The Movie:(film review taken from previous review)
Clint Eastwood stars in "In The Line Of Fire" as Frank Horrigan, a secret service agent who was not able to stop the assassination of president Kennedy. Years later, he finds himself in a similar situation once again as an assassin named Mitch Leary(John Malkovich) is trying to get to the president before Frank and the rest of the secret service can stop him.
The plot is a usual thriller, but director Wolfgang Petersen(Das Boot, The Perfect Storm) makes more out of it - the pacing is excellent, and the movie goes by quite fast; Eastwood especially gives every line of dialogue his usual snap and Malkovich gives the assassin role a tone of coldness that makes a very menacing villian. Even Rene Russo is given a chance to shine - although it's not her best role(I still think that's "Tin Cup"), it's still a strong one.
Overall, "In The Line Of Fire" is a strong thriller, professionally acted as well as well-directed and written.
VIDEO: This is the same transfer that Tristar used for their early edition of the film (as well as the one that was in the "Clint Eastwood Collection" set), which was one of the very first efforts from the studio - it shows that although they didn't quite get things like extras for their first titles, they always certainly knew how to offer good image quality. Sharpness is excellent throughout; this is a consistently smooth and crisp looking image throughout. Detail and clarity are similarly never lacking, either. Colors are very strong - scenes such as the parade offer solid, bold and nicely saturated colors that are pleasing. Fleshtones are generally natural, and black level is solid as well.
There are some little flaws, but these are minor enough to be forgivable for an early DVD release. These involve some slight shimmering here and there, and some similarly hardly noticable amounts of pixelation now and then. The print used is clean and generally free of all but the most minor flaws. Again, Tristar shows that their early efforts stand up to many new releases that are coming out today. Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
SOUND: I was suprised that "In The Line Of Fire" sounds as good as it does - I've never reviewed the film before, and considering that it's about 7 years old, I was wondering how it sounds. Although it doesn't quite stand up to many newer releases, there are some scenes that are pretty intense. Although many scenes are simply dialogue(and as usual, Eastwood is of few words), but the action scenes - or some of the other crowd sequences, open up the audio well. Surrounds are used fairly often, although maybe not quite agressively as some more recent pictures - they are quite effective when used, though. The score sounds deep and powerful, and comes through with authority. Dialogue is clean and easily heard.
MENUS:: Tristar has put together enjoyable new animated menus for this release, including an opening that involves the viewer having to use the remote to start up the menu - but I won't ruin the details of that.
EXTRAS: Here is where the focus of this review comes in as while the previous elements of the review are the same, there are quite a few new extra features that are new for this particular release.
Commentary: This is a commentary from director Wolfgang Petersen and DVD producer J.M. Kenny, who also joined Petersen for the commentary track on the "Perfect Storm" DVD. If you've listened to Petersen's previous tracks, you'll know that he's a wonderfully engaging and intelligent speaker who not only is warm and energetic in his comments, but also provides a great deal of information in an organized fashion. Although Kenny is supposed to be there to provide him questions and simply to keep this from being a "one man" commentary track, Petersen is able to go forward almost completely on his own, offering a great deal of information about the production and what it was like to work with Eastwood. Kenny does provide some questions though, and as with the "Perfect Storm" track, he comes prepared with some interesting questions. Also very interesting is the details about the accuracy that had to be achieved during many of the film's sequences, and the help that the production got from the secret service. Petersen really ranks among the best (if not the best) "commentary" contributors in terms of directors. He just has such a wealth of information to share on his tracks and seems so happy to share his feelings about the films he discusses. There's hardly any pauses here as the director is able to keep talking almost completely throughout.
Trailers/Ads: The teaser for "In The Line Of Fire" and trailers for other Petersen-directed films "Air Force One" and "Das Boot". 10 TV Spots are also included.
In The Line Of Fire: A new 22 minute documentary, this takes a very in-depth look at the making of the movie, with a mixture of film clips, behind-the-scenes footage and new & old interviews with those who were involved with the movie. The majority of the documentary takes a look at the accuracy that was needed as well as the help that the secret service advisor Bob Snow, who assisted the film, gave. Field agents also speak here, as well as the producer and writers. Definitely informative and worth a look.
Catching The Counterfiters: This is a 5 1/2 minute look at the secret service's skills in combating counterfitting. It's really remarkable to watch how this is done and hear about how new technology has made it easier to counterfit - as well as how money was re-designed to catch counterfit bills.
Deleted Scenes: 5 somewhat short deleted scenes are presented, all in somewhat rough non-anamorphic versions. These scenes are interesting to watch, but wouldn't have worked in the final film.
Behind The Scenes With The Secret Service: This is a slightly less than 20 minute featurette that was originally aired on Showtime. "Promotional", but still moderately entertaining, there's more than a bit on the story of the film that we've just seen in terms of interviews and clips, but there's also some additional behind-the-scenes information on the service's role in the production.
How'd They Do That?: A short featurette with an unidentified effects worker, who narrates how they did some of the special effects in the film, such as taking "Bill Clinton" signs out of a scene at a rally and the outside shot of Air Force One, among other bits.
Positive: A very well-made thriller gets a fine re-release from Columbia, pairing the already good audio/video quality of the previous release with some fine (and quite informative) new extra features.
Negative: No complaints - Tristar has done another very nice re-issue.
The Film *** 1/2
Video 88/B = (352/400 possible points)
Audio: 89/B+ = (356/400 possible points)
Extras: 87/B = (261/300 possible points)
Menus: 85/B = (170/200 possible points)
Value: 85/B = (255/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: *** 1/2
DVD GRADE: B