(aka 'Baker Street' or 'D-Notice' or 'The Bank Job')

Directed by Roger Donaldson
UK 2008

 

The workmanlike title “The Bank Job” is a nice fit for this wham-bam caper flick. Efficiently directed by Roger Donaldson from a busy script by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, it fancifully revisits the mysterious whos and speculative hows of a 1971 London vault cleanout on Baker Street labeled the walkie-talkie robbery. (The thieves squawked on the airwaves like crows.) It was headline news and, then, with a wave of the official wand, it was hush-hush. That’s one story, anyway.

True or not, the on-screen follies mostly amuse and generally divert. Working off a hot tip, a gang of charming lowlifes of varying capabilities and intelligence make like moles, tunneling under a women’s handbag store until they hit the larcenous lottery: safe-deposit boxes crammed with sparkling treasures, fistfuls of bank notes and delectable smut involving some Very Important Personages. The thieves — led by the bullet-headed looker Jason Statham as Terry — scoop up their ill-gotten goods and scram. Assorted coppers and villains give chase, as do some stiff-lip types in bespoke suits from the British security services.

Excerpt from The New York Times (Manohla Dargis) review located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 19th, 2008 - Glasgow Film Festival

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DVD Review: Lionsgate (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Lionsgate Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:51:48 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.19 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1) DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with director Donaldson, actress Saffron Burrows and composer J. Peter Robinson
• Featurette: 'Inside the Bank Job' (16:42)
• 
Featurette: 'The Baker Street Bank Raid" (14:52)
• Deleted and Extended Scenes with optional commentary (6:15)
• Theatrical trailer (2:30)

Disc 2

• Digital copy of the feature film

DVD Release Date: July 15th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 24

 

Comments:

Aside from being somewhat glossy at times, this transfer is extremely strong. Detail on this SD approaches reference levels for that format. I can see the, simultaneously released, Blu-ray HERE potentially being sharper - and we will compare if we get the opportunity, but I'll wager the differences will be at the short end of the scale. Contrast and colors look 'spot on' and I can't see to many individuals being displeased with this SD presentation of the feature film. Noise is minimal, low-lit scenes suffer a shade but overall it looked quite magnificent on my system - expectantly super clean, bright and film-like.

Audio gives the, now, standard 5.1 track and it is quite buoyant. Decent separation with healthy rear channel explosions and the like. It suited the film to a 'T'. The varied soundtrack, with such inclusions as The Kinks, "Unchain my Heart" by Natasha Miller and some J.S. Bach, is well supported in 5.1. There are optional English (only) subtitles supporting the clear and clean dialogue.  

I may have been a bit spoiled by recent Criterion commentaries but this one with director Donaldson, actress Saffron Burrows and composer J. Peter Robinson didn't do to much for me (well, it made me sleepy). Just standard fare, with monotone discussion and a few gaps - but it is more, obviously, unprepared and off-the-cuff. I can expect something illuminating and erudite each time but anyway I wasn't real keen on this one - lasting so long I found myself skipping ahead. The featurettes I enjoyed more; 'Inside the Bank Job' is almost 20 minutes and gives a nice overview with interview sound-bites from Donaldson and other on production details. Just the right length and fairly compact. More from the London historical standpoint of the 60's is a 15 minutes piece on 'The Baker Street Bank Raid' and this I actually wished was longer. Plans, details, the ingenuity and resourcefulness of some criminals plus other tidbits flowed nicely. There is also 6 minutes of deleted and extended scenes with an optional commentary (only way to watch them) and finally on disc one is a 2.5 minute theatrical trailer.

The second disc holds the digital copy of the feature film able to download to your favorite portable player (NOTE: watching this, or any, films via cell-phone or other tiny-screened device is not endorsed by this website - let's all put our heads on straight).

I was in the mood for this and enjoyed the film quite a lot without it being a typical action-fest. Poetic license on the true facts but performances seem strong and the story is a good one. Sure, for the striking image and decent bank-heist thriller - you can't go wrong.  

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution Lionsgate Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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