Director Bryan Singer's "THE USUAL SUSPECTS" is the special kind of film that one can't help but be impressed by, even with an ending that feels overly manipulative for a "shocker" effect that amazed masses, but infuriated this reviewer.
A complex plot, the film is told in a lengthy, layered flashback mode, by VerbalI(Kevin Spacey) the lone witness and survivor of a giant boat explosion. As the plot unfolds, we find that he's one of several "suspects" that all met in a line-up and got involved in a heist scheme, revolving around a mysterious, sinister villain. Cinematically, the film's often ingenious. The script, although well plotted out, relies on a substantial portion of the film to have never happened, thus meaning what we saw, was all just on screen, to later be surprised at having never taken place!
MGM/FOX has provided a 1080p/MPEG-2 transfer with the 2.35:1 aspect ratio intact. Singer utilizes a variety of filters, making scenes that are inherently complicated for transfer quality, even more impressive here, with the richness achieved here. Not a flawless transfer, due to infrequent grain, there is excellent depth in almost every scene. Viewers who've watched this on high definition on cable, were insulted by a cropped hi-def image. The 2.35:1 ratio is essential for Singer's imagery to be appreciated.
Although given a DTS HD Lossless 5.1 mix, this isn't an aggressive or striking mix. It's decent and there are some fine bass effects and some impressive discrete effects, but surrounds are rarely used, and then, almost always to boost the great score.