'Panic' **** 022605
DVD Review (2000)
The Work = ****
So, there is something evident when watching the trailer on the DVD of 'Panic'. Well it's evident if you
have seen the movie anyway; this is a film that is a drama that was advertised by the studio as an action
thrill ride..... Now, I'm pretty sure they pay a tidy sum for fellows to make trailers and I am here to
say whatever the advertising people were paid for their work on 'Panic' was way, way, too much.
'Panic' is a sad film. 'Panic' is also a wonderful, often moving film with great performances by William H
Macy, Tracey Ullman, Neve Campbell, Donald Sutherland, John Ritter, David Dorfman, as well as others that
I'm leaving out. However, it is not an action thrill ride! The trailer makes it look like a bad made for
cable movie with cheesy action sequences and shootouts and guess what? It looks cheesy 'cause they 'aint
in the movie and the advertising geniuses are trying to make it look like they are. I am sorry to spend
so much time on this but the way this movie was advertised is what lead to it being virtually unheard of.
The sad truth is, 'Panic' is a great film that virtually went straight to video. It is a drama about a
Alex, played by William H. Macy, who going through a midlife crises. It shows what can happen when
someone has violence in their life and does not find a way to exorcize their demons. It is also a movie
about parent's and children and what a child's upbringing can lead to. I am deliberately trying to be elusive about the plot details because the less you know, the better.
Don't read the description on the box or the summary online just rent it. Be aware that this is a
somewhat violent film, with some explicit dialogue and some sex but it's not graphic. My guess is if you
liked Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Hard Eight' or maybe if you liked say, 'Fargo', than you will like this
film. At the very least if you are a Macy fan, give it a rental and see what you think.
DVD = ***
A pretty decent transfer. 'Panic' was shot and is presented in 2.35:1 animorphic widescreen. The cinematography is wonderful. The
picture looks sharp and the colors look to be accurate.
Dialogue and music came through clearly on the English Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The DVD also has a 2.0 track in Spanish. There are no subtitles on the DVD.
We get some text screens covering some of the cast and crew, the film's god awful trailer, some poorly
transferred deleted footage and a pretty good commentary by the film's director. The commentary track is
a bit dry but Writer/ director Henry Bromell does give some neat info about the film and the cast and crew.
All together = ****
What could have been the beginning of a big directorial career for Bromell has instead become a forgotten title.
'Panic' is a great film that is worth seeing. If you're worried, at least give it a rental and see what you
think. I say: Check it out!