[box cover]

Charlie's Angels: Special Edition

Tom Green. Bill Murray. Luke Wilson. Crispin Glover. Chicks in tight SCUBA outfits. Chicks in tight racing outfits. Chicks in geisha costumes. Lucy Liu in tight leather. Cameron Diaz in Spiderman Underoos. Drew Barrymore in an LL Cool J costume. As if these weren't reasons enough to enjoy the big-screen adaptation of '70s TV series "Charlie's Angels," first-time feature director McG done gone and made it funny and exciting, too. Playful from the opening Columbia logo, Charlie's Angels nearly revolutionizes the contemporary action blockbuster by infusing the formula with a lot of energy, fun style, a fair dollop of charm and even a little, dare we say it, creativity. Plot shmlot; it's all an excuse to get the Angels into as many suggestive costumes as possible and run them through fast-paced, colorful, and often witty set pieces. As one the film's producers, Barrymore insisted, for political reasons, that the Angels not use guns. It works wonders for the film, freeing up each action scene from the obvious, and stretching the stunts and fights into far more interesting directions, borrowing heavily (and cheekily) from Hong Kong cinema and The Matrix. Throughout, the film also plays liberally with the post-modern notion of "girl power," which, in this case, means you can look hot, kick ass, and still be a girl who gets giggly around boys. Even if that boy is played by Tom Green, who is brilliant in his tiny role, as is Luke Wilson as Diaz' affable date, and the inimitable Crispin Glover as a silent baddie. Bill Murray, of course, is quite funny as Bosley, the girls' loyal liaison to their mysterious boss. Columbia TriStar's DVD release has a terrific anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround. Lots of extras here, including a gear-head commentary by McG and directory of photography Russell Carpenter (a fine argument against those that demand a commentary on every disc; a litany of enthusiastic shot descriptions and gel types, but when McG tries to analyze the content of his well-crafted film, it makes you cringe in disbelief), plus a few extended scenes, a blooper reel (the same as the film's end credits), featurettes about the set design, fashions, martial arts and stunts, an in-depth look at the "wired angels" scene, and music videos by Destiny's Child and Apollo Four Forty. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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