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Bandits: Special Edition

Barry Levinson's schizophrenic robbers-on-the-run romp Bandits mingles the best and worst of its director's talents, bizarrely resulting in a comedy/romance that is dull-yet-charming, clichéd-yet-engaging, and ludicrous-yet-tolerable. Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton star as mismatched bank robbers with an innovative scheme, but their pursuit of criminal riches is complicated when a high-strung runaway housewife (Cate Blanchett) accidentally joins the gang. The love triangle that ensues makes as much sense as anything else in this scattered, wayward mess, but the film's star threesome is absolutely terrific, salvaging a movie that was better left for dead. Thornton and Blanchett in particular are dynamic and engrossing, displaying vibrant personality and pitch-perfect comic instincts. MGM's Bandits: Special Edition features a gorgeous anamorphic transfer (2.35:1, with full-frame on the flipside), while audio is a crisp Dolby Digital 5.1 . Extras include four deleted scenes, an alternate version of the coda that runs during the film's final credits with optional commentary by Cate Blanchett, and two featurettes: Inside Bandits (20:43), with breezy cast and crew interviews, and Creating Scene 71 (5:57), an amusing closer look at the improvisational filming of the "bedroom scene" between Willis and Blanchett. Trailer, keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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