Academy Award®-winning director Martin Scorsese brings heart-pounding suspense to one of the most acclaimed thrillers of all time in Cape Fear. Earning an Academy Award® nomination for his brilliant performance, Robert De Niro stars as vicious psychopath Max Cady who emerges after being imprisoned for fourteen years with a single-minded mission – to seek revenge on his attorney Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte). Realizing he is legally powerless to protect his beautiful wife Leigh (Jessica Lange) and his troubled teenage daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis) against Max’s relentless psychological torment, Sam resorts to unorthodox measures, leading to an unforgettable, action-packed showdown on Cape Fear.
A real powerhouse of a thriller featuring Robert DeNiro is one of his best performances as the chilling Max Cady, Cape Fear goes for the jugular from it’s opening sequence and doesn’t let go until it’s finale. Featuring some fine performances from Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis, Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear is a suspenseful tale of brutal revenge and retribution that should sit in any film fans collection.
Universal brings Cape Fear to HD with a VC-1 codec and framed in its original 2:39.1 OAR. Fans of the film might be interested to know that Cape Fear was Scorsese’s first film shot in scope and this does show with some fantastic photography taking full advantage of the wider frame. As for the HD transfer it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The transfer is clean with no visible print damage and very little grain throughout. On the downside, it does look quite dull and flat and colours seem a bit muted. Such scenes like the 4th July parade should appear to be bursting with colour but on this occasion, it does not. An improvement over the DVD but apparent why it’s released as part of Universal’s budget range.
Presented with an English DTS-MA 5.1, Cape Fear does sound quite good for its age. LFE is few and far between but does the job when required. Ambient effects are present in the rear channels throughout with the odd sound effect being thrown in for good measure. The highlight of the audio track is Elmer Bernstein’s faithful adaption of Bernard Herrmann’s original score. Full bodied and powerful, it really does suck you in from the opening chords.
French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese dubs in DTS core 5.1. the disc also carries plenty of subtitle options
: Deleted Scenes – just over 9 minutes worth in rough workprint form
:The Making of Cape Fear – clocking in at an impressive 80 mins, this comprehensive making of is a worthy addition to the disc’s supplementary features
:Behind the scenes of the 4th July parade – 2 minutes of B roll footage intercut with the finish product
: On the set of the Houseboat – just under 2 mins of B roll footage of the intense finale
: Photograph Montage – 9 mins worth of behind the scenes and publicity photos again intercut with the film
:Matte Paintings – just under a minutes worth of SFX Matte compositions (before and after) showcasing the film’s impressive photography
:Opening Credits – my favourite feature on the disc. Just over 11 mins worth of Saul Bass opening titles from other films (Vertigo, Psycho etc.). A showcase reel of Saul Bass’s incredible talent
:Theatrical Trailer – just too round things off, the original theatrical trailer
The disc also carries bookmarking functions and Pocket BLU apps
Please note that all the above special features are presented in SD
This presentation of Cape Fear on Blu-ray belongs in the budget range but some impressive audio and a great supplementary section makes it a decent purchase if you’re looking for something to watch during the evening. DeNiro and Scorsese fans should be happy with this release though