Out of Sight (1998) DVD Feb 21, 2010 11:34:53 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Feb 21, 2010 11:34:53 GMT -5
When I first saw Out of Sight in the theater back when it first came out I thought it was pretty good. Nothing particularly special, but a good movie all the same.
Almost 12 years later I finally watched it again, this time at home on DVD, and you know what? It's aged particularly well. Well enough that where I would have given it a 3.5 or so out of 5 in 1998, I now give the movie a solid 4.25/5.
Out of Sight is a well written, well directed, and well acted movie. That's true of a lot of movies. This one, however, has an atmosphere that is a little different. This isn't just your typical crime thriller with occasional comic relief, this is a movie that rises above the standard fare and delivers something worth repeated viewing.
Scott Frank's screenplay (based on Elmore Leonard's book), gives this movie some real depth. Sure, a lot of this is lighthearted, but when the scene calls for it Frank delivers some real strong character moments. Some of these moments could actually be called poignant. Not so much that it drags the movie down or becomes overly weighty (the abundance of lighthearted scenes more than balance that out), but enough that the movie has that depth. Director Steven Soderbergh clearly, "Got," what Frank was aiming for in his script. Soderbergh deftly handles the film matching tone on the screen to the written word. Too often a good script is mishandled by a director who doesn't fully get what the writer(s) are aiming for. Not so in this case.
George Clooney, at this point still struggling to find a, "Hit," movie, gives a wonderful performance as lifelong bank robber (and all around rogue), Jack Foley. Jack's not your usual bank robber. He doesn't want anyone to get hurt, and he's just trying to get ahead. To Jack, robbing banks is a craft, something to be handled with intelligence and finesse. A profession to be studied, learned, and carried out with great care and professionalism. Not to mention with a smile. He's charming while he's robbing banks.
When Jack is involved with a prison break he is forced to take Federal Marhsal Karen Sisco hostage (not by his choice, of course), and spends a half hour or so in the trunk of a car with her during the getaway. The time is spent getting to know her - and letting her get to know him. He finds that he likes this woman. A lot. She, however, is too angry to realize right away that she likes him, too.
But as the movie progresses she comes to realize that as well, which sets up the conflict in the movie. What happens when a bank robber and a Federal Marshal assigned to capture him become infatuated with each other?
It's that simple premise that is carried out extremely deftly by Frank and Soderbergh, ably assisted by one heck of a great cast. Clooney is perfect in his role as Jack Foley, and Jennifer Lopez is surprisingly good as Federal Marshal Karen Sisco, but the rest of the cast is equally good. Dennis Farina, Steve Zahn, Ving Rhames, and Albert Brooks all give very good performances, but Don Cheadle stands out among the supporting cast. His low key performance as psychopathic ex-boxer Maurice, "Snoopy," Miller is truly frightening. His portrayal of this thug is spot-on.
Ultimately, Out of Sight is an artistic success because of the right combination of talent. The script is just right, the director truly understands the script and how to properly handle the direction of the movie, and the right actors are cast to hit all the right notes.
The DTS DVD is quite good as well. While there are no extras on the disc (not even a trailer), the picture and sound quality are excellent. This may not be Blu Ray quality, but for a standard DVD released in 1999 this is quite good.
If you get a chance to pick this up for a good price consider it highly recommended.