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Thomas Crown Affair, The (1999) Print E-mail
Monday, 12 April 2010
Image"The Thomas Crown Affair" is a stellar remake of the 1968 Norman Jewison film.  The film is considered average by most, but is perhaps one of the most interesting and repeatable films that I have seen.  Those types of films are few and far between these days.  This remake stands up against the original and surpasses in most regards.

The remake fits nicely into modern cinema and is much more suited to a wider range of audiences.  The acting is superior to the original.  Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan have terrific chemistry.  The plot is not original, but is carried out in a fun and engaging manner.

In "The Thomas Crown Affair," Pierce Brosnan plays a wealthy wall-street financier, Thomas Crown, who dabbles in the world art theft.  Rene Russo is an insurance investigator, Katherine Banning, who is a formable intellectual match for Crown.  What follows is a cat-and-mouse game between the pair.  However, they unexpectedly fall for each other.  However, with all the lies and deceit can they ever trust one another?

With most caper films once the film is seen there are no surprises in subsequent watches.  However, with this film, subsequent views still present enjoyment.  While most won't agree with my film rating, it is based on the subpar films of recent days.  Comparing this film to others, it is a clear winner.

Sadly, the video quality was not given the ultimate treatment.  While it is an upgrade from the original DVD, it still suffers from inconsistency.  Film grain is present throughout, but the layering is inconsistent.  At points, details and textures are swallowed by the grain field.  Colors are evenly saturated for the most part, but the average black levels leads to a relatively flat image.  Much of the film is soft.  Pans are blurred.  Seemingly there was a bit of noise reduction performed causing this blur.  Some compression artifacts are also present.  Contrast wavers from good to decent.  This is certainly not a terrific video transfer and is not reference material.  However, those hoping to upgrade their standard DVD with a bit of 1080p quality will welcome this Blu-ray transfer.
The biggest upgrade here is the audio track.  The Blu-ray comes with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.  Right from the start the depth and immersion of the soundfield is expansive.  The surround channels have been given a boost.  Panning and directionality is spot on.  Dialogue is clean but at times can suffer from thinness and a bit of low volume.  The LFE channel is stable and used in proportion with the other stems.  The music score is lively and crispy.  Overall, this is the audio track that fans will have hoped for with a Blu-ray release of the film.

Unfortunately, the Blu-ray does not come with any special features.  However, the Blu-ray package comes with a standard DVD of the film.  It is literally the same DVD disc as the standalone version.  One side contains the full screen version and the other has the widescreen version.  Therefore, the standard DVD has the full-length audio commentary by director John McTiernan.

"The Thomas Crown Affair" is a definite must own.  It is a sleek, stylish and sexy film that could have a better video transfer, but what we are given is decent.  The audio compensates for some of the video issues.

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