are dull and while one should be able to empathize with them, it's hard to, at least as presented here.

Billy Bob Thornton plays a husband dealing with a troubled marriage to Kim Basinger,  and a more troubled fixation with a previous girlfriend, Winona Ryder.  Chris Isaak is trying to build an understanding with his son, upset at the father's constant bed-hopping.  And, in one of the most confusing, annoying stories, Mickey Rourke and the late Brad Renfro play an uncle and nephew involved in a bizarre kidnapping, while also trying to solve personal problems.  All of these characters  wallow in muck, leaving the viewer wanting to take a hot shower if still awake by its end.

SONY has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray.  Colors are solid but intentionally restrained, conveying the somber atmosphere to virtually every scene. Contrast is impressive with deep blacks, maintaining depth in even darker than the usual standard of dark scenes.  It's a good looking image, but not one that stands out with jump-off-the-screen impact.

SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix.  Never aggressive, subtle nuances are actually used in a surprisingly effective manner during a few moments of lucidity in an otherwise sleep-inducing experience. Music and surround effects are typically restrained, with most of this lossy mix confined to the front channels, and more-so to the center channel.

SONY has included some extras. A commentary with the film's director and actors Lou Taylor Pucci and Jon Foster, is typically bland as they discuss the film's development and performances.  One surprising revelation: A storyline involving a vampire(not kidding!)was cut! As silly as it sounds, this would certainly have made the film a lot more fun, and at least successful in some way!

A featurette in 1080i, offers interviews with cast and crew. Various trailers in 1080p are also included.