BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Matador
Pierce Brosnan as down and out assassin in latest hi-def from Vivendi Entertainment...
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There's something amazing about Pierce Brosnan and the amazing roles he takes. Whether it's Remington Steele, Thomas Crown, or James Bond, his suave demeanor and dashing good looks make him an instant on-screen favorite. So, when a film like The Matador comes along that shades his handsome features and coolness and forces his amazing acting talent front and center, critics and fans take notice.
As Julian Noble, a down and out assassin looking for alternative work, Brosnan is everything a true-to-life James Bond or Remington Steele should be: guilty, depressed, angry, and - above all - flawed. Without all the false bravado and pretenses, Noble is - at his core - a man unhappy, unlucky, and in desperate need of a friend. Enter Greg Kinnear as businessman Danny Wright, the right man in the wrong place at the right time...or wrong time, depending on how you look at it. When the two suddenly - or forcibly - become friends thanks to Noble's need and Wright's fear, the pair are thrust into an entertaining, endearing and oddly hilarious adventure which finds the pair seeking much needed redemption together.
The Matador blu-ray features a good video transfer to 1080p in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The colors are all bold and bright, ensuring the film's main setting (Mexico City) receives plenty of attention. Likewise, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 provides plenty of dialogue and surround sound. While sometimes low at times, the surround speakers provide exposure to everything from the disjointed discussions in a shady bar to the roaring crowds during a bullfight, giving viewers an immersion experience from the safety of their own living room.
As for special features, The Matador blu-ray disc delivers a decent allotment, with viewers getting two feature length commentaries; one with director Richard Shepard, which is standard director fare, as well as a more enjoyable and entertaining commentary with director Shepard and actors Brosnan and Kinnear, who make jokes and help provide added laughs. A (very) short "Making of The Matador" features actor and crew interviews and a number of deleted and extended scenes (with optional director commentary) provides a little more for those looking for more depth. Lastly, the film's theatrical trailer and TV spots are also included.
If your only exposure to Pierce Brosnan is James Bond, Remington Steele or Thomas Crown, check out The Matador. Brosnan is brilliant as Noble and Kinnear plays perfectly opposite. The pair's chemistry is marvelously entertaining and the script, which is unlike others of the same ilk, demonstrates why films like this may bomb at the box office and still be well worth watching, owning, and loving.
The Matador blu-ray is available now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley
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