The Thomas Crown Affair (1999 remake/MGM/20th Century Fox
B-/C+/C Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: C
Pierce Brosnan dared to take on the Steve McQueen role in a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair in 1999, he was
at the top of his commercial and critical success. His first two James Bond films (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies) were the most successful set of hit Bonds
since Sean Connery and things were looking up to the extent that this remake
was a surprise hit and a sequel is still being talked about.
plays the suave art thief who has to dodge investigator Rene Russo in the
process, but the two become entangled in ways that they should not, which makes
it all the more appealing to both.
Though not as good as the original film, Director John McTiernan proved
he could have a hit outside of the Die
Hard franchise and despite the failure of Last Action Hero, though he has not had a hit since and worst
things have happened off-screen.
the film, it is sometimes interesting to watch when it is on, but quickly
forgettable, despite a script update by the interesting writers Leslie Dixon
& Kurt Wimmer, plus a supporting cast that also includes Ben Gazarra, Denis
Leary, Frankie Faison, Fritz Weaver and Faye Dunaway. It is competent and sometimes interesting, so
that is why people still talk about it.
That MGM made it at that time seems more a fluke than ever, but they
pulled it off and it reminds us how the studio could do projects people would
want to see when they took themselves and viewers more seriously. That was not to last.
2.35 X 1 AVC @ 22 MBPS digital High Definition image was shot in real
anamorphic 35mm Panavision by Director Of Photography Tom Priestly, Jr., in
some of his best work to date. Too bad
this is a softer image than it should be, though you can see at times how good
this looked on film in the minority of better shots. An old copy of the DVD is included with an
anamorphically enhanced widescreen side that shows its age, is darker and
softer than the Blu-ray. The flip side
of the DVD has a useless pan and scan 1.33 version of the film that is to be
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray can be a little harsh
and shrill in spots, so the mix is either a bad upgrade and/or is exposing the
limits of the old digital 5.1 soundmaster.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is weaker and has the same limits and
flaws on both versions, but the 1.33 pan and scan butchery seems worse with a
strange soundfield. The only extra is a
feature-length audio commentary by McTiernan.
- Nicholas Sheffo