DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Domino

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matt Stone, Mar 11, 2006.

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  1. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]
    Domino
    Directed By: Tony Scott

    Studio: New Line
    Year: 2005
    Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic)
    Running Time: 128 Mins.
    Rating: R (Strong Violence, Pervasive Language, Sexual Content/Nudity and Drug Use)
    Audio: 6.1 DTS ES (English), 5.1 Dolby Digital EX (English), 2.0 Dolby Digital (English)
    Subtitles: English, and Spanish
    MSRP: $27.95
    Street Date: 21 February, 2006

    Review Date: 11 March, 2006
    (Ratings are out of five stars)

    Summary
    Tony Scott gets somewhat of a bad rap. Sure, they guy doesn’t have the artistic prowess of his older, well respected brother, Ridley, but he can occasionally make a hell of a flick. His hip, over-the-top MTV style editing and rich cinematography add up to a pretty fun ride. Most of time at least. Domino is another story entirely. It looks a little like his recent (and significantly better) Man On Fire, but that is where the similarity ends. Domino is a loud, flashing, boring two-hour plus trailer. Style over substance is one thing, but this is something else entirely. And I’ll happily leave screenwriter Richard Kelly’s name out of it. Donnie Darko at least gives him one “Get out of jail free” card.

    Domino is loosely based on the true story of real life model turned bounty hunter, Domino Harvey. The story is told in flashback and is framed in an interview between a recently captured Domino and an FBI agent played by Lucy Liu. Stylistically the movie is interesting to look at, but the story is so utterly boring that it all comes across as a long, loud exercise in futility. The primary plot kicks off with Domino’s childhood and her decision to leave her cushy model life behind. It turns into a fairly convoluted caper with more supporting characters than a PT Anderson flick. In general, the acting was pretty solid, but whatever good existed was drowned out by the annoying style.

    I’m not one to lambaste a director for using style over substance. If there’s something interesting to watch, I’m usually all for it, even if it lacks plot. There may actually be an interesting story here, but it’s never really allowed to break through all of the noise. Domino puts all of its eggs in one basket, and unfortunately that basket is a tedious, frustrating style. If The Blair Witch Project gave you a headache, stay away from this one.

    Film Rating: [​IMG][​IMG]

    Video
    I may not have been a fan of the story here, but the film looks beautiful. The cinematography is very similar to Scott’s recent Man On Fire and New Line has done a fantastic job in preserving the quality. There is a moderate amount of grain, but it intentionally enhances the gritty story. Some of the flashy lighting was damn near migraine-inducing, but hey…at least it looked good. Shadow detail is fantastic and the overall look of the transfer was very film-like. The warm look of the transfer was consistent and effectively used. If you’re a fan of this film, you’ll be very happy with the reference level quality of the transfer.

    Video Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Audio
    Like the transfer quality, the audio is top-notch. Of course, it’s again waaaay too over-the-top for this reviewer’s taste, but what’s there sounds great. Tony Scott apparently came from the school of having annoying techno-music playing during every scene, but quality-wise it sounds great. All of the channels are utilized and the LFE gets a lot of action. I wish Tony Scott would have used a little more subtlety, but beggars can’t be choosers. The DTS track is a little more well defined than the Dolby Digital track, but they both sound terrific.

    Audio Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Extras
    Commentaries – The DVD features 2 feature-length commentaries. Tony Scott and Richard Kelly provide insight on one, while the other features script notes and story development meetings (with Tony Scott, Richard Kelly, Zach Shiff-Abrams, and Tom Waits). The first track is pretty conventional and features a lot of information about the film’s long development process. Tony and Richard are both interesting guys and offer a good deal of information about the movie. The second commentary track is very interesting as well. It’s explores the actual development of the script with recorded dialog between Tony and Richard. The script notes line up to the moments in the film pretty well too. I didn’t like the film, but both commentaries were very interesting and informative.
    Deleted/Alternate Scenes (7:54) – There are 7 total deleted scenes that can be viewed separately or all at once with the Play All option. There is also an optional commentary from Tony Scott. There are actually a few interesting scenes here.
    ”I Am a Bounty Hunter”: Domino Harvey’s Life (20:31) – A fairly detailed look at the real Domino Harvey’s life. It features a good deal of interviews from real people in her life (her mom, etc). I found this brief look at Domino’s background to be much more interesting than the film. You also have the option of listening to an alternate audio track that features an interview between Richard Kelly and recently deceased Domino Harvey.
    Bounty Hunting on Acid: Tony Scott’s Visual Style (10:38) – A self-explanatory featurette examining Tony Scott’s style made up of interview footage from members of the film’s production.

    The DVD also features trailers from some other New Line films.

    Extras Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    In Closing…
    I consider myself a Tony Scott fan. He’s made his fair share of tasty cinematic popcorn (with the occasional dead duck). Unfortunately, Domino is an example of the latter. The main problem is that the movie never really feels like a movie. It’s a whole bunch of filmed crap all thrown together. There are a few interesting performances, but there is no feeling of continuity within the film. The flashy cinematography and loud soundtrack only accentuates the feeling of discord. I can’t recommend this one, but if you’re a Scott fan you might want to give it a rental. If you do decide to rent this one, my advice is to turn down the volume, but bring a bottle of aspirin anyway.

    Overall Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Matt Stone
    11 March, 2006
     
  2. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I completely agree with your assessment of the film.

    This was definitely one of the very worst films of the year, and the major reason is the way it was directed.

    30 minutes into the film and I was extremely frustrated with the constant cuts, camera motion, booming sound, and the always repeating dialog.

    I also hate when a film relies too much on narration to explain what's going on - and Knightley was narrating for the first 90 minutes. To make matters worse, most of the narration was unneccesary and redundant (yes, I know your name is Domino Harvey and that you're a bounty hunter... enough already!).

    I highly recommend not buying this blindly unless you can buy it for the cost of a rental.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Sebastien S

    Sebastien S Second Unit

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    Well, I totaly dissagree, I absoluteley loved this movie... I gave it a 9/10.

    I found it refreshing from the same old crap we've been getting from studios lately.

    I found the story quite interesting, couldn't wait to see what would happen next?

    Really enjoyed this one. Bought it and don't regret it one bit! Though I do agree that it's not for everyone...
     
  4. eric tengren

    eric tengren Stunt Coordinator

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    I just have to say this entire movie is edited like a trailer, it gave me a headache.Tony Scott suffers from all style and no substance without a good script like TRUE ROMANCE. This film could have been a real down and dirty bio of a really interesting and a really f'd up person.Instead it's a mixed bag of Mtv tricks with film stocks, that descends into overblown cartoon buffoonery by the end.But if you have A.D.D and hate movies that are slowed down for unimportant things like plot,emotions,or cohesive storytelling,You will love it. Keira Knightly is a hot looking girl, but she seems about as tough a bounty hunter as Barney feif is a cop. all flash, no thunder.
     
  5. Jeff Brooks

    Jeff Brooks Second Unit

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    I also disagree with the review of the movie. I usually rent what I want to see once, and buy what I would want to see again, and after I renturned the rental, I purchased the DVD. I like what makes the movie different. I also felt that, again, Mickey Rourke gave another stellar performance.
     
  6. RickyB

    RickyB Agent

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    I agree with the review. This has to be one of the most annoyingly directed movies of all time. I'm convinced Tony Scott has a severe case of adult ADD.
     
  7. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Looks like you either love it or you hate it [​IMG]
     
  8. RogerH

    RogerH Supporting Actor

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    Count me as one who liked it. I rented and was entertained for 2 hrs. Plus Kiera is alway nice to look at [​IMG]
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Well, I didn't love it, but I certainly didn't hate it, and I am not a fan of frenetic movie making. Somehow, it appealed to me. I seem to recall the opening credits calling it a modern fable, or maybe it just said it was based on a true story...sort of, so I took it that way. Plus, the closing comments made it clear that it wasn't exactly meant to be reality. In some weird way, I came away feeling I got an understanding of Domino more than is usually achieved in "normal" biopics. I understand why so many people hate it, but I found myself laughing quite a bit and just having a good time. I think people tend to take it too literally.
     
  10. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Here is what I posted in the discussion thread in Movies:

    "Glad to see some people besides me and Roger Ebert liked this. The film is certainly much more comprehendable on the small screen. I must say that seing the film in theatres was somehting of an endurance test. Upon second viewing, there is definitely more to Richard Kelly's script then meets the eye- the Jerry Springer scene, which I had questioned the purpose of earlier, now appears as a cornerstone for the film's message of embracing and recognizing those members of society that are unrecognized or reviled (i.e. most all the characters in the film). And the fact that all the action of the story points to helping the cause of an overwight poor black woman, arguably the (at least for a long time) least advantaged "category" in american society. In this respect the film advocates the creation of a "new" family, one much more inclusive and evolved from the nuclear family that is broken down in the film's earlier moments.

    I think it's the exhilerating, enthusiastic but professional audacity of this film that makes it so infectious for me. The fact that Scott is no rank amateur, and that he's so excited and interested in improvising in such a risky manner. And Domino Harvey's preference for lower-class people is something I can definitely identify with.

    Here's some other stuff I wrote in the "time to throw down" thread-

    "Although there is subtext here, Domino functions primarily as visceral entertainment. This is a film that must be seen twice- once for its sheer visual audacity, and once to comprehend its sprawling, convoluted story. The acting by all present is good, with the performances and sense of camaraderie between the three leads being excellent. Knightley in particular is superb, perfectly embodying a character quite different from her typical dainty self.

    I can certainly see how Tony Scott's new style might be disagreeable; he makes Baz Luhrmann look like Todd Field. He goes so far past mainstream that he practically comes out the other side; Domino is almost an avant-garde picture. And although the style supports the content, it's so interesting in it's own right that it's impossible to keep up with the content or the style, especially with this film, which has both a complex form and complex content. Nevertheless, I urge all those interested in cinematography and the advancement of film as art to check this film out. If ever there was a movie that warranted repeat viewings, it was this one. The amount of visual information conveyed here cannot possibly be expressed in words. If you blink, or look down even once while watching Domino, you're liable to miss something."

    And just so you guys know I'm not crazy, here's the rest of my top ten, in very loose order-

    New World, Munich, History of Violence, 2046, Constant Gardener, Brokeback, Batman, Jarhead, Syriana, Good night.

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  11. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    on a side note:

    what was Delroy Lindo's original plan? was it to simply keep the 10 mil and have the insurance replace it? how much was it changed after Lateesha gave the 4 guys up as patsy's?
     
  12. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    put me in the love it category. It's a love it or hate it type movie for sure.
     
  13. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    That's not necessarily a good trait of a film. I agree that it's what Tony Scott was going for, but it's pretty subjective either way. I tend to prefer subtlety and a less-is-more editing style. To me, Dominio's style was less about art and more about assault. Again, not necessarily a bad thing (there have been great movies that used the same tactic), but in this case disagreeable with my taste. All of this IMO, of course.
     
  14. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    Put me in the Love It group[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Matt Stone, I completely agree, it is very much a question of preference. I certainly wouldn't want all movies to be shot liked this. Million Dollar Baby and In the Bedroom are two examples of films that would lose a lot if they were in any way 'amped up' (a viewpoint that Tony Scott interestingly notes on his Man on Fire commentary, regarding Mystic River, which is apparently a favorite of his)

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  16. Tim RP

    Tim RP Stunt Coordinator

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    Going on what he said in the Bounty Hunting on Acid featurette about exorcising his rock and roll demons I would guess that this is as far as Scott will go with this style and Deja Vu will reel it back in a little.

    Anyone else a bit disappointed with the extras? Glad to have a commentary as Scott is always interesting to listen to but the visual extras were a bit poor and came across somewhat EPKish. They had the right idea with the 'Acid featurettte but a lot more could have been made of it. I would love to have seen an in-depth look at the post production on this film, particularly the editing, something which has been absent from all his dvds. Considering how much editing plays a part in Scott's films and with this film in particular it would have made a great extra.
     
  17. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    The video extras were pretty so-so, but I thought both commentaries were fantastic. Definitely worth it if you're a fan.
     
  18. BarryS

    BarryS Second Unit

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    I agree. I found Domino to be a thrilling change of pace from the same of dreck that Hollywood churns out. Yes, it is an incoherent mess of a movie, but danged if it's not an incredibly entertaining mess at that. Keira Knightley and Mickey Rourke weilding guns! Christopher Walken being crazy! What's not to like? The sheer awesomeness coupled with the weird craziness made Domino a highly enjoyable film for me. Obviously not for everyone though.
     

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