PictureAs I mentioned above, the movie is an eclectic mix of cinematography styles, with many scenes taking place in subdued or plain dark settings. Thankfully the transfer is up to it. Averaging 5mbps and peaking at around 9mbps there's not much evidence of blocking or mosquito noise present, even during action scenes, although there is a little too much use of edge enhancement which does rear its ugly head at some points in the movie. The print itself does look a little grainy (but, again, this is most likely to be a deliberate trait of the cinematographer rather than a fault) but has no apparent colour problems or evidence of print damage. Not quite reference and you'd better have a system that can cope with dark scenes without crushing detail, but very good nonetheless.
There is no noticeable difference between this R2 Transfer and that of the R1 edition reviewed elsewhere.
SoundExcellent. Available with your choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448kbps) or DTS 5.1 neither will disappoint. The mix is dynamic and very well layered with a great number of subtle effects woven in to the rear channels. When Creasy is investigating the town square (after dropping off Lupita at school), he investigates a CD stall whilst the ambient effects of the square surround the listener. Music is also used to good effect and it's doubtful you'll even have heard a Spanish version of Toni Basils' “Mickey” in another action movie, much less whilst a finger lopping interrogation was taking place! At the other extreme, moments such as Creasy torching the nightclub will certainly give your sub a kick and there are plenty of weapon inspired moments to test out your system. Comparing the Dolby Digital track against the DTS I would be hard pressed to pick a clear winner. If I had to choose one over the other I'd have to say that the DTS track sounds slightly more spacious and well separated, but the 5.1 Dolby digital track is no slouch either, so it will probably come down to personal choice.
ExtrasFirst up we have a director's commentary with Tony Scott. Whilst a little dry and slow in places, this track is definitely worth a listen. Avoiding the pitfall of merely describing the on screen action, Scott tells how he acquired the rights to the original book, recruited Denzel Washington and went about putting together the rest of the cast. He further comments on the true story of kidnapping in Mexico, which is scary in of itself.
Next up are 5 Deleted scenes which add nothing to the actual movie storyline, but are interesting enough for at least one viewing. Moving onto disc 2 we have a 70 minute featurette called “Vengeance Is Mine: Reinventing Man on Fire”. This comprehensive documentary covers every nuance of the production featuring behind the scenes footage mixed with interviews and comments from various members of the cast, this is worthy of more than one viewing. Rounding off the extras are Trailers, Music Video, Production photos and scene deconstruction.
VerdictThis two disc UK Region 2 surpasses the R1 US disc all ready available by some way in the extras department. Picture and sound are first class and the disc presentation is excellent.
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