REVIEWED
6/15/03

STORY



LOOK

Catch Me If You Can
Director: Steven Spielberg
Year: 2002
TRT: 2:21


I think it's best for us all that Spielberg has taken a break from the realm of Science Fiction. There's no doubt he's a good storyteller, but he really boned up the "adaptations" of his two prior (A.I. and Minority Report [he's no Stanley Kubrick or Ridley Scott]). What we have here is a very enjoyable cop and robber story that does well in focusing on the two main characters. Sure, it's a bit far-fetched at times in playing to the audience, but that's pretty much a Spielberg staple for this type of Hollywood fare.

At the age of 16, Frank Abagnale Jr. sees his cherished family life crumble before his eyes, and when forced with having to face the divorce of his parents, chooses to run. Relying on his natural adversity for imitation, he slips into the roles of various "respected" professions, relying on natural charm and a penchant for counterfeiting checks to get him by, with much success. Meanwhile FBI agent Hanratty is in charge of trying to hunt down the elusive (and lucky) Frank.

I dunno, there's nothing truly spectacular about the movie, but it is a story pretty much anyone can enjoy. I'm sure Spielberg took some liberties with the book it was based on, but it plays out well enough with Tom Hanks in his slightly flawed "everyman" role (good as usual), DeCaprio pulls it off without being too cheesy, and there's a great performance by Christopher Walken. And yeah, the opening credit sequence is pretty cool, setting up the time period well.

Great Scene: The no-nonsense Hanratty telling a joke to his new partners.

DVD Notes: 2-Disc set put out by Dreamworks, the first one's initial menu is textless, so you really don't know what the hell you're choosing (basically just options between different looking menus). I also had the unfortunate experience of having the DVD fuck up at exactly 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 32 seconds into the movie. The second disc is nicely done, with several featurettes, the best would be with Frank Abangale talking a bit about his experiences and the movie, and the FBI perspective on authenticating the look and feel of the mid-60s Bureau. Both discs are done up nicely in the style of the credits, and is worth picking up if you saw the movie in the theater. Just don't get a scratched DVD, that sucks ASS.