- Special Collector's Edition
Paramount Home Entertainment
Date: October 5, 2004
Review posted: October 21, 2004
Federal Agent Elliot
Ness (Kevin Costner) devotes himself to take out Al Capone (Robert
DeNiro), and because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small,
hand-picked team to battle Capone and bring him to justice. The
team consists of veteran policeman Jim Malone (Sean Connery),
cadet and excellent marksman George Stone (Andy Garcia), and
accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith), who finds out
Capone is evading taxes.
Paramount presents The
Untouchables in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This transfer
might be enhanced for widescreen TVs, but the picture quality is
not very different from the first DVD release. In fact, grain
and specks persist in a variety of scenes, and the print also
looks a bit dark in some spots. Colors look pretty good, though,
especially during the daylight scenes. Sharpness and detail are
fine, nothing special to report. This is not a great
presentation, but it's fine.
Paramount presents The
Untouchables in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The front speakers get
a good workout, as do the rear speakers during the action scenes
and when Ennio Morricone's great score graces the soundtrack.
Collector's Edition DVD lacks an audio commentary with Brian De
Palma, but four new featurettes, which are produced, directed,
and edited by Laurent Bouzereau, make this a nice upgrade from
the barebones edition.
The Script, The
Cast (18:31) is a good piece that focuses on the script and
cast, such as the casting of Bob Hoskins as Capone before a
schedule with De Niro could be worked out, and several other
topics. Actor Charles Martin Smith is the only cast member
interviewed for this new piece, and the absence of Kevin
Costner, Andy Garcia, and Sean Connery (but not necessarily
Robert De Niro) lessens the excitement a bit. However, Brian De
Palma keeps the featurettes going with his insight, stories, and
Stories (17:18) includes mentions of the locations, the
costume design by Georgio Armani, and the idea by director of
cinematography Stephen H. Burum to shoot the film in black and
white (he and De Palma devised another plan to keep the film in
style with the time period).
Reinventing the Genre
(14:32) and The Classic (5:39) are interesting also, but
overall these four featurettes should've been edited into one
Lastly is a
vintage video called The Men (5:26), a narrated
featurette that explains the plot and the characters (too much
so), and shows on-set interviews with Costner, Connery, and
Garcia, as well as some nice behind-the-scenes footage.
film's trailer (2:49) rounds out the bonus material.
is a very fine film with great direction by Brian De Palma, a smart
and fast-paced script, great performances, solid production values, and
Morricone's wonderful score. Anyone who owns the first DVD should
upgrade as Paramount makes the special edition DVD available at
under fifteen dollars at most places.
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