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Posted August 14, 2007


"The Lookout" On DVD


Bill Kallay

"The Lookout" may have impressed movie critics this past spring, but it slid right past audiences.  Here's their chance to watch this overlooked gem.  The bank robbery thriller is now on DVD.

The DVD includes the feature film in widescreen (2.39:1), a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, French language track, a "making of" documentary, a segment called "Behind The Mind Of Chris Pratt," and an audio commentary by writer/director Scott Frank and cinematographer Alar Kivilo.

The soundtrack and picture are very good.  Kivilo's cinematography is expertly framed and looks at home on a widescreen television set. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Chris Pratt, a promising kid whose life turns for the worse when he gets in a terrible car accident.  Unable to think clearly, or remember basic things like taking out his car keys from the ignition, Pratt is used by a gang of thugs to rob the local bank where he works as a janitor.  The gang is lead by Matthew Goode, who puts in an icy cold performance as Gary Spargo.

In 1994, I caught an independent film on cable on night called "The Last Seduction."  Directed by John Dahl and starring Linda Fiorentino & Bill Pullman, the film caught me by surprise for its clever writing, outstanding acting, and surprises in the plot.  I appreciated that the film was intelligent without being self satisfying.  "The Lookout" reminded me of that film, in which the characters and story were more important than bombastic CGI effects and loud crashes.  It's refreshing to watch a movie that isn't doped up on characters who live on the beach in Malibu and drive fancy cars.  It's nice to hear a soundtrack that isn't laden with old time rock & roll songs.

Gordon-Levitt is a real find in this film.  Unlike Leonardo DiCaprio, who likes to chew up the scenery, Gordon-Levitt plays his role in low key.  It did go through my mind that he was the alien kid on "3rd Rock From The Sun" on television.  After the first scene where he's driving his friends through a curtain of fire flies, I forgot that.  He's convincing as Chris Pratt.  Jeff Daniels is right on target as his blind friend, Lewis.  He's very funny in this film and like actors Jeff Bridges and Dennis Quaid, he slides under the public's radar.  He may not have a high public profile like Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, but he can act.     

If there was one minor complaint about this film, the pacing seemed a little slow for such a short movie (99 minutes).  I wasn't quite sure where the film was taking me for the first half of the film, even though I had a feeling about what was going to happen.  Perhaps writer/director Frank deliberately paced the storyline this way.  When the bank robbery occurs, the scene is very well done and intense to watch.

This may not be one of those films people will rush out to the video store to buy, but it's worth a look.  If you like fine acting and a good story, this should fit the bill.

The Lookout
Miramax Home Entertainment
Catalog Number 54217
Region 1
Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Release Date: August 24, 2007
99 minutes
Director: Scott Frank
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, Bruce McGill & Isla Fisher


Special thanks to Mac & Dinah McLean


IMAGES: Buena Vista Home Entertainment.  All rights reserved.




Copyright 2004-2007 From Script To DVD.  All rights reserved.


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