Out of Time DVD: Review By justincase

  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
I picked this one up not expecting much. This Denzel thriller only garnered about $40 million at the theatrical box office, so I figured it was sure to be a let-down. BOY, was I wrong. This is a tight little crime thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and have you cringing every few minutes.

Denzel Washington plays the chief of police of a small Florida town, just outside of Miami. He's the big fish in the small pond and seems to have no desire or inclination to change his life. His estranged wife, played convincingly by Eva Mendes, is the local town girl with big aspirations of busting out into the world and grabbing the brass ring. She's just been promoted to big-time homicide detective in Miami and the pressure of that development has prompted her to separate from the chief. Of course, her husband's wandering ways didn't help matters -- as he's rallied into the bedroom of his high-school sweetheart (Sanaa Lathan). When he learns that she's got terminal cancer, his heart overtakes his brain and and he starts bending...well, breaking the rules to help her. When she and her violent husband (Dean Cain) turn up dead, all the clues point to Denzel as a killer and his soon-to-be ex-wife is the homicide detective that is hot on his trail.

Twists and turns abound as Denzel must figure out the whole story before the walls all crumble down upon him, ending his tidy little island life.

Denzel is a true pro and his work really made this film play. At every turn, I was with him. Every time he stuck his foot deeper in the thick of his mess, I really cringed. I must admit that I kept seeing Denzel flashbacks to The Mighty Quinn, but that didn't really detract from the enjoyment of this film. Mendes, Lathan and Cain all round out the cast very nicely and they really helped make the pic work. One of the most enjoyable turns in the film, though, was played out by John Billingsly, who plays Chae -- Denzel's friend and the little town's medical examiner. It was fun to try to guess what was going to be coming out of his mouth next. When you watch the movie, you'll understand why I think we all need friends like this guy.

So... it wasn't the greatest film of all time. This isn't going to generate any awards for its cast or crew. But, it was a really tight, albeit somewhat predictable, thriller with a solid pace.
Although I didn't spend much time with these features (I never do), I did check out a few of them -- as I was too awake to sleep and too tired to pop the DVD out and find something else to watch.

This list is pretty pedestrian and, frankly, I'd have expected it to be.

* Theatrical trailer(s)

* Audio commentary

* "Out of Time: Crime Scene"

* Outtakes

* Character profiles

* Screen tests: Sanaa Lathan, Dean Cain

* Photo gallery

The Photo Gallery is pretty lame, as it is basically a slideshow. Most of the galleries I've seen that are worth browsing through at least let you flip through the images at your own pace.

The Screen Tests were pretty interesting, although they only show you 3 from Sanaa Lathan and 2 from Dean Cain. I'd have also liked to see something from Eva Mendes and -- am I expecting too much -- Denzel. I guess, though, if you're Denzel, you don't do screen tests and, I'm sure his name attached is probably what got the film into production (so there surely wouldn't have been one for him anyway).

Usually, one of my favorite parts of any disc's special features section is the Outtakes. Not this one. There were 2. Yes two. I mean, c'mon... why even put it on the disc? It's like a damn tease.

Finally, I did hapen to watch the Out of Time: Crime Scene featurette. Interesting. Seems like Carl Franklin (director) really knew what he wanted from the picture and -- in my opinion -- got it.

You can skip these features... or not. There's not a lot here, so if you're watching the movie late and are too damn tired to pull it out of the machine after you're done... go ahead and browse through. Don't make a special trip, though.

I liked it. I didn't, once, look at my clock hoping it was almost over. It kept me engaged through the whole film and, even after I figured out the twists (which, admittedly, was pretty early in the film -- but if you know the full synopsis, it's hard not to figure it out), I was still very engaged.

Buy it. Or rent it. Whichever suits your DVD "habit", you won't go wrong. Is it a BLIND BUY? Yeah. I bought it. But, again, I buy pretty much everything. I don't think you'll regret adding this to your collection. You could watch it again -- and enjoy it. If you hurry, you can still get it for under $16 at Circuit City, Best Buy, WalMart and a few other stores. At below the wholesale cost of the disc, why wouldn't you?

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