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Angel Heart

review by Justin Meyers


Rated R

Starring Robert DeNiro, Mickey Rourke

Studio: Live Entertainment (Artisan)

Directed by Alan Parker


Retail Price: 24.98

Features: Theatrical Trailer, Featurette, Production Notes

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 2.0 Dolby Surround English, English Captions, Chapter Search

It will scare you to your very soul, is the tagline that means every word of it. Angel Heart is a pretty old movie that still gives me the creeps. It is about a Private Eye in the 1950's New York who gets hired by a very eccentric and unusual priest played by a very different looking Robert DeNiro. Lou Cipher (DeNiro) hires Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) to find a man named Johnny Favorite that he lost years ago.

This wild goose chase proves difficult for Angel, which brings him to New Orleans where every person he meets with turns up dead in a horrid, gruesome way. This doesn't stop Angel from doing what he was paid to do, find the very wanted ex-jazz musician. He meets up with a beautiful, young, voodoo priestess who is the daughter of Favorite. They soon have probably the most weird and bizarre sex scene ever on a film to date; most of it was cut out on the theatrical release.

The end is the most disturbing part on the whole movie, not to say that the rest of the movie didn't have twists and turns, it had loads of them...but the ending will leave you thinking about it for days, it might even give you nightmares.

The real star besides Mickey Rourke are the locations; the cinematography in this movie beats every movie I have ever seen hands down. The beautiful locals and the old-looking scenery really make this move a film-noir and really a must see on this DVD for fans of the movie. This may not be your cup of tea, but it will be an experience that will make you think and keep you up for days (and nights).

This new anamorphic widescreen transfer, which is framed at 1.85:1, is unbelievably sharp and crystal-clear with very good detail. The colors are very clean without any smear. The brightness and contrast are awesome giving the image great depth like you're really there. It gives you the feel of the 50's with the amazing colors that the director used on the locals. The cinematography of this movie makes this probably one of the best transfers on DVD that I have ever seen.

This 2 channel Dolby Surround soundtrack is very balanced with good direction and very distinguished dialog. This mix contains some nice directional effects in the front channels and the surround is used effectively to intensify the unsettling moments of this film. When you hear the very disturbing music creeping up on you as a scene unfolds, it will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This is pretty good to see; more than 10 years after the movie was released we still get to see some good extras. We have got a low quality theatrical trailer which is very good to see. An 8-minute featurette that tells a lot about what the cast and the director thought about the movie and some good tidbits about the making of it. The menus and the production notes are excellent. I would have loved a commentary by the director, but that would be wishful thinking. The extra's section is small but nice to see anyway.

This DVD is great if you're in the mood to be scared.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)




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