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Requiem for a Dream: Director's Cut

Darren Aronofsky's dazzling adaptation of Hubert Selby, Jr.'s grim novel is as visually inventive as it is heart-breaking. Jared Leto stars as Harry, a wide-eyed junkie with no excuses, a mother hooked on diet pills, and a girlfriend as lost as he is. Wrapped in a coarse cloak of failure, each character searches for release by plunging deeper into their captor. Artisan's release of this unrated director's cut is a thorough package, beginning with its fold-out booklet and into its clever video menu, which may leave some half-alert viewers wondering what's wrong their television. The anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) is gorgeous, and the elaborate soundscape is crisp in Dolby Digital 5.1. One audio commentary features an engaging and thorough commentary by Aronofsky, and another features the tech-heavy insights of D.P. Libatique. Also on board is a rough half-hour of low-key behind-the-scenes footage featuring glimpses at some of the film's various technologies and gross-out effects with an optional (but necessary) commentary by Aronofsky; a 20-minute interview of Selby, Jr. by Burstyn; a five-minute Sundance Channel "Anatomy of a Scene"; and several interesting deleted scenes with optional commentary by Aronofsky, including one outtake entitled "Marlon Plays Jar Jar" in which Wayans plays a scene like the annoying alien sidekick of a recent blockbuster, and another extended take of Selby, Jr. in his cameo as a prison guard, taking the mickey out of Wayans. Also with trailers, Web designs, TV spots, textual supplements. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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