PictureKnowing the stylistic image present in this movie having seen it on DVD and at the Cinema also, I am fully aware of the palette and softness techniques used for this film. With that said, this is an absolutely stunning transfer, with the palette seeming to be bolder than the Region 1 counterpart with no colour bleed, nor edge enhancement noticeable at all and I didn't notice any compression artefacts, which for this movie is an absolute must as it is incredibly stylish. In fact, this was the first time where I noticed details such as skin blemishes, which I hadn't seen on a previous version. Black levels were dark and spot on, grain was nowhere to be seen and overall this is arguably the best I've seen this movie. No complaints at all.
SoundThe main reason for looking at why to purchase this disk over the US or UK versions is the inclusion of a DTS soundtrack. As far as the Dolby version contained on this disk, to my ears it is identical to the aforementioned versions. As to the DTS, it is definitely superior to my ears with more depth in bass, especially during the robots in NY scene not to mention sounding more natural with more ambience and nuances over the Dolby. I'm not complaining however about the Dolby soundtrack - it's just that the DTS makes it sound considerably weaker, from the depth of bass, to the bullets hitting the robots; it just is the soundtrack to play if you have got DTS available. In fact, the robot scenes is something to annoy the neighbours and show off with - it's that good.
ExtrasFeaturing two commentary tracks, one featuring just Kerry Conran, the director and writer, the second featuring Conran as well as several other more technical participants, such as the animation director and producer, there is probably a lot of information present, but as I have a tough time listening to these, I can't comment too much as they were stopped after around 10 minutes. If you want to find out a lot about the technical side of the movie, there seems to be a wealth of insight in these tracks. Next up we have 3 theatrical trailers, the 2 US/International trailers as well as the Japanese trailer as well. The Jude/Gwyneth/Kerry featurette which is approximately 8 minutes can be viewed separately or all together and are basically quick Q&A's with the aforementioned, plus a “personal” message from each thanking you for buying the DVD. Different is the only reaction I had to this. That's it for this version, although there is a 2 disk version available with more extras.
VerdictI like this movie as, although it's paying homage, it is original in this day and age where Hollywood churns out endless sequels, remakes Asian movies or just insults our intelligence for the most part. Sure it's hokum, but it knows it is and that's the other part of its charm. Sure it won't be to everyone's tastes, but if it intrigues you, or you want a DVD with a great picture and audio quality, this works on both counts for me.
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