Changing Lanes (2002) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Thriller
Paramount || R - 98 minutes - $29.99 || May 19, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-28


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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

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Roger Michell
Writer(s): Chap Taylor (story), Chap Taylor and Michael Tolkin (screenplay)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Staunton, Sydney Pollack, Amanda Peet


Theatrical Release Date: April 12, 2002


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck) is a lawyer who is driving to a court meeting where heís going to present a document that gets his firm an incredible amount of money. Doyle Gipson (Samuel Jackson) is on his way to court as well, as he has a meeting with a judge about seeing if a custody agreement can be reached between him and his wife Valerie (Kim Staunton). Gavin is on the phone and rams into Doyleís car on the road, which causes both to lose control of their cars. Upon getting out, Doyle tries to plead with Gavin for his insurance but Gavin tries to buy him off instead. Gavin leaves the scene of the accident, but he pulled out a folder and wrote some things on it for Doyle for his insurance claim. It turns out that the folder he wrote it on contains the document needed at court, but Doyle doesnít know what it is, yet.

Gavin goes to court and finally realizes where the document is: in the hands of a man whose life he ruined by causing the accident. Doyle is late to his appointment with the judge, and loses custody of his kids and fights with his wife about it. The two play mind games and other devious methods, including Gavin trying to make Doyle bankrupt in order to get the file back, and Doyle sending Gavin parts of the file in shreds. Can Gavin recover the file and help restore what he did wrong, or will he cost the firm millions? Can Doyle get his family back or will he lose them forever?

I saw this movie when it came out in theaters, and even years later, itís still as enjoyable as it was. Affleck and Jackson are great in their respective roles. Affleck is believable as the bad guy who ruins others lives, but in the end he does become a better character and person overall because of the incident. Jackson is superb as Doyle, as heís the kind and compassionate person who has horrible things happen to him and even though they arenít his fault heís blamed for them by his family.

As much as I can praise the acting, there are a few hiccups in this movie that prevent it from being better. First off, the lengths these two go to ruin each otherís lives is sort of unbelievable, as making someone go bankrupt in order to get a file back is extreme. Yes I understand why he does it, but Iím sure there are other methods to getting the file back. The school scene was also heavily out of order, as what Gavin does there is not only sad but disrespectful. Then again, that is his character, but to me I just felt like the script kind of pushed Gavinís character to the horrible end of things whereas Doyleís didnít go to that many extremes, although he does try to kill Gavin.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Roger Michell: Michellís voice nearly put me to sleep listening to this track, as heís not the happiest sounding guy in the world. This track is pretty in-depth about the movie, and he discusses facts and some behind-the-scenes things, so if you liked the film then you may want to listen this.

Making of Changing Lanes (15 minutes): Your usual making of feature, but this one is worse than the ones I normally see. Itís not that entertaining and doesnít really offer any insight into the film, so unless you are the biggest fan of the movie Iíd recommend passing.

Writerís Perspective (7 minutes): An interesting look at how Affleckís character was made and his progress throughout the movie. Itís short, so check it out.

Deleted Scenes (5 minutes): Two deleted scenes that donít amount to much, hence why they were probably cut. Iíd pass on watching these two.

Extended Scene (5 minutes): The confessional scene is shown in a much longer version, but the version in the movie works better.

** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES **

The only exclusive we get is the theatrical trailer (HD).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

For a catalog release, I normally go in not expecting the best transfer in the world, and as usual that holds true. This release has problems with the color palette being bland, flesh tones dry, and contrast levels slightly off. Grain is also in multiple scenes, and noise is there as well. I canít really say that many good things about this transfer, as there isnít really anything to say that is positive. Itís not a terrible transfer, as the movie is a bit old, but I expected better.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track accompanying the film fares as well as the video does: just bland. The film is dialogue, dialogue, and more dialogue. There are only a handful of action scenes, and even those sound dull and outdated. Dialogue levels though for the most part are consistent and sound how they should, but nothing really to write about being praise worthy. Itís not the fact I hated this audio track, I was hoping for some better clarity in the dialogue and surround use, of which there was barely any.



.::OVERALL::.

This is Jackson and Affleck in one of their best movies to date as the story is compelling and the characters believable in their actions. The special features package is decent, but the audio and video are disappointing. If you havenít seen Changing Lanes, then by all means rent it. But I canít recommend a purchase unless you just have to own this one, as this is one catalog that doesnít need an upgrade for.