[box cover]

Hollow Man

Paul Verhoeven attracts even as he repels. There's always something vigorous and challenging and outrageous about his films. Less pretentious than Wolfgang Petersen and less dense than Renny Harlin, Verhoeven is attractively ambitious and middlebrow at the same time, a Dutch Oliver Stone. But at best, 2000's Hollow Man is an efficient TV movie, compromised by its inability or unwillingness to pursue the full implications of its premise. That said, the film has a couple of things to recommend it. For one, it is one of the few recent Hollywood movies in which a villain is the main character. For another, it is one of the few recent science fiction films that actually speculates about the possibilities and impact of science. And the special effects are damn good. Kevin Bacon plays Dr. Sebastian Caine, who is several degrees of separation from being a nice guy. Arrogant and conceited, he is leading a team of specialists who are under military contract to probe the possibility of invisibility. His ex-girlfriend (Elizabeth Shue) is also on the team, and so is her current boyfriend (Josh Brolin). Caine contrives to test the invisibility serum on himself, but then he can't get back. And — as is customary in such films — the fact of invisibility begins to affect his mind. For those who like Hollow Man, Columbia TriStar's Hollow Man: Special Edition is a treat. The disc comes with a fine anamorphic transfer (1.85:1), and the DD 5.1 EX mix favors the thundering, music-heavy audio. Additional supplements include a commentary from Verhoeven, Bacon, and scenarist Andrew W. Marlowe, an isolated score with intermittent commentary by Jerry Goldsmith, three short "deleted" scenes, which are really longer versions of existing scenes, a routine HBO "First Look" making-of featurette called "Hollow Man: Anatomy of a Thriller," VFX "picture-in-picture" comparisons, which show three scenes in extended detail, and 15 "Fleshing Out The Hollow Man" featurettes, each about three minutes long. The disc also has weblinks, and the animated and musical menu with 28 chapter selection. Keep-case.
—D.K. Holm

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