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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Entrapment - Special Edition
Entrapment - Special Edition
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 3, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"Entrapment" is one of those movies where you almost have to let your eyes do the work. What you hear is so bad that it ruins any enjoyment your eyes may be having. "Entrapment" stars Sean Connery as Mac Macdougal, a master art thief who, although he's passing the 60 year old mark, is still athletic and smart enough to outsmart any security force. Catherine Zeta-Jones co-stars as "Gin" Baker, an Insurance Agent who makes it her mission to catch the crafty crook.

It may sound good so far, but just wait until you hear the dialogue. "Entrapment" is one of those films where the plot has decent potential. It's just that the dialogue is so bad that the film stops cold nearly every time someone opens their mouth. Writer Ron Bass("Stepmom") throws nearly every cliche and conventional "action" line at the audience; the conversations between Connery and Zeta-Jones reminded me of the conversations in Connery's last film, "The Avengers"; all laughable attempts at witty one-liners.


Soon, the young woman has found her way into a "partnership" between herself and Mac; the two team up and we expect them to go into action. Apparently, we expected wrong. Instead of going to action, the film has Mac training Gin for what seems like forever. The two talk back and forth about "the rules" of being a thief with banter that is supposed to be entertaining I guess, but the more I heard, the more bored I became. This middle section moves at a snail's pace and it doesn't help that the actors seems to take this dialogue so seriously.

The two eventually do go on a couple of adventures; one rather small one followed by the major ending, which I will go into more detail on later. The action during these scenes are rather thrilling, especially during the final action sequence. What it doesn't have though, are the thrilling little details that heighten the tension, like "Mission Impossible" did when Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt character decended into a room where he had to be completely quiet. "Entrapment" doesn't have those entertaining "thief" sequences; it does have some rather neat action, but except for a minute or two, even the largest of effects here seems rather conventional.

The plot does wake-up rather nicely towards the end where the film does throw in a few nice plot twists. It's unfortunate that the structure leading up to the passable last act is such a slow mess of nonsense that the few nice bits towards the end are far too little, far too late.

"Entrapment" cost eighty million dollars. It certainly doesn't show up that well on-screen. It seems like most of that money went to pay the talent involved because, aside from the ending, there didn't seem to be that much going on in this film. There's some nice FX work, but when a film like "The Matrix" costs 60 million, this film doesn't seem to get a lot from the money spent. It also doesn't get a lot from the crew involved. Director Jon Amiel("The Man Who Knew Too Little") seems to have no idea how to pace the film, most of which moves at a snail's pace. He also brings little style to a film that certainly could have used more than a touch of it; "Entrapment" feels rather bland, even during the film's larger stunt scenes. The final action sequence has the pair running from a security force through giant twin towers in Kuala Lumpur. I know I was supposed to be amazed by all of the running around, but I simply wasn't. I was so bored by the first half that I doubt anything could have interested me by this point of the film.

The cinematography is done by Phillip Meheux, who also filmed the Bond film "Goldeneye", and the opening theft sequence set in a skyscraper feels rather similar to the opening sequence of that film. Otherwise, his work here is nice, but it doesn't have a strong sense of style or edge. Special Effects work is very nicely done, supervised by Neil Corbould, who has also worked on such films as "The 5th Element".

Overall, "Entrapment" has the basics for an entertaining mix; it certainly has two great lead actors. Where it fails is to give these two great actors anything interesting to do or say. It's unfortunate to say, but I certainly felt "trapped" in the theater during the very long 110 minutes of "Entrapment", a film that fails unfortunately, simply because of truly poor dialogue and a director who stages even the biggest of stunts without any style or excitement.


The DVD

VIDEO: This is one of the sections that are changed for the better on this special edition release. The original edition was non-anamorphic, but fairly good for non-anamorphic. This special edition re-release is anamorphic and definitely improves upon the original release - sharpness is improved, and the image as a whole seems richer and smoother. Detail is excellent, and the image looks very consistent throughout. Colors are marvelous and vibrant, as well. Colors have no problems such as bleeding. Black level is strong, and flesh tones remain natural and accurate.

There were some instances of shimmering in the original release, but this special edition effort is free of any distracting flaws whatsoever. No shimmering, no pixelation and literally, only a tiny flaw or two appears on the print. Fox has produced some mixed efforts with anamorphic releases lately, but this effort is very good - the 2.35:1 image is sharp, crisp and stands among the best the studio has produced.

SOUND: This is a very good, although not too terribly agressive sound mix. The score is clear and crisp and sound effects placement is quite good. The surrounds do go to work well throughout the picture to provide some effects and ambience. When the picture does get going, "Entrapment"'s audio becomes nicely enveloping. What is here is nothing to complain about; rich, dynamic sounding audio that fills the room nicely. Dialogue seems a little harsh early on in the movie, but later scenes seem to fare better. The same sound on the first edition remains here.

MENUS: Here's another place where the disc improves greatly over the original release: the disc opens, throwing us into a room with works of art guarded by lasers that makes up the main menu. We move around the room during the menu, but the neatest thing is that there are three versions of how you can view the main menu - "normal", "night vision" and "3d". The "night vision" and "3d" modes are extremely neat and well-done. When you make a choice, the animation takes you to a part of the room where another menu opens up.

EXTRAS: Although the extra features on this disc are slightly less impressive than I'd hoped, the addition of these features beyond what was included on the first effort(only 2 trailers) is pleasing.

Commentary: This is a commentary by director Jon Amiel, who wanted to revisit the DVD with a new special edition after the first effort was released. The director contributes a very enjoyable discussion of the film's props and effects, such as all of the gadgets that had to be used during the opening sequence.

Although there are some small pauses here and there, the director provides some very informative tidbits about the locations that were used in the film, as well as the intentions and motivations of the characters.I don't mind a commentary that is occasionally a discussion of characters, but this commentary occasionally stays on the subject a little too long. When he talks about locations, stories from the set, some technical details and working with the actors, it's an enjoyable listen. It's a slightly above average commentary, a little slow at points, but providing some in-depth information often throughout.

Deleted Scenes: Here is where I was hoping for a little more. There's an extended car chase scene that's pretty neat, and a decent additional "hotel room" sequence that was decided to be cut. The only weird thing is that the car chase scene is sound effects only, and the "hotel room" scene is silent. The good thing is, you can choose to hear director Jon Amiel's commentary about what these scenes are about and why they were taken out. There's also an alternate ending (although there is no commentary to listen to during this alternate ending) that does have sound, but it's very short and I didn't really think much of it.

Featurette: An entertaining documentary that runs slightly under 14 minutes. It provides much of the usual from a Hollywood "promotional" featurette - interviews with Connery and the rest of the cast, clips from the movie and footage of the production at work. Sharply done and provides some solid interviews. Good stuff.

Trailers/TV Spots: 2 trailers, 6 TV Spots.

Also: Production notes/cast&crew bios.

Final Thoughts: Fox has improved nicely upon the video quality, menus and the extra features from the first effort. The extras were nice, but if you're considering buying this new disc just for the extras, I didn't find them impressive enough to recommend the disc on them alone. I also wish that they had offered this at a lower price than their usual $34.95 retail price. If you're a big fan of the movie, you might find enough to like for a purchase.

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