Based on the novella by Stephen King, Apt Pupil stars Brad Renfro as teenager Todd Bowden who, quite by accident, discovers that an elderly neighbor is a wanted Nazi war criminal. After confronting Kurt Dussander (McKellen) with his knowledge, Todd explains he will not expose him to the authorities if he agrees to tell him the stories of what went on in the death camps—the stuff they won't tell you in school—with chilling consequences for both of them. A chilling tale. (Gary Reber)
Special features include a making-of featurette (SD 06:31) and the theatrical trailer.
Reviewed in Issue 33 as an anamorphically enhanced DVD, the picture exhibited superb resolution and excellent sharpness. Images were finely detailed, with naturally rendered contrast and shadow delineation. Color balance was sometimes filtered, but was superb, with natural fleshtones, rich and vibrant colors, and deep, pure blacks. The new remastered 1080p AVC picture is a noticeable improvement, with superb clarity and resolution, especially in close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Ian McKellen's weathered facial lines and clothing are impressively sharp and detailed. As with the previous release, the source element is pristine, with no noticeable scratches or other artifacts. Every visual attribute is dramatically improved, for a picture that impresses. (Gary Reber)
As with the DVD's Dolby® Digital discrete 5.1 soundtrack, the remastered DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack at times delivers a stunning holosonic® soundfield, with superb dynamics and surround impact. Bass is natural sounding with an often deep presence that is effectively enhanced with .1 LFE. In one scene there is a gentle breeze heard rushing through the split surround channels that sounds exquisite. Dialogue sounds generally natural, with good spatial integration. Sound effects at times are nicely directionalized across the soundstage and in the surround channels. But often the soundfield collapses to monaural, leaving a feeling of sonic emptiness. The orchestral music score is well recorded with an expansive soundstage presence. Overall, the soundtrack delivers occasional moments of impressive dimensional envelopment, with aggressive surround that delivers emotional impact. (Gary Reber)