Sunday, 29 March 2009

“L.A. Confidential” - A Review of the 1997 Film Reissued on a 2009 BLU RAY.

“And The Dapper Little Gent Does It In Style…”

There's a moment in Curtis Hanson's 1997 peach of a film when Guy Pearce playing good-guy cop Ed Exley enters The Night Owl café to check up on possible multiple homicides in the early hours of the morning... As he does, the camera pans across the Formica counter and the nearby tabletops, the saltcellars, the napkin dispensers, the circular seats, the candy vendors... There's tons of stuff in a few seconds - all of 1950s - the attention to detail is mind-blowing... Hanson had made a $15 million dollar movie look like it cost ten times that and I'm thrilled to say that this BLU RAY version of "L.A. Confidential" does exactly the same.

While it's not "Zulu" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" perfect in terms of print - other people's reckoning of 4.5 out of 5 is accurate. I'd estimate that 80-90% of the time the picture is glorious and even when it's a little soft in places, the rest is `so' good, you hardly notice. Also, as you re-watch it, you realise just how good LAC was and what a superlative job Hanson did in bringing the seedy underbelly of Hollywood and the LAPD of the time to the screen. Everything fits on "L.A. Confidential" - the incredible ensemble cast you couldn't buy for love or money now - the chemistry between them all - the ruthlessly realistic story and spunky adaptation of it, the beautiful night locations, the dapper clothes, the colours - even Jerry Goldsmith's music - mellow brass followed by staccato piano fills - was absolute genius! It all worked - and now it looks the business too.

Watching Crowe and Basinger in the main feature in all their beautifully filmed sizzling glory is a treat for sure - but the list of extras is equally impressive too. Check these out...

1. Commentary by Andrew Sarris [Film Critic], James Ellroy [Novelist], actors Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, David Strathairn, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito and James Cromwell accompanied by Ruth Myers [Casting], Brian Helgeand [co-writer of the screen with Curtis Hanson the Director], Jeannine Opwell [Production Design], Dante Spinotti [Cinematographer]
(with or without SUBTITLES)

2. "Whatever You Desire: The Making Of L.A. Confidential"
All-new interviews with Director/Screen Writer/Producer Curtis Hanson and his cast & crew

3. "Sunlight & Shadow: The Visual Style Of L.A. Confidential". Hanson gives a behind-the-scenes commentary to reveal how they captured 1950's and brought LA Confidential to life.

4. "A True Ensemble: The Cast Of L.A. Confidential". RC, GP, DD, KB and JC all join Hanson to discuss the chemistry they hoped would happen and did

5. "L.A. Confidential: From Book To Screen". Hanson and co-writer Brian Helgeland discuss the difficulty of bringing the film to screen

6. "Off The Record". Behind the scenes featurette with the cast & crew

7. Photo Pitch: Curtis Hanson recreates his original pitch for L.A. Confidential

8. 2000 TV Pilot

9. "The L.A. of L.A. Confidential": and interactive tour of many of the locations used in the movie

10. Music Only Track

11. Trailers [5 Versions]

12. Online interactivity

If like me, you saw this at the flicks, then bought it on DVD, and loved it on both occasions - you will need to upgrade to this version. Like the beautiful looking and endlessly uplifting BR version of "The Shawshank Redemption" - "L.A. Confidential" is a triumph on BLU RAY. There's no "hush, hush" on this one folks - highly recommended.

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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