Friday, December 6, 2013

The Thomas Crown Affair (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (1999)

The Thomas Crown AffairIt was hard to see how the original could be bettered and perhaps it hasn't, but it has certainly been equalled in a modern version. Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway have contempary peers in Brosnan & Russo and the direction and effects of the film are just stylish as the earlier version. The original now looks a little dated with its split screen effects and the clothes of the time, but it still manages to look good. What is wonderful about this, well I suppose it is a remake, is that is not a remake. It stands on its own and comparison with the original is not relevant, to be familiar with the original is a bonus as there are a number of very clever and subtle connections made, even to the "Windmills of you mind" theme running though a number of scenes, most notably the very sensual dance which replaces the only erotic chess game I have ever seen. The writers and director must have had a soft spot for the Thomas Crown character who gets off with a much happier ending than the McQueen version. This is also destined to be a classic film that one can watch again and again and I suspect pick up new subtleties at each viewing.

I usually do not like remakes, but John McTiernan's 1999 version of "The Thomas Crown Affair," with the "oh so sexy" Pierce Brosnan, and sultry Renee Russo, (women definitely notice mega-sex appeal in another woman), is a knock-out escapist film. Many may disagree with me, but I enjoyed it more than the original 1968 movie with Steve McQueen, who I love, and Faye Dunaway. Ms Dunaway does have a cameo role here as Crown's therapist

This is entertainment, with a capital "E," at its best. Nothing deep, or arty, but after a hard day's work, relatively mindless fun is frequently good even terrific! Thomas Crown, (Brosnan), please allow me to repeat myself, is drop-dead sexy, handsome, rich as Croesus, an expert businessman, cultured, exudes power in a nice-guy (but nevertheless ruthless) kinda way, and he's Available!! I won't go on, but you get the picture. However, as a man who has almost everything, Crown wants some more excitement in his life. He plans, so cleverly, to steal a priceless Monet painting from New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Of course he succeeds. Watching the brilliant execution of the theft is worth the price of the rental alone. Crown loves the painting but he loves the challenge of acquiring it more.

Enter the glorious Ms. Russo, called Catherine Banning here. She is a tough, insurance investigator who, as far as pushovers go, was not born yesterday. I read that Russo actually consulted with a professional dominatrix in order to prepare for her role as the aggressive, ever so seductive Ms. Banning. She zeros in on Crown in no time, while turning the NYPD detective heading the case into quivering Jello. He notices, by the way, that apart from being a super detective, she's really easy on the eyes.

There are capers the first one and the last, (with a touch of Magritte), are best. There is love. There's even a remarkable see-through dress, which moves with the body wearing it, to a hot Latin beat; a steamy scene on a staircase; and a fabulous, must-have soundtrack. Most importantly, in a film like this one, the chemistry between Russo and Brosnan is unbelievably outrageous! As in comedy, timing in love and sex is everything and the timing here is perfect. Both control freaks lose their cool. I must say that everything is done tastefully, with lots of humor. The script is intelligent and witty.

I really enjoyed this movie. It's a terrific date flick too!


Buy The Thomas Crown Affair (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (1999) Now

This was one of the great movies of summer 99. Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo star in the remake of the 1968 Steve McQueen& Faye Dunaway movie The Thomas Crown Affair. Which personally i think the remake is so much better. This version is helmed by action ature John McTiernan who is best known for Die Hard. Shows that he isn't just an action director he can direct a romance. But what makes this movie work is the chemistry between Brosnan and Russo who sizzle and light up the screen. Pierce Brosnan who is very handsome and Rene Russo is gorgeous they are both awsome.

The script by By Kurt Wimmer and Leslie Dixon is very good and there is really never a boring part in it. The script develops the characters well and the heist scene in the art museum was really well done. The photography is great so is the jazzy music from Composer Bill Conti. Oh you can't forget the small but funny role by Faye Dunaway who was in the original. Rent this or do what ever to see it. becuase it has great chemistry between Brosnan and Russo and what is really great is that they are about the same age. But what is the stand out i think is John McTiernan who shows that he can direct other films than just action. This was maybe one of the best summer films that i saw. And it proves that Brosnan can do other projects than just 007 films. This films $68 million dollar gross should tell you that.

Read Best Reviews of The Thomas Crown Affair (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (1999) Here

I'm not going to do a movie critique. The Affair's remake is more than 10 years old and everything worth saying about contents, cinematography and actors' acting and looks has been said already. Suffices for me to say that this is a flick I enjoy watching whenever I feel like relaxing, probably because I like watching Pierce Brosnan. Also, it turns out, The Thomas Crown Affair was the first DVD I ever bought selection was scarce back in 1999. Which partially explains why I ordered the Blu-ray. Sadly, what the postman brought was somewhat disappointing.

So, here is my objective evaluation of the Blu-ray edition.

It comes in a cheap case. The kind with holes cut into the plastic walls so that maybe a couple of pennies are saved this way.

It includes both the Blu disc and a double-sided DVD with the so-called 'full screen' on one side and the 'wide screen' version on the other.

There are no extras whatsoever on the Blu disc.

The DVD disc, apparently has one 'extra' audio commentary by director John McTiernan

Sound is 5.1 DTS-HD

Alternative soundtracks are available in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese as 5.1 DTS and in mono for Russian, Hungarian, Turkish and Thai.

The Blu-ray transfer is just okay. The movie looks and sounds good but I imagine there is some industrial process these days where you throw a DVD into the Blu-ray converter machine and the Blu version comes out automatically better than the DVD and not much human artist or technician intervention is required. There is nothing outstanding or worth writing about when it comes to this Blu-ray upgrade, other that my brand new, first time watched, unscratched copy skips in two places.

This is the first Blu-ray disc ever that skipped on my player. After almost 3 years of Blu-ray watching, I didn't know what Blu-ray skipping looks like. Now I know the picture disappears for a few seconds, then it reappears. I know that it's skipping, not an equipment issue because I replayed the parts that skipped and was able to reproduce it probably due to some low quality, cheap process used to produce the discs.

I really hesitated between a 3-star rating which means "It's Okay" and a 2-star which stands for "I don't like it". In the end, the "I don't like it" won. I can't recommend this Blu-ray as a purchase, especially to those who already have the DVD. I understand that studios need to make money but, my friends, the quality of this release borders 'junk' grade and we should not encourage the proliferation of such releases by buying them. I am sorry I spent money on my copy and, had I known before ordering what I know now, I would not have placed my order.

Want The Thomas Crown Affair (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (1999) Discount?

It's as though the first time, with McQueen and Dunaway in 1968, was a rehearsal. I've always loved that original "Thomas Crown Affair," especially for Michel Legrand's achingly beautiful score. (And, sure, everybody was humming "Windmills of Your Mind," but do you remember "His Eyes, Her Eyes," the mastersong of the old soundtrack?) However, I have to admit that the new version is ever so much more than the old--more complex, more humane, more entertaining. For example, the original revolves around a bank robbery with a noisy chase scene and shoot'em up--action-flick business as usual. The new starts with a devilishly intricate two-stage heist, bloodless and nearly invisible, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and instead of mundane money, the thief's object is something that, arguably, really matters. Instead of the original chess game that turns into a multi-minute kiss, shot at 36 stylish angles in dizzying spins and effects, we now have a dance sequence whose real star is the lighting designer--omigawd, what IS Russo wearing? The brittle, brutal, male-female guessing game of 1968 becomes a 1999 psychosexual engagement between two formidable opponents, each--to their great surprise--worthy of the other. What will win out in the end, ego or the urge to merge? the script asks (and Dunaway asks too, this time appearing as Brosnan's Sybillic therapist, who seems to be peering with amused detachment through a long lens at the past). The film builds and unfolds, playfully spilling the amassed symbolism into the final action sequence in the Met as the perfect heist is reprised. And, at the end of the movie, as Sting exquisitely sings the 1968 theme song over the 1999 credits, you realize not only "That the autumn leaves are turning / To the color of her hair," but also that you've seen two immense heists and a lot of suspense without a single on-screen death or even a gun. Is this why some people insist it's not an action film? I say bravo. And I'll buy the video as soon as the price goes down. :^)

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