Don't Say a Word on DVD
What would you do if your daughter was kidnapped and the perpetrators
knew every move you made?
Would you give them whatever they wanted? Would you risk calling the
In Don't Say a Word, Nathan Conrad (Michael Douglas) is faced with that
very predicament. His daughter has been kidnapped, and the only way to
get her back is to recover a six-digit number from the mind of one of
his young female patients. He isn't to call the police, or even mention
a word of it to anyone.
And so begins the race against time to convince the girl to delve deep
into her past. A little girl's life depends on her remembering the number
that can give the kidnappers what they want.
The movie, though a pretty standard thriller, is well-done in every aspect
and definitely deserves some major kudos for the quality of the acting.
Michael Douglas is excellent in the lead, and this is exactly the kind
of role he was born to play. Brittany Murphy is also excellent as the
troubled teen with a secret. The supporting cast, including Sean Bean,
Guy Torry, Jennifer Esposito, Famke Janssen and Oliver Platt are all superb,
though they'reovershadowed by the two leads.
Gary Fleder (Kiss the Girls) directs the film, and proves himself to
be the Alfred Hitchcock of our generation. He uses simple things like
camera techniques and long shots to create suspense, while making us care
about the characters at the same time.
Which brings me to another point: right away the film establishes Nathan
and his family as a very loving, closely-knit family. You can tell Nathan
really cares about his daughter, and that makes us hope even more that
he can get her back.
Unfortunately, as is the case with any thriller, there are a few things
that just don't quite make sense. Like how the kidnappers managed to set
up cameras and other things in Nathan's bedroom without waking up him
or his wife. Or why they can manage to get a microphone into Elizabeth's
room, but can't get in themselves. Just a couple things that spring to
But still, if you're a fan of thrillers, Don't Say a Word will definitely
please. It features a standard thriller story, with great acting and directing
to back it up.
And here we have another great DVD from Fox. I have to say honestly,
I think they have to be the best out there right now. Don't Say a Word
is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, with 5.1 Dolby Digital and
DTS. All parameters feature great transfers. The video quality is very
dark throughout most of the movie, but you're still able to make out all
the details. The beginning is very blue, but still manages to look really
good. This is one of the better video transfers I've seen in a while.
The audio is also excellent. It's always nice to have a choice of Dolby
Digital or DTS, and I personally like DTS better. The soundtrack is done
in such a way that it uses all the speakers to make the movie even more
suspenseful. Whether it's music, sound effects, or just dialogue, the
audio on this disc is top-notch, and adds a nice touch to the film.
Though not dubbed a special edition, the amount of extras would certainly
qualify it as one. First off, there is a feature-length commentary by
director Gary Fleder, and several scene-specific commentaries by the main
players. Douglas, Bean, Murphy, Janssen and Platt all commentate two scenes
each. Much of it is just general back-slapping, but once they get that
out of the way they can actually be quite informative. This is a nice
feature that I would like to see more often.
Next up are three short deleted scenes that were rightfully cut. They
don't add anything to the film, and are not even long enough to make much
difference. There is a short making-of featurette, which is typical PR
stuff, a set tour featurette, a film scoring featurette, screening room
dailies, a Brittany Murphy screen test, storyboard-to-screen comparisons,
and the trailer.
A very nice disc from Fox.
Don't Say a Word, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
113 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16X9 enhanced, 5.1 Dolby Digital,
Starring Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, Brittany Murphy, Famke Janssen and
Produced by Arnon Milchan, Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson
Screenplay by Anthony Peckham and Patrick Smith Kelly
Directed by Gary Fleder
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