Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 21st, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1992
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: Brian De Palma
Cast: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, Mel Harris, Teri Austin, Gabrielle Carteris
BluRay released: September 13th, 2016
Approximate running times: 91 Minutes 31 Seconds (Theatrical Cut), 91 Minutes 58 Seconds (Director’s Cut)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R (Theatrical Cut), NR (Director’s Cut)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Shout! Factory
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Doctor Carter Nix is a prominent child psychologist who decides to spend his time at home raising his daughter and further his studies in child psychology. On the surface, he appears to be the perfect husband and father. Then a traumatic event occurs shattering the world he once knew.
After pushing the boundaries in regards to censorship in the first half of the 1980’s with film’s like Dressed to Kill, Scarface and Body Double. Filmmaker Brian De Palma then spent the latter half of the 1980’s doing more mainstream films like The Untouchables and Casualties of War. The 1990’s for De Palma would seem him return to his roots with the comedy film The Bonfire of the Vanities. And when this film failed to live up to its expectations. He would then finally make a grand return to the thriller genre with Raising Cain.
When it was initially release Raising Cain, did not connect as well as De Palma’s previous thriller’s. With the main reason being, many viewers found the story to be too confusing in its present form. And since its initial release it has been reported that the version released in theaters was not De Palma’s original edit for the film. Flash forward years along comes a release like this one which includes De Palma’s original edit for the film. Besides strengthening characters and their motivations. Another area where this new edit excels is its more linear structure, then its predecessor.
From a production standpoint, there is not an area where This film does not deliver and then some. This film is filled with stylish cinematography, most notably an eight-minute tracking shot where a character speaks throughout the entire shot. And when it comes to building and sustaining suspense this film’s does not miss a beat.
Performance wise the entire cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performer being John Lithgow (The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment) who takes on multiple roles and multiple personalities. He delivers a tour de force performance that easily ranks amongst his best work as an actor. Another performance of note is Lolita Davidovich (Gods and Monsters) in the role of Carter’s adulteress wife Jenny.
The theatrical cut comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. And the director’s cut comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. Both versions are presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Both of these transfers look great and they both do a superb job retaining this film’s intended look. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
The theatrical and the director’s cut each come with two audio options, DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a DTS-HD stereo mix in English. All audio mixes sound clean, clear, balanced and robust when they need to be. Range wise all the audio mixes take full advantage of the sound spectrum and the more ambient epacts of the soundtrack are well presented. And included for this release are removable English SDH for both versions.
Extras for this release are spread over two discs.
Extras on disc one include, a stills gallery, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 5 seconds) and six interviews – actor John Lithgow (30 minutes), actor Steven Bauer (24 minutes), editor Paul Hirsch (10 minutes 49 seconds), actor Gregg Henry (15 minutes 47 seconds), actress Mel Harris (8 minutes 43 seconds) and actor Tom Bower (8 minutes).
Topics discussed in the interview with John Lithgow include, how and where he first met Brian De Palma, his three collaborations with De Palma – Obsession, Blow Out & Raisin Cain, creating the various personas, he portrays in Raising Cain, Gregg Henry and how he assisted him during the scenes where only his persona’s interacted, how De Palma was a hands-on filmmaker, his thoughts about Raising Cain and where it ranks in career.
Topics discussed in the interview with Steven Bauer include, Scarface, Raising Cain and working with Brian De Palma.
Topics discussed in the interview with Gregg Henry include, De Palma and their various collaborations, Raising Cain and the look of the film, how De Palma likes to rehearse scenes and his favorite scene in Raising Cain.
Topics discussed in the interview with Mel Harris include, her first impressions of the script, working with De Palma, John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, the look of the film and her favorite scene in Raising Cain.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tom Bower include, De Palma and how he effortlessly creates suspense, creating good master shots, shooting a eight minute tracking shot, critics reaction to his performance and his thoughts about the film.
The featurette gives a brief overview about the alternate edit of Raising Cain included as part of this release.
The video essay gives a detailed account of the differences between the theatrical and new edit of the Raisin Cain.
Rounding out the extras is slip cover and optional alternate cover art.
Overall Raising Cain gets an exceptional release from Shout! Factory, highly recommended.