Knight and Day certainly looks superb on its UK Blu-ray debut, coming presented in glorious 1080p High Definition in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 2.4:1. Detail is excellent throughout, from the close-ups to the longer vistas, which showcase quite a few exotic locales. Unfortunately this has the side-effect of revealing all the (sometimes blatant) CGI, as well as more clearly showcasing the touches that highlight the stars’ ageing; the wrinkles around the edges of these still amazingly-good-looking-for-their-age leading Hollywood performers. Edge enhancement, softness, and digital defects are practically non-existent, contrast levels are set a tad high, and grain is kept to a suitably filmic level. The colour scheme is bright and vivid, aided again thanks to the multiple exotic locations, and black levels are deep and solid, rounding out an excellent visual presentation.
On the aural front things are just as spectacular, the movie coming complete with a boisterous DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is both punchy and precise. Dialogue is generally clear-cut throughout, largely emanating from across the frontal array, and, despite some of the lines being quite reserved (Cruise, on particular, is very restrained in his contribution), the action never overwhelms it or leaves it muffled. The effects are predominantly of the bombastic variety: plane-crashes, explosive car-chases, missile attacks and roaring engines versus the thunder of a hundred angry bulls; it all comes thundering across, yet each expansive offering showcases some decent directionality and precision – you know where the missiles are coming from, you can hear the helicopters circling overhead, or the explosion behind the characters. The score, as already noted, could have done with being a bit more thematic, with a running theme throughout, but what we get is given decent presentation across the surrounds, and – particularly towards the end – it certainly enhances the proceedings. Bass is present at the lower end of most of the bigger effects, and also during some of the scored moments, rounding off a great aural presentation.
Aside from getting both the Theatrical Cut and the superior Extended Edition of this movie (which is not an option on the Theatrical Cut-only US counterpart), we get a selection of extra material, most of which is pretty fluffy, and all of which was also on the US release. There’s also a Digital/DVD Copy of the movie included as a second disc.
Wilder Knights and Crazier Days is a standard EPK-style 12-minute Featurette, complete with your usual cast and crew interview snippets, played out across a montage of combined final film footage and behind the scenes glimpses. Boston Days and Spanish Knights takes a further 8 minutes to details the various exotic locales on offer in this globe-trotting adventure. We also get two Viral Videos: Soccer and Kick, which were made during the promotion of the film and, whilst ostensibly played straight, are slightly strange effects-augmented clips; as well as two rather odd 3 minute Story and Scope mini-featurettes (pure promo), and a Behind the Scenes into the Black Eyed Peas track Someday, where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes go back-stage with the ‘Peas. Finally there’s a Theatrical Trailer to round off the disc.
Knight and Day is frivolous fun, but you get the feeling that it could have been so much more. Cruise’s latest vehicle sees him reunited with Cameron Diaz, and shows them having a whole load of fun tripping from one exotic location to another, flirting and firing guns, but offers little else. It attempted to be an action-comedy-romance-spy-thriller, and tried to make a dent in the Summer Blockbuster selection, but the end result is still extremely lightweight, throwaway entertainment. Some might find this approach fresh, but I definitely think that the input of no less than 12 writers had a devastating effect on the meandering script and jetsetting narrative. And the effects? When are studios going to learn that we’d prefer to see the real Cruise jump from car to car in, what seems, a relatively simple stunt, rather than have his CG alter-ego riding a motorcycle through the air over the heads of a hundred rampaging CG bull(s).
Thankfully this Region Free UK Blu-ray release goes some way to making amends. Unlike our counterparts across the pond, here we get not just the inferior Theatrical Cut, but also a longer Extended Cut which is better in every respect – better character development, more coherent story, better action and more laughs. Oh, and the single best Cruise-performed stunt is now reinstated. Why the US don’t get this, I have no idea, but perhaps they’re hoping for a double-dip. Boasting the same excellent video and audio, and exactly the same limited selection of extras, this is definitely the edition to own. If you enjoyed this movie, check out the Extended Cut. If you’re unsure about this movie, rent the Extended Cut. And if you were disappointed by the Theatrical Cut, but on the fence about the whole production, check out the Extended Cut. It’s not a great movie, but it is quite a fun movie, and infinitely better on the longer UK release.
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