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Falling Down: Deluxe Edition (DVD Review)

21 May, 2009 By: John Latchem

Falling Down

Street 5/26/09
Box Office $40.9 million
$19.97 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for violence and strong language.
Stars Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey, Tuesday Weld, Rachel Ticotin.

The 1993 film Falling Down has become something of an anthem for the downtrodden. It certainly proves that the instinct to want to give up on the world that may be prevalent today is by no means a new phenomenon.

Director Joel Schumacher, two years before setting his sights on bringing down the “Batman” franchise, wanted to present a profile of someone who just snaps and through a series of events might end up the subject of a report on the 6 o’clock news. Ultimately, the film serves as a reminder that strife is bred from an inability, or a refusal, to understand an opposing point of view.

The film’s themes are still relevant today. It only seems dated in the sense that Michael Douglas’ character freaks out about convenience store prices that while exorbitant in 1993 would seem reasonable today. Then again, that might serve to reinforce the film’s message.

As far as deluxe editions go, this new disc doesn’t add much more than what amounts to a few interviews, but it’s a treasure trove compared to the meager 1999 DVD release. The content on the Blu-ray and DVD versions is identical.

“Deconstructing D-FENS: A Conversation With Michael Douglas,” is a mild 10-minute retrospective in which the actor looks back on the role and what it took to get the film made. He pontificates doubt that any major studio would touch it today.

The film also contains a commentary pieced together from separate interviews. As such, it’s more analytical of the film’s general themes than a scene-specific remembrance. Included are Schumacher, Douglas (from a 1993 interview), screenwriter Ebbe Roe Smith and others. The most interesting contribution may be from a Los Angeles Times columnist who provides some good insights into the film’s portrayal of Los Angeles.

Given the paucity of new material, fans of the film may want to lean toward the Blu-ray version, just to get the high-def upgrade.

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