PictureWell, given that I was very happy with the original transfer, I'll start with what I said regarding the transfer for the Region 2 disc.
Again Fox release a decent transferred disc, with no dust and scratches on the print, in fact it was pristine. Contrast seemed a little high in places, but other than that the colours were bright and vivid, with flesh tones looking good with nice levels of detail in particular. Black levels were solid and deep, as some of the action scenes took place at night this was quite important, especially to maintain a decent level of detail. Even the PVC basque worn during an assignment looked suitably plasticky, giving an idea of how nice the black levels are. As with most of the current Fox transfers, there was no grain to the picture, but I will say I noticed some edge enhancement, primarily at the beginning of the movie, for example on the iron headrest of the bed. Other than this minor criticism, this is again a great transfer.
This is comparable to the Region 2 version in terms of quality, however there are a few times I felt it wasn't quite as sharp, most noticeably at the beginning when the contrast is higher (which is intentional). I still can't fault the transfer, but I don't think it's quite as good as the Region 2, it is only slight and only criticised due to the minor fault I mentioned.
Watching the Region 3, I'd have to say it's no different to the Region 2 version in terms of quality of image, it's all spot on with no obvious issues and certainly doesn't have the slight jaggedness that the Region 1 showed.
However, under closer scrutiny with all 3 images in front of you, one can see that the black levels on the Region 1 are much darker, with more detail (check out Brad's Face on the third images), with the contrast increased on the Region 3. Of course, this isn't obvious when watching one at a time, nor is it that much of a difference either. But going on the captures here, the Region 1 wins.Images are Region 1 on top, Region 2 in the centre and Region 3 on the bottom.
SoundIn terms of comparing the soundtracks, I watched each version completely and compared a couple of scenes flicking between discs. While all are superb and will give you much enjoyment, I don't think there are any differences between them. Focussing on the set pieces, in particular the home explosion, the bass level is deep and pounding and neither one, with the amplifier set at the same volume, sounded any louder or quieter, nor did the vocals seem any less clear on one disc to the other, therefore, for all 3 regions my original opinion (which follows) holds true.
Well, again for Fox we have the option of Dolby Digital and DTS and both are very nice soundtracks, with DTS having the edge in volume and ambience - it just sounds more encompassing. Dialogue is clear, although occasionally a tad quiet in places, but at no point is it impossible to hear. There are some very nice panning effects, both left to right - witness Mr. Pitt enjoying Poison's “Nothing but a Good Time” in the desert where the jeep goes across the front speakers as does the music - and front to back, again with a rocket being fired from rear left to front left, or the bullets whizzing past your head - it's all very nicely handled and gives the listener a satisfying experience. But, then there's the LFE. As mentioned in the review, the second half of the movie is primarily focussed on the action sequences and with this in mind, we should have some satisfying explosions. Oh boy, do we have some explosions. From the gas exploding in the kitchen, the petrol/oil tank in the basement being blown up and BMWs' on the freeway meeting a satisfying demise, we have some major bass work out. In fact, I think that the petrol/oil tank is arguably the largest and longest sounding explosion I've heard this year - shake the room? Rocked the foundations actually. If you want a nice LFE workout, the second half of this movie will certainly do it for you. So aside from minor quibbles in terms of the dialogue level, a rather nice and solid soundtrack, in my view.
ExtrasOther than a trailer for “The Sentinel” on the Region 1 version, there are no differences in the extras.
We have 2 commentary tracks for this disc, the first with director Doug Liman and writer Simon Kinberg, the other with Lucas Foster and Akiva Goldsmith. I'm not a fan of these tracks, with one or two exceptions they tend to be too dry for my taste, although I may give Liman's a listen to at some stage, especially if he confirms the stories of having to endure Ms. Jolie's wrath (she doesn't tolerate fools apparently), so it could be enlightening on that front.
First up we have the Making A Scene featurette, which lasts for 8 minutes and analyses a scene which was to be a car chase, but changed into something else. It's a pivotal moment in the movie where Jane and John have found out the person who cost them their last assignment is their spouse. It's interesting because it evolved from a mistake and improvisation from Brad Pitt and it does work, but this isn't the best featurette I've seen, but it's interesting enough. Next we have 3 deleted scenes, which you can either play together or separately and they last a little over 8 minutes in total. I'd hazard a guess they were cut for time but 2 of the 3 scenes I think would have been fine in the movie, the only one that was maybe overkill is the third one which was purely an action sequence and nothing more. We finally have the teaser and theatrical trailer for the movie. I have to say the extras are a pretty poor effort and unless there's a directors cut in the offing, I can't foresee a double dip.
VerdictHaving all 3 versions to hand, one can see if there is a definitive release and while I'd love a 2 disc collectors edition with an Angelina and Brad commentary, until then, which ever version you choose to purchase, you will be happy as there's nothing really between them.
Hollywood hokum, but good hokum is always welcome. Sure, there are parallels to be drawn to another movie which I've mentioned already, but this is a good entertaining blast. The principals have great chemistry together, Pitt is more akin to his Oceans 11 character than the one from Se7en and Jolie demonstrates her ability in an action movie again as well as redeeming her comedic side after her first, terrible foray. My only obvious reservation is that I'd hate to see a directors cut in 6 months time, but with a good picture and great soundtrack, that's the only reason I can see this coming out on shelves again. I wouldn't be shocked if there's a sequel either, but either way, this is a good movie on a good disc, let down by the lack of extras. Besides, it's hard to knock any movie with Ms. Jolie in lingerie. Worth adding to your Christmas list.
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