Movie Article

Case Not Closed

Ever hate a movie in the theater but love it on DVD? Check out today's Ask the Critic question and post your own

ON FURTHER REVIEW... After watching it on DVD, EW's Tucker feels bad he beat up on Brick (with Gordon-Levitt, pictured) when it played in theaters
Image credit: Brick: Everett Collection
ON FURTHER REVIEW... After watching it on DVD, EW's Tucker feels bad he beat up on Brick (with Gordon-Levitt, pictured) when it played in theaters

Ever hate a movie in the theater but love it on DVD?

Many readers have asked whether I've ever seen a movie in a theater that I disliked, but then changed my opinion upon seeing it as a DVD. (The other biggie I get is whether I've changed my opinion on a movie based on its commentary track or its extras — and I'll get to that one soon, I promise.)

Right now, however, I just experienced my first real turnaround: When I saw Brick, the twisty thriller starring Third Rock From the Sun's Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a smart-aleck high-school kid trying to solve the murder of his ex-girlfriend (Lost's Emilie de Ravin), I hated it. Writer-director Rian Johnson had a very clever idea — transpose the slang and attitude of '30s and '40s hardboiled detective fiction to modern-day adolescent life (Raymond Chandler, meet Dave Eggers) — and had come up with a pretentious botch.

Or at least, that's what I thought until I watched it again on DVD. Seeing the mystery plot unfold, appreciating the way the young actors managed to make tough-guy talk trip off their tongues so lightly... well, it grew on me, fast. Sometimes you can fall into the rhythm of a movie more easily on DVD: It's a more intimate experience — just you, your remote, the machine, and the movie — and you aren't surrounded by movie-theater popcorn-munchers either yukking it up too much or treating the whole experience as though they were in a secular church. I learned to like Brick by really concentrating on the clues, replaying scenes whose dialogue whipped by too quickly for my old ears, and listening and watching in blessed silence. Before, I was, to quote Jethro Tull, as thick as a brick. Now, Brick hit me like a ton of them.

What movie have you liked more when you saw it on DVD?

(Got a DVD-related question for Ken? Post it here.)

Originally posted Aug 15, 2006
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