|Category||Thriller/Comedy/Romance||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes - 1, 1.78:1, not 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 2.0|
|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 1 - Steven Soderbergh (Director) and
Scott Frank (Screenwriter)
|Running Time||117:43 minutes||Other Extras||Biographies - Cast & Crew
Documentary - Inside Out of Sight (24 mins)
Deleted scenes (12) (21 mins)
Music highlights - (7)
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages
|English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)|
|English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|English||Annoying Product Placement||No|
Broadly speaking, this is the story of Jack Foley (George Clooney), a somewhat inveterate bank robber, who decides to forgo the better part of his current prison term by escaping. To meet him at the escape is his good friend Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames), as arranged, and U.S. Marshall Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez), definitely not expected. Jack and Buddy grab Karen and bundle her into the trunk of her car, along with Jack (lucky bastard) in order to affect escape and evade road blocks and so on. They were then met by the somewhat dippy Glenn Michaels (Steve Zahn), who was supposed to take the pair off in another car, but ends up being talked out of it by Karen. Only problem is Jack falls for Karen and vice versa, which makes for a very interesting relationship. Glenn has designs for a big diamond heist in Detroit, where eventually everyone congregates for a not too unexpected result in the blackest comedy of a heist at the house of Richard Ripley (Albert Brooks).
As I said, a very dense screenplay that is not too easy to summarize. But it sure works well, and this is a very entertaining film, somewhat unusually directed by Steven Soderbergh.
George Clooney continues to throw off the ER image and is quite superb in the lead, and is well partnered by Jennifer Lopez. The supporting cast are not overshadowed either, although special mention must be made of Steve Zahn, who really is quite astonishing as the somewhat dippy Glenn.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, but it is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was very sharp and wonderfully clear throughout: you must check out the reflections in the car window in Chapter 32. Shadow detail was somewhat variable, but this is the way that Soderbergh filmed rather than any inherent problem with the transfer.
The colours are where some will have problems. These are treated very differently throughout the film, although they are consistently rich toned. Miami is filmed in a very bright fashion, whereas Detroit is filmed in a very bluey, steely tone, a conscious decision of the director as explained in the commentary. Personally I have no problem with the colours and there is a vibrancy to them that is quite appealing.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Film-to-video artefacts were not that prevalent either and comprised some very minor aliasing and shimmer which is not too noticeable even when looking for it. Film artefacts were not too prevalent through the film, and were not especially noticeable and did not detract from the film at all.
This is an RSDL format disc with the layer change at 68:35. The layer change is not especially disruptive to the film, although it is noticeable.
The audio tracks available on the DVD are dependent on the Region that the DVD player is set to. They are selectable via the audio menu, and via the remote control. All audio tracks are selectable via the remote control at all times.
There are seven audio tracks on the DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded and an English audio commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and the audio commentary.
The dialogue was always clear and very easy to understand.
There did not appear to be any audio sync problems with the disc.
The score by David Holmes is fairly unremarkable, although my view on this matter seems to be very divergent to others. It was quite a noticeable music score though, and it contributes well to the style of the film.
The surround channels were very nicely balanced and created a very pleasing sound picture in which you were enveloped, although detail could have been a little bit better. The rears were not especially overused, but when they were, they were very complementary to the sound picture.
The subwoofer was used sparingly, other than during the music, but when it was it was very effective and not especially bass heavy.
Audio Commentary - Steven Soderbergh (Director) and Scott Frank (Screenwriter)
Although many find these things entertaining, I have to confess that I am not one of them. After about twenty minutes, I got too bored and only sampled it thereafter. At times there were some wonderful insights, but overall this really was not an enthralling listen, which was disappointing after the quite entertaining documentary.
Documentary - Inside Out of Sight
A quite entertaining 24 minute look at the making of the film with interviews with all the main cast, Soderbergh, Frank and the original story writer, Elmore Leonard. Presented full frame, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a choice of subtitles: English, French and German.
Of various lengths and presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio, with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound; they have the same subtitles as the documentary. The reason why some were removed are obvious whilst others were deleted for reasons outlined in the documentary or commentary.
This is something that I have not seen before, although it is just a chaptering of seven scenes out of the film which contain the main musical highlights.
The Region 4 version misses out on:
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is excellent.
The extras package is very good.
© Ian Morris
13th September 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|