Mulholland Falls

Mulholland Falls (1996)
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Nick Nolte, John Malkovich, Michael Madsen, Jennifer Conelly, Chazz Palminteri
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

Lee Tamahori’s 1996 crime thriller is a wonderful mix of influences creating a rather strong and atmospheric film with a noir feel as well as an edgy modern feel. Set in Los Angeles in the 50s, the film tells the story of a squad of four detectives who stumble into a puzzling murder of a young woman. Clues indicate that somehow a high ranking US General is involved in the murder but as everyone is trying to keep them at a distance the detectives have to become increasingly ruthless to find the truth behind all the stories and cover-ups they stumble into.

’Mulholland Falls’ is wonderfully charming and full of great images, as well as a phenomenal cast. Nick Nolte, John Malkovich, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Treat Williams, Jennifer Conelly, and Melanie Griffith are all doing their best to bring this story to life, but I found especially Chazz Palminteri to once again play the character that centers and focuses the plot in many ways. He is just one of those understated actors that never really take the spotlight but through their performance make sure everyone around them is shining as brightly as possible. The story is wonderfully plotted and paced, making ’Mulholland Falls’ a great cinematic experience, a film that gets everything right.

GM Home Entertainment has treated ’Mulholland Falls’ with an anamorphic widescreen transfer on this DVD that is absolutely clean and clear. A fullframe version is also included but I did not check it out. No blemishes mar the presentation and the transfer is always highly defined. Colors are vibrant with faithful skin tones and lush palettes and the transfer’s black level is always solid without cloaking shadow detail. A tiny hint of edge-enhancement is evident on occasion but it is barely distracting and overall this is a great transfer without compression artifacts.

The audio is also impressive wit ha full-bodied 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that makes good use of the surround channels. Dialogues are well integrated and never drowned out. Subtitles in English, Spanish and French round out the presentation.

As the only extra, ’Mulholland Falls’ contains the film’s theatrical trailer.

’Mulholland Falls’ is a great film in my book. It shows a cinematic eloquence like few films do and the promise the incredible cast brings to the film is definitely fulfilled. Grab this disc on your next journey to the video store.