Good Shepherd 2-Disc SE, The
The Good Sheperd tells the story of Edward Wilson, one of the men that started up the CIA. After he finishes his studies and became part of the Skull&Bones secret society, he joins the OSS during the second world war. After the war, he continues his work as a spy and slowly but steadily sees himself sacrificing everything for his job and country.
Sound and Vision:
Some very minor compression errors are present but you really have to look carefully to spot them. For the rest we can only say that Dutch Filmworks has done a good job with the transfer. Overall image (often stylised) looks decent with plenty of detail and there’s hardly anything to complain about.
The movie is mostly dialogue-driven and as such doesn’t use the surround system too much for special effects. Still, they do a decent job in adding some atmosphere with music and subtle effects to create a wider audio spectrum.
The second disc comes packed with extras it seems but not all are of equal quality. The usual DFW-stuff is of course present:
– A Look Inside
– TV Spots
– Interviews with Cast&Crew
– Behind the Scenes
– Photo Gallery
– Liner Notes
All quite boring to be honest. Still, there’s also some good stuff in the form of a documentary on the CIA:
– A Look into the Secret Service: CIA & KGB
Robert De Niro took the director’s chair again and created The Good Sheperd, a movie that’s supposed to give us an idea of the inner workings of the CIA through the point of view of one man. Does it work? Well, up to a level yes. The storyline itself is reasonably decent, but there are so many sidesteps that don’t seem to lead anywhere that the viewer tends to get bored at times. This also gives a feeling that De Niro didn’t really have a clear view of what he wanted to tell and just mix several things together. Add to that a lot of use of flashbacks and you get a movie that tends to get annoyingly confusing at times. Still, that wouldn’t have been a real problem at all, if the main character would have been believable. And honestly, Matt Damon is in my opinion completely mis-cast for his role as Edward Wilson. Although he does his best, his looks just don’t convince at all and even when he has to play an aged man torn by secrets, he looks only a couple years older than his supposed son. This really takes away any sense of belief.
A lot of people tend to find this one of the best spy movies in years, but if you look around you’ll notice that there hasn’t been that much competition really. With that in mind I have to agree, but when looking broader, I think The Good Sheperd is an average spy movie and there’s better films out there.