Insane control freak releases manic DVD

I remember when the original DVD release of Panic Room came out, sans any special features, and I bitched about the lack of fun stuff. Well, the folks at Columbia Tri Star have caught up with a vengeance. Did you like Panic Room, director David Fincher’s taut follow-up to Fight Club that basically had actresses Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart crammed into a little room, hiding from three thugs, for the majority of its running time? I hope you did because this package, a three-disc DVD Special Edition jammed with commentaries and documentaries, is for ardent fans only. My original review of this movie was enthusiastic, although I admittedly saw Panic Room as a film where Fincher perhaps got to take it a little easier than on his previous, highly detailed projects. This DVD package is proof that Fincher never goes easy on a picture, and that this was far from a relaxing assignment. The brownstone that Foster’s Meg moves into resided inside a large studio, where effects personnel built the building brick by brick and devised a special misty rain. It seems that every shot in this movie was meticulously planned, and taxing on the crew, which resulted in the dismissal of cinematographer Darius Khondji, who had shot Fincher’s excellent Se7en. Panic Room is a good film, and taking in this DVD brings about a new appreciation of how much detail and backbreaking work went into this production. It also helps to fuel the argument that Fincher is an insane control freak, and God love him for that.

Special Features: Disc one is dedicated to the film, featuring multiple audio commentaries from Fincher, Foster and writer David Koepp. Hell, even costar Dwight Yoakam chimes in on this one. Discs two and three are comprised of behind-the-scenes footage documentaries that are well produced and very intriguing to those who care about the movie. If you manage to take all of this stuff in, you are a person with plenty of time on your hands. There’s even a glimpse of the film’s first star, Nicole Kidman, who had to be removed from the project and replaced by Foster after a leg injury. Fun trivia: Director David Fincher braided Jared Leto’s hair!

Movie grade: A-

Special Features: A

DVD Geek Factor: 8