COLUMBIA TRISTAR has released “YOUNG ADAM”, an impressive Ewan McGregor film-noir study.
While it never received a noted theatrical release, it originally had an “NC-17” rating. For some reason, COLUMBIA TRISTAR elected to release an “R” version of the film, with the “NC-17” footage delegated to a “SPECIAL FEATURES” section on the disc.
The film’s plot may feel uneasy to many, as it goes back and forth in time, revolving for the most part, around the discovery of a nearly-naked woman’s body by a traveler named Joe and his employers on a barge, Les and Ella. Lost dreams and lost innocence are revealed as Joe seduces Ella and flashbacks reveal a tense, sexual dynamic to his character and a relationship from his past with a young girl named Cathie. These sexual episodes, while titillating, also offer great detail to the characters and it’s never exploitative. This is a well-acted, well-crafted mystery that in spite of its demands on the viewer, is well worth the venture.
COLUMBIA TRISTAR has provided the correct aspect 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this release, with 16:9 enhancement. While extremely grainy at times, it appears to have been intentional, as is the case with the anemic color scheme. Unfortunately, this is surprisingly never really examined in either of the film’s two commentaries, including one with the film’s production designer! The detail is excellent. Fleshtones appear natural.
COLUMBIA TRISTAR has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It’s extremely effective, offering a variety of directional/panning effects in key moments. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
As mentioned, there are two commentaries. Both are a bit too much on the dull side, offering pieces of info here and there, but none of it manages to capture the listener’s interest for long.
More interesting is the “Extended Scene”, offering footage responsible for its original NC-17 footage.
There is an interesting, but brief “EWAN McGREGOR Original Passage Narration, running 30 seconds, and offering the internal thought of McGregor’s character around some scenes. While interesting, one still can’t comprehend why COLUMBIA TRISTAR has taken the time to have included this here.
There are several trailers offered.