For one thing, there’s a quite remarkable cast of supporting actors, many of them plastered in quite remarkably grotesque make-up. I’ve always found a lot of pleasure in just seeing these players do their stuff, and I’m not sure many other directors could have rounded up quite this assortment – James Caan, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Mandy Patinkin, William Forsythe, Dick van Dyke… it’s almost possible to lose Madonna’s name in the bustle.
And then there’s the look of the film. Even if Sin City followed in its footsteps, to an extent, the look of Dick Tracy remains very distinctive.
Working to Beatty’s own concept, Richard Sylbert and his team limited the production design to just seven colours, with the intention to evoke a four-colour comic strip. Vittorio Storaro then laid on some typically bold and evocative chiarascuro. When a matte painting comes into play, the effect can be even more striking, and the interplay of 2D and 3D cues sometimes create wonderful illusions. And the whole thing is entirely optical, completely pre-CG, and therefore feels just as warm and organic as Chester Gould’s original comic strips
So I look forward to the new Blu-ray release very much. It’s coming to US stores on December 11th and touts a “new digital restoration.” Here’s hoping that they’ve been good to the film, and captured its textures correctly.
No supplements have been announced, and nothing is listed as TBA. It looks like a barebones release, but that should at least mean a big, healthy data budget for the audio and video.