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Traffic [DVD] [2001]

4.2 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andrew Chavez
  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 23 July 2001
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000057X1O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,844 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

DVD Special Features:

B-Roll
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailers
Soundbites

From Amazon.co.uk

Featuring a huge cast of characters, the ambitious and breathtaking Traffic is a tapestry of three separate stories woven together by a common theme: the war on drugs. Bold in scope, it showcases Steven Soderbergh at the top of his game, directing a peerless ensemble cast in a gritty, multifaceted tale that will captivate you from beginning to end. Utilising the no-frills techniques of the Dogme 95 school, Soderbergh enhances his handheld filming with imaginative editing and film-stock manipulation that eerily captures the atmosphere of each location: a washed-out, grainy Mexico; a blue and chilly Ohio; a sleek, sun-dappled San Diego. But Traffic is more than a film school exercise. Soderbergh and screenwriter Stephen Gaghan (adapting the British TV miniseries Traffik to the US) seamlessly weave the threads of each separate plotline into one solid tale, with the actions of one plot having quiet repercussions on the connected narratives. And if you needed more proof that Soderbergh takes unparalleled care with his actors, practically all the members of this cast turn in their best work ever, the standout being an Oscar-worthy Benecio Del Toro as the conflicted moral conscience of the film. Traffic registered eight Oscar nominations (winning four, including Best Director for Soderbergh). --Mark Englehart, Amazon.com

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have finally seen this film in it's entirety and I like to say that `Traffic' is a richly entertaining epic that recalls the great works of the 1970s, when directors like Robert Altman and Francis Ford Coppola engaged mass audiences with works of genuine substance. Soderbergh works on a larger canvass than he's ever done before, bouncing several characters and plot-lines against and off each other, so that images and themes rhyme and echo. Although the subject matter is drug trafficking, this is not an "issues" movie per se. Instead, it's a profoundly affecting dramatic thriller where the destructive forces of drugs cut across different sections of society.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of the fantastically good “Traffic” (how drugs get to America and the cause and effect in both destinations). And the 'BLU RAY' of it has subsequently been available in the States and several other territories for some time now too. But which BLU RAY issue works if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the sought-after USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon. So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the UK and European issues are REGION B - so that will play the movie on UK machines.

So check your player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier American Criterion release (must allow REGION A)…or opt for the standard BLU RAY releases from the UK and beyond – most of which feature a far cheaper price tag…
1 Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 27 Sept. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Personally having been at the coalface on the "War on Drugs" (1973 - 1981), served as both a special agent and a federal marshal, I found this a captivating view on the current drug war. Excellent performances from both Michael Douglas as the drug 'czar' and Benicio del Toro as the entrepreneurial Mexican police commander. The film is focused on the illegal drug trafficking trade over the border between Mexico and the United States, with settings in Mexico, San Diego and Washington, DC.
Taut direction by Soderberg keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through. The cast showing real talent and Soderberg deserves the praise that he has received (most notably for best director at this years Oscar's). The actors, specifically Douglas, Del-Toro, Zeta-Jones, Don Cheedle and Luis Guzman, are all on top form and do a brilliant job.
The film is disturbing (and it should be) as it portrays the destruction that the use of illicit drugs has on both the social moral fiber within the family and of the nation, but in the end focusing on the break down of the individual family. Illicit drugs effect all social classes, all neighborhoods and all communities.
This film is challenging, thought provoking and brings home the reality of this major social issue, which affects many nations around the world. Buy this. Show it to your family, friends and neighbors. You won't regret it.
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Format: DVD
They say that genius's steal and that is certainly true for Steven Soderbergh and Steven Gaghan. I bought the screenplay of the film, and nowhere in the introduction do either of them mention that the whole film, almost scene by scene is a complete lift from the Channel 4 mini-series of the same name made over ten years before. All the characters, dialogue and plot of the film are an almost complete, albeit Americanised facsimile of the mini-series with the only difference being that the original was about the heroin trade between Germany, the UK and Pakistan. Lindsay Duncan also made for a much more convincing drug dealer wife than Cathereine Zeta Jones. The film is good and has some nice stylistic flourishes; definitely worth watching. However I do recommend the original series: it's darker and more convincing. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with Soderbergh/ Gaghan making the series into a film - I just think it is rather discourteous, not to say a tad disingenuous for neither of them to cite the original as a direct "inspiration" and to take all the credit for themselves. Naughty!
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