Superbit Deluxe Edition
Review by Michael Jacobson
Stars: Cameron Diaz,
Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Crispin Glover, Kelly Lynch, Tim Curry, Sam Rockwell
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: See Review
Length: 100 Minutes
Release Date: May 27, 2003
"You have great hands. I could use someone like you on my staff."
"My hands aren't going anywhere NEAR your staff."
Charlies Angels opens with an impressive CGI shot of an
airplane in flight, allowing the camera to take us from the sky into the cabin interior
for a skillful tracking shot. The film
showing in first class is T. J. Hooker: The Movie. One of the passengers groans about yet another old
TV show becoming a feature. This
self-depreciating humor immediately explodes into an amazing action sequence that defies
all laws of logic and physics, which ends with the introduction to our three heroines, who
flip their wet hair in slow motion to the music on the soundtrack while smiling for the
This perfectly set the tone not only for the movie, but for the
audience as well. The films tongue was
in its cheek, while my jaw was in my lap.
Charlies Angels is a movie practically begging for
critics to dismantle it. Theres so many
negative things I could say about it that my review could serve as a quarantine notice on
the theatre doors
yet I dont want to. Theres
an infectious spirit to the deliberate campiness of the picture. The three leading ladies are effectively charming,
and inject the proceedings with a sense of fun as they change their sexy outfits more
often than Cher in concert, kick major butt with the aid of Matrix style wire
effects, and ponder their stations in life (what would he think if he knew I could
crack a block with my forehead?)
Natalie (Diaz), Dylan (Barrymore) and Alex (Liu) are the Angels,
known in the film as a crack secret team employed by the elusive billionaire Charlie, but
recognized to audiences as The Blonde, The Redhead and The Brunette, as well as a plethora
of other male adolescent fantasies along the way. Theyve
been trained with lethal fighting skills, educated with knowledge of mechanics, physics
and chemistry, and equipped with more gadgetry than Q ever dreamed of in order to fight
crime in the places the law cant reach. The
fact that theyre all gorgeous is a superfluous but welcome addition.
There is a plot (of sorts): after
the opening action sequence, the Angels with their trusty sidekick Boswell (Murray) are
assigned to investigate the kidnapping of a software giant (Rockwell). The reason for the kidnapping? He has developed a highly advanced voice
recognition program that can trace anybody anywhere by the sound of their voice. It doesnt take long to figure out why such a
device is important in this movie
sorry, Charlie, the bad guys are coming for you.
Thats enough to set the girls in motion for one outrageous
fight scene and costume change after another. The
Angels gleefully defy gravity and other laws of nature, not with the spiritual elegance of
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but with the audacious cheesiness of a superhero
serial. I have to give credit where its
the actresses seemed very well trained.
I dont think Id want to tangle with them in a dark alley.
But the humor prevails throughout.
This movie never takes itself seriously
so much so that its easy to have
a mindless good time with it, but it leaves one wondering:
with all the money spent and work involved, was this really all they wanted
Ah, but I think too much. Watch
Charlies Angels for the high flying, horizontal kicking fun of it all, and
save your mental capacities for A Passage to India instead.
From good to great...his is a typically terrific Superbit anamorphic widescreen transfer from
Columbia Tri Star. Images are sharp and
crystalline throughout, with a wide, rich color palate from start to finish. Detail is good and compression evidence is
non-existent. The former release of
this title had a slight bit of noticeable grain in a couple of darker scenes;
but here, with less compression required, the images have cleaned up
beautifully. The print itself is in top notch shape. Overall, an exemplary effort.
The 5.1 soundtrack is everything youd expect from an action film on DVD and then some, with the bonus addition of DTS! Its loud, dynamic, and makes full use of discreet channel capabilities! From the opening shots, its clear that this movie is going to be a speaker rattler, and with the many fight scenes in the picture, your system will get a good workout. Crossover from side to side and front to back is always smooth and effortless, with plenty of explosions and crashes to bring the extra .1 channel into play. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout, as is the potent music soundtrack, which unashamedly offers every angel song in the book (Angel of the Morning, Undercover Angel, etc.). A superb listening experience made even better thanks to DTS and the power of Superbit!
Being a Superbit edition means that the commentary track from McG has been nixed...too bad, because he made for a fun and enthusiastic listen! However, his presence is still solidly felt in this disc's supplements. There are numerous featurettes on the sets, costumes, special effects, wire work and martial arts training the film employed, plus one on McG and his delightfully over-the-top approach to directing. There are some deleted and extended scenes, along with outtakes (the same ones seen during the end credits). Plus, there's a sneak preview of the sequel (and a ticket to see it, if you pick up this disc before 7/18/03) with a "Shop the Scene" DVD ROM link. To top it off, there are two music videos (Destinys Child and Apollo Four Forty), trailers, and talent files, plus some very cool animated menus with sound!
Charlies Angels is good natured, cheesy and self-depreciating fun, anchored by three charming ladies and an enthusiastic director. Its no classic, but is more than suitable for a fun nights home with the disc player, especially with this top quality Superbit DVD offering from Columbia Tri Star. And don't forget to strap yourselves in for that sequel, Angels' fans!