BLU-RAY REVIEW: Thelma and Louise
The classic movie featuring girls, guns and convertibles now available in hi-def...
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It doesn't seem like that long ago, but 2 decades ago Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon showed how two strong, female leads can make a movie not only memorable, but also entertaining, exciting, and truly exceptional.
So what made Thelma and Louise so remarkable? Maybe it was the free-spirited attitudes the pair exhibit upon freeing themselves from small town life in their newly acquired '66 T-Bird. Maybe it's the way Louise stands up to a rapist with a "devil be damned" attitude and a pistol. Maybe it's the way the pair make for Mexico on the lam, everything to lose and nothing but freedom to gain. Maybe it's the way Thelma has her way with J.D. (a very young Brad Pitt) and becomes the envy of every woman since. Or maybe it's the way the pair - with 10 police cars in tow - drive their convertible into the Grand Canyon, fully claiming their destiny and forever cementing Thelma and Louise into Hollywood fame.
Director Ridley Scott, who at the time was best known for sci-fi and fantasy films like Alien, Blade Runner and Legend, brought Thelma and Louise to life in a way that packs a punch the likes of which most movies don't. Or can't. Written by Callie Khouri, who won an Academy Award for her effort (not bad for a novice, huh?), the film has truly become a modern day classic.
Now, a 20th Anniversary edition of the fan-favorite, critically acclaimed film is available in blu-ray hi-def. Featuring an impressive video transfer in 1080p, film fans will be impressed with the sharp contrasts and bold colors. The audio is also solid, a DTS-HD lossless Master Audio 5.1 surround track which relies plenty on the front speakers while providing some sensible use to the rear and side speakers. Overall, both video and audio improve up on previously released DVD, something hi-def fans will obviously appreciate.
As for special features, there's unfortunately nothing new here. If you own the previously released DVD, you've seen and heard all of this before. That's not to say it's not worth seeing and hearing again, however. Two impressive audio commentaries are included, one with director Ridley Scott which obviously focuses more on the creation and direction of the film, and a second with stars Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis joined by writer Callie Khouri. This track is much more casual and focuses more on the characters, their motivations, work on the set, etc. An hour long making-of documentary "Thelma and Louise: The Last Journey" is also available here. An impressive look into the film, the doc is broken up into three parts - Conception and Casting, Production and Performance, and Reaction and Resonance - each exploring the many different aspects of the film's creation, production, and then, audience reaction following release. There are of course plenty of interviews with the cast, director, writer, and crew giving plenty of insight into the film. A short 5 minute theatrical "making of" featurette is also included, though simply worthless following the hour-long version.
Other special features include over 40 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, an extended ending, and a multi-angle storyboard-to-shot comparison of the final chase scene. Lastly, the Glen Frey "Part of You, Part of Me" music video and the film's trailers and TV spots are also included.
Simply put, Thelma and Louise is one of the most memorable, well-written, and brilliantly acted films of the 1990s. Considering it's been 20 years since the film first hit theaters, Thelma and Louise still stands as a testament to the creative power of the Hollywood from 20 years ago. Likewise, the film demonstrates how, with a great script, an awesome director, and an impressive cast, marvelous things can happen and can continue to impress moviegoers decades later.
Thelma and Louise: 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray is available now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley