Out of Time
- Special Edition
MGM Home Entertainment
Date: January 6, 2004
Review posted: January 7, 2004
In Banyan Key,
a small Florida town surrounded by azure seas and sultry
secrets, Chief of Police Matt Whitlock (Denzel Washington) finds
himself caught in the eye of the storm as he investigates the
murder of a woman (Sanaa Lathan) he was secretly seeing. He
races to uncover a murky trail of stolen money all the while
staying two steps ahead of his own detectives, as well as his
ex-wife, a detective with a different department (Eva Mendes).
script is a mixed bag. Part of it tells a simple story and moves
at a slow pace. The first thirty minutes or so are spent with
Matt Whitlock romancing Sanaa Lathan's Ann Merai Harrison. She
is married to Chris Harrison, played by Dean Cain. Complications
occur for Matt when the Harrison residence goes up in flames and
his ex-wife Alex, played by Eva Mendes, investigates. For some
of the time I wondered just what was going on. Out of Time
starts off slow, but once the twist occurs I was invested in the
Whitlock character; I wanted to see how he would handle the
The other part
of the script has tension-filled moments written on it.
Essentially, Out of Time is an average thriller with
several tension-filled moments. There are two scenes in
particular that I liked and are the film's highlights. The first
one takes place inside the police station with Matt racing
against time to divert his ex-wife from connecting him to Ann
Merai, including the falsification of phone records. The second
one begins when Matt arrives at the hotel where a suspected con
man is staying. You've probably seen the scene in the film's ad
campaign; Denzel dangles five stories in the air, hanging onto a
broken balcony outside of a hotel room. Those moments represent
excitement, but the rest of the film offers nothing special.
There is another subplot featuring federal agents, but it's not
very interesting. Also, the ending is a little too easy.
little more of things is director Carl Franklin, shooting the
film beautifully with DOP Theo van de Sande. They present
viewers with great visuals of
Banyan Key and
its surroundings. Also commendable is the fitting score by
Graeme Revell. Out of Time is reminiscent of Body Heat,
which was directed by Lawrence Kasdan. However, Dave Collard's
script is not as original or suspenseful as Kasdan's thriller,
it's more predictable.
In terms of
acting, a generally good cast surrounds the film. Once again
Washington shows viewers he can play any type of role. Matt
Whitlock is a standard character, but the actor injects a bit
more life and punch when needed, especially during the film's
"moments". Eva Mendes looks good here, but I thought the film
didn't make it clear until sometime later that she's Matt's
ex-wife. Her performance is a good counterpart to Washington.
Sanaa Lathan and Dean Cain are also good. Most surprising,
however, is the scene-stealing John Billingsley as Chae, the
station's coroner. In the end, I liked Out of Time mostly
for its tension-filled moments and in that regard am
Out of Time in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen according to
the back cover. The presentation looks close to the 2.35:1
format and other DVD sites have stated this also. In any case,
picture quality is very nice. Colors are sharp, vivid and warm.
The print image is of very good quality, but a few instances of
specks and grain appear. As for flaws, only minor edge
enhancement and a few compression artifacts occur. The rest of
the presentation is bright and well-saturated.
Out of Time in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
This is kind of an idle audio presentation. Despite a natural
and good reproduction of the dialogue across the two front
channels, the track mainly concentrates on the front, which
means the surrounds hardly come into effect. There is not a lot
of ambience here. The rear speakers come alive a few times in
exterior scenes, but much of the audio is front-heavy. Sound
effects are limited, but recorded well. In the end, MGM's audio
presentation sounds just fine.
French and Spanish Stereo Surround
dubs are available.
MGM has put together a nice
assortment of extras for this special edition release. The main
event is an insightful audio commentary by director Carl
Franklin. He knows what these tracks are supposed to be
about and therefore doesn't just narrate what's on screen.
Instead, Franklin recalls his experience during the production
by sharing information such as casting, location, production
design and other issues. He pauses a few times, but I didn't
Next is Out of Time:
Crime Scene, a 12-minute featurette including interviews,
film clips, and on-set footage. The rest of the extras include
character profiles that are brief clips about a specific
character, two outtakes that are average, several
screen tests for Sanaa Lathan and Dean Cain, a photo gallery
with some 50 stills, the film's original theatrical trailer,
and bonus trailers for MGM titles. All in all, these
extras are good, but not all too revealing, except for the
commentary track by Franklin.
select to view the film with optional English, French and Spanish subtitles. The
105-minute feature is organized into
thirty-two chapters. A paper insert lists scene selections and
With Out of Time Washington
reiterates he can perform well in any role. His acting is good
here. Pacing is fine, some of the tension works, but ultimately
the story is just not that compelling. The script doesn't offer
much that distinguishes the film from other recent thrillers.
MGM's video/audio is fine. Extras are okay, but the commentary
is really good. A recommended rental.
(not an average)