Studio: Columbia TriStar
USA Rating: Unrated
Canada Rating: PG
Film Length: 107 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.39:1)
Audio: Dolby Digital: 5.1 English, 2.0 French
Subtitles: English, French, Korean
Release Date: October 21, 2003
The three girls are back again to kick some serious ass as they can take on anything anyhow and will do whatever it takes at anytime no matter what the situation in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. At least, that was the goal of the makers – and successful at that it is. While not as ditzy as the first film, director McG wanted to take Full Throttle in a direction that gave the girls more action and with a male adrenaline pizzazz. With the continuous output of action films with males as the lead rolls, Charlie’s Angels delivers differently and gives the girls the ability to outdo almost any situation.
This is the unrated version of this film. I haven’t seen the theatrical version, but the additional scenes include some more bloody violence and sexual images. I could probably guess those quick moments in the film that were cut for the theatre, but this film is far from any XXX-treme edit that those of us with imaginative minds sponsored by studio advertising would like to think. Director McG filmed this with an R rating in mind but not necessarily with the intention to release it that way – his goal was to capture enough of the violence as possible and with some crafty editing he could make it look like a tough film knowing he had the material to work with. This film is rated PG in Canada, so karate chop that.
As the plot is rolled out it stalls compared to the number of fast rolling combustion vehicles in this film that always has the speed and action the director wants to deliver. For car lovers there is some serious eye candy in this film. But for those of us who actually care about a story in a film full of beautiful and sexy girls and cars, it revolves around the Angels Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore) and Alex (Lucy Liu), attempting to find two stolen rings that carry secret information about people, and a figure from the past who wants these rings and could break the Angel’s team if successful.
The attempt to find the rings doesn’t start until later in the film, and in the meantime we meet an ex-angel Madison-Lee (Demi Moore) and Thin Man (creepy but ultra-cool Crispin Glover – who I still have no idea what real roll he plays in this film) and are thrown into fast-paced action sequences on motocross bikes, cars, and anything else that moves fast. I got really confused with the direction of the film because of its fast pace and lost sight of where exactly it was going. Other than the Angels, all other actors had small screen time, which is how I can see I got their rolls confused. Bill Murray has been replaced with Bernie Mack as Bosley (and I’ll pass a possible rumor - from what I heard because Murray and Liu could not get along). There are a lot of great cameos in this film from actors like Bruce Willis, Carrie Fisher, Chris Pontius, and the singer Pink. I was still entertained nonetheless, much more than the first film that I hated with a passion (probably because I watched it on a big Greyhound bus at 2am on the way home from a cold night ski trip and the treble-only speaker was blaring the loud soundtrack above my head as I was trying to get some sleep). Despite the film’s lack of story, it makes it up in over the top action and a great music soundtrack with songs that both baby-boomers and GenX & Y will love.
Video Quality? /
Over saturation is word for this film. The 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen will jump out at you with colours that I haven’t seen since Josie and the Pussycats. I felt like someone took a crayon and coloured all over the celluloid. While lots of colour is nice, sometimes it looked too saturated that it clogged up the image. This is obviously the intention of the film as each scene takes on a different look to match the mood. The look also is over contrasted with all shades of bright whites mashed into one level of white. Real detail is crushed with this effect and is comparable to that of model magazine ads that have an airbrush finish. At least blacks are solid and flesh tones are accurate. The image is pleasing with a great sense of three-dimension when the colours are at a reduced level. With the absence of grain and only minor pixelization noticed around edges, this high-definition mastered DVD is a great performer. The only thing that really ticked me off was the way the film’s subtitles were positioned during language translations in the movie – they were big fat yellow letters that were in the black area at the bottom – but felt highly detached from the movie and didn’t feel a part of the film. I prefer the common ‘white, small font text’ that is IN THE FRAME of the film that would be on the theatrical print, not a DVD added text. Am I alone on this?
Audio Quality? /
There is a great music soundtrack and it rocks! Sound effects are effective on this Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding providing a 360-degree rotation of sounds during some scenes, but can be rather loud than natural to complement the visuals on screen. This is a front-heavy soundtrack with many missed opportunities for natural ambience in non-action scenes. While not the most spacious soundtrack I’ve heard, it does give the goodies in the low end offering tight defined bass that is integrated just right with the midrange level, and a treble that was never obtrusive. At times the dialogue has some spatial integration issues as it felt a little out of place with the rest of the soundtrack and occasionally exhibiting the common high-frequency noise that drives me insane. Why is it that dialogue can never be cleaned up in this regard? Overall this soundtrack is sure to please.
Special Features? /
This disc is ignited with extras! First we get two commentaries, one from director McG who uses a ‘telestrator’ commentary. What this means is that while he is talking, he draws on the screen to point out what specifically he’s talking about. This is somewhat amusing as the director provides visuals as well along with his film. This might make you watch the commentary if you’ve always thought commentaries were boring like the second commentary with the writers…I shouldn’t say it was boring…but it wasn’t totally exciting either and I do give credit for the great idea.
Next hot off the disc is the Angel-Vision Fast Track feature that has little pop-ups like in “Pop-up Video” that gives general information about almost anything that can be related to what is happening on the screen, and a little bit of fun information about the film itself. As interesting as the facts can be, save this one when you have nothing else to watch. There are four instances when pop-ups can take you to featurettes which are also accessible on the 2nd page of the featurettes and are mentioned below.
Speeding through these features we get lots of featurettes, all presented in DD2.0 and 4:3 and 16:9 depending on the featurette. On the first page we have Pussycat Dolls (4m55s) which discusses the burlesque dance sequence, the Rolling with the Punches (6m05s) discusses the girls’ fighting in the film, and XXX-treme Angels (9m04s) analyzes the motocross and monster truck sequence. Lastly, to show off the director’s love and obsession with cars, there is the Full Throttle featurette where he discusses the use and power of combustion engine vehicles in this film (if you haven’t understood by now, why he’s chosen the name Full Throttle). Man…is this guy obsessed. I think the only reason to make this movie was to just get hot cars in it. …but we all have our obsessions. DVD, anyone?
The next page includes other featurettes that are also accessible through the Fast Track section. These featurettes are Designing Angels (7m25s) informing about camera work, lighting, clothing and location. Next is the mouthful title There’s No Such Thing As A Short Shot, Only An Overworked Producer (8m50s) and discusses the scheduling of shooting and actresses amongst other things dealing with production. Pretty intensive schedule…and I thought I was a busy guy. Next is Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam (4m6s) explaining effects shots of the opening sequence, and lastly is the musical featurette showing clothing in the film, Dream Duds (4m11s) is a collage of clips of best moments in the film.
Zooming to the feature that transports you to all of the cameos in the film, there is a list of all of the talents - and when you click on them a fun-fact text pops up for about ten seconds then takes you to the scene they appeared in the movie. Pretty cool – although, I felt these specific cameo moments chosen weren’t that great. I wonder who arranged these clips?
The Full Throttle Jukebox is a list of eleven songs used in this movie, and is introduced by McG and how each song is used in the film and why it was chosen. Pink’s Music Video “Feel Good Time” is also included, as well as an online Charlie’s Angels Game rated T for teens. This is selectable only by DVD-ROM, as well as the Shop the Scene feature that allows you girls who want to be an Angel yourself, to be able to (for a limited time, so hurry hurry) buy clothing and knick-knacks that the Angels have. Filmographies and the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle trailer is also included in enhanced widescreen and 5.1 audio, as well as other promotional trailers.
Yes, I did like this movie better than the first. Now that I’ve seen this one, maybe I’ll give the first one a chance again. Although movies like this do get tiring for me because some action sequences do beat a dead horse. I don’t know how many more times I can watch slow-motion jump kicks with bullets slowly passing by…we’ve seen it all before. We know this movie is not real, we know it has really gone over the top with its action sequences – so should we be surprised to see this? The purpose is to have fun with this film – as I did. It's refreshing to see women in action (fighting) with the male energy we commonly see in film. These three actresses have many fans that would love to see them get tough again. They do it here with lots of kicks, chops, drops and blood, minus the samurai swords. If you love this kinda fun go slide on over to the shop and pick these Angels up.