The Thomas Crown Affair (Blu-ray Review)

The Thomas Crown Affair (Blu-ray Review)There is one reason why The Thomas Crown Affair will always be a bit memorable to me.  It was the very first dvd I ever bought, soon followed by Metallica’s Cunning Stunts and an eventual library that is now dwarfed by my ever-growing Blu-ray collection.  Okay, so that’s some knowledge few probably care about so let’s get down to it.  Another reason why this film is memorable is because it’s just so darn clever and simply entertaining.  Recently making its debut on Blu-ray, The Thomas Crown Affair is now available in the beauty of high definition in 1080p.  Let’s see how this film fairs in its transition from the dated dvd to its new upgraded home.


Released to theaters in 1999, The Thomas Crown Affair is actually a remake of the 1968 original starring the late Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.  Paying homage to that original, Dunaway makes a cameo in this updated rendition as Crown’s psychiatrist.  Reviving what McQueen gave audiences over forty years ago, Pierce Brosnan picks up as Mr. Crown himself.  The ’99 film also features the talents of Rene Russo and comedian/actor Dennis Leary and all three display a very convincing round of chemistry in this 1-hour, 53-minute production.

Thomas Crown is a very wealthy individual, and that’s being conservative with my words.  The billionaire businessman has gotten so utterly bored with life that racing yachts and acquiring major corporations no longer offers any spice.  The very debonair Crown is the epitome of class and proves to be quite the lady’s man, but he may have met his match.  In his boredom, Crown decides to give life a little kick by stealing a priceless painting from the New York Art Museum.

The manner in which this is done leaves authorities (and audiences) baffled as to who the real thief truly is.  Dennis Leary plays Detective McCann who is the lead investigator on the Monet thief. McCann’s efforts are soon joined by those of Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) who works for a high profile insurance company.  It’s her job to make sure the painting is recovered so her employers do not have to write a one hundred million dollar check.  Banning takes it upon herself to go outside the conventional realm of investigating to pursue Crown on her own terms.

Brosnan and Russo’s cat and mouse antics play smartly off of one another in their sometimes camouflaged, sometimes blatant intentions.  The two are perfect casts in their roles with Leary providing a strong effort in his supporting role.  I never seem to get sick of this movie or any of the dramatic and witty turns it takes throughout its delivery.  The soundtrack is but another upside and was well-thought out as it fittingly carries viewers from one scene to the next.  My only qualm would be some holes in the film’s story or overlooked details if you will.  Items such as the police not checking an item for prints or a painting mounted on wood, and I don’t mean the frame, that somehow collapses into a briefcase. Other than that, you will find a very enjoyable and intimate film.

The Thomas Crown Affair 


The transition from old to new is a visually impressive one as the video for The Thomas Crown Affair came across with only a very delicate dusting of visual noise, so few and far between to even consider a distraction.  The 1080p, AVC encode presentation looks appeasing to the eyes, though the 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio does cause some point loss here.  It wasn’t that it was to the point of being a bit disconcerting, but the big bars at the top and bottom of my TV screen were wasted space, especially when several other films out there today utilize a more preferred aspect ratio.  Still, fine details and a wide range of visually appetizing colors will not go unmissed, courtesy of high definition.

The Thomas Crown Affair


When I think of reference-quality audio, I never would have thought to associate that badge of honor with The Thomas Crown Affair.  Low and behold, this does indeed provide a very entertaining symphony of sound effects which are combined with the clear, intelligible dialogue.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio gets a grade-A where occurrences such as the hiss of a welding torch cutting through metal travels from one speaker to the next whereas another example is the occasional tap shoes rhythmically accompany the music on sparing occasion.

The disc makes full use of surround sound with the effects emphasized through the rear channels and hinted at through the front.  Those same front channels promote the dialogue while the subwoofer contributes a resounding ‘Here I am’ when the situation calls for it.  Are there better examples of audio on Blu-ray discs out there?  Sure, but only because the respective film content allows for it.  In the end, this movie surprised me in this category with its flawless delivery.

The Thomas Crown Affair

Special Features 

So far so good on the high marks for this disc, right?  As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Not only did the movie do poorly here, it fell off a cliff.  Included with the Blu-ray is a dvd of the same movie.  Ironically enough, it’s the dvd that has the extras on it…or shall I say extra?  You got it.  There is one lonely special feature to be had and that’s a commentary by director John McTiernan.  I was surprised at this anemic turnout, to say the least.

The Thomas Crown Affair

Final Thoughts 

The Thomas Crown Affair has remained as one of my favorite films since I first saw it at the cinema over a decade ago.  Not only am I glad to see its release on Blu-ray, but that it looks and sounds great on the format.  Without a doubt, this intelligent, sexy movie is worthy of a buy.  I never have seen the ’68 original, but I know you can’t go wrong with the updated version.  Bring home The Thomas Crown Affair on Blu-ray today!


Bring home The Thomas Crown Affair on Blu-ray!



The Thomas Crown Affair Blu-ray Cover Art



4 Responses to “The Thomas Crown Affair (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I’ve never seen this one before. Hmm…

  2. Gerard Iribe

    Saw this in theaters back in 1999, baby!

  3. Brian White

    I must have been at home washing my hair.

  4. Frieda Watkins

    I love this film!