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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2010

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"Road to Perdition" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-september-2010-road-to-perdition

Synopsis

It’s the Great Depression, and Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, an enforcer working for crime family head John Rooney (Paul Newman). Though Rooney has an adult son, Connor (Daniel Craig), he regards Michael with the affection reserved for the son he wishes he'd had. Sullivan himself has a wife and two boys. In the film's first half-hour, Connor botches a job assigned to him and Michael by the elder Rooney. In the aftermath of the fiasco, Connor kills Michael's wife and his youngest son, and sets up Hanks so no witness will remain. For the remainder of the film, Sullivan goes on the lam with Michael, Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) seeking revenge against Connor while evading a creepy hit man named Maguire (Jude Law) reluctantly hired by John Rooney to thwart the revenge slaying of his low life offspring.

Specifications

  • Dreamworks Pictures
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 53 min
  • Aspect Ratio:  2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Daniel Craig, Paul Newman, Liam Aiken
  • Directed by Sam Mendes
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence:  Yes
  • Sex:  No
  • Language:  Yes

Commentary

This movie starts out slowly, but Mendes takes great care to let the movie unfold in a compelling manner. Hanks doesn’t seem to be a good pick for the role of mob "enforcer", but as the story progresses, he really opens up and becomes a moving character. Law is wonderfully repulsive as a photographer that “shoots the dead”. Newman is, well, Newman. That’s to say he provides a great performance with plenty of pathos (one of his last performances). The ending is unexpected and bittersweet. I love this movie. It entertains and speaks to your heart at the same time.

"Sons are put here on earth to trouble their fathers."

And so in the end, this is a story about fathers and sons. But what a fascinating story it is. An engrossing movie that looks and sounds wonderful on the BD format.

Technical

Picture quality is very good with just the right amount of grain. Contrasts and colors are almost perfect. Looking closely, I was able to see an occasional speck here and there, but overall, the clarity and details just blow the DVD version away. The sound quality is immersive, such as the “machine gun in the rain" sequence near the end. Gun shots are startling! This is a great film to demo the BD format to your freinds...it is that good! Also the score is beautiful, expansive and poignant.Very highly recommended.

Extras

Bonus features include: Commentary by Director Sam Mendes, deleted scenes (with optional commentary by Director Sam Mendes), The Making of Road to Perdition,  and theatrical trailers. HD content includes an intro by Mendes, "A Cinematic Life" of Conrad Hall and more.