Catch Me If You Can appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. From start to finish, the movie provided an appealing transfer.
Sharpness looked solid. The photographic style led to a little softness, but this wasn’t a concern. The image matched the cinematographic choices and showed positive delineation. Jagged edges and shimmering created no concerns, and edge haloes appeared to be absent. With a natural layer of grain, I saw no signs of intrusive digital noise reduction, and the movie lacked any print flaws.
Catch presented a pretty varied palette. It started with fairly drab hues but brightened as Frank’s life became more exciting, and the movie displayed nicely broad and vivid tones when that happened. The colors always appeared tight and well saturated, without any concerns on display.
Black levels came across as deep and dense and the same went for shadow detail. Low-light situations presented clear and accurately depicted images with solid clarity. I felt thoroughly pleased with this dynamic presentation.
Not one of the more ambitious soundtracks for a Spielberg flick, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix displayed a pretty heavy emphasis toward the front speakers. Those channels offered solid stereo presentation for music and also spread out effects well. Mostly the set tended toward general ambience that reflected the situations.
The track came to life more significantly during a smattering of louder sequences. For example, shots at the airport demonstrated nice movement from front to rear, and a scene with Hanratty at a laundromat presented a fine element of environment. Not a lot happened in the surrounds, but they added a decent feeling of place to the film.
Audio quality appeared fine. Speech came across as natural and distinct. I noticed no problems related to intelligibility or edginess. Music demonstrated good bounce and smoothness, and also showed nice dynamics. Effects were accurate and detailed, and they also displayed fine bass response; low-end was rich and tight. Ultimately, the audio of Catch Me As You Can didn’t do much to impress, but it worked fine for the material.
How does the Blu-ray compare to the original 2003 DVD? Audio was more vivid and full, while visuals showed substantially improved accuracy, cleanliness and clarity. This was a solid upgrade over the DVD, especially in terms of picture quality; I was never that happy with the DVD, so the Blu-ray was a revelation.
The Blu-ray repeats most of the DVD’s extras. It opens with Catch Me If You Can: Behind the Camera, a 17-minute and nine-second featurette about the film. It includes many shots from the set plus interviews with director Steven Spielberg, author/consultant Frank W. Abagnale, screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, producer Walter F. Parkes, actors Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, production designer Jeannine Oppewall, property master Steve Melton, costume designer Mary Zophres, and director of photography Janusz Kaminski. “Camera” provides a pretty general recap of the production. It gives us quick notes about the project’s genesis and then mostly concentrates on visual design elements and the rapid pace with which the production moved. “Camera” seems like a fluffy but moderately informative piece.
Next we get Cast Me If You Can: The Casting of the Film. It splits into featurettes that deal with these actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken and Nathalie Baye, Martin Sheen and Amy Adams, and Jennifer Garner. Taken together via the “Play All” option, these last a total of 28 minutes and 33 seconds. Spielberg, actors DiCaprio, Hanks, Christopher Walken, Nathalie Baye, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner, author/consultant Abagnale, and producer Parkes.
While it offers lots of fluffy praise from the participants for each other, “Casting” also gives us great notes about its topic. We learn how each of the actors got their roles and find other terrific tidbits like Adams’ strategy to stand out and Walken’s variations for different takes. The footage from the set bolsters these pieces as well, especially when we see a number of Walken’s different stabs at one scene. “Casting” provides too much fluff to seem consistently excellent, but it compensates with a great deal of solid material.
For information about the movie’s music, we move to Scoring: Catch Me If You Can. The five-minute and 25-second featurette includes comments from composer John Williams and Spielberg. Williams discusses his themes and motifs, while Spielberg mostly chats about the use of popular music in the flick. The brief program gives us a modicum of decent facts insight but it fails to heavily explore its subject.
After this we move to a domain called Frank Abagnale: Between Reality and Fiction. This splits into four featurettes. Meet Frank Abagnale runs five minutes and 28 seconds and includes remarks from Spielberg, DiCaprio, Hanks, and Abagnale. The movie folk give us their general feel for the film’s subject, while Abagnale briefly discusses his motivation for his dash from home as a teen and leads up to his first attempts to pass bad checks.
The four-minute and seven-second Frank Becomes a Pilot picks up from there. Abagnale covers the methods he used to get into the flight industry and tells us why he abandoned that approach. Frank’s Careers lasts one minutes, 59 seconds as Abagnale’s decision to “branch” into medicine and the law. Frank Gets Caught and Turns His Life Around runs three minutes, 35 seconds and shows Abagnale as he discusses the end of his criminal road and the events that followed that.
I don’t know why the disc divides these four featurettes, as they’re really just one longer piece. It doesn’t matter, though the absence of a “Play All” option seems odd since the four appear designed to work as one longer program. We already know much of the info from the film itself, but it’s cool to get Abagnale’s real-life perspective. The featurettes also help us distinguish actual events from cinematic fiction.
For more factual information, we get The FBI Perspective. This seven-minute and seven-second featurette provides a few lines from Spielberg but it mostly concentrates on the remarks of FBI Technical Advisor William J. Rehder. He discusses the stabs at historical accuracy in the film and also lets us know about the field of check forging and other related topics. Too much of the time, Rehder just tells us what a great job the movie people did, but he adds enough perspective to make this featurette worth a look.
As its title implies, Catch Me If You Can: In Closing ends the video section of the disc. It runs four minutes and 59 seconds as it provides valedictory statements from Abagnale, Parkes, DiCaprio, Hanks, and Spielberg. Little of what they say seems compelling, but “In Closing” merits a viewing if just to see the take of one scene that Hanks does with his mouth full of Chinese food.
Now that we’ve finished with the video programs, we go to the Photo Galleries “Cast” (49 pictures), “Behind the Scenes” (27 images), and “Costume Design” (11 drawings). The latter is the only moderately interesting set of stills, and in a nice touch, it allows you to check out the final costumes as they appear in the film as well.
I wanted to like Catch Me If You Can and I expected to like Catch Me If You Can. Really, I guess I did like Catch Me If You Can, but not as much as I anticipated. The movie offers a number of positives but seems too slow-paced and erratic to be a rousing success. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture along with good audio and a decent roster of bonus materials. This remains average Spielberg but it’s still a nice release for a fairly enjoyable movie.
To rate this film visit the original review of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN