Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Budget DVDs: Catch Me If You Can

I find it utterly amazing to peruse the five dollar bins at local DVD stores, you never really know what you're going to find. Typically the films you see in these bins kinda speak for themselves as to why they're in there, but on rare occasion you manage to uncover a good film lurking near the bottom for a mere five bucks. Recently I uncovered the 2002 Spielberg film Catch Me If You Can.

I had never seen this film before, at least not in its entirety. I had always caught bits and pieces of it on TV, but never had I been treated to the whole experience. The film is a truly magical tale of growing up, told in a very unique way, surprisingly enough, based upon a true story. The film stars Leonardo Dicaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr., the most successful conman in the history of the United States. Abagnale managed to take not just the U.S. government, but countless other countries around the world for a total of $200 million back in the '60s before he finally got caught, all before the age of 19.

This is one of the more recent gems in Spielberg's crown, definitely one his finer films from the past decade of film, possibly usurping Minority Report as my favorite Spielberg film from this decade. It's a film that suits Spielberg perfectly.

Spielberg states in the special features on the DVD that one of the ways he connected with this story of a young teen boy impersonating others was through his own experiences of impersonating a studio executive when he was only 16-years old on the Universal Studios lot for an entire summer. That connection seems to have allowed Spielberg to tap into Abagnale's mind and deliver a film that is fun and entertaining, but also through Spielberg's experiences with his own parent's divorce, he coats the frivolities with some genuine emotion behind Abagnale's running away from home after his parents break up.

Rounding out the film is a fantastic score from the legendary John Williams, and terrific performances from stars Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hanks, as the FBI agent that pursues Abagnale.

Overall Catch Me If You Can is a real find that if you manage to find it in a five dollar bin somewhere I strongly suggest you pick it up. The film is a fun, emotion-filled ride that will leave a smile on your face long after the credits roll.

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