DVD REVIEW: Ronin

MGM
Movie •••• Picture/Sound ••• Extras ••••
Director John Frankenheimer's last feature, from 1998, remains a near-perfect, tension-filled action thriller, lean and convincing from the very first shot. But this tale of post-Cold War mercenaries hired to steal a mysterious briefcase looks oddly uneven on this two-disc set, with static shots sometimes showing considerable grain. Fortunately, the car-chase scenes - possibly the finest ever crafted - come through with flying colors, all their relentless point-of-view havoc abetted by an explosive sound mix. Disc 2 contains a sprawling six-segment, 95-minute documentary that leaves no cinematic stone unturned. Twenty minutes of interviews with star Robert De Niro and others offers a decidedly subjective view of the film. Also included are Frankenheimer's intense and thoughtful commentary - a nice legacy from a talented filmmaker - and a brief alternate ending. [R] English and French, Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish, Dolby Surround; letterboxed (2.35:1) and anamorphic widescreen; two dual-layer discs.

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