Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables turns 35 this year, which means that the powers that be are looking to eek a little more out of our coffers in the form of a 4K release of the classic Eliot Ness/Al Capone action-thriller. Your money could be spent on worse things.
The movie looks fantastic in 4K, aside from a few scenes that simply don’t lend themselves well to crystal-clear restoration. More importantly, the movie itself, powered by a uniquely riveting score by Ennio Morricone, is still fantastic.
Featuring a stellar cast headlined by Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, and Robert De Niro, The Untouchables is superb both for the several classic and memorable scenes it delivers as well as the little moments. Costner and Connery have great chemistry together–every scene with them together crackles with electricity–and De Niro, though not given as much to do as you’d expect given it’s De Niro playing Al Capone, shows he can command a scene with a sly smile.
De Palma has made several classics, though The Untouchables feels like one of his most complete (and certainly most mainstream) pictures, a movie where all the pieces fit just perfectly. From the action to the music to the creative cinematography, The Untouchables is both a movie of its time and timeless.
4K vs. Streaming
One thing I’ll note–as someone who watches 95% of entertainment on a Roku or Apple TV–the disc experience Paramount Pictures offers here is a reminder as to why, unless you really, really notice slight video degradation, streaming is just easier. To watch The Untouchables on disc, you first have to click through no less than 12 blue-screen legal alerts, select your language, wait for the Paramount logo sequence to load (you can’t fast forward through it), and then sit through a couple more legal alerts before, after nearly three minutes of wasted time, the movie even starts playing. And at least with my 4k player, if you stop the movie and come back later, you have to start the process all over again.
Compare that to streaming, the lawyers really have made the disc experience subpar.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.