Reel Reviews

Out of Sight (1998) - Blu-ray Review

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Out of Sight - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

Modern crime capers don’t get much better than Steven Soderbergh’s slick take on Elmore Leonard’s Out of Sight.  Always a dazzler with rich material, Soderbergh has a wonderful habit of giving his audiences exactly what they want: style and substance.  Out of Sight, originally released in 1998, is no different.  Offering a little unexpected violence and a lot of criminally cool sexiness, Out of Sight tells a stunning whopper of larger-than-life cons inside a wicked chase of cops and robbers hellbent on playing traditional cat and mouse games with each other.

Jack Foley (George Clooney before perfecting the role of Danny Ocean) really needed to learn to keep the car running during bank robberies.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been thrown in Glades Penitentiary.  As a career criminal, he doesn’t plan to stay long and plans a detailed escape involving an unsuspecting U.S. Marshal named Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) and his outside friend, Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames).

The two – Jack and Karen – share a too close for comfort ride in the trunk of a car and share a bit of personal backstory with each other.  Foley’s escape goes well enough, but he’s stung a bit by Karen’s cool wit and smoldering looks and can’t seem to shake her or her knowledge of Three Days of the Condor – even if she enjoys firing her gun at Foley and his cohorts, including dim-witted Glen Michaels (Steven Zahn).

Suddenly, the film shifts into a two year flashback in which the remaining characters – uber violent Maurice Miller (Don Cheadle) and a rich man Richard Ripley (Albert Brooks) are introduced in yet another penitentiary inhabited by Foley’s three-man crew.  Turns out, all gangs are working to clear Ripley of his prized collection of uncut diamonds – all while being pursued by Karen.  For Foley, it’s all fun and games until someone literally gets shot.

Keeping the dialogue cool and crisp, the screenplay – adapted from Leonard’s book of the same name by Scott Frank – is a burst of inspired vision both in characterization and concentration.  Doubling over itself with sweeps of romance and cat-and-mouse antics, there’s little to beef with concerning this potboiler’s series of events.  This is the film that launched Clooney’s career (because he’s downright perfect in the performance of a love-struck criminal) and made Lopez believable as a pop singer turned actress.

The film is also notable as being Soderbergh’s attempt at mainstream Hollywood and what a turn it was: from Art House to Main Street.  Yet, Soderbergh’s style remains intact and adds to the general involvedness of the script, the characters, and the winding exploits of the film.  Elliot Davis handles the camera this time out, but this is pure Soderbergh formula.  Soft lens, panning zooms, and general quirkiness run overtime and make for a thoughtful and fun film.

Out of Sight is blistering cool and, for those who know their Tarantino, sees Michael Keaton returning for a brief cameo in the same role he did in Jackie Brown.

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{2jtab: Film Info}

Out of Sight - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for language and some strong violence.
Director
: Steven Soderbergh
Writer
: Elmore Leonard (novel), Scott Frank (screenplay)
Cast:
George Clooney; Jennifer Lopez; Ving Rhames; Don Cheadle
Genre
: Action | Comedy | Crime
Tagline:
Opposites Attract
Memorable Movie Quote: "That's for your breath. You could use it. Squirt some in your mouth. "
Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/title.php?titleId=1095
Release Date: June 26, 1998
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 1, 2011

Synopsis: A career bank robber busts out of jail (Clooney) with the help of his buddy (Rhames) and kidnaps a US Marshal (Lopez) in the process. When the two cons head for Detroit to pull off their final big scam, the Marshal is put on their case but she finds she is attracted to one of them and has second thoughts about bringing them in.

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{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

Out of Sight - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 1, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); BD-Live; D-Box; Mobile features

Universal's 1080p/VC-1 encoded transfer tackles Elmore Leonard territory with some prized colors and black levels.  This is a champ of HD material.  Perfectly crisp and colorful, the film does not appear to have any sagging in quality at all.  Slick, glossy, and capped with some awesome level blues and greens, Out of Sight is exactly that: out of sight with clarity and punch.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track handles the array of voices and noises well, making it the icing on the cake of this blu-ray offering from Universal.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • It’s a Soderbergh commentary. A must hear for fans of film, the genre and Soderbergh. Always detailed and clear, Soderbergh brings warmth and intelligence to his discussions. This one is with screenwriter Scott Frank and the two discuss the film with celebrated earnestness.

Special Features:

Well, there aren’t a lot, but they do pack a punch.  Full of material that showcases over a dozen or so trimmings from Soderbergh’s film and the production talents behind the picture – including comments from Elmore Leonard, the disc doesn’t really disappoint in spite of its brevity.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Deleted Scenes (22 min)
  • Inside ‘Out of Sight’ (25 min)
  • BD-Live Functionality
  • My Scenes

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