PictureIn a similar manner to Sky Captain, this is a tough one to judge because of the style. Where Sky Captain was softly shot and had a sepia tone to it, this is basically black and white. Well.........not quite, as we have the occasional colour being used, from red lips and blue eyes to yellow blood, but generally it's bereft of colour. So, the important thing here is are the blacks dark and do the colours, when used, bleed? Thankfully we have some absolutely deep and dark blacks on hand and the colours don't bleed whatsoever. No artefacts were noticed and grain was not seen whatsoever. There was no print damage, as the film was shot digitally so we have an absolutely pristine transfer here. Detail levels are very high, from pores on faces to the smallest details; I was impressed at seeing the pores on Rourke when he was close up, same for Willis or any other actor in fact. I didn't notice any other issues, but it could well be that the style masks any inherent faults - but either way this is a fantastic looking disk.
SoundContaining both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a DTS-ES mix, this soundtracks is very active indeed. Both soundtracks are equally as impressive, but I'd give the edge to the DTS for being more natural sounding and having more bass to the proceeding, particularly the vocals. LFE is deep and rumbles frequently, from gunshots to car crashes, if is always present but never in your face as such. Rears are active frequently as well with superb panning as well as ambience from the soundtrack - bullets whiz past you and other sound effects are present to encompass you in the on-screen action. Dialogue is clear and crisp, but as stated, the DTS version gives the vocals extra bass and sound more natural that the Dolby, but having said that, you will enjoy either one.
ExtrasThe one and only extra we have here is a 9 minute “Behind The Scenes” featurette, which contains snippets from all the principals, but isn't really gushing like most other featurettes. Sure, no-one has a bad word, but there comes across a high degree of sincerity, probably because Rodriguez is a remarkable talent and because the source material is stronger than a lot of things that Hollywood churns out. It would have been nice to see some more extras, but for now this will have to do.
VerdictWell, this is a faithful adaptation of the graphic novels, in fact it's technically the finest one to date. Don't think this is superhero city as you'll be heavily mistaken - it's noir, it's dark and it is violent. Rodriguez certainly shines here as a director and there's already a sequel in pre-production. Lucas could learn more than a thing or two here about digital work and story telling, that's for sure. Recommended - maybe we'll see the Directors Cut around Christmas, but until then, this is an essential purchase.
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