Catch Me If You Can

I don't want to lie to you anymore, alright. I'm not a doctor. I never went to medical school. I'm not a lawyer, or a Harvard Graduate, or a Lutheran. I ran away from home a year and a half ago when I was 15.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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Spielberg all but forgot about the fact that he built his reputation on Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Cast Away and confirmed that he really is as good as people think he is.

There's a lot of fun in Catch Me. Like Blow, its a movie based on a real person currently alive, so the story is a tad disjointed based on the real events that occurred. We're never quite sure what our hero's motivations are. Is he a product of a scamming father? Is he a lover with a gift for counterfitting? Is he simply a thief? I couldn't really tell. It seemed that the peak of his career went by amazingly fast. In a beach house full of beautiful women in skimpy bathing suits, he's worried about his imported silk shirt. He never seems happy. The fact that he stole millions of dollars in cash seems to be proof that he never could skip the next score and just live his life on a beach in Mexico. Tom Hanks seems to be a little more solid in his performance. He recognizes the talent in his prey. He realizes that the kid is smarter than him and that the only way he can win is by using the kids own self destructive behavior against him. He seems to know more about the kid than the kid does, or than I do for that matter.

The DVD of Catch Me if you Can is excellent. It has a clean 1.85 to 1 aspect ratio and both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS soundtracks. There are a number of background features but no commentary track. Dreamworks made the mistake of releasing both a full-screen and widescreen version, confusing the consumer and spending more on production costs than they should have. DVDs should always be released in a widescreen only format along with a one page explanation of the advantages of the format.

Catch Me If You Can is a good movie, but compared to Spielberg's earliest stuff it doesn't cut the mustard. Its a fun story and very well done, but it still seems to have a bit of the pretentiousness of the director of Amistad instead of the fun of the director of Jaws. The DVD is worth seeing but not buying.