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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Quicksand
Quicksand
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // R // March 16, 2004
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted April 19, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
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P R I N T
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THE MOVIE

Michael Keaton stars as an American banker who finds himself being framed for a political assassination in Nice, France in Quicksand. It's an intelligent, although not always engaging, thriller that is carried by Keaton's good acting, plus some nice supporting help from Michael Caine.

Keaton plays Martin Raikes, who notices an unusual transaction at his bank from a film company and decides to head to France to see what is going on. Once he is there, he meets up with Lela Forin (Judith Godreche), who is helping run the film production, and also touches base briefly with famous actor Jake Mellows (Caine), who is the star of the movie being filmed.

Keaton isn't too suspicious about what is going on – even when a mysterious man offers him a briefcase full of cash (he simply thinks he's been mistaken for someone else) – so he plans to leave France the next day to head off to London to meet up with his daughter and his ex-wife. But as he goes to a final meeting with Lela, he notes that no one is in the room where they were supposed to meet, and sees (and picks up…big mistake!) an automatic rifle out on the balcony of the building. Almost immediately gunfire goes off and the city's police chief (at a reception below) crumbles to his death. All eyes immediately go up to Keaton, with the gun still in his hand!

Realizing he's been framed, but not knowing who or why, Keaton goes on the run. He soon finds out that not only is he wanted for the chief's murder, but back in the U.S., someone has framed him to make it look like he's embezzled a ton of money from his bank.

Caine's character doesn't come into play until the last half hour or so of the movie, and – in fact – we only see him in about five minutes worth of film before that point. He's good in the movie, but is really an unnecessary character. The real star here is Keaton, and he once again proves that he's a great dramatic actor…it's perhaps surprising that his "star" in Hollywood isn't as high as it once was…the guy is convincing in almost every role I've seen him play.

THE DVD

Video:
Viewers will have the option of watching this in 4:3 Full Frame or 1.78:1 anamorphic, which is actually just the 4:3 version matted for widescreen exhibition. The transfer does show some hints of dirt on the print and some slight grain is evident throughout the movie, but for the most part this is a decent transfer.

Audio:
The DVD contains both a 5.1 Dolby and a 2.0 Dolby track, and the 5.1 track sounds very nice and seems to be properly mixed and aggressive in the right places.

Extras:
There's a short Q & A Interviews section that contains separate interviews with Michael Caine, Judith Godreche and producer Jim Reeve. These are the kind of interview segments where the question pops up on your screen, and then you see the person's answer to it. Of these three interviews, Caine's is the shortest – running only a few minutes and answering only a few questions. Sadly, there is no interview with Michael Keaton.

Other than a chapter selection, the only other extra on this DVD is a handful of Trailers, three for upcoming theatrical releases, and three for releases available on DVD.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Quicksand isn't as intense as it might have been, but it is intelligent and seems to exist in the "real" world, rather than the movie world where bad guys are caricatures and good guys are invincible. It's probably something you'll want to rent before making a purchasing decision, but because of Keaton's strong performance and an interesting storyline, I'm giving this one a recommendation.
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