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The Mothman Prophecies: Special Edition DVD
Reviewed by Jason Myers, © 2003

Format: Movie
By:   Mark Pellington (Director)
Genre:   Thriller
Released:   May 27, 2003 (DVD Release)
Review Date:   May 28, 2003
Audience Rating:   PG-13
RevSF Rating:   9/10 (What Is This?)


For the full scoop on The Mothman Prophecies (in a waffle cone), go here. For a second scoop, try our tasty Mothman Prophecies Q&A flavor.

What? Still hungry? You gluttonous Roman! Okay. A third scoop. And that's all you get.

The Special Edition DVD isn't crazy stuffed to the gills like X-men 1.5 or Jonah: A Veggietales Movie, but it's got enough to make it worthwhile. A good director's commentary. A music video featuring that creepy Indrid Cold guy (who, it turns out, is voiced by Mark Pellington, the director). The five deleted scenes are good inclusions. Since they were left incomplete (no sound and effects), they really illustrate (probably not intentionally) how absolutely integral music and sound design were to the atmosphere of the film.

The "Search for the Mothman" documentary is perfect in that it answers the main question you'll have after watching The Mothman Prophecies, which is "How much of this √ębased on a true story' movie is actually true?" The short answer is that most of the things that happened to the townspeople are based on actual reports from the town of Point Pleasant, and most of the things that happened to John Klein are fabricated. Also, (SPOILERS) the The Mothman Prophecies leaves out most of the details that would suggest a traditional "visitors from outer space" explanation, and, as a result, it's a much more resonant tale of one town's (and one man's) ambiguous unraveling reality.

Speaking of unraveling, witness director Mark Pellington in "Day by Day: A Director's Journey" in two parts. It starts out a bit slow, but pretty soon it becomes "Day by Day: A Director's Journey into the Heart of Darkness." Now, first off, there is no doubt in my mind that movie director can easily compete with air traffic controller for the title of "World's Most Stressful Job." But in that movie about air traffic controllers whose title and plot I don't remember, Mark Pellington would be the shifty grimacing chain-smoking guy who you're afraid will snap and decide that it's a good day for an airborne demolition derby (I don't know if they had that type of character in that movie about air traffic controllers whose title and plot I don't remember, but they should have).

While X-men director Bryan Singer's reaction to the stressful task is to be perpetually wired, Pellington's approach is to mope, swear, belch, shuffle, and grumble. Weary, un-shaven, dishevelled, and bleary-eyed, he has the look of a man who's trying to figure out how to load his camera with bullets instead of film. In the course of the shoot, he curses at the documentarian (he's not the only crew member to do so), gets into a minor on-camera spat with executive producer Richard Wright (who, to be fair, started it), and later shoves him (off-camera).

Suffice it to say that there's not been such an unsparing portrait of a director in action since Stanley Kubrick's daughter documented the making of The Shining. It's hard to say how much of this is due to documentarian Jason Free's ability to get in Pellington's face at exactly the wrong moment, or to the fact that, in the editing room, most of the shots of Pellington saying "This is a great day. I love my job. I want to hug the world" were, understandably, excised in favor of more interesting material.

In any case, it's kind of funny when Pellington, later on, thanks the crew for the "most beautiful creative experience I've had in my life" and says he's had "a great time."

Revolution Ratings:

  • The Movie Itself: 9/10
  • The DVD Features: 8/10

As a final note, RevSF Film/DVD Editor Jason Myers would just like to say, "I love your movies, Mark. Please don't hurt me."

 
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