After the Sunset (2004) - Widescreen New Line Platinum Series

Genre(s): Action / Comedy / Crime / Thriller
New Line || PG13 - 100 minutes - $12.98 || March 29, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-05-30


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Brett Ratner
Writer(s): Paul Zbyszewski (story), Paul Zbyszewski (screenplay) and Craig Rosenberg (screenplay)
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle


Theatrical Release Date: November 12, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director, Producer & Editor Commentary
  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes
  • Blooper Reel
  • Before, During and After the Sunset Featurette
  • The Charlie Rose Show
  • Interview with a Jewel Thief
  • Visual Effects Comparisons
  • Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Watching After the Sunset for the first time since the theater, I found the heist flick to be a thin version of a much better heist flick also starring Pierce Brosnan, The Thomas Crown Affair. However, this is not a film that should be analyzed too much... it is supposed to be a fun film that will pass away 90 minutes quickly. But I cannot ignore the obvious glare the film was lacking: a comprable adversary to Brosnan's thief. Woody Harrelson just is not a very good actor and given a bigger role like this, it really takes away from any fun factor I was looking for.

Brett Ratner's action-heist-comedy isn't terrible, but it is one of those movies that you will either forget afterwards or while watching, it'll remind you of so many other films that have come before.

Original Review:
After the Sunset, the latest endeavor from Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, is, frankly, average. What is pitched as a heist/thriller is instead a mixture of other genres -- such as romantic comedy, slap stick/situation comedy as well as thriller -- that take precedence. It is because of this that the film, as a whole, does not succeed.

Ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan plays Max Burdett, a master diamond thief who has finally decided to retire while on top, along with life -- and crime -- partner, Lola Cirillo (Hayek). Hot on his trail, though, is disgraced FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Harrelson), who tracks the couple to their retirement location in the Bahamas where Agent Lloyd wants to catch Max trying to steal the Third Napoleon Diamond worth several million dollars.

In order to catch him, Agent Lloyd decides to watch his every movement and that includes invite him out on a fishing trip (for some odd reason). I don’t know, maybe it was strategical ploy on his part, or maybe it was to add another screwball comedic scene involving a shark (which was already done in Lethal Weapon 4, of all movies). Was the scene amusing? Yes, but I don’t know how much baring it really had on the plot (maybe after another viewing, on DVD, I may understand it). There are a few other scenes like this, and they are funny, but -- as I said with my argument of mixing genres -- tended to take away from the film.

Pierce Brosnan, in this movie is, well… Pierce Brosnan. He’s charming in some scenes while in others, he has a plan working in his mind (see: The Thomas Crown Affair). For a role that, on the surface, seems to be flashed out, he does a good job with it. As an actor, Brosnan is very good, but it still remains to be seen how his post-Bond career will go. He could go in the direction of Roger Moore or Sean Connery. I do hope it’s the latter, with all due respect to Mr. Moore.

As for the other actors, I’m not a big fan of Woody Harrelson mainly because every time I see him, I think of his “Cheers” character, Woody Boyd. In regards to the part itself, though, he makes a decent go of it, but the role itself isn’t anything memorable, though it he is somewhat likable.

However, there is ONE very good thing about After the Sunset: Salma Hayek. Brett Ratner utilizes her every being, which includes a couple of cleavage shots (pretty close-up I might add), as well as some shots of her ass. Perhaps Ratner wanted to distract the audience and replace a mundane plot with Hayek and all of her beauty, though it would have taken a lot to do that. Oh, by the way, she also did a good acting job as well...

The faults of After the Sunset came primarily from the story. While one could argue who would’ve been better in such and such a role, I tend to think that if there was a better plot, this could’ve turned out to be a decent flick. I wish I could say Sunset was the kind of movie that could be written off as a “fun way to spend two hours”, I just cannot; I can appreciate a film like that (The Italian Job and The Score are two examples).

After the Sunset is just another average film that tries to mix too many genres that did not fit well together. Is it deserving of a rental? Maybe. While this certainly is not a good film, you could do worse.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

For such an average film that had a mundane box office pull, Sunset has a good amount of features that covers almost everything you did not want to know about the production.

There are 15 deleted/alternate scenes including the "Original Reveal of Lola" (which is seen in the trailer) where Lola meets Brosnan on the rooftop and takes off her disguise, and the "Alternate (Original) Ending" where the payoff isn't as funny as what was in theaters... There is optional commentary provided by Ratner and company where they explain why the scenes were cut (a few of which Ratner liked, while others were cut because they didn't push the plot along).

The obligatory (but appreciated) blooper reel is also included with some funny practical jokes (dozens of tennis balls come flying at Salma Hayek). Interestingly, there are actually more jokes in the massive featurette.

Director Ratner, along with producer Beau Flynn and editor Mark Helfrich, provide an in-depth commentary track covering primarily the more technical aspects (the time it took to make the sets, the location changes, etc) but there was the occasional butt kissing as well... Just like there are commentaries for those who like to listen to casual conversations, this one will appease those who like the more detailed information. For me, the track would've been better with maybe one of the primary actors like Brosnan or even Cheadle (who is a good friend of Ratner).

Before, During, and After the Sunset is the most surprising of the features as this 'making-of' featurette runs at a mighty 70 minutes! This takes the viewer from pre-production as the filmmakers' scout locations to the production in the Bahamas, Los Angeles and a basketball arena (not Staple's Center) for the opening to the premiere all over. Even though this isn't the most riveting featurette, it was still interesting to watch.

The Charlie Rose Show is the standard 18 minute junket for promotion of the film. Host Rose sits at a round table with Ratner and actors Brosnan, Hayek and Harrelson as they discuss the making of the movie (with the standard trailers snuck in between).

One of the more unique featurette is Brett Ranter's Interview with a Jewel Thief where a real thief talks about his history about how he got involved in the crime syndicate, how he lost his family and all that. It only runs about 8 minutes which is fine since I didn't think Ratner was that great of an interviewer.

The visual effects comparisons covers a few scenes with commentary overlayed explaining how each scene was done (and why). One of them has Salma sitting on the deck alone, but originally Pierce Brosnan was in the foregorund and erased out, and they took some other footage (a closeup), shrunk down Salma's head and placed it over in the scene (as she was talking to Brosnan). The purpose of the scene was a bit unclear, but I think it was to show her loneliness or something.

The disc also has several TV Spots and a Trailer.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The disc comes with the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound as well as the 2.0 mix (why, I'm not sure). The DD 5.1 mix is alright but like many Dolby Digital mixes, the action scenes seem to be too muted in places. Besides that, though, it's OK and acceptable. The picture presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio is quite good and brings out the exotic locale quite well.



.::OVERALL::.

Although I didn't like the film, New Line has once again produced a good disc with special features worth at least a walk-through. If you're a fan of Brosnan's and/or like to drool over Salma Hayek (plenty of opportunities), then this movie is for you. Personally, I'll just take some screen caps and call it even as I don't really want to watch the film for a third time.