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THE DEVIL’S OWN ($30) is a highly entertaining thriller about IRA terrorist Frankie McGuire who comes to America, under an assumed name, to purchase weapons to take back home to Ireland. With his real agenda well hidden, the terrorist ends up staying in the home of Tom O’Meara, a big hearted Irish-American cop who thinks he’s helping a poor Irish lad. Things take an unpleasant turn, when Frankie’s dealings with an arms dealer spill over into his other life. This places Frankie and Tom on a collision course when both men are honor bound to follow their paths in life, despite their deep mutual admiration.

Brad Pitt is quite convincing in the role of Frankie whose path was shaped by witnessing his own father’s execution at the hands of terrorists. Harrison Ford delivers one of the finest performances of his career as the seasoned police officer and family man. Treat Williams portrays arms dealer Billy Burke, who turns out to be the only real villain in THE DEVIL’S OWN. Burke’s only concern is the money that he is due for the weapons he appropriated for Frankie. The lengths that Burke is willing to go to get that money drives the film to its inevitable conclusion. Director Alan J. Pakula does a fine job with the character rich story, giving all of the actors a chance to shine. The cast of THE DEVIL’S OWN also includes Margaret Colin, Rubén Blades, George Hearn and Natasha McElhone.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has made THE DEVIL’S OWN available on DVD in both Letterboxed and pan and scan presentations on opposite sides of the disc. With about half the image cropped away, the pan and scan presentation isn’t really worth watching. However, if you must, both color and image quality are respectable. The Letterboxed transfer is excellent looking and features the anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. The highly detailed image and rich, saturated colors make this presentation a winner. Digital compression artifacts weren’t too bothersome on either presentation.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is unimaginative at best. There is channel separation across the front, but the surrounds don’t take advantage of the format’s discrete capabilities. Even sequences with gunfire seem somewhat lackluster. Other soundtrack options include a Dolby Surround track, plus French and Spanish language tracks. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer in addition to the standard language and scene selection features.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 1998 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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