Swimming with Sharks [Special Edition] [DVD] [1994]

Swimming With Sharks graduates to special edition status with this stellar DVD from Lions Gate Home Entertainment. Packed with bonus features that delve straight into the heart of this loved indie pic, the disc goes a long way to give the film its own legacy, which given its sparse theatrical distribution and eventual success on home video and cable, was long overdue. The film is presented with an anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen picture, while the sound has been upgraded to both Dolby and DTS 5.1 tracks, along with a single 2.0 stereo track as well. In addition, the disc comes with three separate audio commentaries -- the first with Kevin Spacey, the second with writer/director George Huang and the third featuring Huang and co-star Frank Whaley. Par usual, Spacey's commentary is dry and excruciatingly bland, contrary to the director's, which is light, fun, and goes a long way in discussing the trials of working in Hollywood and headlining a first feature in the indie world. The director's track with Whaley is also a spirited track that's packed with quips about the star's hairdo and further stories of the production. The special features continue with a well-made 24-minute making-of, which finds the cast and crew looking back on the film ten years later. Combined with the candid ten-minute "Life as a Hollywood Assistant" and the "Let's Do Lunch: A Conversation With Colleagues" clips, the disc hilariously presents the hell that is working in Hollywood and what making a movie like this does to the town that you're blatantly exposing. Further bonus features include a bevy of deleted scenes (with optional director's commentary), the original theatrical trailer, and a Lion's Gate trailer gallery that includes peeks at Haute Tension, Beyond the Sea, and The Devil's Rejects, among others.
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Overview

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Special Features

  • Commentary with actor Kevin Spacey
  • Commentary with director George Huang
  • Commentary with director George Huang and actor Frank Whaley
  • "Back to the Tank: Swimming 10 Years Later"
  • "Shark Tales: Life as a Hollywood Assistant"
  • "Let's Do Lunch: A Conversation With Colleagues"
  • Deleted scenes

Synopsis

Swimming With Sharks
Originally screened at Telluride as The Buddy Factor, Swimming With Sharks is an uneven but engrossing picture, and a possible warning to anyone with plans to break into the motion-picture business. When Guy (Frank Whaley), a recent film-school graduate with big ideas, takes a job as assistant to major studio executive Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey), he believes his ship has finally come in; little does he know it's a slave ship, for his boss is indeed worse than a slave driver. Buddy delights in abusing his boy-toy (exemplified by the scene in which he forbids Guy to go to the bathroom as he pours water back and forth from a glass to a pitcher). Meanwhile, Guy struggles to push his idea for a script and feels he's finally made it when Buddy congratulates him on a job well done. However, much to his chagrin, his conniving boss actually takes sole credit for the project, pushing the young assistant to wit's end -- he breaks into Buddy's Beverly Hills showplace and takes him hostage, then proceeds to torture him in a number of demeaning and horrifying ways. The whole film stands as a sort of parable about the value system in Hollywood and the cost of reaching the top; it doesn't play like real life, but it's not supposed to. The real reason to watch the film, however, is Spacey's performance. He manages at once to be terrifying, hateful, and hilarious, and he makes Buddy Ackerman a character the audience won't soon forget. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Kevin Spacey
    Kevin Spacey - Buddy Ackerman
  • Frank Whaley
    Frank Whaley - Guy
  • Michelle Forbes
    Michelle Forbes - Dawn Lockard
  • Benicio Del Toro
    Benicio Del Toro - Rex
  • Jerry Levine
    Jerry Levine - Jack

Overall Customer Rating

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