Virgil Bliss
First Run Features // Unrated // $29.95 // November 26, 2002
Review by Blake Kunisch | posted January 7, 2003
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
Movie:  Virgil Bliss is a seemingly simple movie, a con just released tries to get on with his life, but when you take it all in, the movie is actually quite a bit more than initially thought. With very little dialogue, the visuals take you in as Virgil tries to adjust to the new world set before him. A simple, yet deep movie that draws you in and necessitates a second viewing to catch what you might have missed the first time.

Video: Shot completely digitally, the film is actually quite beautiful. While the whites do seem a bit washed out from time to time, overall, the sharpness of the film is top-notch. The DVD is presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen which is a nice addition from the small studio, First Run Features.

Audio: Virgil Bliss is presented in Dolby surround (not 5.1 mind you) and sounds great. A bit short on dialogue, the audio really helps pick this film up.

Extras:  Audio commentary with director Joe Maggio, Afterthought - a Sundance Channel featurette, and four other trailers from other First Run Features films.

-Audio Commentary: The audio commentary provided by the director, Joe Maggio is a welcome addition to this film. The film itself is so simple on the outside, the director is able to provide a lot of inside information that is very welcome. The commentary is recorded over a year after the film was shot, so it's also nice to hear what the director thinks about the movie after re-watching it so much later. While there are a few gaps in the commentary that would have been nice to have filled (such as with a cinematographer commentary as well), overall, the commentary is a great addition to the disc.

-Afterthought: The Afterthought featurette, taken from the Sundance Channel, gives a bit of a background of the film as a whole and delves a bit deeper than the commentary does at times. It's only about 3 minutes long, but give a little background not found elsewhere.

-Other Extras: Also included are four other trailers for other films by First Run Features along with a short biography of the director and text-based production notes.

Conclusion:  Virgil Bliss is a very good film - and that's really all this DVD has to offer. If you've seen the film or want to see a very real portrayal of life on the streets after being released from jail, this DVD is for you. The extras provide a nice background to the film and a lot of extra insight via the commentary. Be forewarned, the film is Not Rated, but it's not for all audiences. Film: Highly Recommended. DVD: Recommended for fans of the film.



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