Updated: Jul 1
EXPANDED 4K ULTRA HD REVIEW / HDR FRAME SHOTS
Jennifer Lopez plays U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco and George Clooney as prison escapee Jack Foley.
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“OUT OF SIGHT”
4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray; 1998; R for profanity and strong violence; Streaming via Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube
Best extra: “Inside ‘Out of Sight’: An Original Documentary on the Making of the Film”
ELMORE LEONARD is one of my writing heroes, and an opportunity to hear this man talk makes it a good day. In addition to “Out of Sight,” the ‘Dickens of Detroit’ was also the source for “Get Shorty,” 1995; “Jackie Brown,” 1997; “52 Pick-Up,” 1986; “Hombre,” 1967; “Joe Kidd,” 1972; “3:10 to Yuma,” 1957 & 2007, as well as the Emmy-winning series “Justified,” 2010-2015, and more. Many, many more.
There’s a 1937 hit song by George Gershwin called, “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Re: “Out of Sight,” just imagine being locked in a trunk with either of the most attractive and charismatic film stars of the late ‘90s at the peak of their powers – for more than 40 takes. George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez … makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
Hard-charging U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco (Lopez) is kidnapped by bank-robbing career criminal – and recent prison escapee – Jack Foley (Clooney), and forced into the trunk of her own car with him. Wisecracks, movie references and a certain chemistry (however unlikely) ensue. Karen is freed due to another series of mishaps involving loopy stoner Glenn Michaels (Steve Zahn), and Jack makes a getaway with his partner Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames).
(1) “Out of Sight” opened on June 26, 1998, and finished with $77 million worldwide box office. (2&3) Foley a career bank robber decides to knock off a Sun Trust Bank but doesn’t get far when his car won’t start. (3) He’s sentenced to the Glades Prison in South Florida. (4&5) Foley tells prison guard Pup (Scott Allen) that a prison break will happen tonight. The prime escapees’ Lulu (Paul Soileau) and Chino (Luis Guzmán).
As her wry and loving father (a perfect Dennis Farina) puts it; “You always go for the bad boys.” Karen finagles her way onto the FBI task force tracking down the escapees. Meanwhile, Jack plans to rob his financial fraudster prison chum, Richard Ripley (Albert Brooks in a series of toupees that are a crime against nature.) Complicating the mission is another, former inmate, Maurice “Snoop/Snoopy” Miller (Cheadle), who with his psycho lieutenant, has progressed to the homicidal side of home invasion.
The story jumps back and forth in time – NOT in any way that would cause undue confusion – with one pretty solid bit of fantasy. “Out of Sight” is a fast-paced, mostly funny action movie, with great characterizations defining a bunch of great characters, including Cheadle, Rhames, Zahn, Viola Davis, Catherine Keener, a hilarious Luis Guzmán, and Michael Keaton reprising the small role he had as action junkie cop Ray Nicolette from Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown” released the year before.
This striking 4K restoration is clearly one of Kino’s best, sourced from a 4K scan of the original 35mm spherical camera negative (1.85:1 aspect ratio) and mastered in true 4K. Every shot features terrific clarity from Soderbergh’s nicely framed close-ups providing detailed facial and costume textures, while wide shots are clear and crisp from the foreground to distant buildings and readable signs. Natural film grain dances across the screen as it should, with no signs of grain reduction, while the 4K disc features super-high video bitrate numbers coded onto a 100-gigabit disc. At some points, particularly in the 1080p, film grain is too heavy, as if sourced from fill-in negatives.
The larger your screen, the greater difference was seen between the 2160p disc vs. 1080p disc – especially if the viewing distance is between 1 and 1.5x times the diagonal width of the screen. For a 60-inch 4K TV, the audience should be seated between 5 to 7.5 feet away.
(1) Catherine Keener plays Foley’s ex-girlfriend Adele. She tells Foley, “Hey bank robber! Hey, want some advice? Next time keep the engine running.” (2-5) Karen Sisco has lunch with her father (Dennis Farina) a former U.S. Marshal and he gives her a Sig-Sauer pistol for her birthday. (6) Foley told the prison guard to meet in the chapel. (7) Marshal Sisco spots Lulu (Paul Soileau) and Chino escaping from a tunnel just beyond the prison fence. (8) Foley also escapes dressed in a prison guard uniform and she and Foley end up in the trunk of her car. (9) After Foley’s escape from the Glades Prison Glenn Michaels (Steve Zahn) meets with a new car. (10) Sisco ends up in the hospital after the overnight escape, while her father visits.
Cinematographer Elliot Davis supervised the 4K/HDR grading and SDR grading for the new 1080p disc. Color fidelity is perfect with natural flesh tones and saturated colors from the warm hues of South Florida to the cool palette of Detroit. The 4K presentation is slightly darker with more controlled highlights and mid-tones while the shadows are deep and dark while holding detail.
However, despite the orange “glow” found on the 1080p complexions, we loved the Blu-ray’s brilliant intensity. We could really feel the heat!
The 4K disc and Blu-ray include the same audio coding with the 5.1 DTS-HD soundtrack and a lossless 2.0, headlining Irish composer David Holmes’ inventive first movie score. It’s full of electronic jazzy funk and electronica he describes as “a combination of “Dirty Harry” and “The Rockford Files.” Holmes also composed for “Killing Eve,” 2018-2022, and “Ocean’s Eleven,” 2001.
Surround speakers get plenty of action during gun blasts, but overall, the film concentrates on Leonard’s outstanding dialogue. Here’s where subtitles are great allowing viewers to catch every single word.
The carried-over 25-minute “Inside ‘Out of Sight’: An Original Documentary on the Making of the Film” is a good one, with material from director Steven Soderbergh, screenwriter Scott Frank, and the cast including Clooney, Lopez, Brooks, Cheadle, Ving Rhames, Zahn and (cue angelic choir), and the famed Leonard.
All bonus features are carried over from earlier releases, and visuals are DVD quality rocky. Never mind that; just enjoy. As noted, there’s a witty commentary with Soderbergh and Frank. You’ll also find 22 minutes of deleted scenes, including an utter scream between Clooney and Rhames concerning a bath, and three theatrical trailers.
— Mike Reynolds and Bill Kelley III, High-def Watch producer
(1) Foley, Michaels, and Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames) plan a heist from inside the Lompoc Federal Prison in Calif. (2) Maurice “Snoopy” Miller (Don Cheadle) tells inmate, Richard Ripley (Albert Brooks), a wealthy businessman serving time for embezzlement, he'll need to pay more for everything. Goldfish going up from $2000 to $3000. (3) Michael Keaton reprises his character of Ray Nicolette from “Jackie Brown.” (4&5) Foley and Bragg are holding up in a South Beach motel in Miami. (6&7) Flash-forward and the story picks up in Detriot the location of a diamond heist. “Snoopy” Miller and his driver White Boy Bob (Keith Loneker) and the sequence is filmed at The Kronk Recreation Center was a perfect location for the boxing training center.
(1) “Snoopy” Miller tells Foley he’s taking over the diamond heist. (2) They arrive at Richard Ripley’s house to find the diamonds and his housekeeper Midge (Nancy Allen) tells them he’s in Florida. (3&4) Snoopy, former boxer Kenneth (Isaiah Washington), and White Boy Bob prepare to break into Ripley’s safe. (5&6) Sisco arrives at the house and calls for backup. (7) Nothing goes as planned.