Weinstein Company Movie •••½Picture/Sound •••½Extras •••½
The Matador is equal parts black comedy and crime thriller, but it's best seen as a character study that allows Pierce Brosnan to play against type. The former 007 is still acting the rogue with a taste for the ladies and liquor, but in his portrayal of a seedy hit man limping through a midlife crisis, Brosnan lets the sleaziness run wild. The generally clean and sharp transfer serves up a few surprisingly soft scenes, but not at the expense of Mexico City's vivid hues. For this dialogue-driven movie, the mix is kept simple - confined mostly to the center channel, with little use of the surrounds. A well-chosen array of popular songs helps pepper the atmosphere. Plentiful extras include two jam-packed commentaries: one by writer/director Richard Shepard, the other by Shepard, Brosnan, and costar Greg Kinnear. You also get a featurette, radio discussions of the film, and 15 minutes of deleted and extended scenes that nicely fill out the lead characters. [R] English, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (2.35:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.