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Untouchables, The - Special Collector's Edition  (1987)

 

Rating: R

Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment

Release Date: October 5, 2004
Review posted: October 21, 2004

 

Reviewed by Dennis Landmann

 

SYNOPSIS

 

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.

 

THE VIDEO

 

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.

 

THE AUDIO

 

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.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

This Special 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 observations.

 

Production 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 cohesive documentary.

 

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.

 

The film's trailer (2:49) rounds out the bonus material.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

The Untouchables 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 definitely upgrade as Paramount makes the special edition DVD available at under fifteen dollars at most places.

 

VERDICT: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

Home | Back to Top

 

:: The Disc

 

:: Disc Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

8

THE VIDEO

7

THE AUDIO

8

THE EXTRAS

6

OVERALL

7

 

:: Merchandise

 

FILM SCORE

By Ennio Morricone

Buy the CD!