'After the Sunset' DVD Review *** 031405


The Work = ***
Pierce Brosnan is one of those actors that I think is underrated. Oh sure he has been in his share of poo but I tell ya’ he’s got the skills. Check out 'Tailor of Panama' for instance. Hell, he is even good in the bond movies even if they aren’t always the best. Brosnan with the Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, and Don Cheadle really carry After the Sunset and make it enjoyable.

The film is directed by Brett Ratner who has never, at least in my mind made a remarkable film. Oh sure his movies are generally enjoyable and I can’t think of one that he has made that is terrible but none of them are one of my favorites either. That being said, the guy’s movies make a bundle at the box office and that has propelled him to a position of some clout in the movie business. I suspect he has a great movie or two in him but he just hasn’t found the right project.

'After the Sunset' is not a great film but an enjoyable one. It’s a heist movie that follows its protagonist into retirement. Brosnan plays Max Burdett an aging thief who has made it to the good life. The trouble is paradise is not everything Max thought it would be and frankly the man seems restless.

It is to Brosnan’s credit that I was willing to follow him in his struggle because his character Max is stuck in paradise with his girlfriend Lola played by Salma Hayek. Being restless and/ or unhappy about being stuck in paradise with Salma Hayek is not the actions of a sane straight man. I still managed to care enough about his struggle in part due to the humor that is scattered throughout the film.

Harrelson seems to be having fun as Max’s nemesis FBI agent Stan Lloyed. He pops up just to gleefully torment Max in his retirement. It seems Stan has an axe to grind since Max has outwitted him one time too many. Will Max come out of retirement and will Stan finally get his man? These are the central questions in 'After the Sunset'. It ends up being an enjoyable but slight heist movie.

DVD = ****

The Look
'After the Sunset' is a beautiful looking movie and it gets a good transfer. The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The colors pop off the screen and the transfer shows good detail.

The Sound
There’s a pretty good Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD. Effects, dialogue and the music came through well.

The Bonus
First there is a commentary track featuring director Brett Ratner, one of the producers Beau Flynn and editor Mark Helfrich. This is a pretty enjoyable track with info and thoughts on the production. There are a collection of deleted scenes, including a horrible alternate ending. All of the scenes have optional commentary by Ratner, Flynn and Helfrich. There is also a collection of bloopers. There is a short collection of before and after effects shots narrated by Helfrich. There is an interesting interview with real life jewel thief and author Bill Mason conducted by Ratner.

There is also a documentary running just over an hour called 'Before, Durring and After the Sunset' on the making of the film. The documentary is an interesting mix of behind the scenes footage. Ratner certainly comes off as a mover and shaker and seems like a fun enough guy to be around. There are also some very funny pranks played on and by the cast contained in the documentary. There is also a Charlie Rose interview with Hayek, Ratner, Brosnan and Harrelson (who says almost nothing.) There is a trailer and TV spot as well as a couple of trailers for other features. Rounding out the DVD are some DVD-Rom features which are Image galleries, a script to screen comparison and access to a couple of websites. All and all some pretty good features here. The documentary may have only so-so video quality but it and the Jewel Thief interview are the highlights.

All together = ***
I had an enjoyable time with this movie. It is slight but the cast seems to be having a fun time and make it worth seeing. Sure it has its loopholes but as long as you sit back and watch the actors than it is generally a fun time. Newline did a good job with the DVD and some of the features are pretty neat. I say rental if you’re curious or just a fan of the actors. Not a huge recommendation from me but still recommended.


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