American History XNew Line Cinema (Blu-ray)
Derek Vinyard is dangerous, a coiled fury of hate who leads a neo-Nazi gang. But time and events start to change him. He reassesses his ways while doing time for manslaughter and emerges from prison eager to keep his younger brother from falling victim to the thug cycle of violence and payback. It may be too late. Weaving in and out of events past and present in Derek's life, "American History X" is revealing in its look at white-supremacist gangs and impassioned in its message that hatred and bigotry can be unlearned.
Few films are this powerful, or disturbing. How Edward Norton didn’t win the Best Actor Academy Award for this performance I’ll never know. The film takes a revealing look at the dark world of white supremacy and features one of the most powerful and haunting performances of recent memory. While not for everyone this is a film that shouldn’t be missed by fans of intense drama.
New Line delivers a spectacular HD transfer for this one. The film is a mix of black and white footage and standard color photography. Some of the flashbacks are shown in black and white and have lots of grain and noise, which was intentional in the production. This adds another level of intensity to the scenes and their disturbing content. The regular photography is rich in detail and has plenty of pop and dimension. Fine detail is far better than I expected and I was impressed with the level of depth. This is definitely one of the better looking catalog titles I’ve seen from Warner lately.
The soundtrack is delivered in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and is effective for what it is. The film’s score really opens up the mix and adds a nice level of range to the soundtrack as a whole. There are a few moments when the track has some deep bass extension but this is not an overly aggressive mix. Surrounds do add a nice level of ambiance and atmosphere to the track and I liked to open soundstage the mains provided.
Extras are a bit disappointing considering the caliber of the film. You get the film’s theatrical trailer along with some deleted scenes. This film deserves a more in depth release given its powerful message and performances.
Warner has done a great job with this A/V presentation and I’m overjoyed to see this disturbing drama hit Blu-ray. While extras are slim the low price point makes this an attractive addition to the library for fans of the film.