PictureFramed in anamorphic 2.35:1, the transfer here is generally good. With very little in the way of print damage, from the moment the film starts blacks are deep and detailed, with colours bold and free of any blooming.
Indeed, colours look rich and authentic throughout the movie - see the office around 50:00, where the walls and curtains look perfectly rendered in the red tones, and very 3-dimensional. Excellent. The nightclub scene (around 46:00) is another example where colours come across as strong and vibrant. The scene is busy, but retains the detail with vibrant colours and sharp details, and authentic looking flesh tones. Overall the print comes across as detailed and defect free (see the prison conversation - 42:00 - for a great example of detail), but there are however just a couple of minor niggles.
Some grain is evident in a handful of scenes (39:00 panning shot, very noticeable), although it's rare enough not to cause a distraction to enjoyment, and there is some minor edge enhancement apparent. The layer change is around 51:05 and is positioned quite clumsily in the middle of a scene - it could have been executed better.
Overall a good transfer, and consistent with expectations of a modern release.
SoundWith a hip-hop soundtrack, one would expect the 448kbps 5.1 Dolby Digital track to pack some punch, and I'm pleased to say that it doesn't disappoint. From the opening we are treated to some wonderful sounds such as a subway train which rumbles into our living rooms with a superb sub-bass extension. Bass is ever present in the soundtrack, and the levels when the safe blows (11:00) will have any subwoofer pounding the room and making you smile. It's never overblown, but its presence lends the soundtrack plenty of weight.
The imaging across the front is good, with dialogue crisp and locked to the centre channel, with solid steering. The rears, meanwhile, remain reasonably quiet in the moments interspacing the action, although they do spring to life when all hell breaks loose on screen: at around 1:03:00, the steering and surround usage is excellent in the rooftop chase, with effects zipping overhead precisely and cleanly. The “spinning helicopter” offers excellent surround imaging also.
Overall a good soundtrack.
ExtrasAlthough slightly lightweight on features, the ones on offer here hold some interest for the most part. Firstly, we have a selection of 3 short featurettes, “Ultimate Fighting Championships” (a look at/breakdown of the cage fighting sequence), “The Descender Rig” (a look at the skyscraper stunt from the movie opening - incidentally the best stunt in the film), and “The Choreography of the Camera” (a brief look at different methods of shooting scenes and camera usage).
Also on offer we have the theatrical trailer which is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 and anamorphic widescreen, plus the usual Cast & Crew Bios, and finally a rather passable music video by DMX.
Not a lot there really, but the documentaries are certainly worth your attention.
VerdictAn average action movie with a silly plot, this DVD - which offers good picture and sound quality - is a passable watch if you want some undemanding viewing.
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