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DVD Review: AFTER IMAGE

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PHOTOGRAPHY

AFTER IMAGE

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 92 minutes, featurettes, production notes, and previews

STUDIO: Miramax

RELEASE DATE: 8-2-2005

ANALYSIS: Burned out crime scene photographer Joe McCormack (John Mellencamp) is sick of taking pictures of murder victims and takes a leave of absence. He first throws his camera in the river and goes visits his sick aunt (Louise Fletcher). He soon falls for Laura (Terrylene), a deaf woman who has been taking care of Joe's aunt. The catch is that Laura is having visions of upcoming murders. Murders being done by a serial killer who wants Joe to see him.

AFTER IMAGE is a great independdent film. It is a bizarre thriller that is filled with beauty and disturbing images. John Mellencamp looks like he could play Robetr Patrick's brother. Just wait for the visions, the scene inside the pipe organ, and the glass breaking scene. Michael Zelniker is downright creepy as the serial killer who video tapes everything (Millennium fans will remember the actor from the episode Kingdom Come).   Sign Language also plays a part in the film and Terrylene pulls off the part of Laura (Terrylene is deaf in real life and also married to the film's director).  I really can't wait to see Robert Manganelli direct another film if AFTER IMAGE is what we can expect from him.   I like how he approached his first gig.   AFTER IMAGE may be slow in parts, but the imagery and story make up for any shortcomings. 

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)

A little aliasing is present, but the colors and shadow values look good. Image detail is OK.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound

Subtitles: English captions, French, and Spanish

Dialogue is easy to hear, but I love the sound of the breaking glass in a scene near the end of AFTER IMAGE. Not a bad audio track. It is very effective at times.

SPECIAL FEATURES: AFTER IMAGE has two fantastic featurettes. The Making Of AFTER IMAGE is the best featurette I have ever seen on the struggles of getting an independent film made (from struggling to get funds raised to only see it all fall apart to the producer losing hope to the film getting financed finally to the usual production headaches). I would love to see more featurettes like this on any DVD. PORTRAYING DEATH: THE ART OF SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKEUP is a good look at the make-up effects on AFTER IMAGE from the make-up on extras playing murder victims to the plastic molds they made of a couple of actors. Both featurettes have the option of captions for the hearing impaired. Finsing off the extras are PRODUCTION NOTES from director Robert Maganelli. I wish they recorded an audio commentary for AFTER IMAGE.

FINAL ANALYSIS: AFTER IMAGE is a surprise from the independent film world. This $1.4 million production is worth renting on DVD.

this DVD Review is (c)8-6-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be rprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia