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Collateral
BLU-RAY disk
Apr 14, 2010 By: Aaron the H
Collateral order
Director:
Michael Mann

Actors:
Tom Cruise
Jamie Foxx
Mark Ruffalo

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An unassuming LA cabbie named Max (Jamie Foxx) gets more than he bargained for when he picks up a fare in the form of Vincent (Tom Cruise), a vicious hitman who forces Max to be his driver for the night while he carries out his kills.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
You shoulda seen my face when I got this Blu-ray in the mail. Check out my MFC profile and youll notice its on my top 20 all time, so I was beyond ecstatic to be able to heap praise on this bad boy in a public forum. Collateral is a solid thriller, a solid drama, a solid actioner, a solid film in general, the kind in fact, that had it been released in the era of 10 Best Picture nominees would surely have been counted among of them.

This flick has quality pedigree all around it. Tom Cruise steals the show as the smooth-talking villain you equally love and hate, while Jamie Foxx (Oscar-nominated here) as a mild-mannered everyday schmo-turned-hero more than holds his own. The film is chock full of cameos and well-known actors in excellent bit parts, such as Jada Pinkett[Smith], Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Irma P. Hall, Jason Statham (literally onscreen for 5 seconds), and a near unrecognizable Javier Bardem as a drug kingpin (awesome!). But the man who really pulls this thing together is the one who never steps in front of the camera. Mucho, mucho props go to director Michael Mann, who practically wrote the book on gritty, realistic modern crime thrillers with his masterpiece Heat.

Collateral in my opinion is no less of an achievement, as Mann deftly crafts a film that is both stylistically enthralling and emotionally engrossing- a true rarity for a Hollywood film. There are no cheap explosions or skydiving gunfights in this film, though there are plenty of gunfights, and theyre as intense as anything youll see out there. Theres also a grim, seedy reality to the film, as Mann exposes the shady underbelly of L.A. after dark, and for those of us familiar with the City of Angels sprawling (and yet oddly claustrophobic) metropolis, youll be in awe at how well Mann captures it all.

Stuart Beatties script and his creation of the Vincent character (Cruise) are also an achievement that should not go unnoticed. Im amazed at how deplorable Cruises actions are in the film, and yet, I constantly find myself cheering as he guns down some of LAs most despicable scumbags, never realizing (or perhaps simply not caring) that he is one of them. Mucho props to Cruise, Foxx and Beattie for creating characters the audience can heavily invest, making this [cab] ride one that won't soon be forgotten.

This is a classic modern mans film if there ever was one, right up there nestled in between Gladiator and Man on Fire, and hopefully, as time rolls on, it will be recognized as the gem that it is. OK, Im done.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by Michael Mann: If you like to hear about story motivation- preparation, attention to detail, criminal procedure, etc.- give this track a go. Michael Mann doesnt have the most electric personality but hot damn is the man intelligent.

City of Night: The Making of Collateral (40:59) - Like the commentary track, this is a well-explained, in depth featurette behind the story, the characters, and how they went about intricately developing both.

Special Delivery (1:09) - A quick, cool little featurette where Michael Mann discusses (and shows) how he had Tom Cruise dress up as a FedEx delivery man and deliver packages in public as practice for making himself invisible. Watch it.

Shooting on Location: Annies Office (2:34) - Mann explains how he chose the office location and how he approached shooting it.

Deleted Scene (1:57) - A pretty sweet, if somewhat disjointed deleted scene with commentary by Michael Mann to explain what is goin down.

Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx Rehearse (4:10) - A pretty cool behind the scenes peak into the Foxx and Cruise rehearsing with Mann, compared with the final scenes in the film. Cruise is a badass even in rehearsal.

Visual FX: MTA Train (2:27) - Michael Mann explains why he opted to shoot the climactic subway scene green-screen as opposed to practically. Gives great insight into how much thought and meaning the man (and all great directors) puts into every single frame of the film.

The disc also comes with a teaser trailer and theatrical trailer. Sadly lacking a Digital Copy though.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you're a fan of the thriller genre, and prefer a little brain with your brawn, this is the flick for you. Cruise's last line in the film (which I won't ruin for you) and his final shot on screen brilliantly sum up why this film is such a work of art- the kind that can be enjoyed with a beer and a bucket of popcorn.

See this film.
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