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PHOTOGRAPHY

HIDE AND SEEK

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 101 minutes, 4 alternate endings, 14 deleted/extended scenes, Making Of featurette, audio commentary, and Previs sequences.

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 7-5-2005

ANALYSIS: I found HIDE AND SEEK to be a very engaging thriller, but the last twenty minutes make me wonder if this film will play as well on repeated viewings once you know all of the twists. It is basically the same question I had after seeing SECRET WINDOW. Dakota Fanning is the real standout star in this movie. She shines as this tired looking girl who lost her mom and has a new friend named Charlie who may or may not exist. Robert DeNiro plays her pyschologist father, David, who decides to move his daughter, Emily (Fanning) out to the country. Famke Jansen is also in this movie as David's psychologist friend and Elisabeth Shue as the potential new girlfriend for David.  I wish Famke had more screentime, buta little Famke goes a long way.  Robert DeNiro is good as a father who thinks his daughter is troubled due to the suicide of her mother.   Charlie starts causing trouble and it starts making David wonder whether he is someone or something.

HIDE AND SEEK is good at building suspense, but the last 15-20 minutes are a letdown.  The theatrical ending isn't the strongest ending (a couple of the alternate endings are better).  If they could have written a better climax, HIDE AND SEEK would be a classic.

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)- Film and Alternate Endings

FOX does another bang-up job with another excellent transfer from image detail to colors, blacks, and skin tones. The only dent in the transfer is that some nighttime scenes exhibit lots of grain.

Feaurettes and delted scenes are Non-Anamorphic.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 5.1 DTS, French Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby surround

Subtitles: English, Spanish (special features not subtitled)

Dialogue is easy to hear. Music and sound effects help prove FOX are keeping up the fantastic work with the audio on their DVDs.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

You can play the movie with the theatrical ending or any of the alternate endings before you get to the main menu.

My favorite extras have to be the four alternate endings (I wish alternate ending number 3 was the ending for the theatrical version) and 14 delted/extended scenes which are a mixed bag of interesting stuff and stuff cut for pacing reasons. Both have optional audio commentary with Director John Polson, Screenwriter Ari Schlossberg, and Editor Jeffrey Ford. Their commentary for the alternate endings and delted scenes I like better than the feature commentary they did. The Making Of Featurette is a 10 minute promo fluff piece that features some interviews and a little behind the scenes footage (including bits froma couple of deleted scenes). Rounding out the extras are Previs Sequences (intercut with live footage) to show three sequences (including one they never shot) with audio commentary by the director.

FINAL ANALYSIS: HIDE AND SEEK is an engaging thriller with a great acting turn by child star Dakota Fanning.

this DVD Review is (c)7-3-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia