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Charlie's Angels is another in the long line of movies based on 70's TV shows. From the Brady Bunch to The Mod Squad to cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle, over the past 5 years Hollywood has been taking everyone's favourite small screen characters and giving them a shot up on the big screen. While most of these movies failed miserably both at the box office and in their portrayal of the characters we know and love, Charlie's Angels did neither of these things and gives us 99 minutes of non stop mindless fun.

Charlie's Angels
Movie
It doesn't take a rocket science to figure out the storyline for Charlie's Angels. Three gorgeous ladies Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore) and Alex (Lucy Liu) form a 3 person elite crime fighting  unit backed by anonymous millionaire Charles Townsend. With the help and guidance of Bosley (Bill Murray) the angels are sent out on a case that involves the kidnapping of Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) and some stolen computer technology that could lead to the end of privacy as we know it. All this while they try to remain pretty and attempt to maintain normal relationships with their respective beaus.  

How do the angels accomplish the hard task of tracking down a kidnapper and stolen computer software. Why with some hard-core action which looks like something straight out of the Matrix CA's stunts were supervised and choreographed by Cheung-Yan Yuen who's brother just happened to be involved in the Matrix. Throughout the film  Nat, Dylan and Alex seem to fly through the air seamlessly performing all these death defying stunts without even breaking a nail.

Charlie's Angels
Charlie's Angels features great performances from all those involved, each of one of the girls has a distinct personality and is different from the others. Cameron's Natalie is your typical girl next door, every teenage boys dream. Drew's Dylan is a bit of a rebel, the wild child who in school would go to the bathroom to smoke and cause trouble. Lucy Liu's Alex is a no nonsense kind of girl whose super intelligence comes in handy. The males in the film are also good in their supporting roles, Bill Murray has struck a cord and given his best performance since Groundhog Day. Luke Wilson is good as Pete, a waiter who Natalie meets at a party who just seems like a really nice guy although a bit clueless to the world around him. Drew's beau Tom Green puts in a cameo appearance as Chad, a tugboat captain that had me laughing long after the movie had ended. All in all Charlie's Angels in a fun nonsensical romp that takes the viewer into an imaginary world for 99 minutes of pure fun. This is not Shakespeare, it's pure movie fun.

Video
Columbia Tri-Star gives us a excellent anamorphic transfer in the films original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. One of the biggest things about Charlie's Angels is it's visual style. It's a bright vibrant mesh of colours that jump right off the screen.  From the deep blacks to the glowing golden tones to the more subdued lighting in the massage chamber, the DVD looks amazing. Taking the viewer into a rich fairy-tale like world where everything is lush and beautiful.

Audio
Charlie's Angels features both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 soundtrack and while the video is stellar the audio left something  to be desired. Now don't get me wrong the 5.1 soundtrack is great I just expected it to be better. Dialogue was clear, and always mixed at the right volume level. Depending on the scene the music was either in the forefront or the background and always seemed to hold true to my memories of the original theatrical presentation. The effects zoomed around the room, kicks flew at me from all directions. I however felt that the LFE was a tad weak. Although it produced some noticeable rumbling it just seemed a bit subdued to what I remembered from the theater which was stronger/louder explosions. All in all a good mix, but it could have been much better.

Extras
First and foremost this is a Columbia Tristar Special Edition which are never lacking in special features. This disc is packed.

What do we have? Well to begin with there's an audio commentary with director McG and cinematographer Russell Carpenter. This is an energetic track as first timer McG shares his thoughts and praises Carpenter - who worked on the Titanic. Many times throughout the track McG thanks Carpenter for being so easy to work with and making his first film so easy to make.

Charlie's Angels
In addition to the commentary we have a slew of short featurettes dealing with everything from the Fashion to the Special Effects to director McG. These are all fairly short and some are more informative then others. I doubt anyone will watch them more then once but they are worth checking out if your a fan of the film.

Up next we have 3 deleted and extended scenes with introductions and partial commentary from director McG. While these scenes are funny they were rightly cut from the final film. Keeping them in would have seriously affected the pacing.

Next we have some bloopers which were a bit of a disappointment to me, as they are just a rehash of the bloopers that ran over the credits. You can't tell me that with a movie of this nature there weren't more bloopers to be had. Oh well..

Music Videos, we are given 2 music videos, Apollo 440's cover of the Charlie's Angels theme and the video for the mega smash hit single Independent Women by Destiny's Child.

Last up we are given a collection of trailers for both currently available Columbia movies and upcoming releases. The trailers are presented in various formats. Charlie's Angel (Teaser and Theatrical Trailer) are in DD 5.1, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (DD 2.0), Vertical Limit (DD 5.1), The Adventures of Joe Dirt (5.1), and My Best Friends Wedding (DD 2.0).

If your looking for a way to escape from reality for a couple hours, Charlie's Angels is the movie for you. A Great disc for a great movie.


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