05/29/2015  
Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes ConversationDespite The Gods on DVD May 19The Gunman on Digital HD Jun 16 & Blu-ray Combo Jun 30So Bright Is the View on DVD May 26

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'Jonny Quest' hitting the big screen...
How Miley Cyrus Helped Get Grace and Frankie, Your New ...
Carrie Underwood Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Her 'Am...
Johnny Depp could face up to 10 Years in Prison...
Jon Stewart's big secret: Even Fox News might cheer 'Da...
Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16...
Anne Meara Dies: Actress, Ben Stiller's Mother and Jerr...
'The Voice' Winner Tessanne Chin sings 'I Will Always L...
Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2...
See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Miramax Pictures presents
The Lookout (2007)

"Once upon a time, I woke up."
- Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

Review By: Dan Heaton  
Published: August 13, 2007

Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Good, Isla Fisher
Other Stars: Carla Gugino, Bruce McGill, Albarta Watson, Alex Borstein, Sergio di Zio, David Huband, Laura Vandervoort, Greg Dunham, Morgan Kelly, Aaron Berg, Tinsel Korey
Director: Scott Frank

MPAA Rating: R for language, some violence and sexual content
Run Time: 01h:38m:37s
Release Date: August 14, 2007
UPC: 786936733235
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-A-B+ B

DVD Review

Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of those handsome jocks in high school who walks on air and draws many other teens to him. Scoring the big goal at the hockey game and dating the super-attractive girl, the world is at his feet. But all it takes is one bad decision to wrench almost everything away from him. After a tragic crash while horsing around on prom night, Chris suffers a serious brain injury that makes even the most common activities difficult. Waking up each morning, he must write down simple tasks like “take a shower with soap” to remember them. His past glory is just a painful memory tinged with serious regret. Every day is a struggle and brings increasing frustration with few rewards. Chris lumbers through daily life and searches for any way to regain his lost vitality.

The Lookout is the directorial debut of the talented writer Scott Frank, who has penned such memorable pictures as Out of Sight and Minority Report. His past films have included thrilling sequences, but they rarely sacrifice personality for pure action. This exciting tale is no exception and deftly balances a bank heist with intense focus on the main characters. Chris lives with Lewis (Jeff Daniels)—a quirky blind man who’s much more in tune with life and accepts his situation. They form an unlikely pair of souls who need the other to make dinner and get through each day. Jeff Daniels is very sharp and brings tremendous depth to a possibly one-note character. Although he is blind, Lewis sees more than any of the people who actually look upon the world. Chris doesn’t appear to care much for Lewis, but living with him is much better than returning to his cringe-worthy family. His parents (Bruce McGill and Alberta Watson) try to be caring, but they remain disappointed in his current state and aren’t sure how to handle it. A key dinner sequence is especially awkward and perfectly shows the lack of true support from the family.

While Chris’ struggles are difficult, this is far from a dreary picture. Instead, the smart pacing and inventive direction lead to an often-riveting experience. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s understated persona is a great choice for Chris and helps to make him a likable character. He’s not a perfect guy and tries to do the right thing, but his slower mental state makes him more gullible. This condition draws the attention of Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode), a smart, personable guy who knows what to say to attract his prey. He employs the attractive Luvlee (Isla Fisher) to seduce Chris, and the trap is set. Goode (Match Point) is a star in the making and appears destined to become a major actor. While Gary draws Chris into his web of crime, a tense feeling of dread becomes to grow. Thankfully, Frank avoids the sad indie trend of focusing too much on the characters’ troubles. Instead, we become invested in Chris’ daily struggle but enjoy the journey to the final conflict.

The Lookout is not a groundbreaking film that will stay with you for ages, but it does provide an engaging human story. When the bank heist predictably goes bad, we’re actively hoping for the leads’ survival. Frank crafts an enjoyable yarn that never betrays its characters with unkind twists. The story takes place in a small town outside Kansas City, but it could work almost anywhere. Shooting in Canada’s Manitoba province, director of photography Alar Kivilo uses the spare landscape to highlight the dramatic tension. The snow-packed grounds form the perfect backdrop to Chris’ struggles and make the situation even tougher. There are few sunny shots in this picture, but it contains some remarkable cinematography through unique set-ups. Great performances from the entire cast complement the fine camera work, and the sharp pacing heightens our interest. The deliberate tone might not strike a chord with everyone, but it should make believers out of viewers willing to take the ride.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.40:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The Lookout includes numerous memorable visuals, and this release's 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer presents them impressively. This picture was shot on digital video, which makes the lack of grain on the images even more surprising. The darker scenes contain a few minor defects, but they remain strong throughout the feature.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: This release includes a solid 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer that presents the tense moments effectively. It's not as strong as the picture quality, but still offers a worthwhile experience. The audio moves well throughout the front of the sound field and uses the rear speakers intermittently. The understated dialogue is easily understandable.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring Becoming Jane, Eagle vs. Shark, The Invisible, Renaissance, NeverWas, The Hoax, Our Very Own
1 Documentaries
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director/Writer Scott Frank and Director of Photography Alar Kivito
Packaging: unknown keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The Lookout includes a solid collection of extras that offer some good insight into the production. Writer/director Scott Frank and director of photography Alar Kivito provide loads of technical material about each scene. Viewers interested in how films are made should enjoy their commentary, while others looking for a more entertaining conversation might be disappointed. If you fall into this category, you might be better served watching Sequencing the Lookout. This 20-minute documentary covers each aspect of the film, starting with the origins of the script. We also hear about the casting, production design, and some unique aspects of the film. One interesting segment covers Jeff Daniels playing a blind man, which was not an easy task. The other extra is The Mind of Chris Pratt—a nine-minute look at Joseph-Gordon Levitt's approach to the character. The intelligent actor discusses his extensive preparation, and we hear from Frank and Daniels about his strong work.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

The Lookout has received high praise from major critics like Richard Roeper, who labeled it a "masterpiece." But its flawed marketing campaign suggests a more straightforward crime thriller. This compelling picture offers more subtle drama and delivers more than just cheap thrills. Scott Frank succeeds in crafting sharp, memorable characters, earning the DVD a strong recommendation.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

movie, animation, jonny quest, action adventure, robert rodriquez, television, netflix, grace and frankie, miley cyrus, jane fonda, lily tomlin, music, carrie underwood, american idol, memorial day, may 25, 10th anniversary, celebrity, johnny depp, australia, yorkies, quarantine laws, the daily show, comedy channel, jon stewart, stephen colbert, new york times, documentary, comedian, anne meara, jerry stiller, ben stiller, sex in the city, law & order: special victims, memorial day concert, tessanne chin, nick fradiani, sci-fi, drama, a very murray christmas, bill murray, sophia coppola, george clooney, amy poehler, chris rock, paul shaffer, rashida jones, the late show, david letterman, ed sullivan theater, taco bell, dancing with the stars, abc, rumer willis, riker lynch, noah galloway, val chmerkovskiy, mile high club, plastic surgery, saturday night live, louis c.k., racism, israel-palestine, movies, cannes, jackie, jackie kennedy, darren aronofsky, pablo larrain, pitch perfect 2, rebel wilson, super fun night, derek hough, nastia liukin, fox, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, ryan seacrest, gary newman, daytime soap, general hospital, anthony geary, genie francis, frank valenti, mad max: fury road, mel gibson, george miller, tom hardy, hugh keays-byrne, charlize theron, the cw, arrow, the vampire diaries, supernatural, the originals, jane the virgin, the flash, the 100, izombie, reign, beauty and the beast, action, afc football championship game, jim mcnally, john jastremski, tom brady, bill belichick, prince, baltimore, rally 4 peace, freddie gray, 3rdeyegirl, metropolitan museum of art gala, kim kardashian, chloe sevigny, john paul gaultier, georgia may jagger, sarah jessica parker, rihanna

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store