I dont think it is telling but without the voices of the cast, Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin or Oliver Platt or the director Joel Schumacher (now deceased), FLATLINERS extras sound a lot like a study in sycophants. By this, I mean that everyone involved in this new Arrow release has to doff their cap to the work of the professionals on the headlines. The most rewarding part of the whole, comes from that restoration overseen by Jan De Bont. His work on the film was a study in gels, lighting, frame and field. It screams 80s into 90s obsessions with the visual (and the curses High Concept that any film studies dullard will scream at you.) It also proved he was a better DOP than he was a director and no actual level of discussion will change my mind.

So FLATLINERS (if you dont know) sees a group of priveledged medical students, subject themselves to a daring experiment. To touch death and see if they can come back with answers to the most problematic question. What happens next? They temporarily induce their own deaths, hoping to glimpse the afterlife. But as with all uber mencsh types, a competition within the group intensifies the length of death time and when their visions of the world beyond bleed into their waking lives, things are going to get disturbed.

Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire, Batman and Robin, 8mm among others) film is a mixed bag indeed. Yes it tackles the existential question that, at one time or another, haunts and lingers. But it also serves as a horror vehicle for three players trying to transcend the post Hollywood Brat Pack world. It succeded and failed in equal measures for a mixture of reasons. Success at the box office and for the great Michael Douglas (who can literally smell a success) but for those wanting a career jolt it was a mixed blessing. The critics Bryan Reesman and Max Evry commentary is best placed and most frank about why. But it is the film and not the stars at fault here. As you will also find in the extras, the target of visual over substance expanded this lack of depth within the film and was a direct decision of Joel Schumacher. Not a bad series of choices from him, but not one to make us sit and revel in a film that had punch and panache. This is tackled by Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amanda Reyes and Peter Tonguette, who both are more honest than any of the other contributors in the films flaws. If not also the films delights on penatence and pervesion.

Product Features

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original negative, approved by director of photography Jan de Bont
  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
  • Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 surround soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary by critics Bryan Reesman and Max Evry
  • The Conquest of our Generation, a brand new video interview with screenwriter Peter Filardi
  • Visions of Light, a brand new video interview with director of photography Jan de Bont and chief lighting technician Edward Ayer
  • Hereafter, a brand new video interview with first assistant director John Kretchmer
  • Restoration, a brand new video interview with production designer Eugenio Zanetti and art director Larry Lundy
  • Atonement, a brand new video interview with composer James Newton Howard and orchestrator Chris Boardman
  • Dressing for Character, a brand new interview with costume designer Susan Becker
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amanda Reyes and Peter Tonguette


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