Pierce Brosnan gives a spectacular performance in “THE MATADOR”, one of the best “independent” films of recent memory. Well, at least it “feels” like an independent film, even though it’s released by the WEINSTEIN COMPANY”. Brosnan is Julian Noble, a hitman who has lost some of his suave demeanor, seems starved for friendship, and frustrated with his career. In a Mexico City hotel bar, Julian meets up, tries to befriend, and alienates visiting company man, Danny Wright(Greg Kinnear), traveling with the hopes of moving up the corporate ladder with an important business deal at hand. Noble tries to amend his offensive demeanor with Danny and the two become weird friends of a sort. The look of the film is original, the tone of the film is unusual and the acting, from everyone, is great! While just as man people will probably be turned off of the film’s style as turned on by it, this one’s so different, it’s hard not to appreciate it for just feeling original.
THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY has presented a 1080p/MPEG-4 transfer with 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It’s a fantastic transfer. Colors are extremely vibrant, as the opening titles reveal, and they impress throughout the entire film. The detail is much sharper than on the dvd and the blacks and grays are deep, making the darker scenes stand out with great clarity. Most of the film provides nearly three dimensional depth, allowing for frequent “WOW” moments.
A Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix is included. While not aggressive, there are some great surround moments and there are plenty of separation effects within the front soundstage. The music and song selections are terrific, but lack the dynamic range we expected. Dialogue is always intelligible.
All of the great commentaries found on the standard dvd have been carried over, including a great commentary with the director, Kinnear and Brosnan. Deleted scenes and more are worth watching.