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DVD Review: THE SENTINEL (2006)

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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE SENTINEL

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 108 minutes, feature audio commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailers

STUDIO: 20 Century Fox/ New Regency/ Regency Enterprises/ Furthur Films

RELEASE DATE: 8-29-2006

THE SENTINEL is an entertaining, energetic, and predictable thriller. Many will be watching it for Michael Douglas, Keifer Sutherland, and Eva Longoria. Michael Douglas has always been one of my favorite actors. He plays Agent Garrison of the United States Secret Service. He is part of the detail to protect the President and he stumbles upon a plot to assassinate the President. Even Kim Bassinger isn't annoying as the First Lady which Agent Garrison is having an affair with. Soon Garrison finds himself framed as the mole that everyone is looking for. He runs and tries to find out who the mole is while a former friend (Kiefer Sutherland) is the one who is trying to bring Garrison in. As part of the hollywood cliches, Garrison's former bud is the jealous type who thinks Garrison was having an affair with the guy's wife (I guess he will be a heel when he learns Garrison is really shagging the First Lady instead). Also, a former student of Garrison's (the sexy Eva Longoria) is the investigator's new partner. The two problems with THE SENTINEL are the traitor I guessed right early on and the film could have been more developed like the frame up being earlier in the film.

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

I know the final disc will look better, but the transfer on the screener disc looks horrible. I don't if it is due to Fox doing it as another step to fight piracy or the final video hasn't been completed. I will update when I get the final product disc.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 2.0 DS, Spanish 2.0 DS

subtitles: English, Spanish

Surround action isn't bad and dialogue is clear.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Four deleted scenes and an alternate ending (the first 3 scenes are letterboxed while the last two are Anamorphic Widescreen) with optional commentary by Screenwriter George Nolfi. A dark character scene for Kiefer and two scenes that would have it made feel like a Hollywwod picture received the cut. Whether those cuts make the movie a better picture is up to you.

The feature audio commentary by George Nolfi and Director Clark Johnson is a better effort than the boring track Clark did for S.W.A.T. 2 1/2 years ago.

The two featurettes focus on the Secret Service (the film's two tech advisiors (former Secret Service), the actors, and the screenwriter are interviewed):

THE SECRET SERVICE: BUILDING ON A TRADITION- the history of the secret service, what they do, their training, and they like former law enforcement and military to be recruited into their ranks (usually in their 30s). It is a tough agency to get into.

IN THE PRESIDENT'S SHADOW: PROTECTING THE PRESIDENT- goes through what the service does to protect the president, their dress code, and that only the best (at least after 5 years in the service) get selected to protect the president (first lady, presidental candidates, etc). President George W. Bush changed the law so the former Presidents only get protected up to 10 years after they leave office.

Also included are two theatrical trailers for THE SENTINEL, a trailer for the Special Editions of ROMANCING THE STONE and JEWEL OF THE NILE, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING trailer, and a 24 season 4 promo.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE SENTINEL is a good movie to check out during the time of the year where the cinemaplex isn't having the top crop showing. It is a solid and yet predictable thriller. The DVD has some good extras despite the lack of a featurette on the making of the film.

this review is (c)8-27-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com