Traffic (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Traffic examines the question of drugs as politics, business, and lifestyle. With an innovative, color-coded cinematic treatment distinguishing his interwoven stories, Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Che) embroils viewers in the lives of a newly appointed drug czar and his family, a West Coast kingpin’s wife, a key informant, and police officers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The film, delivering a complex and nuanced take on this issue of such great international importance without sacrificing any energy or suspense, is a contemporary classic, and the winner of four Oscars, for best director, best screenplay, best editing, and best supporting actor for Benicio del Toro (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).
DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • Restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Steven Soderbergh and supervising sound editor and rerecording mixer Larry Blake, with 5.1 and 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks • Three audio commentaries, featuring Soderbergh and writer Stephen Gaghan; producers Laura Bickford, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz and consultants Tim Golden and Craig Chretien; and composer Cliff Martinez • Twenty-five deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Soderbergh and Gaghan • Three sets of demonstrations: one on film processing and the look of the Mexico sequences; one on film editing, with commentary by editor Stephen Mirrione; and one on dialogue editing • Additional unused footage of various scenes, from multiple angles • Theatrical trailers and television spots • Gallery of trading cards depicting the U.S. Customs canine squad used to detect narcotics and illegal substances • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Manohla Dargis
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot has three simultaneous stories unfolding, each touching the other ever deeper as the film winds its way to the end.First there are the two Mexican state policemen,Javier Rodriguez(Del Toro) and his partner Manolo Sanchez(Vargas) and the drug war between two drug cartels in and around Tijuana,Mexico;between the Juarez Cartel and the Obregon Brothers Cartel.Enters General Salazar(Tomas Milian)supposedly working for the army and the government but in reality being used by the Juarez cartel to snuff out the Obregons.The General puts the squeeze on Javier and Manolo and they are soon working for him.But eventually they both start filtering info to the U.S. government,with Manolo getting taken out for his efforts by the General.Eventually Salazar himself,with Javiers info,is taken down as his corruption is revealed to the media on both sides of the border.
The second story involves an Ohio judge(Douglas) who is appointed to a presidential taskforce on drug control.Read more ›
Traffic's plot consists of three interwoven tales that all focus on the issue of drugs. Benecio del Toro plays a mexican cop that struggles to fight two immense drug cartels. Catherine Zeta Jones plays a naive, pregnant wife that is thrown off the deep end into drugs when her husband gets arrested for drug trafficking. Michael Douglass plays a newly promoted politician whose job is to lead the fight on the war on drugs. There are many other supporting roles that delicately fill in the gaps between the three basic situations.
Traffic is unique in that there no lead roles in the move. Each story is given equal face time and importance. The notorious color differentiation between the stories is clever, but really nothing more. Overall this movie is very informative and revealing of the actualities of the war on drugs. Much of it is common sense but many subtle contradictions and fallacies are exposed that show why the current policy cannot work (an example is the emphasis of curtailing the dealers and Topher Grace's character explains why dealers are a product of the demand for goods and not vica-versa)
Overall, I found traffic to be an excellent and revealing movie. However, this movie does seem to possess that polarizing effect on people. So, I suggest shoveling out a few bucks to rent it and give it a try.
Some will say that it takes too long, or that some of the scenes are a bit slow. But does everything go fast paced in real life? It just tries to sketch a realistic view of handling with drugs. And maybe there isn't a lot of action going on, but that's not the goal of the movie.
This film has an amazing ensemble cast where everybody is working at the top of their game. However, Benicio Del Toro definitely stands out with the breakthrough performance. I don't think it's accidental that the movie begins and ends with shots of him. He plays Javier Rodriguez, a Mexican police officer caught in a futile and corrupt system, and it's as compelling of a character as Michael Corleone. Del Toro is exceptionally relaxed and subtle, keeping his thoughts and feelings private from the other characters in the films, but sharing it with the camera. Del Toro navigates the audience through a world of impossible choices and moral corruption, quietly simmering with intense conflict just beneath the surface. Benicio's been an indie stalwart for years and this film shot his stock through the roof.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A must have for any cinephile or intelligent movie goer. What's nice with the Criterion version is it's in depth look at the complexities of the production as well (via the 2nd DVD... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Johnny Rocker
The movie itself was good.. The steelbook itself was crushed and wouldn't close when I received it..Published 18 months ago by julanne Goodman
Started out slow , But drew me into the story line after the first 20 minutes. I ended up loving this movie but had my doubts at first. Read more
Excellent triller à saveur politique, dramatique et différence culturelle...D'excellents comédiens appuient ce film dont l'excellent Michael Douglas, Benecio... Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2014 by Christiane 122
oddly enough, even though i rate this 3 stars, i am preferring this alliance blu-ray xfer of the film over the universal and criterion, which have been altered from it's original... Read morePublished on March 2 2013 by Paul Shikata
I saw "Traffic" twice in the theatres when it originally came out and I was only 16 years old at the time. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2012 by Darryl James