The Usual Suspects [DVD] 
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Bryan Singer directs this crime thriller starring Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Spacey. When a burnt-out ship is discovered in San Pedro Bay along with 27 dead bodies, US customs agent Dave Kujal (Chazz Palminteri) is assigned to work the case and thinks his best chance is to interrogate the one survivor of the massacre, Roger 'Verbal' Kint (Spacey). Sitting in an office at police headquarters, Kint, who suffers with cerebral palsy, begins to tell his story, and the more he says, the more Kujal becomes convinced that the unseen master criminal Keyser Söze is the man behind it all.
Bryan Singer's film noir The Usual Suspects casts a mesmerising spell, with the plot luring the viewer into ever-deeper and darker places. According to director, Singer, the premise for the film evolved from a magazine article. What does the phrase "usual suspects" actually mean, who are they and what happens when you probe their identity? Here, they are five expert criminals and a crippled con man in a line-up. The story, told via flashbacks, interrogation scenes and explosive sequences of a heist gone wrong, is a labyrinth of sub-plots and red herrings.
Kevin Spacey won a best supporting actor Oscar for his intriguing, blank-eyed turn as the crippled "Verbal" Kint. But Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin and Benicio del Toro are equally fascinating as the mismatched misfits, creating hinterlands for their characters in a single gesture. Chazz Palminteri as the special agent is our main ally in solving the puzzle, but it's really a case of the blind leading the blind. Pete Postlethwaite's bizarre accent, as the sinister legal agent Kobayashi, adds its own layer of mystery to a film that earns cult status entirely on its own merits.
On the DVD: this is a dazzling two-disc set which will both please Usual Suspects aficionados and entice the uninitiated. The film itself is presented in widescreen format. The Dolby Digital surround sound quality throbs with tension so that you sense the dialogue and John Ottman's excellent, suspenseful music with your nerve endings rather than just experiencing them aurally. The original cinematic experience comes forcefully into your living room. Numerous extras include a fascinating director/screenwriter commentary (if you haven't seen the film yet, make sure this is turned off or it will wreck the suspense) and endless featurettes, each adding a layer of understanding to the film through observations from the actors, director and writer. A package that sucks you in, blows you out in pieces and still has you coming back for more, this is what special edition DVDs are all about. --Piers Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Wait a minute ... five criminals in one lineup? There's something wrong here, right? Right ...
In "The Usual Suspects," not only every line but every gesture, every facial expression and every camera cut counts. Even if you distrust the story being told, you can't exactly pin down everything that's wrong with it. The plot unfolds through the tale extracted from Kint, one of two survivors of a massacre and subsequent explosion on a boat docked in San Pedro Harbor, by U.S. Customs agent David Kujan (Chazz Palminteri). And at the same time as Kint is spinning his yarn, in a nearby hospital the other survivor (badly injured and fresh out of a coma) helps a police sketch artist draw a picture of the mastermind behind the scheme - "the devil," Keyser Söze.
You can watch this movie countless times, and you will still discover new subtleties every single time. Not only will you find that it still makes sense after the story line has been unraveled at the end (which therefore is a plot twist, not a non-sequitur). You'll also discover nuance upon nuance in Kevin Spacey's incredible performance.Read more ›
The plot can never really be explained until you've seen the film. Not for nothing did it win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. But I'll do my best. After an explosion, the the small-time crook Verbal Kint is being questioned. His story is amazing. A group of criminals are rounded up for questioning over a hijacking, the "Usual Suspects" of the title. However, this meeting just gives them an oppurtunity to scheme maliciously together. They embark on a devious plan to rob a crook making use of the crooked police. However they become embroiled in the plots of a master criminal known as Keyser Soze, so mysterious and elusive that no-one has ever seen him. Under the guidance of "Kobayashi", they are directed to a ship and a job for Keyser, who is seemingly infallible, as Verbal says:
"I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze."
In a shock ending that plays wonderfully on the gullibility of an audience to jump to conclusions, events come to a head with lightning-fast realisations. Believe me, you'll be slapping yourself for not seeing it.
The acting quality on show here is of the highest quality.Read more ›
That being said, I was disappointed by the quality of the upscale. This is not what I would term 'high definition' by any stretch of imagination. The picture quality wasn't bad, but it lacked the distinctive sharpness and crystal clear nature of most blu-ray films and DVD to BR conversions. Also, the picture on the sleeve was reminiscent of that on a pirate copy- that is to say, dreadful.
Complaints aside, it was an entertaining film and well worth watching for anybody interrested in criminal thrillers.
The plot in this film is so absorbing drawing you in deeper and deeper as you go through the story of what has taken place. It is hard for me to elaborate too much on the plot without giving anything to those yet to see it, so all I will say is that there is a wonderful twist that will leave you scratching your head and perhaps feeling slightly dumb and gullible. This is especially evident when you re-watch the film and make sense of all the little clues that apparently served no purpose on the first viewing.
To compliment the excellent plot all of the characters lines within the movie are excellent and fit the characters perfectly and gives you some nice one liners to quote afterwards. What we have is a very well rounded film in all areas from start to finish, camera work, acting, scenes and much more. To top it all it comes in a nice little package with some worthwhile extras that well put together.
I give this film 5 stars, quality of the plot is far too good for anything else. Definitely buy this movie, take some time out and be aware that you should concentrate to get the most out of the film and will undoubtedly want to watch it again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The 'Usual Suspects' is one of those classic movies that has defined a genre, and my Special Edition DVD bought in 2005 still has the ability to grab our attention and draw us into... Read morePublished 7 days ago by R. F. Stevens
Beware, have a close look at the pictures: the edge shows that it is clearly not a Steelbook official item. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Artemus n'H