Cover Art and Menu: 9/10
This is an excellent excellent package. I give them kudos for making this a cool addition to the DVD shelf in all our homes. The clear box and DVD with a saw blade graphic are obvious choices, but I think it takes some balls to go for it when it comes to exciting packaging and they did it.
The menu is pretty cool, doesn’t give away too much but it gives you little sips of what’s to come in the movie.
Extras & Features: 5/10
In the era of DVD mania I would like to think that a quirky film like Saw would have people involved who know the importance of giving fans as much information about the making of the film as possible, but I guess they were just too busy being in shock at the success of the movie. They didn’t bother to add anything really except a pretty good commentary and a totally lame “making off” featurette. I’m just gonna hope for a special edition someday.
- Audio Commentary With Director James Wan & Writer LeighWhannell – Two very interested and interesting filmmakers who make you enthused about their movie from start to finish. I like to listen to the less jaded writers and directors talk about filmmaking, it’s not so much about just making a product but telling a story, I like that.
- 2 Music Videos – blah
- Making Of The Music Videos – No offense, but I’m not into music videos. Even if I were these shorts are not very informative or entertaining.
- “Sawed Off” Mini Featurette – Um, did anyone bother to explain to the makers of this “featurette” what we DVD fans might want? I think they missed that day of film school, if they teach that these days. This is almost the worst extra anyone has gone to the trouble of putting on a DVD. I really like the movie so this is a let down.
- Trailers & TV Spots – Self explanatory
- Art Gallery – I think you can figure this one out.
The Movie: 7/10:
I didn’t know what to expect when we went to see Saw. I was a clean slate. No, I hadn’t seen the trailers, or heard about it. I live under a rock. I was so pleasantly surprised with the movie, and maybe that’s why, because I had no expectations. Hahaha that sounds kind of crap, as if the movie isn’t really that good, but because I had no expectations it comes off ok..um, no, that’s not what I mean.
The movie has flaws, of course. There is a lot of grandstanding with shocking images and trauma inducing camera work, but that does have a tendency to wear thin after a while. The effect wears off and then you are just looking at gross images with no real impact. I still like all the weirdness though.
The performances vary from excellent to so-so. Shawnee Smith, as the woman with the “bear trap” on her head does a perfect job of being completely in shambles. She has never been one of my favorites, but this performance even made me feel freaked out. I look forward to seeing her in something else down the road.
Cary Elwes is quite stiff and wooden if I have to be honest. I wish he would just drop the attempt to have a fake American accent and be his own British self. He strains often to keep his voice a certain way and it’s distracting, even when he’s chained to the plumbing of a nasty basement toilet with a dead guy a few feet away. I mean, who couldn’t get into character in that situation? He forces a lot of the dialogue and seems theatrical sometimes.
Danny Glover is the same as he always is, but his character is a bit troubled, not the fun loving guy we are used to. He just doesn’t bring anything special to the film. He’s ok, but sadly he could be replaced by several other actors who could have brought something more to the character.
The special effects, make up, and sets are all creepy, of course. It’s a movie with strong atmosphere, without a doubt. I love that. Seriously, how many movies these days take us completely to a different place where we feel so claustrophobic, so grossed out by what might be on the floor in the dark in front of us? I appreciate that uncomfortable feeling, it’s not often I get to experience that with my beloved films.
The story is a little typical of today’s horror flicks, but it has enough surprises and twists along the way to make you feel like you have had a good ride. I wouldn’t compare Saw to any other movie, even if you have heard different. I think it stands alone as a classic creep fest flick of the 21st century and I hope people take it for what it is…a couple hours of good decadent gory entertainment.
For the crappy extras I would want this DVD to be cheaper than it is, but at around 18.00 online I guess it’s worth it to have the cool cover and commentaries by the writer/director/star. I would rent it though, wait to buy it when a special edition comes out, if they do such a thing.
Overall Score 7/10