Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2012

ARTICLE INDEX

"War Horse" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-april-2012-war-horse

Synopsis

A British farmer named Ted Narracott purchases a spirited horse at a local auction after a tense bidding war with another suitor who just so happens to be Narracott's evil landlord.  Narracott takes the horse back to the farm where his son, Albert, also falls victim to the horse's charms.  Albert names the horse "Joey" and then sets about training him.  Albert is able to coax Joey into plowing a virgin field so the Narracotts can plant radishes, thereby saving the farm from repossession.  But the year is 1914 and war is brewing on the continent and the Narracotts are forced to sell Joey to the British Cavalry after a storm wipes out the radish crop.  Later, Albert joins the Infantry and gets foisted into battle himself.  What will become of Albert and Joey during this tumultuous time?

 

Specifications

  • Dreamworks
  • 2011, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 26 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup and Jeremy Irvine
  • Directed by Steven Spielberg
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I am a huge fan of just about any anti-war film that's ever been made and I really loved the basic message behind War Horse.  The horse is the central character in this story and the humans are just living in his world.  So the key to making this all work is getting the audience to connect with the horse.  This can be a  difficult task for a non-human caharcter.  I think Spielberg did a reasonably good job of pulling off that feat.  However I found Jeremy Irvine's playing of Albert Narracott to be a little lifeless in the first act.  But in the end, I was drawn into the movie to good effect.  I want to make special mention of the performances by Benedict Cumberbatch as Major Stewart and Niels Arestrup, the French farmer whose granddaughter cares for Joey a while - at least until the German troops roll in.

Technical

This Blu-ray transfer has reference quality video and audio throughout.  Any softness in the picture is apparently intentional to create a film that looks like it may have been shot some time ago.  The colors are strong, but the palette is manipulated in support of the visual theme.  Most of the film is composed of daylight scenes which are rendered with good punch as expected but what I didn't expect was how punchy the dark scenes would be.  The audio is also first rate with excellent surround activity and sound effects.  Dialog is always clean and intelligible.  The musical score by John Williams is richly textured as well.

Extras

This amazing special edition comes as a four-disc pack.  Studios are really showewring us with lots of bonus material these days.  Besides the feature film on Blu-ray and DVD, you also get a second Blu-ray with additional features and a fourth Digital Copy disc.  Here is the list of the extensive extras - "War Horse: The Journey Home" - Discover how this extraordinary film came to the screen with Steven Spielberg, the production team and cast; "An Extra's Point Of View" - Experience the shoot from the perspective of a "background artist"; "A Filmmaking Journey" - Join Director-Producer Steven Spielberg for an unprecedented look into the making of War Horse, and learn why the film was both a filmmaking journey...and a journey of the heart; "Editing & Scoring"; "The Sounds Of War Horse" and "Through The Producer's Lens"


The Deer Hunter (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-march-2012-deer-hunter

Synopsis

Winner of five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director, and one of AFI's Top 100 Films of All Time, The Deer Hunter follows a group of Pennsylvania steelworkers from their blue-collar lives, hunting in the woods of the Alleghenies, to the hells of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Academy Award® winners Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken star in this unforgettable saga of friendship and courage. Experience the brutality of war and the depths of emotional strain on the human spirit in this extraordinarily powerful film classic.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
    • 1978, Color, Rated R, 182 Min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Codec: AVC-1/ 2 discs
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage, Meryl Streep
  • Directed by Michael Cimino
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

I divide this movie into 3 parts: the small town wedding, the war, and post traumatic effects it has on all of the characters lives. The first part gets you acquainted with the characters, the war shocks you with its inhumanity and brutality and the last part reveals the hidden, psychological and physical toll on a small group of friends. All of the actors are great in this film and I can see why it won so many awards. In spite of his political views, I love Di Nero and he really shines in this film. War is hell and no man returns from hell unharmed. This movie will leave you with plenty to think about long after it is over.

Technical

The picture quality of this film is all over the place. Some scenes exhibit striking clarity and detail, while others are soft and out of focus. Dark scenes exhibit crushing of details and skin tones vary from scene to scene. Overall, the print is clean and does not show dirt or blemishes. Sound is generally good, but the soundtrack and voices often sound tinny, with no weight to them. One technical quibble: Where do you find snow covered mountains like that in PA? -Still, this is an important film and should not be missed by people who have never seen this movie.

Extras

Disappointing for a movie of this caliber: Audio commentary, deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.


American Pie Trilogy (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-april-2012-american-pie

Synopsis

"American Pie" chronicles the senior year of friends Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) as they all attempt to lose their virginity before high school graduation.  Despite their best efforts, the "holy grail" seems to permanently remain out of reach for the boys.  "American Pie 2" picks up after the boys' freshman year of college when Kevin decides that they should all rent a Great Lakes shore house for a summer of wild partying and serious action on the female front.  In order to help pay the rent, they invite their pseudo-friend Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) along to share in the antics.  "American Wedding" chronicles Jim's engagement to his band-camp love Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and the rather disastrous chain of events that lead up to the wedding day.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
    • 1999, 2001, and 2003, Color, Not Rated, 96 Mins, 111 Mins, and 104 Mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, 1.85:1, and 2.35:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Eddie Kay Thomas, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eugene Levy, Alyson Hannigan, Seann Willam Scott
  • Directed by Paul Weitz, J.B. Rogers, and Jesse Dylan
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: None
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Plenty

Commentary

"American Pie" hit the theaters my junior year of college and was a big hit with kids at the time.  I remember seeing it with a bunch of my fraternity brothers and we certainly got a good chuckle out of the film.   We were the perfect audience for the crude sexual situations, humor, and disgusting acts that take place throughout the movie.  It was also easy to identify with the characters as pretty much everyone knew someone like Jim, Finch, Oz, Kevin, or Stifler.  This was also the film that awakened the "raunchy comedy" that had been pretty much absent since "Animal House" and "Revenge of the Nerds."  Sadly, I don't think the film resonates as well today as it did when I was in college (and no, I really haven't grown up at all since then).  The story is not as strong and the character development could definitely have been better.  Kevin is just plain annoying and possibly the worst-acted character in the film (though Tara Reid runs a close second).  Oz is a bit shallow.  Only Jim and Finch carry any real weight along with Jim's dad, played perfectly by Eugene Levy.  Still, the movie is enjoyable for what it is, and offers some legitimate thought into the minds of sexually deprived teenage boys.   I'll give this a 3.5 for overall entertainment.

movie-april-2012-american-pie-2

"American Pie 2" was an effort to cash in on the success of the first film, and feels like it was rushed to the theaters a bit too quickly.  The plot is almost too simple and there is practically no character development throughout the film.  We are again treated to too much "Kevin-time" and they could have completely cut Oz out of the film without sacrificing much.  There are some great scenes between Jim and his dad and Alyson Hannigan reprises her role as the flute-toting band geek Michelle with great effectiveness.  Finch doesn't get as much screen time in this film and that is a shame.  Stifler's character plays a far bigger part in this movie, mostly to the benefit of the viewer.  Personally, I felt that this was the weakest of the three films, so I'll give this a 2.5.

movie-april-2012-american-wedding

"American Wedding" picks up the story after college graduation, with Jim asking Michelle to marry him.  I found there to be a bit more "heart" to this film, with an attempt to turn the now central character of Stifler into an actual decent human being.  It somewhat works, though I still prefer the original to this one.  They had to ratchet up the gross factor a bit to keep things interesting, which starts to push the boundaries of reality.  The obligatory bachelor party scene takes a unique twist and I laughed pretty hard at the "dance off" at the gay club.  I'll put this down as a 3.0 for overall entertainment.

Technical

I was very disappointed in the video quality of all three films.  It looks like these were taken from an older master and barely looked better than the DVD versions that I own.  While there is a bit more detail as compared to the DVDs, the picture in all three films has a very dull look to it.  Contrast was weak and the image lacked depth.  There is a yellow tint to many scenes, while greens (particularly grass and other outdoor foliage) had that "nuclear" glow to them indicative of oversaturation.  There are obvious signs of digital noise reduction and edge enhancement throughout, though I thought "American Pie 2" looked slightly better than the other two films.  For picture quality, I'll give "American Pie" a 2.5, "American Pie 2" a 3.0, and "American Wedding" a 2.5.  I would really like to see a proper re-mastering done on these films prior to their next Blu-ray release.

On the audio front, all three films sport a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, but as with the video there is not much of a difference from the DVDs.  The first film soundtrack lacked punch – even the music was weak.  Bass and surround usage were minimal as well.  The second film sounded even worse to me.  There were dialogue intelligibility issues at times and some of the music sounded like it was recorded inside of a paper bag.  The third film sounded a bit better to me and actually had some effective use of the surround channels for ambient effects.  I'll rate the first film a 2.5, the second a 2.0 and the third a 3.0.

Extras

This is the one area where I can't complain about these discs too much.  There is a bevy of special features included on these discs, including deleted scenes, outtakes, casting tapes, numerous audio commentaries, making-of featurettes, cast interviews, and other goodies.  I'll give 3.5's across the board here.


Charade, My Man Godfrey & Sullivan's Travels (DVD) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-april-2012-charade

Synopsis

This review is a collection of three Universal restorations that were recently released on DVD. 

My Man Godfrey (1936) - Often regarded as one of the funniest screwball comedies of all time, it is also notable for being the first film to be nominated for Academy Awards® in all four acting categories. Also nominated for Best Director and Best Writing, the film was remade in 1957 with David Niven and June Allyson.

Sullivan's Travels (1942) - Preston Sturges was the first prominent screenwriter to direct his own scripts. He went on an unparalleled creative streak that brought to the screen some of the most beloved films of all time including Sullivan's Travels. Starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, the film was inducted into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 1990.

Charade (1963) - In their only film together, iconic Hollywood legends Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn teamed with director Stanley Donen in what many film lovers consider the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made. In response to its suspenseful storyline and timeless cross genre appeal, Charade was remade as The Truth About Charlie in 2002.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 1936 - 1963, Color and B/W, Not Rated, 502 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 Anamorphic
  • Codec: MPEG 2
  • NTSC
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Starring: William Powell, Carol Lombard, Joel McRea, Veronica Lake, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn 
  • Directed by: Greggory La Cava, Preston Sturges and Stanley Donan
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Suggestive
  • Language: None

Commentary

Out of this "collection" of three Universal films, I enjoyed Godfrey the most.  This movie was a dynamic production with some very excellent acting while the script was hilarious, making me think of an early Arrested Development.  It is brilliant, actually.  So, I enjoyed Godfrey the most, but I was most entertained by Charade.  First of all, it's in color and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen plus the disc comes with a Digital Copy.  Charade is also bolstered by fine acting from two of the industry's greats - Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.  Walter Matthau has a key supporting role as well.  As a modern American, I was thoroughly perplexed by the constant references to the difference in age between Grant and Hepburn, the romantic pair.  The least of the 3 films was Sullivan.  It was intriguing with its good cinematography and quality production values, but I found the story to be corny by modern day standards.

Technical

Godfrey and Sullivan are presented in a native 4:3 aspect ratio. Charade is the one movie in this set that is in a widescreen, 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It is given the full anamorphic treatment here and it is in full color as well.  I still gave the highest video rating to the oldest of the three films, Godfrey.  This restoration is from a very clean and stable print particularly considering its age.  It had a neutral color temperature and the gray tracking was spot on.  Charade comes in second with its similarly excellent restoration.  It does display a fairly high level of film grain while the black level is about average for a DVD.  The audio was a servicable mono on each of the discs.

Extras

Each disc has interesting documentaries regarding the history of Universal along with theatrical trailers for the films.  Charade comes with a Digital Copy.  This is good, because Charade makes a great movie for parties.


IMAX: Born to be Wild (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-april-2012-imax-born-to-be-wild

Synopsis

Narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman, Born to be Wild 3D is an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them, saving endangered species one life at a time. Stunningly captured in IMAX 3D, Born to be Wild 3D is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.

Specifications

  • Warner Brothers
  • 2011, Color, G, 41 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Morgan Freeman (narration)
  • Directed by: David Lickley
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

This was 41 minutes that really flew by, but was totally enjoyable.  Showing how each of these people have dedicated their lives to rescuing and helping animals that have had their habitat destroyed, or their parents poached, or both was fascinating and uplifting to watch.  My son (just over 2) enjoyed it as well, making it something you can all watch together as a family.  It could have easily been much longer and still been good, or even better, but works well as it is.

Technical

Though this might come as a surprise to many people, Born to be Wild would be a very nice disc to show off what kind of image your home theater can put out.  Some shots are just beautiful with bright, bold greens in the forest set against the deep blue of the sky and water.  The bright red dirt of the Kenyan elephant preserve comes across well, and there is wonderful dynamic range captured by the IMAX cameras, with the clouds not being blown out and showing wonderful detail.  For a pure, natural image free of special effects that looks fantastic, Born to be Wild really delivers.

As a documentary, the most important quality of the soundtrack is that the narration comes across in tact, and it certainly does here.  However the movie does a fantastic job in using the surrounds as well to have a wonderful sense of ambience and immersion, likely due to its original IMAX target.  All around, this is a great sounding and looking film.

Extras

There are just six short, 2-3 minute videos on the caretakers.


Kate & Leopold (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-april-2012-leopold

Synopsis

Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman come together as star-crossed lovers who discover that passion and chivalry never go out of style. When a rip in time brings together a charming 19th-century bachelor and a 21st-century woman, the potential for an old-fashioned modern romance ignites. Can the Duke of Albany find the perfect soul mate from the future in time before the portal to the past closes forever? Love may be timeless, but the clock is running!

Specifications

  • Lions Gate-Miramax
  • 2001, Color, PG-13, 123 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Breckin Meyer, Liev Schreiber, Hugh Jackman, Meg Ryan
  • Directed by: James Mangold
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Though this story has been done before, it is always amusing to watch people from the past cope with present day issues and a society that has dramatically changed mores. The movie wastes no time in explaining how time travel is possible or how the "rip in the fabric of time" was even discovered, but just jumps into the story of the modern business women who meets a Duke from 1878 in NYC. No new ground is set by this film, but my wife and I enjoyed this light weight romance. Jackman's performance was actually quite good and carried the show for the most part. Interesting that he would be in a movie with Schreiber who would later play "Sabertooth", the foil to Jackman's "Wolverine" in the X-Men franchise. A major plot error: The world première performance of La bohème took place in Turin on 1 February 1896. The Duke could not have seen it performed as he states in this movie because he is from 1876. Oops!

Technical

The overall picture quality was mediocre. Stock footage of NYC looked fuzzy and dull. Night scenes were noisy with complete loss of detail and colors. In most scenes, textures were absent in hair and clothing. Contrast varied throughout and most scenes looked flat, with lack of depth. However, when compared to the SD extra deleted scenes, you can easily see that the movie was in better shape than the SD version on DVD. Sound quality was actually pretty good, with clear dialog and some nicely spread out music and surround effects. Even my sub woke up 3 different times during the flick.

Extras

An audio commentary, "on the set", costumes and a music video with Sting singing "Until" (which actually sounded good, for Sting) and several deleted scenes. This is the first Blu-ray that I have reviewed that has a DTS-HD Master Audio setup included for testing speaker hookup and phase.


 

Bounce (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-april-2012-bounce

Synopsis

Buddy Amaral (Affleck), a cocky, self-absorbed ad executive who--in desiring a tryst with the gorgeous Mimi (Henstridge), a woman he meets at the airport--gives up his plane ticket back to Los Angeles to writer Greg Janello (Tony Goldwyn). The plane crashes, and Buddy begins a downward spiral of alcoholism and self-loathing until he undergoes rehab. Once out, he decides to pay a visit to the dead man's widow. Abby Janello (Paltrow) is a struggling real estate agent with two young sons. She slowly befriends Buddy and falls in love with him while Buddy struggles with the guilty secret of his connection to her husband's untimely death which could destroy their relationship.

Specifications

  • Lions Gate-Miramax
  • 2000, Color, PG-13, 106 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natasha Henstridge, Edward Edwards, Jennifer Grey
  • Directed by: Don Roos
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I first thought that this would be a wacky romantic comedy but it turned out to be a somber, serious romance flick. I'm not a big Affleck fan, but he and Paltrow have good chemistry here. The premise of the movie is a bit creepy and keeping a major "secret" from a women you are dating (the widow of a man you inadvertently sent to his death) is a bit skewed. Also, the fact that 24 hours before Affleck's character is going to confess the whole story, another women reveals the deception to Paltrow's character seems a bit contrived…but forgivable. I enjoyed this movie a whole lot more than I thought I would. Watch it with your significant other when the boob tube has nothing else on.

Technical

The PQ was not stellar, but much better than most films from this era. Skin tones are good, contrasts are consistent and dark scenes hold up pretty well with fair amounts of shadow details. Textures and colors look about average for a BD transfer. Sound quality was good and mostly front heavy. My sub came on only a few (and far between) times. Overall, better than the SD version on DVD, but not a demo disc to show off to your friends.

Extras

An audio commentary, deleted scenes, a music video, commentaries from Roos, Affleck and Paltrow, and some "behind the scenes" action.


Contraband (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-april-2012-contraband

Synopsis

Smuggling mastermind Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) has retired from his life of crime to enjoy retirement with his wife and children.  Unfortunately he's forced back into the business when his brother-in-law runs afoul of a local drug dealer by throwing product into the sea as his ship is searched by customs.  Farraday has to raise $700,000 in two weeks to save his family from certain death.  He signs onto a freighter bound for Panama intending to smuggle counterfeit bills into New Orleans.  With the help of a few fellow crewmembers, he orchestrates a deal which quickly turns sour.  He manages to get the product on board just in the nick of time.  The web of deceit is revealed when he learns his best friend is double-crossing him.  The whole plot seems to go up in smoke but in the end, Farraday has the last laugh and he and his family ride off into the sunset.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2012, Color, R, 1 hr 50 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsdale, Giovanni Ribisi
  • Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

This film had all the feel of yet another drug movie but it's actually about the smuggling rather than the drug wars we so often see on the screen.  Farraday is a true genius as he comes up with ways to achieve his goals; often adapting on the fly.  He seems almost untouchable as the criminal/superhero.  Giovanni Ribisi plays the quintessential low-life-scumbag-drug-dealer in a superb performance.  He's almost unrecognizable in the part which speaks to his considerable skill as a character actor.  The plot, while not exactly original, has enough twists and turns to keep one entertained.  And the story is pretty easy to follow which is not something I can say about every movie of this kind.  Very enjoyable and highly recommended.

Technical

Transfer quality is first rate with no apparent edge enhancement and consistent contrast levels.  Night scenes are nice and inky with fair shadow detail.  There is some crushing evident but I believe this is intentional.  Color is somewhat drab which I'm sure is also by design since this is gritty stuff.  Film grain is always present in varying degrees.  Detail is superb with sharp textures in closeups and nice delineation of objects in wide shots.

The DTS-HD Master Audio mix is clear and accurate but a little laid back.  This isn't really a shoot-'em-up so I wasn't expecting to be knocked out of my chair.  Surrounds are used sparingly and my sub barely had anything to do.  The music didn't really catch my attention until the end credits when a cover of John Lee Hooker's famous "Boom Boom" came on; pretty cool for this blues fan!

Extras

Special features include deleted scenes, a making-of documentary, an 8-minute short about the stunt work and feature commentary by producers and directors.  Also in the package is the film on DVD and a download code for a digital copy from Ultraviolet cloud service.


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-april-2012-ghost-protocol

Synopsis

No plan. No backup. No choice. Agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his elite team (Renner and Pegg) go underground (going ghost) after a bombing of the Kremlin implicates the IMF as international terrorists. While trying to clear the agency's name, the team uncovers a plot to start a nuclear war. Now, to save the world, they must use every high-tech trick in the book. The mission has never been more real, more dangerous, or more impossible.

Specifications

  • Paramount Pictures
    • 2011, Color, Rated R, 133 Min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.85:1
  • Codec: AVC-4
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 Dolby Digital TrueHD Audio
  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
  • Directed by Brad Bird
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

In what I think is the best of the series, Cruise isn't the brooding Ethan Hunt of previous movies. He's a man on a mission, so to speak. Simply put, the IMF has been shut down and disavowed after a massive explosion at the Kremlin. That explosion is blamed on the IMF, but it was just a diversion to steal launch codes for a nuclear device by a terrorist determined on ensuring peace on Earth by starting a nuclear war between the super powers. Now it is up to Ethan and his team of three to save the world. This movie has nail biting action and some pretty cool CGI effects. I love the fact that the hi-tech gadgets have a tendency to fail at the most inopportune moments. Cruise does almost all of his own stunt work, too. Make no mistake people, the worlds tallest building in Dubai is just the nuts! Because the film is more character driven, you will get pulled into the story quickly, unlike the second installment of the series which I found to be silly, thematically. This is what an action movie should be like.

Technical

The sound and picture of this flick are absolutely demo class. The detail, contrasts and colors are what you want to see in a BD release and the 7.1 surround sound does not fail to disappoint. Even the fly-overs of cities and sand dunes show exquisite details with no artifacts or aliasing. The sound of explosions and the swirling of sand during a sand storm are all wonderfully captured and completely encompassing. If you choose to watch this movie, your sub woofer will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Wowzers!

Extras

Included are: Mission Accepted, Impossible Missions, Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Brad Bird, Alternate Opening and trailers.