There has been no shortage of praise from this site heaped on director Steven Spielberg, he is the most popular director in film history and deserves the kudos. But for every big epic film he makes, there is an equally great film with a more intimate story right alongside it. They are no less epic in story, but somehow do not get acknowledged as much as the Jurassic’s or War of the Worlds. Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, Always, Munich. These films are never mentioned in the same company as the big blockbusters, but damned if Spielberg doesn’t weave his same magic within the confines of these smaller pictures. Among the best and most successful of these films was Catch Me If You Can starring Spielberg regular Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Frank Abagnale Jr. (DiCaprio) is a con man. Has been as long as he can remember. He dreams of bigger things and bolder lives than his own and acts them out to make ends meet. Based on a true story, Abagnale manages to cash millions of dollars of cheques in over 26 countries by posing as an airline pilot, a doctor and even an assistant district attorney. Tom Hanks plays FBI agent Carl Hanratty who managed to track and eventually catch Abagnale over the course of years.
Catch Me If You Can is the prime definition of a hell of a fun film. While it does have its touching and poignant moments, the real fun comes from watching Abagnale fool everyone he comes in contact with, and all through sheer confidence and charisma. DiCaprio perfectly captured this personality by harnessing his own traits that helped make him a household name. He is charismatic, charming, dashing and utterly convincing as the real life con man, and still remains sympathetic despite the amount of illegal behaviour he is pulling off. Part of the attraction also comes from Abagnale fulfilling a fantasy many of us have had ourselves; to be someone else and escape reality. Hanks is a perfect foil to DiCaprio’s free soul and provides a great deal of humor himself. Spielberg’s direction is the real gem here though as he seamlessly floats the story along between all of Abagnale’s identities, keeping the storyline rolling through its incredible arc. You really can’t have much more fun with a movie than you can with Catch Me If You Can.
The Blu-ray from Paramount is a real winner too. Detail and clarity are noticeable better than its DVD counterpart. Colors are nice and bold, flesh tones are flush and natural and close-ups are impressive. The soundtrack is a treat as well filled with a great score and some great period songs. If you are a fan, this Blu-ray is a great reason to go back and revisit Catch Me If You Can, and if you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check out one of Spielberg’s most entertaining films.
Available December 4, 2012 on Blu-ray and DVD.