'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD]
(Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Jared Harris, et al / Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD / NR / 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
Blu-ray Verdict: Well, I have to admit, when a production the size of this, with a certain amount of time to perfect the final product for the monetary backers and film fans alike, the fact they actually used real equipment salvaged from 1963 on some of the sets is highly commendable. Sure, this specific set I'm referencing was only used during two days of production, but it was a VERY important sequence in the film, trust me!
Anyway, moving on and 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' is most definitely an enjoyable comedy and major escapist fare, set, seemingly, in our past. I won't give that away, but can say that Guy Ritchie's direction is assured and far more clever and entertaining than his current rivals. And his eye for casting, assuming it was his doing, is impeccable. I particularly appreciated Alicia Vikander who was dreamy enough in 'Ex Machina'. Here she does a little dance in one scene that went indelibly into my do not erase memory!
Cavill and Hammer make an unexpectedly good team. And though I was a little partial to Hammer's performance, Cavill has a flair for comedy that I haven't known about. Oddly enough, Hugh Grant who appears briefly, is a proved asset but seems a little out of place. The movie isn't wall-to-wall action, but there are enough action scenes to keep the pace lively. There is also a second chase scene towards the end of the movie that is perhaps even better than the opening scene's chase.
But again, as it is just to mention it, I think the real strength of the movie is the comedic element. The banter is quite snappy and a few of the lines I couldn't hear because of the laughter filling the theater. In particular Cavill delivered as the slick cool spy Solo.
Oh, and as mentioned, and so coming full circle, since this is a "period piece", I think it's important to point out that they went through a lot of effort to get things right. Fortunately for me, they did such a good job that it, that it didn't feel like I was being beaten over the head with the 60's! There were a number of iconic outfits, but overall it was subtle enough that I wasn't jarred out of the movie, which says a lot about the great job they did. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
- The Guys from U.N.C.L.E.
- Spy Vision: Recreating '60s Cool
- Metisse Motorcycles: Proper-And Very British
- A Man of Extraordinary Talents
- U.N.C.L.E: On-Set Spy
- Don't Swim Elegantly
- You Want to Wrestle?
- Heli Restored
- A Family Thing
Warner Bros. on Blu-ray!