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DVD Reviews: Catch Me If You Can

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 21 July 2003
Distributed by:
Universal Pictures
Running Time: 136 Minutes

I remember reading the book about Frank Abagnale Jr a couple of years ago and when I heard that it was finally being made as a film, I was very pleased. Even more so when you looked at who was going to play the main parts. At first however I was somewhat dubious about the choice to place DiCaprio in the star role, Tom Hanks is fine in anything he does, no problem there, but Leonardo DiCaprio as the suave and charming Abagnale? I don't think so! Guess what, I was very wrong and more than happy to acknowledge that.

The degree to which Abagnale fooled the world is astounding and he actually successfully held down a number of high paying jobs under false pretences, without actually having to actually carry out any of the occupations to their fullest extant. School Teaching, Head Doctor, Aeroplane Pilot and even Lawyer!

The thing I loved about this movie was the overall feel that you got from the entire feature. Despite the fact that Abagnale was breaking the law, he is such a likeable character that you are not inclined to blame him for his sins, more to the point, you want him to succeed. I think this is from the moral and social standpoint that he never is seen to rob from an individual person, it's always a big bank or company of some nature.

Abagnale's nemesis lies in Agent Hanratty played by Tom Hanks. The relationship between the two men is almost a father and son type deal as Abagnale ran away from home when forced to make a decision over which parent he would live with when their divorce went through. Hanratty is a man who has thrown it all away for his job, including his own family and child. Although Frank Abagnale is a criminal, he is also a 17 year old child and Hanratty feels protective toward him as both are now deprived of their nuclear families.

This is actually a huge break from the type of movie that we've seen director Steven Speilberg create in recent times. To that end, we'd need to look at the darkness of films such as A.I Artificial Intelligence and his more recent outgoing with Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Catch Me If You Can is a lovely breezy feeling movie, almost a feel good movie about cops and robbers. Bearing in mind that the 60's were a much different world than the one we live in today, people were a lot more trusting and less suspicious; the perfect world for Frank Abagnale Jr. to exploit.

Picture quality for this flick is absolutely gorgeous and I can't think of hardly anything to complain about at all. There is absolutely minute grain once or twice and that is about it. An excellent transfer in widescreen. This movie has been brilliant lit and really helps affect the way we do look at the title. Colours are brilliant throughout and in themselves capture the essence of the time that the movie is trying to replicate. It's this and a wonderful score by John Williams (this guy must be welded to Speilberg's hip) that take you back to another time. In a way I found the soundtrack to be a refreshing change from Williams standard fair, as good as it may be. This soundtrack was up tempo and jazzy with some clever use of percussion instruments to punctuate points. The music is also used to great effect in the animated menus of the disc. The feature soundtrack was available in both DTS and Dolby, I could not pick which one sounded better.

It's funny for a double disc, and especially a Speilberg film, that the extras are not more numerous on this DVD. The extras contained herein are a series of interviews and brief behind the scenes footage that certainly let you see what is going on in the background to the film but not enough. A great collection of featurettes however and one that did provide me with a lot of information and entertainment. Comprehensive? Fairly, just not  as indepth as I am used to with Speilberg releases.

Overall I would recommend this flick to everyone. It's a great paced movie that is an absolute treat to watch. Thumbs up!


Catch Me If You Can Features

  • 13 Featurettes

  • 3 Photo Galleries

  • Animated Menus


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