Out of Sight (1998)
February 12, 2016 3:42 PM - Subscribe

A career bank robber breaks out of jail and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a US Marshall he has kidnapped.

NYTimes: For Mr. Soderbergh, whose most accessible films have been ''Sex, Lies and Videotape'' and ''King of the Hill,'' ''Out of Sight'' is a departure into markedly commercial material. And he makes it work like a dream. The hard-boiled beauty of the cinematography (by Elliot Davis, who has shot three previous Soderbergh films) brings out the story's own innate color and creates a warmly inviting backdrop for the central star-crossed romance. The film's sleek moodiness and visual sophistication are so effective that there's even a scene here that makes Detroit look like the most romantic city in the world.

WaPo: Where are we now? We could only be one place: in the loopy, vivid, funny, crazed dangerous world of Elmore Leonard, our preeminent crime novelist, whose "Out of Sight" has just made it to the screen, with George Clooney as the good-bad guy and Jennifer Lopez bad bad-good girl.

Note the punctuation in the qualifiers, please. That small jot between the words explains what's so fascinating about Leonard. The key to nearly everyone's character and motive is the hyphen that balances an equipoise of contradictions, the opposing values. Almost no one is pure, as in pure evil or pure good. It's a universe of the ambivalent, the constantly shifting, the occasionally impulsive; it's the universe of uncertainty, where each character has a touch of darkness and light to him or her, a constant war between nurture and aggression, and behind their cunning eyes, we can watch these dynamic forces battle it out bitterly.

Roger Ebert: “Out of Sight” has a time line as complex as “Pulp Fiction,”although at first we don't realize that. The movie's constructed like hypertext, so that, in a way, we can start watching at any point. It's like the old days when you walked into the middle of a film and sat there until somebody said, “This is where we came in.” Elmore Leonard is above all the creator of colorful characters. Here we get the charming, intelligent Foley, who is constitutionally incapable of doing anything but robbing banks, and Sisco, the marshal, who had a previous liaison with a bank robber (admittedly, she eventually shot him). They are surrounded by a rich gallery of other characters, and this movie, like “Jackie Brown,” takes the time to give every character at least one well-written scene showing them as peculiar and unique.

The Dissolve: Out Of Sight’s editing recalls the late-1960s and early-1970s work of John Boorman, Richard Lester, and Nicolas Roeg, with the lattermost’s famous Don’t Look Now love scene providing a model for Jack and Karen’s lovemaking. Mainstream filmmaking absorbed their innovations at the time, but by 1998, they started to look radical again. A less confident filmmaker might have backed away from such devices. After all, Soderbergh had raw material strong enough to support a more straightforward adaptation. Yet he seems to have realized that the only way to honor the spirit of Leonard’s novel was to shake it up a bit, and to turn it into a movie by letting it do things only movies can. Steve Zahn’s performance as Glenn, for instance, tells a story only hinted at in Leonard’s novel. A car thief and hustler, Glenn gets in over his head when he hooks up with Maurice (a chilling Don Cheadle) and is initiated into the casual violence of a hardened Detroit criminal. Leonard gives readers more of Glenn’s past, but Zahn’s performance makes us spectators to his soul. He sees things he never wanted to see, and in his later scenes, a light has dimmed behind his eyes.

Double Feature: Jackie Brown and Out of Sight

Trailer

Interview with the cast and crew of Out of Sight
posted by MoonOrb (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I cannot possibly choose among the three 1990s Leonard adaptations. They are all so fucking good.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:43 PM on February 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


FFS, imdb spelled "marshal" wrong, it looks like.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:01 PM on February 12, 2016


The groovy music does so much for this movie. Also Clooney and Lopez at the heights of their magnetism (and the best crime/romance meet-cute ever) don't hurt either. I used to like this movie more, but the gross and ugly side it shows is too gross and ugly.
posted by nom de poop at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2016


This movie is just so fucking cool and smooth. It's the perfect balance of Soderbergh artsy/commercial. I like what Ebert says in that quote about hypertext and that it's easy to pick up from any point.

Also, the guy who has a cameo at the end does TONS of cameos and this is the best one.
posted by dogwalker at 11:49 PM on February 12, 2016


For me, this is the best Elmore Leonard adaptation. The way the narrative jumps back and forth, the Isley Brothers on the soundtrack, Clooney, Lopez, and the fucking editing on this thing ... DAMN.

The scene in the hotel bar where Jack and Karen have their time-out is one of the sexiest things I have ever seen. The quiet intimate way they talk to each other in the bar ("you really wear that suit"), contrasted against the utter failure of the losers that tried to chat her up at the beginning, the quick cuts of hands touching hands, flashes forward and backward in time to their hotel room hook-up, freeze frames, perfect music, city lights and snow in the windows behind them. Total porn for movie geeks.

And the supporting cast: Dennis Farina is perfect as Karen's dad. Don Cheadle is both menacing and stupid simultaneously. Steve Zahn is hilariously out of his depth. Albert Brooks is a complete dick.

I remember going into this movie the week it came out not expecting much and walking out ready to see it two or three more times. It is so good.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:50 AM on February 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yep, I praised this movie in the Get Shorty thread. Both outstanding. I haven't seen Jackie Brown yet.

I remember sighing when the movie cuts to Detroit in winter and the color palette changes from yellow to gray ... But I can't argue with the accuracy of it.

the guy who has a cameo at the end does TONS of cameos and this is the best one

Was he a big name at that point? It made no impression on me when I first saw it shortly after its home video release. Only on a full rewatch last year did I realize who it was.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:06 AM on February 13, 2016


Also, after checking something about it at the IMDb, it's ridiculous that it only gets a 7.1 user rating. (Get Shorty fares even worse at 6.9.) In a rationally distributed score universe where 5 is average those might make sense, but in the top-heavy IMDb world ... Argh.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:19 AM on February 13, 2016


And answering my own question (after a check of IMDb), yes, he was a big star by then.
posted by pmurray63 at 1:12 PM on February 13, 2016


Double Feature: Jackie Brown and Out of Sight

This is great. I re-watched Out of Sight a few months back and I keep meaning to re-watch Jackie Brown. On the list for this weekend.

I cannot possibly choose among the three 1990s Leonard adaptations. They are all so fucking good.

The 1990s was definitely the best time to be an Elmore Leonard movie.

Out of Sight, a new play by Max Fischer
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:28 PM on February 13, 2016


The movie's constructed like hypertext, so that, in a way, we can start watching at any point. It's like the old days when you walked into the middle of a film and sat there until somebody said, “This is where we came in.”

I went to see this in a theater in my hometown at the appointed time, and, thinking I had five minutes until the start of the pre-show trailers, walked in during the "no more timeouts" climax. I had heard that the film was nonlinear like Pulp Fiction, so I figured I was okay and this scene would pay off. Nope—it was the payoff, and the cameo at the end was a perfect dessert to a fantastic meal which I had not yet eaten.

So as much I like Roger Ebert's film criticism and theory, I can say that his assertion above is 100% baloney.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:36 PM on February 13, 2016


I remember going into this movie the week it came out not expecting much and walking out ready to see it two or three more times.
The third time was to admire Steve Zahn and Sisco's dispatching him back to Florida from Detroit,
The fourth time was elevators and laughing admiringly at Ray Nicolette.
Fifth time was just for fun and to iron out for once and for all the time-line.
Fucking masterful movie.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:05 PM on February 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


« Older Podcast: CoolGames Inc: Episod...   |  Project Runway All Stars: What... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments