XenForo Template Interview with the Vampire Release Date: October 14, 2008 Studio: Warner Home Video Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case Year: 1994 Rating: R Running Time: 2h03m MSRP: $28.99 MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURESVideo1080p high definition 16x9 1.85:1 (closer to 1.78:1)480i or 480p standard definitionAudioDolby Digital: English 5.1, French 2.0 (dubbed in Quebec), Spanish 1.0, Japanese 2.0StereoSubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish and Japanese (movie and select bonus materials) The Feature: 3/5 Vampirism is what you make of it. For the vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise), it's a chance to play god. For his sire Louis (Brad Pitt), it's a tortured, existensial crisis. Though Louis finds several decades of purpose with a surrogate, bloodsucking daughter (played by Kirsten Dunst), living forever also means things inevitably change. Who knew immortality could be such a downer? Adapted from the novel by author Anne Rice herself, "Interview with the Vampire" strikes an interesting (and mostly successful) balance between knee-weakening, desanguinating horror and sardonic amusement. Unfortunately, the constant navel gazing by the main character wears thin and by the end Lestat's reckless amorality is welcomed, if not applauded. Cruise is OK in the role, though his celebrity makes it hard to warm up to his flamboyant portrayal before the part is largely over. The standout is Dunst, who reflects an innocence and unsettling maturity that strengthens one of the key conflicts in the film. Having never finished the novel (all that blood made me abandon it early), I can see now why Lestat is the recurring and most popular of the characters. It's just too bad a film didn't first tell Lestat's story (the second novel in the series) or that this one didn't pick someone less distracting for the role. Video Quality: 4/5 Though labeled as 1.85:1 the framing has been opened up to 1.78:1, filling the entirety of my 16x9 display. Black levels are very good, inky and deep. Shadow detail is often lacking, but given that much of the film takes place at night or indoors with only candles for illumination, the shadowy quality is both appropriate and naturalistic. Sharpness and detail are generally very good, though close ups tend to fare better than wide shots. Grain structure has been nicely preserved with no signs of noise reduction or edge enhancement. Audio Quality: 3.5/5 Though lacking a lossless or uncompressed audio track, the 640 kbps Dolby Digital audio track sounds suitably clean and dynamic. Surround activity mainly consists of support for dramatic cues in the score, with only occasional directional or ambient effects. There are few occasions necessitating LFE, but audio sounds sufficiently full in the lower frequencies. Dialogue is on the whole clear and intelligible, though I had to turn on subtitles a few times to make out some actors' lines. Special Features: 3/5 Introduction by Anne Rice, Neil Jordan, and Antonia Banderas (1m04s): A rather pointless feature, especially since it's just made up of clips from the documentary. "In the Shadow of the Vampire" Documentary (29m43s): Novelist Anne Rice, director Neil Jordan and members of the cast cover the basic talking points of the characters, adapting the novel, casting, special effects and theatrical release. Clips from the film are especially dim. Produced in 2000. Commentary by Director Neil Jordan: Jordan provides a laidback but informative track covering all major aspects of the production. Theatrical Trailer (2m36s): Presented at 4x3 1.33:1 Recap The Feature: 3/5 Video Quality: 4/5 Audio Quality: 3.5/5 Special Features: 3/5 Overall Score (not an average): 3/5 The film adaptation of a popular vampire novel gets a very good video transfer, decent audio and an acceptable set of special features.