Thomas Crown Affair (Blu-ray)
I haven’t seen THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR since it came out and I was surprised at just how much I liked it. It came out in 1999 which in my opinion is one of the best year of film (AMERICAN BEAUTY, FIGHT CLUB, MATRIX, SIXTH SENSE, etc.), so maybe this got a little lost in the shuffle with all the great movies. Believe me this is another film to throw on the list of good movies from that year.
The film begins and ends with an elaborate art heist. Great bookends to keep the audience interested while having an entertaining story in between. Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) is a very successful adventurous multi-millionaire. He steals priceless paintings mostly for the thrill but is a very generous donator to counteract his thievery. Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) is an insurance investigator who will catch her man by any means necessary. The cat is out of the bag right away. She knows it’s Crown and he knows she knows, but the fun is in their playful cat and mouse games. She’s waiting for him to slip up on to his wiley ways and he enjoys letting her be as close as possible without giving it up.
The film is directed by John McTiernan (DIE HARD, PREDATOR, THE HUNT FOR THE RED OCTOBER). He does a magnificent job. This is very cleanly directed with a steady pace and great color scheme throughout while shooting at some beautiful locations. But the film owes most of its credit by relying heavily on Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. If they did not have such good sexual smug chemistry the film would have fallen apart. I like both of these actors quite a bit. Brosnan does play a similar Bond type of character but I think he will become one of those great aging actors, earning more respect later on. Russo seems to have disappeared from film and I’m not sure why. I thought she was a fantastic addition to the LETHAL WEAPON series and she shows you can be smart, talented and sexy. At first I thought she was an odd casting choice but after watching the film I think other actresses wouldn’t have been able to hold their own as strongly, mixing the power and vulnerability.
The ending is a fun entertaining heist, but if thought about too much it really only works in film. The viewer keeps observing from a security camera point of view which Crown uses to his advantage by hiding under a hat, however if one were there in person, as security would be, I believe catching the criminal would be quite a bit easier to distinguish, since a hat wouldn’t cover the face. Nonetheless, a terrific, well put together little film that is a joy to watch. It made me appreciate art, but mostly made me want to live the life of a playboy multi-millionaire.
Video: 2.35:1 1080p High Definition. The film looks great. The film uses many vibrant striking colors that really pop in the Blu-ray that I hadn’t noticed before.
Audio: The sound is kind of lackluster. True the film isn’t really set up for any big sound pieces but even the music cues were a little weak.
There are zero special features on this Blu-ray edition. It does come with the DVD version that has the original commentary track. But other than the picture looking great this Blu-ray really fails to make the upgrade worthwhile.