“Kalifornia” operates as one of those great almost unraveling noir mysteries where you know the ending ala “The Vanishing” but are unable to pull away from its road of self destruction. Watching the new transfer of the movie on BD, the idea of this serial killer road movie plays just as well with the blacks and blues dominating the frame which Dominic Sena (who would later make “Gone In 60 Seconds”) puts to exceptional effect. Formulaic but caricatured in its progression (especially within the ideas of these people), the execution is still infinitely entertaining with the underrated Brad Pitt (at the time) taking extreme effort in character very early in his career. While the depth of his character Early might not be all there, the simply bombastic and immersive nature of his demeanor is quite impressive. The balance here is playing Juliette Lewis against type after she had just played Mallory Knox in “Natural Born Killers” to Pitt’s personification to that point as the hitchhiker in “Thelma & Louise”. Here Juliette’s innocent play against Pitt’s loner, who has a degree of charm in his path to destruction, gives the drama a little more weight.
A young David Duchovny, playing to a more modern standard against his Mulder character at times balances the progression with a very svelt Michelle Forbes who later went onto her role in “Battlestar Galactica” though at the time she was a cast member on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” The transfer of the picture itself is distinct especially in the views across Southern Nevada. The grain structure doesn’t interfere with the viewing experience which is a distinct problem with some of the pictures more than 15 years old because in souping them up, the lines become more distinct. The resolution in terms of plot still plays a little too horror movie since it is the detachment and persistence of Pitt’s character that paints real despite the lack of rationale for his actions. The inflected humor of Pitt playing a Southern boy is what clears the path for the reaction of the dark side which you can see switch in his eyes at one point when Juliette’s character Adele (whom he calls “Momma”) turns against him. “Kalifornia” is not the greatest made or acted film but it understands itself punctuating with an edge that seems even more diametric in this unrated cut. In terms of extras, only the trailer persists and even that speaks out too much to the movie instead of teasing the mystery of what is to come. Out of 5, I give the “Kalifornia” BD a 2 1/2.