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Paramount Movie Cash-face/off [blu Ray]
Paramount Movie Cash-face/off
blu Ray
At his best, director John Woo turns action movies into ballets of blood and bullets grounded in character drama. Face/Off marks Woo's first American film to reach the pitched level of his best Hong Kong work (Hard-Boiled)...  more »


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Movie Reviews

John Woo's Best Hollywood Film
Cubist | United States | 09/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It took two Hollywood films (Hard Target and Broken Arrow) before John Woo was allowed to cut loose with his trademark style on Face/Off. The result was his most commercially and critically successful American film at that point in his career. However, for fans of his Hong Kong films, this one seemed like a highlight reel from his earlier work as Woo recycled many of his signature shots Birds flying in slow motion? Check. Guy Leaping in the air while firing two guns simultaneously? Check. Unfortunately, Face/Off marks the apex of his Hollywood career. Woo has done nothing since that's been as good. So, to celebrate the film's 10th anniversary, Paramount has revisited the film with a brand new special edition.

Woo works hard to sell the film's admittedly outlandish gimmick by throwing all kinds of scientific mumbo jumbo at us and lingering on shots of spiffy looking technology. The swapping of identities also allows the filmmaker to examine one of his favourite themes: how two people can exhibit similar characteristics but be on opposite sides of the law and on opposite sides of the moral spectrum. It is nice to see Woo finally given a decent-sized budget to play with and two big-time movie stars like Cage and Travolta to work with. Despite a few audacious glimmers, like staging a chaotic gunfight around a child listening to "Under the Rainbow," we still get a recycling of Woo's stylistic trademarks. However, this can be somewhat forgiven as it was the first real exposure for many North Americans to his work on a mainstream level.

The first disc features an audio commentary by director John Woo and screenwriters Mike Werb and Michael Colleary. Woo says that he initially passed on the project because he didn't think that he could do a science fiction film, but after working with CGI on Broken Arrow, felt more comfortable with the idea. The writers say that Woo concentrated on the characters and their emotions in their conversations together.

Also included is an additional commentary with Werb and Colleary that features a lot of repeated comments from the previous track. Werb and Colleary stress that they wanted to write an action film with a villain that was just as interesting as the hero.

There are six deleted scenes and alternate ending with optional commentary by Woo, Werb and Colleary. There's a nice, reflective moment where Archer spends the night in his dead son's room before his surgery and also two action sequences that are extended.

The second disc has a well-made documentary entitled, "The Light and The Dark: Making Face/Off" that can be viewed in five separate featurettes or altogether. Cage and Travolta talk about how they approached their roles, mimicking each other. Cast and crew praise Woo and his signature style and how well he works with actors. The film's elaborate practical, visual effects and stunts are all examined. Finally, Woo sums up the film - for him, it's all about family and how Archer achieves closure with his.

"John Woo: A Life in Pictures" is a 30-minute profile of the filmmaker, from his humble childhood, living poor in a bad neighbourhood to a successful Hollywood director. It also takes a brief look at some of his key Hong Kong work but nothing too detailed for hardcore fans. This doc acts mainly as a primer for newcomers to his work.

Finally, a theatrical trailer."
Special Features include no new interviews with Cage or Trav
Tuco | Phoenix, Az USA | 10/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"We already know this is a great action film with superb performances from both Travolta and Cage so I will just comment on the features:

Featurettes includes a decent amount information on all aspects of the script development, making of, locations, casting, set designs, special effects, weapons and the 'mimic' acting strategies for Cage/Travlota playing each other. Also includes 7 deleted scenes, a biography-type feature covering the life and career of director John Woo, and the original theatrical trailer.

The greatest disappointment here is that while several cast/crew members appear in newly filmed interviews, both Travolta and Cage participate only by way of vintage interviews filmed back when the movie was actually being made. You would think they would have been proud enough of this great film to come back to document it for posterity sake...

This DVD is probably worth the upgrade for fans, especially if you can manage to get a few bucks for your old copy.

...But you are still not having fun
Bu-Chan | Aotearoa | 10/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Face/Off" is a dynamite-packed action powerhouse, with loads of stuff being blown to Kingdom Come, lots of people getting shot at and shot and loads of fun tossed in for good measure.

The basic plot takes you along with obsessive FBI agent Sean Archer in his all-consuming chase for arch-enemy and criminal nasty type, Castor Troy, backed up by his genius brother, Pollux. Part of this chase requires Archer to assume Troy's identity via surgery, completely off the record and totally "black bag". Of course, it all goes wrong.

"Face/Off" almost seems choreographed in its fight sequences and shoot outs, which is pretty usual for director John Woo's style. However, the action is fast, furious and volatile. There is also lots of it.

Both John Travolta and Nicholas Cage are brilliant as Sean Archer and Castor Troy, a challenging duality of personalities to act. Both actors did a marvelous job of it.

Under all the violence, there are glimpses of Archer's personal journey as he delves into Castor Troy's world. Archer's dealings with Sasha, (Troy's girlfriend), promote some realisation and increased humanity in him.

I have seen this movie a whole heap of times, and find that the years have not diminished it as a great action movie. It is one that can be seen again and again, with the same sense of relish and entertainment.
A masterpiece
Agent Smith | PA | 12/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Face/Off is a spectacular film. It is a definite classic in terms of modern action films. Face/Off, like many action films, has enough explosive action scenes to leave you on the edge of your seat. However, unlike most action films, Face/Off's brilliance is found in its story,its direction, and its acting, not in its action sequences. With superb acting by two very talented actors, Nicholas Cage and John Travolta, the viewer is caught up in the story rather than the action, it almost deserves the category of "action drama." Although, being a John Woo movie, the action sequences are nothing short of spectacular. Face/Off, a combination of great acting, a great story, and well-choreographed action, is a must see for any action lover."