PicturePresented in anamorphic 2.35:1 the image as you would expect is very good indeed. That does not mean there are not any issues present with the print however. The majority of the movie is set in the dark backstreets of New York and whilst the image holds up very well with solid blacks and a certain amount of shadow detail, some scenes do suffer from losing much of this detail in the darker settings. There are some signs of edge enhancement also present but hardly enough to detract from an otherwise excellent attempt. Colours are rich with particular attention paid to the constant use of red throughout and skin tones look natural. The entire image has that comic book sheen and apart from the very small niggles I have already mentioned, it looks crisp and fresh. This R2 edition is just as good as the R1 edition reviewed a few weeks ago.
SoundThis soundtrack is just outstanding! Presented in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 the sound design is demo quality with brilliant dynamics and full on LFE thunder. The DTS mix sounds incredible and smoothes the edges and tightens the LFE over the Dolby Mix, but that doesn't mean the Dolby track is any slouch. The enveloping surround mix just adds immensely to the feel of the movie. Take the opening titles as an example there are voices somewhere in the rear soundfield and deep throbbing bass notes during the opening score with a sudden splash of water and the sound of police sirens and helicopter rotor blades overhead. It's in the DTS mix where you can pin point the voices behind and to the side and make out the rotor blades where they should be in the soundfield. The bass is also chest crunching and tight, moving floorboards without affecting the simple nuances in the rest of the mix. On the Dolby track all of the above is present but just doesn't convey the overall clarity and openness of the finer elements present. Again the R2 disc matches the R1 edition with only the 4% pitch speed up being the only difference, but I didn't notice it.
ExtrasThis two disc set is feature packed and includes some excellent featurettes and behind the scenes supplements. First is a full length Commentary track with the director Mark Steven Johnson and the Producer Gary Foster. There is a great deal of enthusiasm present during the commentary with Director Johnson covering most of the background to make the film. Also included on the first disc is a Text Based Commentary and an Advanced viewing mode which takes you to other features whilst watching the movie. We then move onto the second disc which contains no less than two 60 minute documentaries on the making of the movie which also feature enhanced viewing modes, 6 featurettes covering sound design to costumes, multi angle viewing modes, HBO feature, Jennifer Garner screen test, a Kingpin featurette and three music videos from Fuel, The Calling and Evanescence. To top off the extras are five still galleries, character bios and Theatrical trailers. Overall there must be around four hours of extras present and all are very well presented and identical to the R1 Disc.
VerdictThe movie is not great, but then again it is not that bad either with stunning sound and vision and an abundance of extras.
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