Swimming with Sharks on DVD – The DVDfever Review


Swimming With Sharks sees writer and film school graduate Guy (Frank Whaley) finds his crap boss in Hollywood bigshot Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey in a career-best performance), and everyone’s had a crap boss at one time or another and one who doesn’t give a damn about their employees.

Nothing Guy can do for Buddy is enough. If he’s told to hold all calls while Buddy has an important meeting and then finds out he should’ve put some of them through, he’s told in no uncertain terms how worthless he is (“my bathmat means more to me than you! Do me a fucking favour – shut up, listen and learn!”) while having various pieces of office stationery thrown at him.

The film cuts between Guy’s induction into working for the sadistic Buddy and the eventual revenge he takes out on his boss for all the extreme hardships he’s been forced to endure and those are things that I don’t want to reveal in this review because I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of what turns out to be around 90 minutes of pure and delicious entertainment, safe to say that you do start to wonder where it’s going until time comes when you see what finally pushes him over the edge.

In the brief supporting cast, Spacey’s The Usual Suspects co-star Benicio Del Toro plays his assistant Rex, before he moves on to a better future and Kalifornia‘s Michelle Forbes is a potential client looking to get her latest script developed into a film.


When life just isn’t sweet enough…

While there’s no obvious defects to the print, it’s not the best picture I’ve seen. Although in the original ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen, it’s not anamorphic and as a result the NTSC-to-PAL conversion looks a bit blurry when there’s movement.

The sound is reasonable enough and comes in basic Dolby Stereo. It’s a mainly dialogue-driven piece, but with an effective melancholy score.

The extras are fairly basic and not exactly plentiful, starting with a 2-minute 4:3 Trailer, an 8-minute featurette entitled Kevin Spacey profile, both the sort of thing you’ll look at once only, ending with a feature-length Director’s Commentary.

There are 19 chapters, no subtitles alas, with static menus that feature music from the film.

Swimming With Sharks is out now on DVD, and click on the packshot for the full-size image.


Detailed specs:

Running time: 89 minutes
Year: 1995
Cat no: 2NDVD3009
Released: 2002
Chapters: 32
Sound: Dolby Stereo (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Languages: English
Subtitles: None
Widescreen: 1.85:1
Disc Format: DVD5

Director: George Huang
Producers: Steve Alexander and Joanne Moore
Screenplay: George Huang
Music: Tom Heil

Cast :
Buddy Ackerman: Kevin Spacey
Guy: Frank Whaley
Dawn Lockard: Michelle Forbes
Rex: Benicio Del Toro
Foster Kane: T.E. Russell
Cyrus Miles: Roy Dotrice