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Traffic (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

3.6 out of 5 stars 439 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jacob Vargas, Andrew Chavez
  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Writers: Simon Moore, Stephen Gaghan
  • Producers: Andreas Klein, Cameron Jones, Edward Zwick, Graham King, Laura Bickford
  • Format: AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Jan. 17 2012
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 439 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B005VU9LVI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,383 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Excellent acting with full cast, well-written drama, winner of four Academy awards,
And interesting technique of going from a movie to an apparent documentary genre
With a variety of deep colours to present a true look of harsh reality.
Could be considered dated (2000) in terms of similar dramas produced since then,
However, this movie is unique in quality and worth watching more than once.
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Format: DVD
Traffic(released Dec/2000) sports a high powered cast with a very compelling storyline that has more than a few messages to impart to us about the so called "war" on drugs,in this case,between the U.S. and Mexico.Based on the /89 British mini-series,with another mini-series made in the U.S. in 2004,director Steven Soderbergh first pitched and wooed Fox films for backing.But due to their differences Fox dropped the project and USA films picked it up.There were still minor difference to iron out but in the end Soderbergh got full control over the project and what a job he did.Who could go wrong with a powerhouse cast of the likes of Michael Douglas,Benecio Del Toro,Luis Guzman,Don Cheadle,Catherine Zeta Jones,Dennis Quaid,Salma Hayek,Amy Irving,Albert Finney,James Brolin,Benjamin Bratt and many more.
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.
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Format: DVD
As you may already know Traffic is a movie about the U.S. drug problem that deals with the issue on all fronts. Traffic is not really an action movie or a drama but it has elements of both. It is more like a fictionalized documentary showing how drugs affect cops, politicians, families, and many others on both side of the border.
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.
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Format: DVD
Traffic opens with a banner on the screen announcing the filmic location to be Mexico, "twenty miles southeast of Tijuana." The film is grainy and has a decidedly yellow (although some have romanticized this color, calling it sepia) tone, and the audience is introduced to two State Police officers, Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and Manolo Sanchez (Jacob Vargas), who are speaking Spanish. The dialogue begins with Javier explaining a nightmare to Manolo. Later, Javier and Manolo capture some drug transporters, the audience is introduced to the corrupt General Salazar (Tomas Milian), and the scene shifts to Columbus Ohio, where the graining is removed and the film is saturated with rich blue tones. Two minutes later, San Diego in all its beauty, arrives on screen.
The audience is immediately alerted to the difference between the United States and Mexico. Not only through language, but also through Soderbergh's use of the tobacco filter. But this should not be surprising; establishing differences between the two countries is necessary for Soderbergh to maintain the hierarchical position of the United States over Mexico. And, this hierarchization is, I argue, why Soderbergh is able to critique America, vis-à-vis U.S. drug policy, while still garnering critical and popular praise: implicating Mexico as the agent of America's woes and advancing stereotypical representations of both Mexico and Hispanics, effectively deposits Mexico and its inhabitants into the ancillary position of the U.S./Mexico binary.
Richard Porton's article in Cinéaste discusses the process Soderbergh goes through to create the yellowing of the Mexico scenes in the film.
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