Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 18th, 2003
In 24 hours Monty Brogan is going to prison for seven years, with his last day of freedom he tries to set his life straight. Once a king of New York with easy access to the best clubs Monty has alienated his friends and family with his lifestyle that he must now say goodbye to. He has dinner with his father and goes out clubbing with his two best friends and his girlfriend Naturelle (who he thinks may have been the one who pinched him). With time running out Monty must do everything he can t… make things right with those closest to him before ho goes away.
Featuring a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix, this disc is has a reference quality audio track. This is one of the best audio mixes I have ever heard, the rears are used to very good effect (especially in the club scene), bass is full and powerful without ever being muddy sounding, voices are always intelligible and the imaging in the front channels is bang on. Also included is a French Dolby Digital 2.0 track and English subtitles.
This discs also contains a near reference quality 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer. There are zero artifacts of any kind no film grit and no edge enhancement. We have a razor sharp image with perfect contrast and a nice even color palette. My only complaint is an usually long layer change part way through the film other then that the transfer and image quality are perfect with some spectacular shots of New York landmarks.
I found the extra features to have more to do with Spike Lee then the actual film at hand. We have a documentary on the career of Spike Lee that to me just seems a little self indulgent, throw in 5 minutes of Ground Zero 9/11 footage and it kind of leaves you scratching your head a little. I understand that this was the first dramatic film shot and set in New York post-9/11 but, it really has no impact on the film so I found them a little pointless. Next we have a number of deleted scenes and lastly two different commentaries, one from Spike Lee where he seems to spend more time talking about himself then the film and lastly a commentary by the screenwriter, David Benioff, who also wrote the book that the film is based on offers some interesting insights into the film and I found it very enjoyable. The menus are very cool motion menus with scoring.
Spike Lee has always leaves a unique and personal imprint on his films and this one is no different. Monty struggles with the choices that he made in his life and how he got to where he is now. He feels very isolated and alone and it comes through very well in this film. Like most Spike lee films it is not without its flaws, the references to 9/11 have nothing to do with the story line and some other things just mess with the pacing and the underlying drama of the film. Ultimately it is the amazing performances of the actors and actress that carry the film. This is a cautionary tale about actions and consequences and the fact that even though more often then not we fully understand the negative consequences of our actions it does not stop us, witness the journey that Monty’s friend Jacob (Philip Seymour Hoffman) takes throughout the film. Overall though I still think this is a brilliantly written, acted and directed films and one of the best looking and sounding DVD’s I have ever seen, make sure you see this one you will not regret it.
Special Features List
- Commentary by director Spike Lee
- Commentary by writer/author David Benioff
- Deleted scenes
- “The Evolution of an American Filmmaker” featurette
- “Ground Zero: A Tribute”