PictureAfter a string of largely grim movies, ending with Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg shifted his focus to other cinematic flavours. Minority Report is the first of three movies whose presentation and style is more experimental than usual. Therefore, we are given bright, monochromatic contrasts throughout the movie, all of which are handled well. This style is broken by images of John's son which are, purposefully, more vibrant and colourful. Again these colours are well presented and natural, especially the poolside scenes. Sometimes, there is just a little too much forced contrast, especially in John's old house by the beach.
Spielberg would appear to be using different qualities of overall presentation, as seen in Saving Private Ryan, too. In that movie, grain and dirt were purposefully used to create a sense of harsh reality during WW2. Similarly, there are some scenes in Minority Report, especially the eye surgeon part, where the picture is decidedly gritty. As this is on purpose, and done so well, the impressive overall picture quality cannot be marred due to this directorial licence.
A side note: the Japanese release is incorrectly labelled as “16:9 letterbox”. It is actually 2.40:1.
SoundThe reason you may want to buy this disc is to see just how good sound can, well, sound! Minority Report has some of the best sound in any movie I have seen. Dialogue is always intelligible, even in the most frantic of scenes. Bass and rear effect channels are used so well, you wonder how other movies make it past Quality Control - the near legendary sonic booms in the car plant spring to mind. Its not just the big effects, though; When John Anderton visits an underground Virtual Reality club, the proprietor is wearing patent leather jacket. You can actually hear the creaking of this material as the two of them speak. Superb attention to detail. As for which track is best? I can't really tell. Certainly the DTS track has the extra channel, but the actual quality is difficult to differentiate. There isn't a “better” track per se, but rather they are different. Therefore I would chose DTS if only because of a slightly more prominent John Williams musical score.
ExtrasThere are none.
VerdictA little bit of trivia for you: Philip K Dick, author of this movie and Blade Runner died the same year Blade Runner was released. He approved of Ridley Scott's landmark sci-fi work and rightfully so. If any movie encapsulates the ideas behind Philip K Dick's work, it is Blade Runner. However, I can't help but think that Minority Report just isn't up there with Blade Runner. There is a lack of depth and a sterile feel to the world that makes Minority Report seem shallow in context.
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