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Catch Me If You Can (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: DreamWorks - 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 141 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, James Brolin, Nathalie Bayle, Amy Adams,. Marin Sheen
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Music by: John Williams
Written by: Jeff Nathanson Based on the novel by Frank Abagnale & Stan Redding
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 4, 2012

"The true story of a real fake"

Film Synopsis:

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a brilliant young master of deception and the FBI agent hot on his trail, Catch Me If You Can stars Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio and two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks in one of the year's most acclaimed hits! From three-time Oscar winning director Steven Spielberg, Catch Me If You Can follows Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. as he successfully passes himself off as a pilot, a lawyer and a doctor-all before his 21st birthday!

My Take:

In 1963, teen-aged Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) lives New Rochelle, New York with his father Frank Abagnale (Christopher Walken), and French mother Paula (Nathalie Baye). When Frank Sr. is denied a business loan at Chase Manhattan Bank due to unspecified difficulties with the IRS, the family is forced to move from their large home to a small apartment. As the finances tighten Paula carries on an affair with Jack (James Brolin), a friend of her husband, while Frank Sr. a charismatic smooth talker and inept business man is seemingly oblivious to his world’s downward spiral. Frank Jr. idolizes his father and taking a page out of his book successfully poses as a substitute teacher for an entire week at his new school. When his parents file for divorce, Frank Jr. is put in the position of having to choose which parent he will live with. In lieu of that Frank runs away. Alone and out of money, he starts out writing bad checks and graduates to confidence scams in order to get by. Soon, Frank's cons grow bolder and he successfully impersonates an airline pilot, a doctor and passes the Louisiana Bar exam and practices as a lawyer. The tally of his various scams and forged checks is in the millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), an dedicated FBI bank fraud agent, has been tracking Frank down from the beginning and encountered him through a series of near misses. As Frank’s crimes escalate there ensues a game of cat and mouse that in the end will lead both men down converging paths which result in an enduring professional and personal relationship that neither would see coming.

As a fan of films based upon real people/events Catch me if you can is among my favorites. What an intriguing and sort of twisted coming of age story about an apparently brilliant and charismatic young man who is no doubt a criminal but someone you can’t help but root for. The impetus for Frank’s entry into crime begins with the erosion of the familial foundation he loved. That was followed by instinctive creativity required to survive and then a developed art of chicanery that would make him one of the most successful con artist of all time. I love the way the screenplay unfolds via a back and forth timeline that begins with the end and takes us on Frank’s journey.

According to the real Frank Abagnale Jr. the film’s account of the events is 90 percent accurate which makes it even more interesting. The primary members of the cast, specifically, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken give splendid performances. Hanks is particularly memorable in the role of Carl Hanratty. Even after you learn the story’s outcome I find Catch me if you can to be a film filled with the type of moments that make it engaging and fun even under repeat viewings. Steven Spielberg is a master storyteller whose vision truly evokes the spirit of this story. I am thrilled that Catch me if you can has come to Blu-ray.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some sexual content and brief language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 84

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Video: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Catch me if you can comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

This is a beautiful high definition transfer that looks great on Blu-ray. Images are transparent with exquisite detail and at times a near infinite sense of depth. Close ups and mid level shots are incredibly detailed and revealing of even the subtlest nuance visible within facial features, clothing, and objects/backgrounds within the frame. Fidelity is never in question regardless of the camera’s perspective. Colors are kept within the scope of the time frame which means lots of browns, grays, greens and blacks. The splashes of brighter chromatic elements (oranges, yellows, reds and blues) provide a welcomed respite and pop nicely. The delineated sepia toned colors have a succulent quality that reveals subtle gradations and enhances depth. Skin tones are vibrant, tonally rich and chock full of fine textural nuance. Blacks are rich, gradationally strong and dynamic which enlivens them during sequences that contained both light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveals discerning shapes and structure in backgrounds. Grain is present and maintains a filmic textural essence that presides over the presentation without intrusion. I found this to be an impressive and pristine quality high definition video presentation from Paramount.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack yields crisp, well textured dialogue that renders even subtle variances in tonal character or vocal inflections clearly. John Williams’ memorable music score is featured throughout and exhibits high level detail, strident free treble and excellent soundstage presence. The audio presentation is delivered across the front soundstage with intermittent splashes of ambience through the rear channels that broaden the sound field. Surround use isn’t prevalent but atmospheric effects and occasional panning sequences create a believable listening environment that blends well with the front three channels. There isn’t a lot of bass associated with this soundtrack but the mix reproduces appropriate low frequency response in support of the recording’s elements.

Bonus Features:

  • Catch me if you can: Behind the camera – 17 minute featurette

  • Catch me if you can - The casting of the film (5 segments):
    1. Leonardo DiCaprio – 6 minutes
    2. Tom Hanks – 6 minutes
    3. Christopher Walken & Nathalie Baye – 7 minutes
    4. Martin Sheen and Amy Adams – 5 minutes
    5. Jennifer Garner – 3 minutes
  • Scoring: Catch me if you can – 5 minutes

  • Frank Abagnale - Between Reality and Fiction (4 segments):
    1. Meet Frank Abagnale – 5 minutes
    2. Frank becomes a pilot – 4 minutes
    3. Frank’s careers – 2 minutes
    4. Frank gets caught and turns his life around – 3 minutes
  • Catch me if you can: In closing – 5 minutes

  • Photo galleries

Final Thoughts:

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a brilliant young master of deception and the FBI agent hot on his trail, Catch Me If You Can is a compelling and thoroughly entertaining film that features top notch performance and apt direction. It makes its debut on Blu-ray featuring sparkling high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound quality and legacy bonus material that compliments the film. As a fan I am pleased to be able to replace my DVD with this solid offering from Paramount Home Entertainment. If you haven’t seen it this Blu-ray release makes for a great introduction. Enjoy!


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 10
Excellent! I have been waiting a long time for this movie to come out on Blu-ray disc. I was a big fan of the DVD and watched it many times. I was hoping that because of the relatively young age of the film that the transfer would be very good- looks like I won't be dissapointed.

Thanks for taking the time to review this movie and post your thoughts. I've always thought "Catch Me if You Can" was a fun and entertaining movie! My wife and I both enjoy it.

The difference in image quality between the DVD and the Blu-ray disc is shocking.

DVD has tons of edge enhancement and ringing, makes me very excited to double-dip on this movie. smile.gif
Edited by djkest - 11/26/12 at 9:26am
post #3 of 10
Can't wait to get this, another good film which Leonardo stars in. Definite buy for me smile.gif Thank you
post #4 of 10
Caprio (or his agent) has handled his career brilliantly. He always seems to be in quality productions and is one of my favorite actors. Great review Ralph!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Caprio (or his agent) has handled his career brilliantly. He always seems to be in quality productions and is one of my favorite actors. Great review Ralph!


Thanks Dave and I agree. smile.gif

post #6 of 10
This has finally shipped looking forward to it.
post #7 of 10
received my copy today will watch tonight smile.gif
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

received my copy today will watch tonight smile.gif


Great! I look forward to hearing your impressions Frank. smile.gif

post #9 of 10
Loved it watched it and its definitely up there as Leo best film. I love that score in the beginning too.
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Caprio (or his agent) has handled his career brilliantly. He always seems to be in quality productions and is one of my favorite actors. Great review Ralph!

I agree 100%

I'm only missing the Beach and whats eating gilbert grape and ill have most of his collection on blu. I have to admit dont care too much for Romeo and Juiliet.
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