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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Mystery > Surveillance (2008/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)

Surveillance (2008/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Film: B-



I must admit that I was not the biggest fan of Boxing Helena (1993), but did not think Jennifer Lynch would wait 15 years before making another film.  Saving Helena for another time, I figured she could make a feature that was effective and not just because of whom her father is.  Now we get Surveillance (2008) and I have to admit that it is a very good murder mystery with some fine performances, ironies and twists that work better than most such films we have seen lately.


A series of ugly, bloody murders have taken place in a small town and two FBI agents (Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman) come in to investigate due to the unusually violent nature of the killings.  The film then shifts its narrative as the clues (from a screenplay by Lynch and co-star Kent Harper) are laid out for the audience in very effective ways.  I was impressed by the performances (Michael Ironside, Cheri Oteri, French Stewart are the most familiar faces), pacing and mood.  It can drift at times, but part of that is the style.  Once it really kicks in, you will be impressed.  I will say no more.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot on High Definition video and Super 35mm film, combined in a smooth way that works better than in most of the cases where this has been attempted.  Director of Photography Peter Wunstorf pulls off a look that is just a little different and though it can be degraded at times, it does not overdue this and the transfer here is very good at capturing his intent.  The DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless 5.1 mix is a little weak in the sound and dialogue departments a little more than expected, but the sound is good overall.  Budget limits may have affected location recording.  The combination is more than compelling enough to enjoy.


Extras include feature length audio commentary by Lynch and Actor Charlie Newmark, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, HDNet program promoting the film and making of featurette Surveillance: The Watched Are Watching.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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