While never having seen the International Cut of "IN THE ELECTRIC MIST," one can't help but wonder if the longer version ironed out the seemingly choppy domestic release, now available on blu-ray from IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT. "IN THE ELECTRIC MIST" is never dull, but it's never feels as tight as it deserves to be either. Director Bertrand Tavernier has made some great films, and there are a lot of moments within this film that suggest it's going to be a great film, but this promise is never realized. Tommy Lee Jones is terrific, as always, in the role of Detective Dave Robicheaux, an alcoholic literally haunted by the ghost of a Confederate general. A mystery unfolds as the body of a young black male washes up following Katrina, at the same time as some grisly murders of young women begin to happen. Robicheaux's investigation unmasks the corruption and racism that is ever-present within the area, and reveals that history of the "old" south hasn't changed as much as one would've hoped for so many years later.
The mystery itself doesn't unfold with the gripping pace that could've made "IN THE ELECTRIC MIST" a great suspense film. Not a problem. Its pace is extremely uneven from scene to scene. PROBLEM! While Tavernier creates plenty of startling images and the fine cast manages to propel the film forward all the way to its disappointing conclusion, it's bogged down by the weight of inconsistency in editing that appears to be due to the revised cut, more than the talent of the filmmakers. Still, while it's disappointing to find such a promising film cut off from its potential, "IN THE ELECTRIC MIST," is somehow worth viewing and probably will find a audience of fans. It's just a shame that IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT didn't provide the longer director's cut.
IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT did provide a great looking transfer, however, with the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio in this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. The color design of the film could easily have been problematic, but they're impressive and strong throughout. The inky blacks provide stunning depth in the stylized darker scenes, and most of the image offers jump-off-the-screen type of detail. It's a terrific looking transfer.
IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Far from an aggressive mix, ambient effects and bass pop up sporadically, but this is a front speaker focused mix, and dialogue is always presented with perfect clarity and balance.
No extras here, but one can bet a commentary from the director would've lambasted the edited version herein.