DELVES INTO SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE SCREAM FACTORY BLU-RAY
I am someone who loved the film Raising Cain right out of the gate - theatrical version in 1992. To me it flows perfectly, even if I very much appreciate Peet Gelderblom's re-cut, which uses an earlier draft of De Palma's screenplay to piece together something approximating De Palma's original intentions with the film. "It helps the film flow better and is the version that those looking to check the film out should watch," states 25YL's Robert Chipman, regarding Gelderblom's re-cut of Raising Cain. Chipman's article delves into the special features of the Scream Factory two-disc set, and begins with a story of his first experience with the film on VHS:
My family rented Raising Cain under the pretense of a dark thriller. I vividly recall about 20 minutes into the film, when the aptly-named character appeared, those in my household grumbled. Not because having two Lithgows for the price of one is a bad deal, quite the opposite! The family didn’t understand what was going on. Why is John Lithgow talking to another version of himself? A young kid like myself didn’t get it either, but I was willing to soldier through. Unfortunately for me, my family felt otherwise and shut it off around the time Cain and Carter’s dad makes himself known. Of course, who played the father? You guessed it, John Lithgow. My parent packed the movie and shipped it back to the video store. Did we get our money back? Of course not: we rented Alien 3 instead. I feel that was the wrong decision.
Anyway, Raising Cain holds a memory; I won’t say it was special. I watched it years later and found it a decent De Palma film with an excellent performance from John Lithgow. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and everything you love (and hate) about Brian De Palma is in Raising Cain.
And here's a bit of Chipman's review of the special features interviews:
The second interview, “The Man In My Life,” is a sit-down with actor Steven Bauer. As with Lithgow, Bauer talks about the attention to detail that De Palma brings to his films by telling a tale of seeing the entirety of Scarface‘s production storyboarded in his office. From there, Bauer discusses going through a divorce and his relief—having to work on the set of Raising Cain to take his mind off his marital issues. While “The Man In My Life” isn’t in-depth on the day-to-day workings of the production, it works as a window into the mindset of Steven Bauer. And that is just as entertaining and informational.
“Have You Talked to the Others?” is an interview with editor Paul Hirsch. Hirsch traces his career back to the early ’90s working as an editor-for-hire to make “terrible films” into “bad films.” I appreciate Hirsch’s honesty as he talks about his first brushes with the film and not understanding what was going on in the script and what Brian De Palma needed. A funny story comes about as Hirsch details De Palma watching him edit while reading a book about ways to commit suicide. While short, “Have You Talked to the Others?” is one of my favorite interviews due to Hirsch’s openness.
Gregg Henry sits down to talk about his time on set with “Three Faces of Cain.” Speaking for myself, I love and appreciate character actors. Gregg Henry is one of my favorites, and I was excited to hear his thoughts. As is a recurring theme throughout the interviews, Henry talks about how De Palma maps out the film and comes to the set prepared, understanding how the film is to look. Henry talks about the infamous one-shot sequence and recounts a horror story about one actor blowing his line at the end of the shot. While there’s nothing earth-shattering in the interview, Henry speaks highly about the production, is proud of the film, and appreciates all involved.
Actor Tom Bower is next with the interview, “The Cat’s In the Bag.” Bower talks about working on the one-shot with Henry and actress Frances Sternhagen and the reviews he got for his work on the production. There’s not a lot with this interview, but it’s a cute addition and worth checking out at least once.
The last interview on the theatrical cut disc, “A Little Too Late for That,” finds actress Mel Harris discussing her work on Raising Cain. Harris heaps praise on De Palma for his professionalism, what drew her to accept her role as Sarah and working with actress Lolita Davidovich. It’s nice to see Scream Factory reaching out to the supporting players, giving them time to share their thoughts, and Harris is no exception.
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