The Good

The Bad

Gone In 60 Seconds is one of those movies that you see in the theater, and while you don’t think that it’s bad, you really don’t think that it’s anything too great. Then when it’s available on DVD or playing on cable, you find yourself watching it again and suddenly the movie is different. This big budget spectacle piece works on you in a different way. You are no longer overwhelmed by the bombast of the theater experience. You are able to control the viewing experience so that the sound doesn’t blow you right out of your seat. Quite simply, I find that the films that Jerry Bruckheimer produces work a lot better on TV then in the theater. There are numerous reasons why this is could be the case, but I think it simply comes down to what you like and don’t like about the moviegoing experience. I am not really a purist as far as cinema is concerned. To me, a film plays just as well on the big screen as it does on the small screen. I really don’t notice any difference. I just found that for the most part, Gone In 60 Seconds played much easier for me on the small screen.

Jerry Bruckheimer has his stable of directors who deliver big budget, box office windfalls for him almost every time out. Dominic Sena’s direction seems almost as freewheeling as the Memphis Raines character himself. There is an assuredness that he brings to this project, that really elevates the movie experience in very facet. This film is really nothing more then a bunch of well done action sequences, interspersed between moments where the producers felt “character development” had to take place. And on the most cursory and base level it does, but it doesn’t last long, really leaves no impression and makes us thankful that another huge action scene is just around the corner.

Features

”Zero To 60” from Script to Screen Featurette

A pretty standard featurette of how this movie went from being a simple idea to being the on screen, thrill ride that it is. I am sucker for things like this because I have made some no budget films, and I love the creative process. I love hearing about how the filmmakers had to overcome so many different obstacles. Granted, when you are dealing with the large sums of money that a producer like Jerry Bruckheimer can garner, I am sure that the problems are really only problems in a logistical sense. It is amazing the doors that money can open.

”Wild Rides” Car Stunts Featurette, “The Big Chase” , “Action Overload” and The Cult Music Video

The car featurettes are mainly explanations of how the people involved with this movie ended up getting the action scenes on the screen. These are interesting and I honestly think that “car people” could get the most out of them. Sadly, I don’t know that “car people” are necessarily going to shell out the bucks for another version of a DVD that they probably already own. Still, it is mind-blowing how they make these effects come alive, and when you realize that Nicolas Cage did a lot of his own driving that makes things seem even more impressive. “Action Overload” is just a bunch of high voltage clips set to music. The Cult music video is pretty standard stuff as well. The band wails through the song, as images from the movie play between it. I do like the song they played though.

”Stars on the Move” and “Conversations with Jerry Bruckheimer”

The “Stars on the Move” piece is really just the actors talking about their roles. This isn’t anything that we haven’t heard before, and truthfully, if you watch enough of these things they all end up seeming to be the same. This isn’t to say that they aren’t interesting, or that the actors don’t have stories that are worth hearing, but for the most part I don’t know that this really illuminated anything one way or another. Would be moguls and wannabe producers will get a lot from “Conversations with Jerry Bruckheimer”. His uncanny ability to put together movies that people will go see is astounding. Hearing him talk he makes everything sound so easy, which I think is a common trait among highly successful people. If you are only going to watch a little bit of the extras on this DVD, make it a point to sit through this piece.

Video

Widescreen 2.35:1 - Enhanced for 16x9 televisions. This movie is grand spectacle in it’s finest form. It is the kind of movie that people who are not “film people” will buy, simply because it will give them the ability to get the most out of whatever DVD viewing system they might own. I screened this movie first in the theater and then on my home TV, and I can emphatically say that no matter the medium, this movie is almost too big for it. It fits any screen like a glove, and in the case of my home TV, almost choked it to death. There is so much style behind every shot of this movie that even the little moments look better then most complete films. It seems like movies of this nature are created first by the idea and then what would be the most interesting way to put that idea across. Logistically, I have no idea how they get what they get up on the screen, but ask any person who has enjoyed this movie and they will tell you quite simple that it seems to work in spite of itself.

Audio

Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. French Language Track. French and Spanish Subtitles. Sound in a Bruckheimer/Insert Director Here film is always good. For my tastes, especially in the theater, it is oftentimes too much. However, for a DVD release, where the viewer can control the elements, things were just fine. Now, I have always admitted to the Movieweb faithful that my system for watching DVDs is crap, but at least I do have volume control and I can level the playing field that way. There were sometimes when I had to turn the sound down (especially during the action sequences), and then I would immediately have to turn the sound up during one of the “character development” moments. This didn’t happen too much and as a result it wasn’t something I really noticed a lot. Still, the sound design on this film does amaze me and I wouldn’t be surprised if the time spent creating that, maybe equaled the same amount of time spent in the production of this movie.

Package

Pretty simple stuff here. The movie’s title, a picture of Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie, with Director’s Cut smack right in the middle of all of it. There is a lot of orange and yellow on display here, and I think that’s to have the vibe of there being a lot of heat being given off from the contents of this DVD. Or, it could also be a sun thing as this movie takes place in California? The back is also pretty tame, with a slight description of this movie, an extensive listing of extras and of course technical specs and a cast list. The pictures seem to all have a gold tint to them. Overall, this cover is decent, I guess I just expect more from the “unrated version”.

Final Word

Until my recent viewing of this film, I didn’t really notice what a great performance Nicolas Cage gives in this movie. I had the same reaction when I watched Con Air for the second time. Cage seems to really enjoy straddling the worlds of being a movie and doing much lower budget work. Some people like to down him and some of the choices he’s made, but I think that after cutting his teeth for so long in so many different kinds of films, he deserves to reap the benefits that his body of work allows. He manages to bring a real humanity to the role of Memphis Raines. A vulnerability that illuminates a man caught between being both good and bad at the same time.

Gone In 60 Seconds is a good time for a movie that doesn’t really take itself all that seriously. As a result, neither should the person watching it.

Gone in Sixty Seconds was released June 9, 2000.