Monday, February 26, 2007

The Prestige DVD Review

Does the single-disc release of The Prestige contain enough substance to be a worthwhile DVD?

The Prestige is one of those films that has all the right pieces to make it work. For starters, it's directed by one of my current favourites, Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins), and is shot by the two-time academy award nominated cinematographer Wally Pfister. It also features the very well cast performances of Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo, David Bowie, and Scarlett Johansson (who isn't as spectacular). I thoroughly enjoyed The Prestige and have been waiting eagerly to add it to my DVD collection since I caught it in theatres back in October.

Unfortunately, The Prestige DVD is only a one disc affair. This means that there isn't much extra content to be found on the DVD and while there is some top notch substance, there just isn't enough of it.

A large chunk of the bonus content is something called The Director's Notebook. This is a collection of interviews with the cast and crew of The Prestige about many of the elements that went into the creative process for the film. We hear Christopher Nolan talk about the effect of the film's Victorian setting, his fast-paced shooting style, Nikola Tesla, and the use of magic as a form of faith, as well as other subjects. It's a very interesting watch but it's too brief and only runs for roughly 15 minutes when it could have easily been stretched out to an hour or two.

Another feature found on the DVD are the production galleries. These show stills from the film, pictures from the set, and the different costumes and locations used. There is also a gallery of all of the painted magician posters found in the film which are worth a second look.

Unfortunately, just like Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins DVD, this disc is missing a director's commentary. I would have loved to hear Nolan's take on the film and it's too bad that it wasn't included.

I can overlook The Prestige DVD's lack of features because it's such a great film but it's really disappointing that this wasn't a two-disc release. Who knows, maybe a special edition might hit the shelves if this DVD sells well, but I wouldn't count on it.


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