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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.


SLEEPERS ($40) is a solid entertaining drama from director Barry Levinson, about a group of four boyhood friends who share a common bond that changes all of their lives. The four friends commit what they assumed to be a harmless prank. Unfortunately for them, things go out of control and a man is seriously injured. Because of their actions, the four boys find themselves sentenced to a rather nasty school for juvenile delinquents. At the school, the boys are subjected to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of sadistic guards. The story paints a clear portrait of the indignities the boys are forced to endure, and why their lives are permanently scarred. SLEEPERS then skips ahead 15 years, to a time when the now adult friends finally take revenge on the guards. A murder trial ensues that reveals the abuses that ran rampant at the reform school. At the heart of SLEEPERS is its great ensemble cast which features Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Jason Patrick, Brad Pitt, Brad Renfro, Bruno Kirby and Minnie Driver. Director Levinson keeps the film moving, making its two and a half hour running time seem much shorter. SLEEPERS is based upon author Lorenzo Carcaterra’s controversial best seller, which the author claims to be a true story. The film ends with a disclaimer stating that there is no evidence to corroborate the author’s story.

Warner Home Video has given SLEEPERS a terrific looking Letterboxed transfer. The Letterboxing restores SLEEPERS to its proper 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The transfer is very detailed and the colors appear rich. The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has a solid, atmospheric mix. SLEEPERS also has been Dolby Digital (AC-3) encoded. The Pioneer pressing had a smattering of speckles.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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