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Catch Me If You Can(2002)
Based on a true story, Frank W. Abagnale was employed as a doctor, a lawyer, and as a co-pilot for a major airline company-all before reaching his 21st birthday. A successful con artist and master of deception, Frank is also a brilliant forger, whose skill at check fraud has netted him millions of dollars in stolen funds--much to the chagrin of the authorities. FBI Agent Carl Hanratty has made it his prime mission to capture him and bring him to justice, however Frank is always one step ahead of Carl, baiting him to continue the chase.
For more about Catch Me If You Can and the Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray release, see Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 3, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Nathalie Baye, Amy Adams
Director: Steven Spielberg
» See full cast & crew
Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray Review
Catch it on Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 3, 2012
An honest man has nothing to fear.
Catch Me If You Can tells the remarkably entertaining inspired-by-real-events tale of a swindler and the lawman hot on his heels. It's an intimate tale of a fascinating character that's spread along his lengthy and lucrative trail of 1960s fraud and personal exploits. The film takes the classic cops-and-robbers story and lends to it an air of almost magical whimsy in which audiences cheer on the criminal not in support of his actions but rather in praise of the movie's skill in crafting such a wonderfully absorbing diversion. The film moves quickly but never feels rushed; it allows audiences to soak in the details both on the run and through intimate charter portrayals. The story is one shaped by personal tragedy, confidence, excess, and a hint of destiny. It doesn't praise wrongs -- despite its rather unique resolution -- but does demonstrate that from wrongdoing can come, maybe in rarest of cases, something positive in both life and society-at-large. But at its core, Catch Me If You Can entertains on a purely base level, the film showing unflappable command of the entire filmmaking process and emitting an unmistakable aura of cinema goodness about every frame.
Seventeen-year-old Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) grew up in a loving family home with father Frank Sr. (Christopher Walken) and mother Paula (Nathalie Baye). Unfortuantely, their world has quickly crumbled. Frank Sr. is under suspicion of tax fraud and loses his most prized possessions: the family home, his automobile, and his wife. Frank Jr. watches his parents split over finances and an ugly affair and has chosen to run away from home. He supports himself through petty forgery, swindling a few hundred dollars here and there and until he hones his talents and realizes that he can not only get get by, but live large by faking his way through life. Over time, he masters the art of bad check writing and masquerades as a Pan American pilot, opening up a host of opportunities both financial and personal. However, his new lifestyle comes with a price: his case makes its way up the chain of the FBI and into the lap of Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) who takes a personal interest in hunting down the ever-elusive Abagnale. With his skill level on the rise, his cons more elaborate, his false identities more implausible, and the net of suspicion cast around him growing ever wider, does Frank Jr. stand a chance of remaining a free man, or will his lifestyle finally meet the long arm of the law?
Catch Me If You Can succeeds as much on smart storytelling as it does a captivating narrative. It's a marriage the likes of which film fans don't often find in bulk mainstream cinema, the merging of compelling drama with a relaxing entertainment experience. It truly is the best of both worlds; few pictures manage to walk such a fine line between crafty and smart, but indeed the worlds of pinpoint filmmaking -- accomplished storytelling, quality acting, fine technical attributes -- and legendary storytelling do converge in a way that only master craftsmen like Steven Spielberg can accomplish. Catch Me If You Can is not Spielberg's finest film, but in it he reaffirms his ability to capture an intimate tale on a large canvas. Spielberg surrounds the story with much activity but not muddled chaos. He keeps things moving but simple along the periphery and uses the heart of the film to explore a wonderful character who knowingly and joyfully skirts the law for his own gain but in doing so discovers who he is and what he's capable of accomplishing, all in the wake of personal hardship that led him down the wrong -- and in a way the right -- path. The movie spans time and borders and phony "occupations" for its main character, all the while under the threat of exposure and the constant stress of the chase. Yet no matter how wild and hairy things may get, Spielberg keeps the film focused and fun as it rather deeply explores one of the more intriguing figures ever to grace cinema screens and the unlikely bond that forms between the classic cat and mouse characters.
Catch Me If You Can runs well over two hours but feels half that length. It also seems to peak at every juncture -- from the film's early father-son segments and to Frank's first foray into mass deception -- but only improves on its pacing as its structure and narrative are both further developed. The film remains on a cutting edge of captivating and entertaining, always seeming to effortlessly best its past peaks and ascend further into cinema excellence. Of course, along that upward trend are qualities that remain constants. Spielberg's filmmaking is again above reproach. The picture captures that magical aura that seems to hang over all of his films, that readily evident sense of harmony that comes from a natural sixth filmmaking sense that Spielberg utilizes in every picture, one that commands respect and awe at the artwork but also allows audiences to simultaneously settle in with pop and popcorn and merely enjoy the ride. The cast is wonderful, too. Leonardo DiCaprio dazzles in what may be his finest on-screen hour, playing the part of a sly, bold, highly skilled, and incredibly intelligent con artist with motives that run deeper and a heart that's far from criminally hardened. Tom Hanks is solid in his role, but he's overshadowed by the focus on DiCaprio's character and his mesmerizing performance, as well as notably impressive appearances by Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen. The three elder characters all in some capacity play as father figures, of sorts, to Frank Jr., both literally and figuratively. It's that sense of harmonized interconnectivity, closeness, and "family" influences from which the film finds its heart amidst the fast-paced fun of the chase, the brilliant performances, and the beautiful craftsmanship.
Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray, Video Quality
Catch Me If You Can arrives on Blu-ray with a gorgeously film-like 1080p high definition transfer. Beautiful Blu-ray images are nothing new for the DreamWorks/Paramount/Spielberg collaboration. The director's finest films always look striking on Blu-ray, and this is no exception. The image is subject only to the fancy of the film's director and cinematographer. It begins rather bleakly, with minimal colors and a cold, unwelcoming feel. The picture brightens up a bit as it moves along until it positively celebrates the era colors, from festive oranges to Pan Am stewardess blue. The palette never quite dazzles, but the stability is impressive, even as some scenes are rather harshly lit and slightly blown out by design. Blacks can look a little dreary and pale at times, again notably near the beginning, but such seems in-line with Spielberg and Kaminski's photography. Grain lingers over the image and accentuates what are consistently sturdy, high-yield details. The transfer brings out the finest in faces and clothes, not to mention the small details around period sets, both interiors and exteriors alike. Clarity is striking, and the image enjoys a natural, honest sharpness. Viewers looking for a hint of banding or blockiness will find it in very small -- minuscule -- quantities, but to knock the transfer for a couple of blink-and-miss flaws would be to not do justice to what is overall a beautifully filmic transfer.
Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Catch Me If You Can features a rich and cinematic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. John Williams' score enjoys a smooth, natural stage presence. Clarity satisfies through the entire range, while a simple, low-key bass line gives definition to the presentation. The track delivers ample ambience throughout the entire film. Busy locations with heavy foot traffic, such as airports, or locales with slightly lighter sound effects, like busy offices, nicely and naturally place the listener in the middle of every location. The surrounds aren't used to unnatural effect but rather gently immerse the audience into the worlds of Frank and Carl. More prominent sound effects, such as driving rain in one early scene, are satisfyingly delivered and play with a seamless authenticity. Dialogue is centered and clear, delivered at an appropriate volume and never forced to compete with surrounding elements. All in all, this is a very well-rounded, seamless track that fits the movie well and that should please all listeners.
Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Catch Me If You Can features a nice little collection of supplements that do a fine job of piecing together the story behind the film. Note one supplement's title contains a spoiler for the film.
Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Catch Me If You Can is a beautifully crafted film, a high quality character study, and a good old fashioned entertainer. It's brilliantly acted and magically fun, a whimsically absorbing tale of classic cat-and-mouse done to perfection like only Steven Spielberg can accomplish. It faultlessly recreates its era and vividly paints its characters both inside and out, filling the narrative with the sort of personal character studies that enhance an already startlingly good tale that effortlessly intermixes thought-provoking drama with classic escapism. It's not Spielberg's finest film, but it's better than most movies out there and one of the finer all-around mainstream pictures of the 2000s. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Catch Me If You Can features superb video and audio. A fair assortment of extras are included. Very highly recommended.
Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Catch Me If You Can Blu-ray Detailed (Pre-order Available) - September 7, 2012
Paramount Home Media Distribution has officially announced and detailed its upcoming Blu-ray release of director Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2002), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken. The release will be available for purchase ...
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