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Up front, I have to admit that Iíve never seen the original GONE IN 60 SECONDS, nor its big budget remake. The original GONE IN 60 SECONDS was the brainchild of H.B. Halicki, who wrote, produced, directed, starred and choreographed the stunts in that film. Halicki was an unusual man, who was successful in the auto business and then real estate, before turning his attention to the movies. 1974ís GONE IN 60 SECONDS was one of the most successful independent movies of its time and from what I understand, has gathered quite a cult following.

The new $19.95 DVD release featuring DEADLINE AUTO THEFT and the unfinished GONE IN 60 SECONDS: 2 would seem to be a tribute to the late H.B. Halicki, who was killed in an accident on the set of his uncompleted film. In addition, the DVD also contains a forty-five minute biography, The Life and Times of H.B. Toby Halicki, hosted by his widow Denise, which feature interviews with friends and members of his crew. DEADLINE AUTO THEFT is actually a fun little low budget action flick that is shy on plot, but makes up for it in slam bang car chases and crashes. The premise follows a master car thief played by Halicki, who is ripping off cars and making fools of the cops- lead by an amusingly exasperated Hoyt Axton. The existing footage from GONE IN 60 SECONDS: 2 finds the master thief up to his old tricks, only this time, he gets his hands on a car called "The Slicer" whose unique design makes it unstoppable and capable of flipping and crashing everything in its path.

DEADLINE AUTO THEFT comes in a 1.78:1 presentation that has been enhanced for 16:9 displays, while the assembled footage from GONE IN 60 SECONDS: 2 is in a 1.33:1 open matte presentation. Considering the low budget origins, both programs look good. The image is pretty sharp and has respectable definition. Both have the appearance of cheaper film stocks, which donít always reproduce the most flattering or appealing colors. Colors themselves are rendered at a fairly natural level of saturation and without significant flaws. The film elements themselves have some minor imperfections, but are in pretty good shape.

Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 channel tracks are offered along with a Dolby Surround soundtrack. Considering age and the low budget origins, these tracks are pretty good for what they are. Fidelity is decent, and there is some directionality, but the tracks arenít particularly enveloping. Still, the music manages to hold up pretty well. The animated interactive menus provide the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as access to the individual programs, the above-mentioned documentary, theatrical trailers and a cool crash counter feature for each film. Each film also includes a new introduction by Denise Halicki.

If you are a fan of movie car chases and crashes, then you should definitely check out DEADLINE AUTO THEFT / GONE IN 60 SECONDS: 2 on DVD.



Deadline Auto Theft / Gone in 60 Seconds:2 (1983)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2003 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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