Charlie’s Angels (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 22, 2010 by Dennis Amith
The 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” was a box office success and also brought the fun, sexy and kitschy elements of the TV series to the big screen. If you were a big fan of the film, then you will probably enjoy the vibrant colors displayed on HD and also how much better the film sounds via lossless.
Images courtesy of © 2000 Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Co. Movie KG. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Charlie’s Angels
DURATION: 98 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1), English, French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
COMPANY: Columbia Pictures
RATED: PG-13 (For Action, Violence, Innuendo and Some Sensual/Nudity)
RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2010
Based on the TV series by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts
Directed by McG
Written by Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon, John August
Executive Producer: Joseph M. Caracciolo, Aaron Spelling, Betty Thomas, Jenno Topping
Producer: Drew Barrymore, Leonard Goldberg, Nancy Juvoven
Music by Ed Shearmur
Cinematography by Russell Carpenter
Edited by Peter Teschner, Wayne Wahrman
Casting by Justine Baddeley, Kim Davis
Production Design by J. Michael Riva
Art Direction by David F. Klassen, Richard F. Mays
Set Decoration by Lauri Gaffin
Costume Design by Joseph G. Aulisi
Cameron Diaz as Natalie Cook
Drew Barrymore as Dylan Sanders
Lucy Liu as Alex Munday
Bill Murray as John Bosley
Sam Rockwell as Eric Knox
Kelly Lynch as Vivian Wood
Tim Curry as Roger Corwin
Crispin Glover as Thin Man
Matt LeBlanc as Jason Gibbons
LL Cool J as Mr. Jones
Tom Green as Chad
Luke Wilson as Pete Komisky
Sean Whalen as Pasqual
Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu star as the captivating crime-fighting trio who are masters of disguise, espionage and martial arts. When a devious mastermind embroils them in a plot to destroy individual privacy, the Angels, aided by their loyal sidekick Bosley (Bill Murray), set out to bring down the bad guys. But when a terrible secret is revealed, it makes the Angels targets for assassination.
Long before director McG directed films such as “Terminator Salvation” and “We are Marshall” and before he would be executive producer for TV Shows such as “The O.C.”, “The Mountain” and “Fastlane”, McG was known for directing music videos for bands like Sublime and Korn.
But every director has their first start and for McG, his first theatrical debut was the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” based on the Aaron Spelling produced ’70’s television show showcasing sexy women taking on various disguises in order to defeat crime while following their mystery boss Charlie. Known for boosting the careers of Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd and many more women who took part in the show from 1976-1981.
Featuring actresses Cameron Diaz as Natalie Cook, Drew Barrymore as Dylan Sanders and Lucy Liu as Alex Munday, the three take on crime alongside Charlie’s assistant Bosley (played by Bill Murray), the three take on their latest mission to find the software genius Eric Knox (played by Sam Rockwell) who may have been kidnapped by Redstar owner Roger Corwin (played by Tim Curry).
While Bosley tries to get information from Corwin in regards to the whereabouts of Knox, the women follow the lead of going after a man who was was seen on surveillance videos ford kidnapping Knox, a man known as Thin Man (played by Crispin Glover).
Featuring action, sexiness, a variety of disguises and hair tossing, “Charlie’s Angels”, the film version continues the tradition of the popular TV shown for modern viewers and was a box office success earning over $264 million worldwide.
“Charlie’s Angels” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1). For anyone who remembers this film, because there were so many mini-segments, there were many times the film would emphasize reds, blues, blacks and for the most part, the HD presentation shows off the vibrant colors on Blu-ray. Contrast levels are well-done, colors really pop, blacks are nice and deep and there is a good amount of grain.
The film definitely delivered when it came to set design, costume design and it helps that McG worked with a talented cinematographer, Russell Carpenter, who worked on films such as “Titanic” and “The Negotiator”. This is a film that required various styles of footage and it helps to have an experienced cinematographer behind the camera.
If anything, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has proven to us within these past two years that they can take these past films and really make them shine on Blu-ray visually (and also via lossless audio). Definitely a major improvement compared to its original DVD counterpart.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Charlie’s Angels” is presented in English, French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. The film definitely shines via lossless from the opening scene with the jet flying and the engines coming from the surround channels and also hearing it via LFE to the battle with Thin Man and hearing the fight sequences, steel against steel, windows crashing and hearing them quite nicely through the surround channels. Dialogue is clear through the center channel and the film does sport a lot of contemporary music and may it be from Destiny’s Child to Blink-182, good amount of music as well.
Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
“Charlie’s Angels” comes with the following special features (in standard definition, English Stereo and subtitles in Spanish and Portuguese):
- Blu-ray exclusive movieIQ®+sync
- Commentary with Director McG and Cinematographer Russell Carpenter – An interesting commentary to listen to McG about his first major film and how it helped to work with an experienced cinematographer.
- Deleted Scenes – (4:42) Featuring three deleted scenes: Marco Polo!, The Men’s Room Extended, Extra Shake & Bake
- Outtakes & Bloopers – (2:39) Outtakes from “Charlie’s Angels” that were seen at the ending credits.
- Getting G’d Up – (6:32) An in-depth profile of Director McG and McG behind-the-scenes. Film staff and talent talk about how they love working with McG and how energetic he is.
- The Master and the Angels – (7:25) A look behind the martial arts and stunts in the movie and working with world renown Cheung-yan Yuen and how much training the main talents had to go through to prepare for the film.
- Welcome to Angel World – (4:48) A behind-the-scenes look at the film’s set design with production designer J. Michael Riva.
- Angelic Attire: Dressing Cameron, Drew and Lucy – (3:25) Costume Designer Joseph G. Aulisi discusses the costumes for the film and how he styled each angel.
- Angelic Effects – (6:45) A discussion of the exciting special effects used throughout the film’s production.
- Wired Angels – (2:35) A scene deconstruction of the Chinese Alley scene and the wiring work used during filming
- Music Videos – Featuring “Independent Women Part 1” by Destiny’s Child and “Charlie’s Angels 2000” by Apollo Four Forty.
“Charlie’s Angels” is one of those films that you don’t take seriously and like the television series, you know it’s going to be a bit kitschy but with three sexy women kicking ass, you just sit back and enjoy no matter how crazy the film may get and hopefully, you find something fun or entertaining about it.
If anything, “Charlie’s Angels” is one of those films which is a straight-up action popcorn flick. A film that you just don’t come in and watch it with any high expectations and if there were any expectations, probably from those who watched the original TV series and wonder how the Angels and their sexiness would be displayed on the big screen.
Yes, you’re going to see Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu in tight outfits, outfits that showcase cleavage and quite a bit of hair tossing but of course, you’re going to get a lot of action and in this case, with the film utilizing world renown Cheung-yan Yuen (who was involved in major martial arts films with Jackie Chan and also the “Matrix” films) for the fighting sequences and putting these women through difficult training prior to the making of the film, the fight sequences were done very well.
Also, you can’t help but be amazed by costume and set design for the film. With every individual sequence created for each of the women, various costumes and disguises they had to wear, director McG and staff really went all out in making “Charlie’s Angels” a fun, visual film.
With that being said, if one owns the DVD, is “Charlie’s Angels” on Blu-ray worth it? If you enjoyed the film, then the improved visuals and the lossless audio would make things worth it. The special features are the same standard definition features that were included on the original DVD and although I have read that there were two Easter Eggs (which were part of the original DVD) included, I’ve tried many ways to figure where it would be in the Blu-ray version to no avail.
But what it comes down to is one’s enjoyment of “Charlie’s Angels”. Watching it again, I have to admit that I wasn’t really getting into this time around and the watching it again, I admit I was even questioning myself of why I even enjoyed this film back then. Yes, the plot was ludicrous and the dialogue and storyline was kitschy. Even the talent in the film also found the dialogue kitschy, Bill Murray even found himself at odds with Lucy Liu verbally because he found the script to be ludicrous. Even comedian Tom Green who has a short stint in the film thought the script was terrible but only participated because of his ex-wife (Drew Barrymore) asked him to.
But I’m not going to be invidious towards this film. Because the TV show was also cheesy to begin with and having grew up around watching the TV series as a kid, I was not expecting anything deep from the film but I did expect the film to deliver in special effects and also with Cheung-yan Yuen’s involvement, I was expecting to see a good amount of wirework and awesome fight choreography and the film did deliver in that respect.
There has been a lot of talk about a third film and I’m sure McG’s style of filmmaking has gotten much better since the making of this film and hopefully with what he accomplished with “Terminator Salvation”, if he was involved with the third film, maybe a series that could still incorporate the fun elements of the film but possibly less cheesiness. Who knows? I guess we’ll find out if the third film does receive the green light.
Overall, “Charlie’s Angels” on Blu-ray definitely looks much better and sounds much better than its previous DVD counterpart and if you were a big fan of the film or any of the talent, then this Blu-ray is definitely for you!
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