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Preview Image for Thomas Crown Affair, The (US)
Thomas Crown Affair, The (US) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000003121
Added by: Mark Fountain
Added on: 24/1/2000 19:21
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    Review of Thomas Crown Affair, The

    7 / 10


    The Thomas Crown Affair is a remake of the earlier Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway classic, starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. Faye Dunaway is also in this version in a relatively minor role. The story centres around the art world, and the theft of a highly valuable Monet painting from a famous art gallery. Pierce Brosnan plays the title character, who steals the Monet in a story that twists and turns more than a Curly Wurly!

    The film is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio and is split over 36 chapters. The disc also gives you the 4:3 pan and scan version on the flipside.

    Unfortunately MGM has not provided us with a stunning transfer here. There were dust specs throughout the film which flashed up sometimes quite noticeably, more often in the corners of the screen.

    We noticed strange horizontal bands on the screen at certain stages throughout the film, which were evident on two separate DVD players (although of the same make and model), which appeared on freeze frame tests. However this did not appear noticeable when viewing the DVD on a PC based player.

    The PC DVD viewing however did reveal further the compression problems that were evident. Large areas on the screen in the first third of the film suffered from green and orange blocking in the background. Although not noticeable on the TV/projector viewing, PC viewers may find this distracting.

    Overall then, it looks like more care could have been taken in selecting a decent source print for this transfer, and then better use could have been made of it as the transfer is not stunning.


    Sonically however, we have no complaints! The soundtrack features plenty of up tempo music tracks throughout the film which enhances the mood created by the on screen action.

    Although you would not really expect this film to be a typical ‘audio experience’ type movie, there are plenty of scenes where the audio system is used to the full (notably the painting theft scenes when the security system is tripped). The helicopter chops the sound stage as its blades rotate with plenty of signal being piped to the subwoofer.


    This disc features some beautifully animated menus, with loud accompanying sound. The main menu takes the viewer round a 360 degree tour of the art gallery, with each main painting depicting an animated scene from the film. Ah – if only all DVDs had this much care and attention paid to it when the menus were being designed!!

    Extras wise you get the original theatrical trailer, and interestingly the trailer for the Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway version of The Thomas Crown Affair. From looking at it, it seems this version of the story is vastly different from the current Pierce Brosnan version, having been suitably updated for the 90s.

    Finally a full length commentary is included by director John McTiernan.


    This movie is a very cleverly scripted suspense drama with plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience on their toes. The excellent Pierce Brosnan plays the suave sophisticated art lover that is central to the story. He seems to positively relish this character, in that it is another big movie that gives him a part that is different from his Bond role. It is also good to see Faye Dunaway playing Brosnan’s psychiatrist having undertaken the female lead role in the original version of this film.

    The DVD has some wonderful animated menus, and extras that do not let it down. The video quality is the only area of dubious nature, and it seems that the care and attention that has gone into the other areas of the DVD has not been applied, which is a shame.

    Overall though this DVD is one to buy and is a film that you can watch several times and still notice something different each time it is seen.

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