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20th Century Fox presents
Entrapment (Special Edition) (1999)

"First we try, then we trust."
- MacDougal (Sean Connery)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: April 18, 2000

Stars: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Other Stars: Ving Rhames
Director: Jon Amiel

Manufacturer: Panasonic Disc Services Corporation
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual situations, language.
Run Time: 01h:52m:46s
Release Date: April 04, 2000
UPC: 024543003465
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ BB+B+ A

DVD Review

A well-accomplished heist film can be as satisfying as a revenge fantasy like The Count of Monte Cristo. In Entrapment, we are given a heist film with interesting and likeable characters, a constantly shifting set of loyalties, with a healthy dose of high-tech gizmos and acrobatics on top for good measure.

Catherine Zeta-Jones (Mask of Zorro) stars as Gin, an insurance investigator on the track of master art thief MacDougal (Sean Connery). She concocts a tempting scheme to lure him into several heists, culminating in a multi-billion dollar job in Kuala Lumpur on the eve of the millennium. In the background are Gin's supervisor, played by a terrifically twitchy Will Payton, the Malaysian black marketer gleefully portrayed by Maury Chaykin, and the enigmatic Thibodeaux (Ving Rhames), whose role and loyalties shift every time we see him. Indeed, hardly anyone in this film is who they pretend to be, and it's a good deal of fun keeping up with the twists and turns.

The opening sequence, of the theft of a Rembrandt from an office in a skyscraper, is an artfully done sequence that would fit nicely into any James Bond film. Indeed, in a brief gag, the security code is revealed to be "1-007."

Zeta-Jones is beautiful as always, and gives us a wide range of emotion as she veers from self-confident cockiness to completely shattered trust and desperation. She also performs many of her own stunts, including backflips and splits while on a beam 20 feet off the ground. Her assets are displayed in several sequences where she must practice slithering among security lasers, at one point moving like a serpent, culminating in an incredibly graceful Tai Chi dance to her goal.

Though numerous reviews have commented on the disparity of ages between Connery and Zeta-Jones, the film treats this issue rather subtly. If anything, it is like a romance between a teacher and student, but the teacher in this case resists through much of the movie. The interaction between the two really carries the film. As matters develop, we see the upper hand shifting back and forth between them (and at times to Thibodeaux), giving a degree of character interplay not often seen in this kind of film.

Suspense is taut throughout, although there are a number of plot threads left dangling at the conclusion. Nonetheless, this film gives a more than adequate little thrill ride and delivers surprise after surprise.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreenna - na
Original Aspect Ratioyesno

Image Transfer Review: The transfer of the film tends to be a little on the dark side; it would benefit from being viewed in a darkened room. The exterior of Mac's castle looks nearly like a silhouette frequently and detail tends to get lost. Several sequences in the middle which are backlit are quite striking and rich in color.

The photography of the film is beautiful, especially the nighttime shots of New York City at the beginning. The colors come through vividly, although there is often a muted palette at work here. Blacks are dark and rich and the anamorphic picture is sharp and clear throughout. Bit rates are nice and high, ranging between 7 and 8 Mbps throughout the film.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The sound design tends to be very forward; little comes out of the surrounds other than music. There are some nice cricket sound effects on occasion which use the surround capabilities quite well. Dialogue and music both come through clearly on the 5.1 track, although the volume is a little on the low side and will need to be turned up for most viewers. While there are moments of deep bass extension, this is not a film that will give your subwoofer much of a workout

Even though this film has many aspects of an action film (and certainly an action film climax), there are long segments that are quiet and dialogue-heavy. There is absolutely no noise or hiss evident at all at those times. The musical score is similarly low-key with an element of foreboding to it. The score is clear and does not drown out the dialogue, but keeps discreetly in the background. All in all, not a spectacular sound design, but certainly appropriate and effective.

The Dolby Surround tracks (both English and French) are quite good as well, with decent separation. The disc defaults to the Dolby Surround English track, but the audio may be changed on the fly, which minimizes the annoyance factor of this default.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
2 Original Trailer(s)
5 TV Spots/Teasers
2 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Jon Amiel
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 00h:44m:19s

Extras Review: Fox has come through with another jam-packed special edition with this disc. First off, we have an animated menu of a scene that may be viewed normally, with night vision (disclosing security lasers) or as a CGI schematic. While this menu runs for a while, the options to play or go to other sections of the disc come up immediately, so you're not at the mercy of the menu design on subsequent viewings.

We are provided with a full-length commentary by Jon Amiel that is quite informative, pointing out how certain special effects and stunts were done. Amiel also explains much of the camera motion and really giving a film school seminar analysis of the nuts and bolts of what makes the film work. This is an outstanding commentary for those who want to know behind the scenes technical information.

The cast and crew bios are extensive, although only four of the leads and the director are profiled. There are not separate filmographies, but the bios contain within them such extensive lists of film credits that I would consider them to serve as filmographies. One gripe is that on several of the bios (notably Connery's) the text is white on gray, which is extremely hard to read. Better attention could have been given to making these contrasting colors.

Two deleted scenes are provided, which were properly removed from the final cut. One is an extended car chase, and it is hard to believe such a technically complicated and surely expensive shoot was actually cut from the film, but the director believes, and I agree, that the film works better without it. The other is a scene of Gin breaking into Mac's hotel room to leave him a magazine; other than explaining how he ends up with the magazine (a point skipped over in the finished film), it really adds little.

The alternate ending appears to be just a slightly different, and significantly shorter, version of the finished ending. Personally, I would have preferred the alternate ending, but I can understand the desire to give a more emotionally gratifying conclusion. However, the ending that was used just raises more questions that aren't properly answered and leaves a number of plot holes dangling.

The production notes are rather scanty, filling only three screens. However, the commentary background more than makes up for this deficiency.

Extras Grade: A


Final Comments

A very solid special edition from Fox, with just about all the trimmings a film fan could want. The movie itself is artfully done, and a great suspense ride....just don't think too hard about certain elements of the plot and you'll be fine.


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