U-571 (SE)/B,A
Universal/2000/117/ANA 2.35

     Solid underwater entertainment. Slick editing produces explosive action,  lots of tension and sweaty  excitement. Script and characters are slightly too pat, but splash for splash you'll get a charge. 

Taking care of business. ŠUniversal

     Lieutenant Andrew Tyler is up for a promotion and command of his own submarine.  Sub commander Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren wants him for one last important voyage. The Allied command has plotted a bold plan to capture an enemy cryptography encoder. If the sub team pulls off the job without a slipup it could well make a difference in winning the war. 
      Pinging around the hull of U-571 hull are reminders of other submarine films. The conflict between Lt.  Dahlgren and Tyler is reminiscent of Run Silent, Run Deep, a solid fifties sub drama directed by Robert Wise and starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster.  Can you watch a sub movie without comparing the perspiration of Das Boot?  Still, U-571 has its own voice. I don't think the film is overly ambitious. It sets out to be an entertainment and keeps its torpedo tubes loaded and on target.
    Matthew McConaughey is convincing enough as Tyler, though somewhat callow. Methinks he doth cringe too much. Bill Paxton, always smooth and easy-going, assays Dahlgren with quiet authority. And Harvey Keitel is lots of fun in the role of Chief Klough. David Keith is a strong presence as Captain, but the script short shrifts his character. Jake Weber as Lt. Hirsch is too remote for my taste. He seemed all at sea in a submarine.
    Director Jonathan Mostow knows his way around nail-biting action. His previous effort, Breakdown,    offered plenty of thrills, chills, and excitement. U-571 is a better script. Mostow keeps the action on even keel while the sub lists. Characterizations aren't as strong as the visceral effort. 
Great looking DVD with amazing sound. Even with very dark source material, U-571 is a sparkling DVD. Resolution is resolved to maximum effect. You can count the beads of sweat on McConaughey's forehead. Blacks are very deep and lustrous. Shadow detail is outstanding. This one's a good challenge for fixed pixel projectors. If you can get it to look right with DLP, LCD or D-ILA, you've really got a hummer.
Better turn down the reference level for the DTS version if you listen that way. The DTS surround is a deep sea voyage in itself. There were enough depth charges exploding in my home theater that I literally felt like I had gone ten rounds with a young Muhammad Ali. The audience gets a little sampling of what it must be like on a sub during those miserable silent running moments when the sea explodes all around. My recommendation would be to set the sound levels at least 5db down from your usual setting.
     The special edition includes commentary from Mostow, a making of featurette, cast and crew interviews, and additional submarine supplements.  There's enough to keep you underwater for a long voyage. 

is a good submarine yarn with lots of earned perspiration.   





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