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DVD Review: HOSTAGE

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HOSTAGE

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 113 minutes, deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary, feature commentary, featurette, and previews

STUDIO: Miramax

RELEASE DATE: 6-21-2005

ANALYSIS: HOSTAGE is full of twists and layers. It also owes a lot to film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. HOSTAGE is one of those thrillers that takes you on a ride and keeps adding layers as you see the sights. Bruce Willis plays Jeff Talley, a Chief of Police in a quiet California town after tragic events that happened a year ago when he was a hostage negotiator in LA. Talley thought he left behind the big trouble of the city until three people take the rich Smith family hostage in their fortress house. Talley's troubles begin when some very bad people take Talley's wife and daughter (played by Bruce's real life daughter) hostage because they want an incriminating DVD in the Smith house and one of the criminals (Mars) in the house is a murderous sociopath. Will Talley choose to save the family in the Smith house at the cost of his own or find a way to save both?

HOSTAGE is masterfully shot and directed. The cinematography captures the film noir mood along with the kinetic energy of action movies. French director Florent Siri and his cinematographer have done a bang up job on HOSTAGE. I love the layers and the look of the movie. I hope Siri does more USA movies like this. Bruce Willis is great as Talley,but a couple of changes would have turned him into John McClaine. Bruce's daughter did perfectly fine in her small role as Talley's daughter. HOSTAGE does share elements with many film noir. You have the crooks who will go to great lengths to get what they want, the troubled hero, and the darkness of the shadows. HOSTAGE is a neo-noir multi-layered action thriller.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is fine. Colors, skin tones, and blacks are captured very well in this transfer.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish (special features not subtitled)

Dialogue is easy to understand. Sound effects are top notch and make good use of the sound mix. Fantastic.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES: The deleted and extended scenes (all with optional commentary track) don't really add anything to the movie and they would have slowed down the film if they ramined in. They're fluff unless you want to see a little more between Talley and his daughter, or Talley taking a drink before work. TAKING HOSTAGE BEHIND THE SCENES is promo fluff that covers some basic details about the production. It would be fascinating to watch more detailed featurettes on the making of HOSTAGE.

Also the director has recorded an audio commentary for the movie. It is eays to listen to as the director explains how the movie is built, his love for film noir, and his filming style (he shoots widescreen).

Previews on the DVD include SIN CITY, SCARY MOVIE 3.5, CURSED, DARCULA 3, HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD (looks like another bad Hellraiser sequel sadly), and THE PROPHECY: UPRISING/FORSAKEN

FINAL ANALYSIS: HOSTAGE is an engaging cocktail of drama, film noir, and action. Rent it or buy it. It is one of the better movies that Bruce Willis has starred in.

this DVD Review is (c)7-7-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia