Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 5/15/00
1992 (2000) - Paramount
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
125 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 59.59 at the start
of chapter 8), theatrical trailer, film-themed menu screens, scene
access (16 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0) and
French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned
there was Jennifer 8, a
hyper-stylized look into the mind of a killer. Jumping on the serial
killer bandwagon started by Silence of
the Lambs, Jennifer 8
presented a killer with a weird agenda, a cop with a dark past and a
strong female character at the heart of the film. Its not the
best of the genre, but it certainly has its charms.
Andy Garcia stars as John Berlin, a homicide cop moving from L.A.
to a small town in California called Eureka, where hes running
from his past and finding comfort under the wing of his old friend
Lance Henrikson. The first day on the job (actually the day before),
they stumble on a gruesome discovery in the local dump - a womans
hand, discarded in a bag of chicken lo mein. So John has his first
case, and he cant get it out of his head. He thinks he can
solve the murder. The only problem is, his superiors want the case
shut down and are willing to write it off as medical waste
improperly discarded. Piecing the clues together, John begins to
believe the woman was blind, and heads up to a school for the blind
to investigate. It's there he meets Uma Thurman, a blind music
teacher and finds that the killer is only getting started.
Jennifer 8 is a tight
whodunit. Like most whodunits, everyone is a suspect and the
telegraphing is pretty broad. The local newspaper guy could be the
killer, the head of the school could be the killer, and even the
motorcycle cop (who everyone treats like crap) has the ability to be
the killer. The identity of the killer is still pretty easy to
figure out, but thats alright - its still a good flick.
The best thing is Conrad Halls cinematography. Its dark,
gritty and creepy. Youll get sucked right in and wont
get out until the end. If you liked Seven,
youll like this.
Paramounts DVDs have been getting better and better in terms
of product quality, even over the last few months. This is a
gorgeous anamorphic transfer, preserving Halls photography in
a grand way. The picture has all the right grain, the blacks are
deep and the colors (what there are) are wonderful. The sound is
also good. There are two English tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0)
and both sound as rich and enveloping as they did in the theater.
Christopher Youngs score is haunting here and the sound
effects work to make your head swim. There are no extras, aside form
the trailer, and thats a shame - but par for the course at
Paramount. Thats the next big step for the studio, doing
consistent special editions. They got everything else right, so now
they need to really start knocking us dead.
Jennifer 8 is creepy, kooky,
and all together spooky. Wait... thats another Paramount disc.
Either way, if you dig severed body parts and dark atmospheres, then
this is a flick you might want to check out. The performances are
good, the look of the film is incredible and there are a few
surprising plot twists that might grab you. Plus John Malkovich has
a cool walk-on. Its worth a spin.