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THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR

1999’s THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR ($25) is director John McTiernan’s surprisingly successful and thoroughly entertaining modern take on the Steve McQueen film from 1968. Although the film has its detractors, one thing you cannot deny is Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo are terrific on screen together, and they make this version of THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR quite memorable. The premise of the film focuses on the title character, one Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan), a bored, wealthy businessman, who gets his thrills by planning and pulling off daring art thefts. Crown’s latest caper is the elaborate heist of a highly valuable Monet from out of a New York museum. After the theft, ace insurance investigator Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) is assigned to the case… and she sets her sights on Crown, even though there is no hard evidence to connect him to the crime. What follows is a game of cat and mouse, as Banning tries to ensnare the wily Crown for the theft, while Crown tries to stay one step ahead of Banning, whom he deems a worthy adversary. Of course, things are complicated by two’s undeniable attraction to one another, not to mention their mutual distrust of each other’s true motivations. The cast of THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR also features Denis Leary, Ben Gazzara, Frankie Faison, Fritz Weaver, Charles Keating, Mark Margolis and Faye Dunaway.

MGM Home Entertainment through 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Overall, this is a high quality 1080p presentation, that pleases almost all of the time and whose only noticeable weaknesses are attributable to the film’s original photography and postproduction work. Of course, said weaknesses are fairly negligible, as the presentation proves itself an accurate reflection of the final film in high definition. For the most part the image is quite sharp, nicely defined and demonstrates good texturing. There is some softness in individual shots, but as I stated previously this is attributable to the film’s original photography. Colors are beautifully rendered; appear true to life and feature accurate looking flesh tones. Blacks are deep and whites are completely stable. Shadow detail is usually quite good. The elements from which THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR was transferred appear quite clean. A fine grain is present throughout and adds an organic quality to the presentation.

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Although the film is over a decade old, the soundtrack still impresses. Appropriate to the material, the sound design is fairly aggressive, with excellent implementation of all the outlying channels, including the split surrounds. Sound effects are precisely placed and effortlessly pan all around the sound field, especially during key sequences. Even the quiet moments are effectively mixed to include a good sense of ambience. Thanks to the lossless encoding, fidelity is excellent, which not only enhances Bill Conti’s music score, but the sound effects as well. Additionally, the bass channel has plenty of weight and all the necessary punch. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features. No supplemental content has been included on the Blu-ray Disc itself, but a DVD Edition of the film has been included, with all the extras being provided there. Starting things off on the DVD is a running Audio Commentary with director John McTiernan. Theatrical Trailers for the 1999 and the 1968 versions of THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR close out the extras.

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR is a thoroughly entertaining romantic heist movie that greatly benefits from the chemistry of its two stars. The Blu-ray offers very strong video and audio, making this release a worthy upgrade. Recommended.

 

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR 


The Thomas Crown Affair [Blu-ray] (1999)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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