Mr. & Mrs. Smith DVD Review
PictureAgain Fox release a decent transferred disk, 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.
SoundWell, 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 BMW's 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.
ExtrasWe have 2 commentary tracks for this disk, 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.
VerdictHollywood 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 disk, 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.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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