Out of Sight
One of my favorite "ultimate package" movies --creative camera work, smoking soundtrack, clever script-- is the Stephen Soderbergh-directed Out of Sight (1998), based on the novel by Elmore Leonard. I always enjoy watching this one, with George Clooney's perfectly charming bank robber role, Jennifer Lopez's badass federal marshall chasing him down, and the variety of characters that intersect the hunt (Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn). Mix in a heavy dose of sexual tension, crime sprees, greasy trunk rides, "short little Latin fellas," and magician's assistants, alongside the signature jumpy cinematography, chronology leaps, and quick edits that are typical Soderbergh (Oceans 11, Traffic). You've got a stylish winner.
Coming as a precursor to the retro-influenced high stakes sounds of the Oceans 11 series, here David Holmes has crafted a hot Miami-laced soundtrack that has received more spins on my player than any other soundtrack I own, especially in the summertime. Here are a few samples -- the soundtrack is a feisty blending of old-school soul, funk, and R&B mixed with tension-filled instrumental mood music (and nary a J. Lo song in sight).
I Think You Flooded It - David Holmes
Fight The Power (Pt. 2) - Isley Brothers
The Trunk Scene - David Holmes
I'll leave you with a quote that always gets me: even though it's really just Dr. Doug Ross and Jenny From The Block, the story from Leonard and the direction by Soderbergh captures such a great sense of kismet in the doomed connection between their characters.
Clooney's character says:
"It's something that just happens. It's like seeing a person you never saw before - you could be passing on the street - you look at each other and for a few seconds, there's a kind of recognition. Like you both know something.
But then the next moment the person's gone, and it's too late to do anything about it, but you remember it because it was right there and you let it go, and you think, 'What if I had stopped and said something?' It might happen only a few times in your life."
J-Lo: "Or once."
Clooney: (long pause) "Why don't we get out of here."
Yeah, it's like that.