Warner Home Video
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan
Extras: 2 Documentaries, 2 Commentary Tracks, Isolated Music Score, Interviews, Deleted Scenes, Music Videos, Trailers and Production Notes
It’s hard enough to find truly stylish romantic movies these days, and it is even harder to find and experience romance in our busy real lives. "City of Angels" will resurrect that "true romantic" feeling deep inside you. The film does not only talk about love as a paraphrase, but goes much deeper, trying to explore the origins of these emotions and how they can affect our very lives. It makes you wonder and question yourself, how you feel about love and faith. How far will you go and sacrifice for love, for your inner believes. It will surely open your eyes to how precious and volatile everything around you is.
Maggie is a lovely, caring, modern and intelligent surgeon and doesn’t believe in angels or supernatural existences per se, and yet, at one point, Seth believes she looked right at him. It was only a coincidence, however, as Seth is invisible to human beings. When Maggie felt she was losing her patient, desperately trying to save him, she simply stared blankly into the room, and straight at Seth who happened to be there.
After all, isn’t immortality what most humans want sometimes? As an angel like Seth however, it is more attractive to be human and mortal and the film nicely presents these different points of view. The film makes you feel completely down to earth, peaceful, romantic, and it shows you just how wonderful, yet imperfect, life truly is. Nicholas Cage plays off the soft side in him as Seth, the charismatic angel. He nicely portrays the great innocent, almost child-like, joy, when he starts to use his senses. The taste of a pear, the touch, and scent of rain, all are things he experiences for the very first time. And of course, there is the greatest joy he was looking for, the touch of his love. Meg Ryan, once again, with her sweetest face and her trademark smile, immediately wins the viewers’ hearts. On the other hand she also presents us with a strong side as a responsible, energetic specialist surgeon, never losing touch of that tender woman she is when she is alone, crying and losing faith in herself.
"City Of Angels" is a Special Edition release from Warner Home Video that contains an overwhelming lot of extra materials. The film itself is presented in a matted <$PS,widescreen> version that is <$16x9,16x9 enhanced> and rich in detail. The transfer is flawless without any signs of compression or <$pixelation,pixelation>. The film’s color reproduction is meticulous with absolutely stunning colors that always remain faithful and absolutely neutral, even in hard environments. The black level on this disc is practically perfect, giving the image a rock solid look with deep and detailed shadows and vibrant highlights.
Let’s take a look at the disc’s rich supplemental content. The disc contains two separate, very informative running length commentaries that bring out more aspects of the filmmaker’s dramatic intentions. The first <$commentary,commentary track> is with director Brad Silberling while the second one features producer Charles Roven and writer Dana Stevens. A third audio track contains the film’s isolated music score with a commentary by composer Gabriel Yared. Apart from the obligatory production notes, and cast & crew bios, this DVD also contains 2 documentaries. One of them is a "Making Of" featurette that allows you to look behind the scenes of the film, while the other one is a documentary that concentrates on the visual effects of the movie. The visual elements of this movie are easily overlooked in this particular film, as they are very subtle at times. They are poignant, completely unobtrusive and yet, they define the visual style and the tone of the film altogether. The documentary helps understand how these visual designs and effects have been used to create the film’s strong atmosphere. The disc also contains deleted scenes with commentaries and explanations and a production design commentary with Lilly Kilvert. Also on the disc are music videos by The Goo Goo Dools and U2, interviews with Alanis Morissette and Peter Gabriel, as well as 5 different theatrical trailers for the film. Quite a bundle of extras, all of which are well produced and greatly enhance the disc’s appeal, especially considering that Warner is pricing Special Editions the same as regular releases.
It is interesting that "City Of Angels" is not simply yet another "angel movie", portraying them as omni-powerful beings with a calling to better humanity. There are no wings, halos or white dresses, as we all seem to envision angels, in this movie and yet it creates a much stronger and greater vision of angels, than I have ever seen in a film before. The "uniforms" of the angels in this movie are all black, from head to toes. The "earthly clothing" creates a more intimate association with the angels and lets you somehow feel more related, closer, to them. It is what could be considered a "modern" take on angels without miracles and magic tricks. It makes the film enjoyably different, apart from other things, and absolutely worth seeing. If you’re in the mood for some romantic entertainment that is not deceptive or cheesy, Warner’s "City Of Angels" is a great choice you should give a good, close look.