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Assassins

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted February 19, 2000 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

This thriller has some good things going for it - mostly, an intense performance from Antonio Banderas. The screenplay, by the Wachowski Brothers(now famed for "Bound" and "Matrix") tries to move slightly beyond the basics with a story about a conflicted hitman named Robert Rath(Stallone) who wants to leave the business behind when a new hitman(Banderas) enters in on his turf. The two go against each other to get to a computer hacker(Julianne Moore) with a very valuable computer disc.

Stallone doesn't do much with what little complexity the script tries to add to his character, and the movie becomes one fight after another. While I'm not against this kind of action-thriller genre, it would be nice if the film did things in a fresh way - that really doesn't happen here. Stallone's performance isn't interesting, and Moore doesn't get much to do. Above and aside from all that, the movie goes on for a little too long at 133 minutes - maybe if it had built some tension along the way it wouldn't feel quite as slow.
The DVD

VIDEO: Early work from Warner Brothers, which compares favorably with some of their latest releases. Tristar and Warner/New Line were the two studios where their early titles still are nearly as impressive as their recent work. This is a very good, crisp image - anamorphic and letterboxed at the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Images are consistently sharp and clear with good detail and colors remain strong throughout, with no bleeding. Aside from the slightest trace of pixelation and a mark or two on the print for a couple of instances, there are no noticable or distracting flaws to the picture.

SOUND: Some of the more intense action scenes deliver a more agressive impact with sound, but overall, I was expecting a little more out of the audio on this film. Surrounds are put to moderately effective use, but not quite as often as I would have liked. The explosion in chapter 16 isn't bad, but it's not hugely powerful. Dialogue remains clear and easily understood throughout.

MENUS:: Basic early menu art, with no animation.

EXTRAS: Text notes for cast/crew and behind-the-scenes.




Final Thoughts: Maybe a rental.

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