When professional grifter Jake Vig (Edward Burns) chooses the wrong mark in The King (masterfully portrayed by Dustin Hoffman) he is given two choices: pull off a near impossible heist with an untouchable investment banker or lose his life. Needing all the help he can get, Jake brings in beautiful con artist Lily (Rachel Weisz) and a group of mixed "professionals" (Paul Giamatti and Brian Van Holt). With The King riding him and a pesky special agent (played by an almost unrecognizable Andy Garcia) on his tail, Jake and his team look to have the odds stacked against them.What ensues is a game of cat and mouse that recalls such David Mamet films as House Of Games, The Spanish Prisoner and the more recent Ridley Scott offering, Matchstick Men.
Cast CommentaryThis is truly superb. I would recommend that any person aspiring to act in ANY capacity watch this. Not only do you get Ed Burns and Rachel Weisz telling you their secrets you also get Dustin Hoffman and host of other actors. These actors mix method with anecdotes in such a way that this commentary never drones on.Director CommentaryJames Foley has been one of my favorite directors since I read an interview with him in Moviemaker Magazine. This is someone that just wants to make movie after movie. He loves the process and isn't afraid to push his audience out of their movie comfort zone. Writer CommentaryDoug Jung is an interesting sort. He really takes you through the process of what it took to get the film from script to screen. Mixed in with the actor's stories of what they brought to the table, these three commentaries combine together to give any "would be" actor, director or writer a crash course in moviemaking.Sundance Channel Presents Anatomy of a SceneI found this to be a bit dull. Taking a scene apart and breaking it down in such an in depth way, makes it almost hard to actually enjoy the scene once you see the finished product. I am not into technical specifics. I want stories and method. This is film making, not a science project. That said, without the technical you wouldn't have the film so I guess my point is I would like to have known more about how this scene originated as opposed to how it became a scene when they shot it.Deleted ScenesThese scenes are mainly longer version's inside The King's strip club(it is a great seeing Dustin Hoffman share the screen with soft core porn actresses and strippers and not see any sense of elitism on his part) as well as a more character revealing scene between Lily and Jake after they hook up for the first time. Not really necessary, but you can tell the creators of this DVD wanted to leave no stones unturned.Soundtrack PresentationNot much here. Just a commercial for the soundtrack and two music videos.
Presented in 16 x 9 wide screen this dvd presents a very clear transfer of the movie. Personally, in my humble opinion, wide screen is the only way to watch a movie. As this is a very dialogue heavy film (and we all know how the Mush feels about dialogue) it's nice to be able to rewatch certain scenes to get a better understand of the workings in this movie.
5.1 Dolby Digital here folks. As I am deaf in one ear I don't suppose that it makes that big a difference, but even in my limited hearing range this DVD sounds very full.
This is the kind of film that if you liked in the theater you should own it on DVD. I say this because I feel that dialogue heavy movies work better on the small screen and they are meant for multiple viewings. I cannot tell you how many more things I noticed about the film watching it in the comfort of my home on the Mushy-couch. A few of these things being, the underlying father-son relationship between Jake and The King(this was further bolstered by Hoffman's Cast commentary), the moodiness of the Frankie G. character, Lupus, and the measured performances of both Rachel Weisz and Paul Giamatti. Also, there is so much information being tossed at you from the moment the film starts, that it's nice to know that you can continue to watch the film and pick up Director James Foley's nuances. He has created a very intricate and layered film that if you can't figure it out after watching the actual movie, the commentaries and all the other special features then there may truly be no hope for you. All in all, I proudly welcome CONFIDENCE into my dvd collection. It will stand tall along such titles as THE DEER HUNTER and WAR GAMES.
Confidence was released April 25, 2003.