The Italian Job - A Chaos Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:09 PM
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Default The Italian Job - A Chaos Review

The 2003 remake of The Italian Job is about five men named Charlie Croker (Marc Wahlberg), Handsome Rob (Jason Statham), Lyle (Seth Green), Steve (Edward Norton), and Left Ear (Mos Def) who are all part of a group that pull off elaborate heists. The leader of the pack, John Bridger (Donald Sutherland), has decided he wants to quit the game presumably to spend more time with his daughter Stella (Charlize Theron). The only thing is that he wants to commit one last going-away theft so that he can not only secure his spot in the hall of fame, but also secure his retirement. The job in question revolves around the city of Venice, Italy and a heck of a lot of gold (Try $35 Million). The plan goes off without many problems but what occurs next is somewhat of a shocker and helps to outline the rest of the film.

The first obvious comparison that this film had to deal with was the comparison with the film Oceanís Eleven. While not as star-packed or explosive as that film, The Italian Job does a fine job at telling a somewhat ordinary story in a manner that makes the film interesting and charming at the same time. While Oceanís Eleven had the star-punching power of George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts to name a few, The Italian Job rather focuses on stars not as huge, but most that rival the stars of Eleven in terms of quality of acting (donít get me wrong, Damon and Clooney are fine actors). With the likes of Edward Norton, ĎMarkyí Mark Whalberg, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Seth Green, and the funny Jason Statham, the filmís characters make the film enjoyable mainly because these actors turn their roles into characters youíll hate (Norton), characters youíll laugh at (Green), and characterís youíll laugh with (Statham).

Sure this Job doesnít offer anything remotely new in relevance to caper films, but what makes this Job so entertaining is not necessarily the plot at hand, but rather the characters. Wahlberg and Theron work well together, Norton is the man who causes many twists and turns, and Green, Def, and Statham are just pure charmers resulting in the viewer experiencing pure entertainment. The final car chase with the little Miniís is sensational Hollywood fun at its purest. With a short running time of 111 minutes, this Job is highly entertaining and worth re-watching many times over.

Video

The 1080p 2:40:1 widescreen aspect ratio found on this disc comes across with mixed results, with some impressive looking scenes, and some scenes looking rather odd. Due to this being a rather recent film, the filmís print is obviously new and didnít need much in terms of restoration. Colors, such as fleshtones, brightness, and sharpness fill your eyes with sensation making it seem like youíre truly watching a high-definition picture. The main problem with a film of this nature, having so many locales in an outdoor manner, is edge enhancement. Evidence of this is present in a majority of the ending film sequences, particularly the scenes where we are given an overhead shot of L.A. courtesy from Steveís helicopter. This doesnít necessarily make the film an eye sore, but makes this high-definition transfer in this particular scene seem like your watching the SD-DVD instead of the HD-DVD.

Audio

Presented in standard Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, it was a welcome surprise to find a DTS 5.1 audio track on this release. While the DTS track doesnít vary much from the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 track, a film of this nature seemed like it would boast a rather impressive and loud mix. While there are a lot of positives to this track, especially the clean dialogue and impressive dynamic range (particular the filmís great score by John Powell), I expected a bit more from this effort. The only real problem here is that there are a few scenes where some of the exterior noises seem to be coming from the rear and then suddenly seem to be coming from the front. This is not really a huge negative but I expected more because I enjoyed the film so much. This is not demo material by any standards, but is passable on itsí own merits.

Special Features

The Italian Job Ė Driving School: This is the first of many features that focus on the vehicles in the film. This particular feature has us travel to driving school where the stars learned how to drive the little Miniís in the film.

The Mighty Miniís of The Italian Job: This feature deals solely with the little Miniís used in the film and shows us how the Miniís were transformed

High Octane: Stunts From The Italian Job: This one focuses on the various stunts that the little Miniís were able to withstand. This feature seemed like it was showing us how great the Mini was instead of showing why this car was able to withstand the stunts.

The Making of The Italian Job: This is your standard making of feature that deals with production and sets.

Putting The Words On The Page for The Italian Job: This feature shows us the filmsí writers transferred certain parts of the 1969 original to the 2003 remake.

Deleted Scenes: Here weíre given eight minute of deleted scenes most of which, unfortunately, do zip for the story at hand.

Trailer: The most notable part to mention here is that the trailer was in High-definition.

Final Thoughts

The way to look at this film is that itís a great way to spend 111 minutes of your life. The story is interesting, the cars are little, and the filmís characters (for the most part) are charming. The issue at hand is whether this is worth a purchase. Granted the film is fun, the transfer and audio are good but lackluster in some parts, and the features are the same as the SD-DVD. If you own the SD-DVD, simply rent the film in HD and enjoy watching it again in upgraded picture.
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