Review Detail

8.6 1 10
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FanMix March 24, 2016 2091
Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Overview - This time out, Mr Soderbergh mixes 1949’s “Criss Cross” with his own remake, “The Underneath,” from 1995. A damaged male, longing for a corrupted ex, allows himself to get sucked into a caper. The classic Noir benefits from a powerhouse cast and superb pacing. The remake, though a bit sluggish, delves more into characters.

Video - 1920 X 1080 AVC. Burt Lancaster on one side, Peter Gallagher on the other. Both prints are sharp. The 1995 film is letterboxed, so takes up more of the screen. The 1949 version is more “active” so the eye gets drawn there.

Audio - 256 kbps AAC. Stereo? Both VLC and Spek Bitrate indicated stereo, but the experience through headphones seemed mono for most of the edit. Not a big deal.
As with a few of his other works, the editor has wiped the original audio and replaced with music cues, in this case, songs. In previous reviews, I have grumbled about this editor, his tendency to select music that has no bearing with screen proceedings. Here, the music pairs nicely. If I have an issue, he lets some songs play on too long. Example: during a “love scene” Sam Phillips croons in the background. The scene ends, she’s still piping. Dude, fade the track! You have no problem rearranging video elements, do the same for audio.

Narrative - This holds together pretty well. Sans dialogue, this is a fine example of “show don’t tell.” The basic story is easy to follow, and the editor has cut so that each film informs the other. Impressive work, this.

Enjoyment - A lot more than I thought I would. Would I rewatch? Probably not. This is not as good as the original, “Criss Cross,” but I found it better his own “The Underneath” remake. I also appreciate that he is editing one of his own works, something else I have mentioned. This edit is an arresting concept and I would recommend it.
Soderbergh does not provide a commentary, but his extension765 (still online 2020) offers insight.

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