DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
Ultra HD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Pusher: Special Edition
Pusher: Special Edition
Starz / Anchor Bay
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted October 29, 2000 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
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
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
CineSchlock-O-Rama

Danish writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn made his first movie in his mid-20s, with nearly no experience, other than his fascination with film. Based on a producer's interest in a 5-minute video he made and starred in, which was shown on television, he was given about one million dollars to make Pusher (1996, 109 minutes) into a feature film. The story follows a small-time Danish gangster through a pivotal week in his tumultuous life. Pusher is dark, brooding and shot in a deliberately documentary style, that's both frenetic and fluid. The European success of the film spawned his second feature Bleeder (1999). Nicolas is now working on his first English-language film.

The movie: Frank (Kim Bodnia who was in the original Nightwatch and also stars in Bleeder) is either a woefully inept drug pusher, or is having the worst seven days of his career. He and his tattooed buddy Tonny attempt to make a simple heroin sale, but the buyer is short on cash, leaving Frank in the lurch. What's worse Frank owes $50,000 to his supplier and "friend" Milo, which he doesn't have. Miraculously, a potentially huge deal lands in Frank's lap, one that'd pay his debt and fill his pockets. Only it's a bust, and he winds up fleeing by foot, ditching the drugs and landing in jail. Once out, Milo wants his money AND the $120,000 worth of dope Frank tossed in the river. Things keep getting worse as Frank tries to shake down his clients for money he's owed, but it seems next to impossible to avoid losing his kneecaps. Kim Bodnia's performance as Frank is deeply intense and real, yet somehow we're led to care what happens to the schmuck. Also intriguing is Zlatko Buric as Milo the Balkan drug lord, who exudes a subdued malevolence that's fascinating to watch. He seems harmless, even charming -- but when the check is due, he WILL be paid. Friend or not.

Notables: No breasts. One shotgun suicide. Stuffed-gorilla abuse. Foot chase. Baseball-bat beating. Electric shock to the nipples. Cyclist boxing.

Quotables: Frank claims, "Watching videos makes you dumb." While his "entertainer" girlfriend is in serious denial, "I could be whatever I want, I just don't feel like it."

Time codes: Tonny and Frank get into some raunchy sex stories (8:20). Tonny demonstrates his deadly circle kick (32:55). A human skull conversation piece (1:07:05).

Audio/Video: Remember, this is a Danish-language film with English subtitles. That said, what works best about the film, beyond the performances, is its look and sound. It's presented in a gritty widescreen (1.66:1) print that's also been enhanced for 16x9 TVs. The audio has been mixed into a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that especially thumps during the dance club scenes.

Extras: Audio commentary with the director and Anchor Bay big-wig Bill Lustig (Maniac, Uncle Sam) who first saw Pusher in his favorite London movie haunt. The commentary is conversational, with Nicolas explaining his break into filmmaking, and of course, different aspects of the movie itself. There's also an excellent addition called "On The Edge: Making Pusher" that runs about 30 minutes. The featurette also includes clips from the original short film. Theatrical trailer and TV Spot. English credits. Animated menus with audio.

Final thought: Come on, subtitles never KILLED anyone. Excellent flick that's smartly acted and told. Recommended.

Check out CineSchlock-O-Rama
for additional reviews and bonus features.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.

Popular Reviews
1. Yakuza Law


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2019 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use