HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: After The Sunset
HTS Overall Score:82
Brett Ratner is one of those directors who is hit or miss. Commonly vilified for ruining “X-Men 3” and being a studio yes man who pumps out generic action movies like “Hercules” and “Tower Heist”, he also is known for such guilty pleasures as all three “Rush Hour” movies, “Money Talks”, “The Family Man”, and my personal favorite, “Red Dragon”. “After the Sunset” falls half way in between his early hits and the later years of generic film making where he kind of takes a bit of both worlds to craft this stylish little heist movie. It’s not my favorite of Ratner’s repertoire, but it’s still fun and has that impish humor that defined his early film making. Add in a stellar cast of actors including Don Cheadler, Pierce Brosanan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Naomie Harris and even Chris Penn for a small cameo, and you get a solidly entertaining movie that is plagued by some flaws to keep it from being a completely guilty PLEASURE.
Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) and his partner/lover, Lola (Salma Hayek) are the best jewel thieves the world has ever known, and after stealing the 2nd of the 3 “Napoleon Diamonds”, are on their way to retirement in the Caribbean. Hot on their tales is FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), who has spent the better part of his career tracking Max and Lola across the nation in an effort to bring them to justice. While Lola and Max seem to be having fun in retirement, Stan is not so sure that Max really is hanging up the gloves. The 3rd and final Napoleon diamond is being transported through the island and Stan is salivating at the thought of nabbing the elusive jewel thief.
Some hunches pan out as Max is chomping at the bit, frustrated by the life of leisure that he and Lola are enjoying. Not satisfied with peace, he is barely keeping his desire to steal the diamond contained, both from Stan as well as Lola, who desperately just wants to retire and live the rest of her life with the man she loves. Now Max is dodging not only the tenacious FBI agent, but the island police detective Sophie (Naomie Harris), the resident gangster on hand (Don Cheadle) who wants to utilize Max’s skills for personal gain, as well as keep Lola from beating the tar out of him for even considering the heist.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=42154[/img]“After the Sunset” is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand it has a lot of things going for it, but the other side of that coin leaves us with a movie that is a bit too lighthearted for its own good. Max, Lola and Stan are the perfect triangle, with Max’s greed on one point, Stan’s desire to nail the criminal on the other, and Lola caught between them trying to keep some normalcy in her retirement years. The criminal element of the story is a lot of fun and keeps us wondering if Max is really going to get caught this time, but then Brett Ratner’s goofy humor has to intertwine itself into the story and mess up the flow. A little humor in movies like this are fun, but Woody acting like his old “Cheers” days, skirt chasing after Sophie and buddy buddying it up with Max the next just feels a bit awkward and stilted. The first couple of times it was funny, but it started creeping in more and more as the movie progressed and I can’t be sure whether we were watching a serious heist movie or a comedy.
I’ve always been a fan of Pierce Brosnan and he doesn’t disappoint in the least in his portrayal of the slippery Jewel thief. He’s slick, suave, debonair, and like a fine wine, perfectly aged. Salma Hayek is so gorgeous that I almost forget the movies flaws the moment she walks on screen, as every male in the audience gets tongue tied. Even at 38 years old (during the movie’s release) she puts most 20 year olds to shame with her stunning looks and exotic accent. Woody does what Woody does best and hams up the screen, making Stan both chuckle worthy and face palm worthy at the same time. His humor grows on you, especially after you find out a bit about his character during the movie, but sometimes he feels a bit like a fish out of water amidst the serious drama.
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, violence and language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=42162[/img]The master for “After the Sunset” looks to be in better shape than WB’s “The Corruptor”, as it looks really really nice for a movie whose master was probably struck once and never remastered. The Caribbean locale looks bright and color filled, giving us crystal blue waters, the shining yellow of the sun, the brilliant colors of the exotic alcoholic beverages and earthy colors of Max and Lola’s abode. The skin tone are nice and warm, without looking overly ruddy, and the contrast levels are excellent. Fine detail is abundant as you can see every graying head on Brosnan’s head as well as the individual fibers amongst clothing and the rough textures of the island beaches. I didn’t notice any artifacting or DNR like I did on “The Corruptor” leaving us with a sparkling clean image that is very pleasing, despite the films relatively young age.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=42170[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is sure to please as it does the duties required of it with the ease and effortlessness of a well-oiled machine. Dialog is the mainstay of the movie, as the audio is decidedly front heavy, but there is plenty of moments of ambiance where the surrounds and sub get to come and play with the rest of the speakers. The Reggae and soul score flows through all 6 channels and gets the foot tapping and the grin spreading, while there is a softly melodic sound to the gently lapping waves that come through in the back ground along with the occasional bullet plinking into a wall or the sound of feet scraping along the floor. LFE is punchy and tight without being overly aggressive and accentuates the track quite well. It's a very well done track that tweaks and opens up compared to the slightly anemic track on the old 2004 DVD and certainly has very few, if any flaws.
• Blooper Reel
• Feature Commentary with Director Brett Ratner
• Before during and After the Sunset Documentary
• Interview With A Jewel Thief Documentary
• The Charlie Rose Show: featuring Brett Ratner, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Pierce Brosnan
• Deleted scenes
• Deleted/Alternate scenes with filmmaker audio commentary
• Special effects comparison
• Max & Lola pretending to make love for Stan’s bug
• A practical joke Brett played on Pierce
I like “After the Sunset”, but I have to fully admit that it’s a bit of a flawed movie and not one of Ratner’s shining achievements. His direction style is unique and very airy, but he started to lose his way directionally speaking around the turn of the century and the cracks in his armor are starting to show right around this time. The audio and video presentation for a catalog title look great, with kudos to the solid master WB had to work with here. Extras are copious and make for a nice rounded package. I’d definitely recommend a watch for a fun little heist movie.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Don Cheadle, Woody Harrelson
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Written by: Paul Zbyszewski
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, German, Czech DD 5.1, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish DD 2.0
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: April 7th 2015
Buy After The Sunset On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Fun Little Watch
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