Review by: Fusion3600
Posted on: January 28th, 2012
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Plot: What’s it about?

Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) is an instructor in one of the FBI’s most elite operations, a program that trains the future criminal profilers. The men and women selected for this program are the best of the best, the smartest and most adaptable young agents. Even so, the intense program is too much for some recruits, but those who do make it can make a real difference. The profilers go on to work high profile cases, most often serial killers, so lives are in their hands. The final project for Harris’ squad is to track a fictional serial killer on a remote island, where a mock city has been constructed. Those involved will have no way to contact the outside world and Harris even leaves, so the group is on its own. But soon, it becomes evident that someone within the squad has turned to murder, as bodies pile up. Can the group isolate the killer using the training they’ve learned, or is the killer far enough ahead to pick them off one by one?

Even with a solid cast and the direction of Renny Harlin, Mindhunters was a bomb in theaters and arrives on home video with little fanfare. As I have a soft spot for serial killer cinema, I went in with an open mind and while not that impressed, I wasn’t that disappointed. Mindhunters offers a darker, more violent take on the psychological thriller genre. This is good news to me, as I hate movies about serial killers and psychopaths that try to provide a more sterile approach. So yes, you’ll see ample blood in Mindhunters thanks to some graphic death sequences that are sure to delight horror fans. In fact, Mindhunters does have more of a horror movie feel than most thrillers, which is perhaps why I liked it more than most critics. But the story is weak, with quite a few lame twists and of course, a let down of a conclusion. But even so, if you’re in the mood for a darker thriller, then I think Mindhunters is a worthwhile rental choice.

Video: How does it look?

Mindhunters is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The visuals are often bathed in shadows and darkness, but the contrast never disappoints. The black levels never falter in the least, with refined and stark presence at all times. No worries with the colors either, as the hues come across in bold, vivid form, though the visual scheme requires darker colors. In the end, Dimension has given us a pretty top flight visual presentation, so fans should be most satisfied with this treatment.

Audio: How does it sound?

A movie like this can benefit quite a bit from an effective soundtrack, given that tension and suspense are primary elements. The surrounds are alive from start to finish here, with lots of eerie background fodder, as well as the hard rock music and of course, the killer’s rampages to spark up the speakers. I do think a few tweaks here and there could have enhanced the presence, but this still has a lot of life. The dialogue is clean and never hard to understand, so no worries there. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

An audio commentary track with director Renny Harlin is up first, in which he supplies numerous production details and stories. His comments are mostly technical, but never become dull, as she shares some of the ways he worked within the production. This is one of those “film school” type sessions, so you’ll learn a little, but Harlin also adds in some humor from time to time. This disc also includes three featurettes, but all three are brief and have minimal substance.

Mindhunters
MOVIE INFO.
YEAR RELEASED
2005
RATING
R
DIRECTOR
Renny Harlin
STUDIO
Disney
RUNNING TIME
106 min.


TECH SPECS
  • STANDARD DVD
  • (2.35:1)
  • Video Codec: MPEG-2
  • Audio: Dolby Digital
  • 1 Disc Set
  • DISC FEATURES
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy

DISC SCORES

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