"Gone in 60 Seconds: Unrated Director's Cut"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    Nicolas Cage as MEMPHIS RAINES
    Giovanni Ribisi as KIP RAINES
    Angelina Jolie as SARA “SWAY” WAYLAND
    Will Patton as ATLEY JACKSON
    Delroy Lindo as DET. ROLAND CASTLEBECK
    Timothy Olyphant as DETECTIVE DRYCOFF
    Robert Duvall as OTTO HALLIWELL

    Studio: Touchstone

    Directed by: Dominic Sena
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“Gone in 60 Seconds” is a remake of an old Steve McQueen film about car thieves who get stuck trying to pull of an impossible job. Memphis Raines (Nicolas Cage) comes out of retirement to save his brother, who had botched the job previously. He assembles his old team, and gets on the radar of his old police nemesis, and gets ready to steal 50 rare cars in one night.

If you’re a car buff, you’re gonna love this film. There’s enough muscle cars, classic cars and slick sports models to make you go weak in the knees. Similarly, the massive car chases and high-octane attitude should really excite the action fan in you.

The story actually ain’t too bad. It’s simple, your old fashioned western-style story with the bandit running from the sheriff. The key to this film is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s not trying to be art, and while it delves into lame human drama at times, it doesn’t take too long to get back to the cars.

The cast is one of the best mid-range ensembles committed to screen. Cage and Jolie are fine as the main focus for either sex, but it’s the rest of the crew that really steal the show. Robert Duvall is completely in his element as the veteran car thief-turned-rebuilder. Giovanni Ribisi, TJ Cross and Vinnie Jones all turn out excellent tongue-in-cheek performances. And Delroy Lindo makes a great anti-villain to balance the whole film. It’s like a garage-band version of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

This is another one of those films that fits into the “it is what it is” category, only it’s better than that. It is what it is and does it really, really well.

But it still is what it is. Don’t look for high drama, high art or even a half-way decent love story here. It’s a movie about boosting cars, and it’s directed by a former music video director. Don’t give it any more credit than that.

With a glut of movies coming to DVD as “unrated” versions of the film, I can finally say that I’ve seen one of them in its original cut. “Gone in 60 Seconds” has recently been released as an unrated, new extended edition. I never saw the film in the theaters, but I did check it out on DVD five or six years ago.

And I have to admit: I don’t see the difference.

Not only did I not notice what had been added to this extended cut, but I also don’t see much difference in the DVD bonus material. This is a stellar example of a film just getting a re-release during a spike in one of the star’s careers in order to sell more copies. (In this case, with Angelina Jolie in the news lately, her name and image on the box cover probably sold some units.)

Anyone who has ever bought a copy of any movie from “The Evil Dead” series will know the pitfalls of special edition releases. And fans of “Sin City” are going to see the same thing come into play there. It’s a great way to get a new DVD, but don’t fall for the ploy of duplicating your collection (or even renting something you already have).

The special features are actually more about Jerry Bruckheimer than the movie, but that’s what you get when you’re Jerry Bruckheimer. Even his bio wasn’t updated, announcing “upcoming” films like “Remember the Titans” and “Pearl Harbor.” It also warns us of the dreadful “Kangaroo Jack,” which was still called “Down Under” when his bio was written.

Other recycled features include a music video, about a half-dozen behind-the-scenes featurettes, the original trailer and an action montage. Still, it’s a lot of stuff to have on the disc and makes up for the fact that there’s no commentary.

Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (2.35:1), enhanced for 16x9 televisions. French language track. French and Spanish subtitles. English subtitles for the hearing impaired.

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