Studio: NEW LINE
Film Length: 128 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Anamorphic Widescreen (2.40:1),
Audio: Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 EX, Dolby Digital English 5.1 EX
Subtitles: English, Spanish
The Movie – 4 out of 5
“Why would a delicate little thing like you wanna be a bounty hunter?”
Allow me to rant a moment if you will…
You know what I don’t understand? All the press about Mickey Rourke and his comeback with the film, The Wrestler. I mean, I just don’t get it. The press and the PR spin would have you think that the man hasn’t worked in the ten years. Not only has he worked, he’s done some cool films with some A-List filmmakers including The Rainmaker with Francis Ford Coppola, Animal Factory with Steve Buscemi, The Pledge with Sean Penn, Get Carter with Sylvester Stallone, Once Upon a Time in Mexico & Sin City with Robert Rodriguez and Man on Fire with Tony Scott. That’s in addition to a dozen or so other films I haven’t mentioned. Now call me crazy, but does that sound like someone who “went away”? These are A-List filmmakers here and movies with national theatrical releases! Did he really go anywhere? Well, in this reviewer’s opinion, the answer is, “no”. While he was supposedly in some sort of career “exile”, he made a kick-ass action movie called Domino.
Very loosely based on a true story, Domino stars Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) as the title character, the daughter of actor Laurence Harvey (The Manchurian Candidate) who quit her career as a Ford model to become a bounty hunter. She joins a team that includes seasoned bounty hunters Ed Mosley (Rourke) and Choco (Édgar Ramírez) who reluctantly accepts her at first, but soon realizes that having a sexy and precarious woman on their team makes them more effective and dangerous. After making names for themselves in the “bounty hunting world” they are courted by The WB to star in their own reality series (clearly inspired by “Dog: The Bounty Hunter”) from over-the-top producer Mark Heiss (Christopher Walken), and what could be the coolest stunt casting of the decade, hosted by “Beverly Hills: 90210” stars Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering playing themselves. When the mafia's money is stolen by a group of thieves wearing masks from the “First Ladies” and masterminded by Claremont Williams (Delroy Lindo), the bounty hunter’s team bail bondsman, while Domino and her crew are in action, reluctantly shooting their TV show, the situation becomes out of control when the sons of a rival mobster are kidnapped all while FBI is monitoring the two gangs of mobsters. Have I lost you yet? Don’t worry; it’s not as confusing as it sounds. The action is gritty, fun and over the top in one of the most underrated action movies of the decade.
Crisply directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun, Days of Thunder, True Romance), Domino continues the hyper-kinetic filmmaking style that Scott began in his previous film, Man on Fire. It’s nice to see him experimenting with different techniques, telling his story with a “bash you over the head” style, and seizure inducing editing, that, although might turn some people off, I found to be refreshing an innovative. And while the film shares many similarities with Man on Fire in regards to style, it’s story shares some similarities to Scott’s brilliant and underrated cult classic True Romance. If you are a fan of Scott’s, this is a must see film.
The film also features an all-star cast that also includes comedienne Mo’Nique (Soul Plane), Mena Suvari (American Beauty), singer Macy Gray (Training Day), Dabney Coleman (9 to 5), Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels), Jacqueline Bisset (The Deep) and Tom Waits (Coffee & Cigarettes), all who deliver top notch performances and a deliciously over the top script by screenwriter Steve Barancik (The Last Seduction) and Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) that I’m guessing the only “true story” part of the movie, is the “former model and daughter of famous actor becomes a bounty hunter”. But really, who cares about what is or isn’t true. If you are looking for a popcorn movie with non-stop action that will have you both laughing and on the edge of your seat at the same time, you have got to see Domino.
The Video – 5 out of 5
Using my Sony BDP-S350 Blu-Ray / DVD player and my Sanyo PLV-1080 HD projector (HDMI v. 1.3b, 1080p, full 1920 x 1080 resolution, 10,000:1 contrast), I watched the Blu-Ray of Domino on my 120" Da-Lite Home Theater Screen. One word… Perfect. The detail in the transfer is astounding. In one scene, you could actually see the teeny, tiny little hairs on Keira Knightly’s cheek. No halos… No edge enhancement of any kind and zero noise. As with most of Tony Scott’s films, colors intentionally saturated the screen, with the palate awash in reds, blues and plenty of greens. Deep rich blacks with exceptional shadow detail permeated the image. The only grain that was apparent was obviously an aesthetic choice by the director and just another welcome part of the experience. This is a reference quality image.
The Audio / Sound – 5 out of 5
I played the audio through my Yamaha RX-V663 amp (665 Watts w/ up to 7.1 Surround, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital + and DTS HD Master Audio) attained by an HDMI connection and like the accompanying image, the Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 EX soundtrack was exceptional. The soundstage was amazing and all of the speakers were active and lively throughout the entire film with precision panning and directional efforts and provided a complete immersion in the experience. The LFE’s gave my subwoofer a healthy workout, but at no time did it feel overwhelming. Dialogue was front and center and was free and clear of distortion. Again, reference quality.
The Extra's – 2 1/2 out of 5
WB Blu-Ray Trailer: This is How Our Movies Are Meant To Be Lived (2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 1080P HD, 1:09) – On the front end of the disc and plays automatically before the movie.
Commentary with Director Tony Scott and Writer Richard Kelly
Alternate Audio Track – Script notes and story development meetings with Tony Scott, Richard Kelly, Executive Producer Zach-Schiff-Abrams and co-star Tom Waits.
I Am a Bounty Hunter (1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 480P, 20:31) – Featurette about the real-life Domino Harvey who sadly passed away before the movie was released. Too bad this wasn’t a full length feature. She has an interesting story and I wanted to hear more. This feature also includes an optional audio track with screenwriter Richard Kelly interviewing Domino Harvey.
Bounty Hunting on Acid: Tony Scott’s Visual Style (1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 480P, 10:36) – Featurette about Tony Scott’s directing style of the film.
Deleted Scenes (1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 1080P HD, 7:53) - ”Young Domino & Nanny”, “Therapist’s Office”, “Ian Tells off Howie Stein”, “Ratchet Down the Violence – Extended Version”, “Explosion Aftermath”, “Love in the Desert”, “Mescaline Tripping – At the Stardust”
Teaser Trailer (2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 1080P HD, 1:48)
Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, 480P, 2:27) – Inexplicably standard definition and non-anamorphic.
If you haven’t seen this movie, I really can’t recommend this enough. If you already own the standard DVD, it’s worth the upgrade. Recommended if you like True Romance, Man on Fire, Smokin’ Aces. And Mickey… If you are reading this, I just want to say that you kick ass in this film. I’m not going to “welcome you back” either, because as far as I’m concerned, you never left.
Overall Score – 4 out of 5
Release Date: January 20, 2009
My DVD Collection: DVD Profiler, by Invelos Software, Inc.