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Avg. Rating: 3.77
Hollywood, Take Note: THIS IS HOW TO DO A DIRECTOR'S EDITION
An amazing story supported by an amazing commentary track (featuring the directors, the screenwriter, the cinematographer, and one of the principal actors), FROM HELL is a DVD extravaganza, the likes of which Hollywood should be churning out like butter.
Disc One features the full-length commentary of the film, splendidly cut onto DVD. The story, surrounding the events linking together the five infamous Jack the Ripper murders, plays out over the course of a few days, with Johnny Depp playing a fictitious inspector hell-bent on stopping the madman before another one can be committed. The commentary, especially the elements provided by the directors and the cinematographer, are incredibly insightful for the simple reason that they actually CARED about getting the subject matter presented as close to factual as was humanly possible! As well, the insights into the criminal mind and some backlash at the Hollywood system interfering with the possible success of motion pictures are well done.
Disc Two, however, is a real pleasure. It features an interactive documentary surrounding all of the various theories trying to answer the question of who Jack the Ripper truly was. Also, there is an HBO featurette hosted by the lovely Heather Graham. Still even more fascinating is the tour of the murder sites, done of the movie set, actually hosted by the directors. Yet even more incredible is the featurette on set-production: did you know they actually rebuilt a large section of the Whitechapel District in Prague to make this film possible? Lastly, some smaller featurettes on absinthe and the FROM HELL graphic novel are included.
By far, this is one of the best DVD packages I've seen in my few years of collecting. Fans of the film, as well as mere cinema buffs, will get a charge out of these loaded discs.
Get set for a journey into Hell!
From Hell Indeed!
The Hughes brothers have managed to create a tense,stomach churning thriller that will keep you intrigued and at times on the edge of your seat.Johnny Depp is once again magnificent in his role as the chief detective who's job it is to solve some horrific crimes in the sordid underworld of London in 1888.Depp manages to pull off his East London accent perfectly,which is more then I can say for Heather Graham.The cast in general is excellent from Robbie Coltrane to Ian Holm and the various strange characters you meet along the way.The whole film is beautifully shot-the attention to detail is wonderful.Some of the scenes have a really gothic quality and scenes such as the houses of parliament in the shadows of a blood red sky is simply breath-taking.In fact you get the impression that the city during this period would have been an awful place to live.
The story is set around the dodgy streets around Whitechapel,where poverty and squalor are the order of the day.The people and their lives seem to be particularly grim as they try any means possible to break out of this never ending cycle of poverty.This story is based on the infamous murders of Jack The Ripper.He has targeted a group of working girls,who unknown to themselves have uncovered a secret that could cause scandal to the entire nation.Somehow these girls have drawn the wrath of street pimps and thugs and unbelievably the upper classes in the form of wealthy doctors,free masons and even the royalty.One by one they will get bumped off unless Depp can uncover the murderer.But it's not that simple as he finds himself dealing with a dissaffected population and groups who try to hinder his every move.Depp soon begins to realise that he's dealing with someone who is enjoying the ritual of each murder.This ritual is indeed horrific and there are times during this movie where you'll need a very strong stomach.The action is never frenetic,it's more methodical.His methods of solving crimes involve him getting bizarre visions while under the influence of opium.The murderer when revealed shows certain tendencies that make Hannibal Lecter seem like a gentlman.
This movie is worth seeing alone just for it's portrayal of a major city at the turn of the 19th century.Added to the fact that the acting is excellent and the story line is riveting makes it a thoroughly enjoyable 2 hours
If you're a so-called RIPPER-ologist, this movie may be more than disappointing. If you're looking for cinema reprise of Alan Moore's evil graphic novel this isn't it either. Johnny Depp is engaging enough as Scotland Yard CDI Fred Abberline,but the movie lacks depth and tries to have "outdated" psychedelic pyrotechnics (and very good art design)compensate for a fluffy plot. David Wickes/BBC/Michael Caine televideo production of JACK THE RIPPER is vastly more accomplished both as entertainment and movie manifesto of Stephen Knight's THE FINAL SOLUTION. FROM HELL and TFS both propose Masonic conspiracy to protect the British Monarchy from a scandal involving the "presumptive heir to the throne". In my estimate the best Ripper story(unless you want to go way "back in day" for '50's solutionless,but very atmospheric
B x W cult thriller called,THE LODGER) remains,MURDER BY DECREE: where Sherlock Holmes(Christopher Plummer)stands-in for Abberline to face down Masonic adepts who are also RULERS of not-so merry, or olde England at height of the Victorian Age Empire. Again, if you're a fan of Johnny Depp you might like this surprisingly edgeless PM probe of the monstrous Whitehall Chapel Murders. Otherwise, be prepared to shrug-off the bloody, drugged-up,grape strewn path of this Jack the Ripper rip-off.
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