PictureThere are DVDs that seem to suit some systems better than others, and this release of The Mask works very well with my setup. The image is ultra smooth and 'film-like' - this allowed me to try out some of my DVD player's contrast/sharpness tweaks. The result was an even sharper image, with virtually no noticeable down sides. If I was being ultra critical I would perhaps mention that the picture - pre tweaks - does appear a tad on the soft side, with some edge enhancement being apparent, but I never found this overly intrusive.
One thing is for sure - this is a beautifully colourful transfer, and despite the movie's age - The Mask was made back in 1994 after all - special effects and the use of CGI appear remarkably modern in style. If only all new releases looked this good!
SoundThis newly remastered release benefits from both 448Kbps Dolby Digital EX and 768Kbps DTS ES tracks, with the DTS offering flagging up as both a matrix and discrete mix on my amp so I'm unsure which it is, but I would be surprised if it was true 6.1 and would guess at matrix. Whatever it is, it certainly doesn't hold back, offering up a treat of deep bass levels, which really hit the mark at times, and all speakers get a good sonic workout. As The Mask goes into “whirlwind mode” my room came alive, with sounds emanating from every corner. Unfortunately, for much of the time (i.e. when The Mask is absent) things take on a much more front soundstage focus, and overall I often had that feeling that this was a “remixed” from more humble origins audio track, which I guess it is! As such, it can't quite live up to the best that the very latest releases offer us. It certainly tries its best though!
ExtrasFirst up are a couple of deleted scenes, the first of which I wholeheartedly agree with being cut - Vikings discovering America? Nope, didn't work for me! The second is set in the newspaper printing press mill, where Peggy double-crosses Ipkiss. I agree with the reasons for it being cut in the first place - Peggy definitely should not be killed... even in the “stylised” fashion included here! Sorry Mr. Russell.
Two commentaries have been included - Director Chuck Russell's from the original DVD release and a new, rather stilted affair with comments from the aforementioned director, co-chairman of New Line Cinema, Bob Shaye and numerous others. This is one of those commentaries where a voice suddenly announces - Bob Shaye, and then Mr. Shaye says his piece, followed by the voice again - Tom Bertino etc. Not really my cup of tea this and I much preferred listening to the original.
Next up are a few documentaries, which feel much more like one documentary spliced into four - why do they do this? More is better, I guess, is the idea, but personally I would prefer just a single, longer feature rather than watching the same people, in the same setting, talking about slightly different aspects of the movie.
Some trailers and DVD Rom/online features round things off in what are some pretty routine supplemental offerings.
VerdictThe Mask is a movie the whole family can enjoy and is a blast from beginning to end - recommended.
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