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WSR Detailed DVD Review

Genre: Drama

Reviewed In Issue 63 (Aug 2002) Of Widescreen Review®

Steven Bauer, Benjamin Bratt, James Brolin, Don Cheadle, Erika Christensen, Clifton Collins, Jr., Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Miguel Ferrer, Albert Finney, Topher Grace, Luis Guzman, Amy Irving, Tomas Milian, D. W. Moffett, Dennis Quaid, Peter Riegert Jacob Vargas & Catherine Zeta-Jones

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 4.5
DD Sound Rating: 3
DTS Sound Rating: NA
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 4
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Special Features
The two-disc Special Edition DVD includes, on Disc One, three commentary tracks: one with director Steven Soderbergh and writer Stephen Gaghan; a track with producers Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, and Laura Bickford, along with consultants Tim Golden and Craig Chretien; while a third one features composer Cliff Martinez (which includes two music cues not used in the final edit of the film). Disc Two includes 25 deleted scenes with optional commentary, fantastic demonstrations in film processing (which reveal how the Mexico scenes got their distinct look), the editing of four scenes, an explanation of dialogue editing, four raw and unedited additional scenes, and an abundance of U.S. Customs trading cards and information about the K-9s used in drug seizures.

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): The Criterion Collection
(Catalog Number): 96306-0389-2
(MPAA Rating): R
(Rating Reason):

Rated R for pervasive drug content, strong language, violence, and some sexuality.
(Retail Price): $39.95
(DVD Type): Two DVD-9 discs
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 147
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2000
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 05/28/02
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Steven Soderbergh
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  DVD Picture Information

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  DVD Sound Information

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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
About the many steps in the thorny chain of drug dealing,

DVD Picture:
The picture quality appears to be virtually the same as the previous DVD. The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD exhibits a stylized picture with different appearances between the three main storylines throughout the film. The Mexico scenes are intentionally raw and uninviting. These scenes have a desaturated, harshly contrasted quality, and are revealing of film grain and artifacts. To achieve the look, the filmmakers overexposed the film and shot through a tobacco filter, giving the picture a sweltering, somewhat monochromatic appearance. In the scenes in Washington D.C., colors have a blue cast that gives the picture a cold feel. Yet in the third storyline of the film, in San Diego, the picture is slightly softer, but colors are more accurately balanced, with accurate fleshtones, rich hues and deep blacks. Blue filters are used at times. Overall, images are sharp and nicely detailed, with fine details revealed in clothing and facial features. While some minor pixelization is noticed, there is no obtrusive edge enhancement. Considering the intentionally stylized qualities of the picture, images are quite solid and appear to nicely represent the visual creativity of Steven Soderbergh (who photographed the film under a pseudonym). (Suzanne Hodges)

The Dolby

This Disc Contains The Following WSR-Rated Superb Qualities:
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