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Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part I

ARTICLE INDEX

"The Legend of Zorro" (Blu-ray)

The Legend of ZorroSynopsis

Having spent the last ten years fighting injustice and cruelty, Alejandro de la Vega is now facing his greatest challenge: his loving wife Elena has thrown him out of the house! Elena has filed for divorce and found comfort in the arms of Count Armand, a dashing French aristocrat. But Alejandro knows something she doesn't: Armand is the evil mastermind behind a terrorist plot to destroy the United States. And so, with his marriage and country's future at stake, it's up to Zorro to try and save two unions before it's too late.

Specifications

    • Columbia Pictures
      2005, Color, Rated PG, 2 Hr 10 min
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • 1080p
    • English/French Dolby TrueHD 5.1
    • Spanish/Portuguese/Thai DD 5.1
    • Directed by Martin Campbell
    • Starring Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Themes
  • Language: No

Commentary

I was a big fan of the original Mask of Zorro with this cast. It was fun, had lots of action, and was produced well. This sequel has its moments, but mostly comes up well short of the original. There is just too much comic relief. Most of the film feels overly dramatic, and there is a lot of corniness added (probably for the kid's sake). I did like the premise of the story this time around, but the execution was lacking.

Technical

The HD transfer impressed me a lot more than the film did. Sony delivers another solid catalog release with exceptional detail and color rendition. The image stays quite dimensional throughout, and fine object detail is incredible at times. Contrast is never lacking, but blacks can be slightly elevated at times. This doesn't seem to hurt shadow detail though. Colors are striking, especially outside, and saturation is solid. A solid video presentation from Sony here.

The 5.1 soundtrack is presented in lossless Dolby TrueHD. I was told recently by a Sony executive that we will be seeing more and more TrueHD soundtracks out of Sony Blu-ray offerings and less PCM offerings. Some may not be too happy with this, but if it saves some bits for video and means Sony will be delivering 20 and 24 bit resolution audio.

This release is quite a treat sonically, with nice dynamics and a rich atmosphere. Imaging in the main soundstage is exceptional, with a nice blend to the rear soundstage and plenty of panning effects. My only complaint is the inconsistent volume level from scene to scene. They amp the soundtrack up quite a bit for the action sequences, but the other passages can be a bit lacking in presence in comparison. Bass response is excellent, with some nice infrasonics in some scenes that will get the chairs shaking.

Extras

Extras include a feature commentary, deleted scenes, some production features, and two scene deconstructions.