Charlie’s Angels

Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu
Extras: Commentary Track, Director Profile, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, Trailers, Music Videos

It was during the scene in ’Charlie’s Angels’ that a crowd is chanting ’Go, white girl!’ to a dancing Cameron Diaz, that I realized there is a downside to reviewing DVDs. ’Charlie’s Angels’ is, of course, based on the 70s TV series, and while the film wants to be fun and playful, it ultimately ends up being ridiculous and pointless. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu star as the three detectives, who work for the mysterious Charles Townsend (voiced by John Forsythe). After a flashy introduction, the Angels are hired by Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch) to find her boss, Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell), who has been kidnapped. The Angels track down Knox and must battle The Thin Man (Crispin Glover) to ensure his safe return. As the three sexy adventurers delve deeper into the mystery, they discover that no one can be trusted and that they must each use their individual talents to save the day.

’Charlie’s Angels’ was directed by music video veteran McG, and the film resembles many three-minutes vignettes strung together by a very weak plot (and McG basically admits this in one of the supplemental sections). Despite the fact that this is supposed to be mindless fun, the audience is asked to suspend their disbelief far too often, and the movie ultimately makes little sense. McG also admits in his segment that during the production he was, ’think(ing) about ’The Matrix’’. That’s painfully obvious in the film, as there is enough slow-motion to make John Woo blush. If you’re familiar with my reviews, you know that I’ve endorsed some crap in the past, but ’Charlie’s Angels’ is monumental crap and I want two hours of my life back.

It’s truly a shame that ’’Charlie’s Angels’ was such a disappointment, as Columbia has done a bang-up job with the DVD. The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen and is letterboxed at 2.35:1. The image, which features a startling clarity, borders on perfect, as there is only a slight amount of grain during the daytime scenes. The most notable feature of the transfer are the bold and realistic colors, which dominate the film. Rich blues and true reds can be seen throughout the movie. The audio on the DVD is a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, which is simply dynamite. There is an almost constant use of surround sound featuring a wide sound field and impressive screen/speaker sound placement. We are also treated to a rich, deep bass, which doesn’t dominate the other sounds.

The special features include an audio commentary with director McG and cinematographer Russell Carpenter. This is a fun and spirited talk, as the duo mix amusing anecdotes from the set and more technical topics. Also featuring McG is a profile of the director offering behind-the-scenes footage and comments from various cast and crew members on the director. The special effects featurettes are broken up into three segments showing how the actresses trained for the fighting sequences and how they were ultimately filmed. We get to see the Chinatown fight scene as it looked before the wires were removed. There are two other featurettes and three deleted scenes, as well as bloopers (which are actually the same as those which run during the closing credits.) The DVD features music videos from Destiny’s Child and Apollo Four Forty. If you’re a fan of ’Charlie’s Angels’, this DVD is a must-have. As for me, the ’Joe Dirt’ trailer was the highlight.