Panic Room's anamorphic 2.40:1 transfer is nothing less than phenomenal. With next-to-nothing in the way of additional features to take up disc space, Columbia Tristar has used up every scrap on AV quality, and does it ever show - detail levels are sky-high, colours are perfectly rendered. However, it's not all rosy as there is some very slight edge-enhancement noticeable throughout (just check out the banisters on the staircase).
The disc offers a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS soundtracks. Those of you with the ability to handle the latter should go straight for the latter as the increased bass extension will give your subwoofer a real workout. That said, even if you can only output Dolby Digital, the DD mix in no way disappoints. The surrounds come in for plenty of use - positioning you right in the heart of the onscreen action - while the dialogue and music presentation is just perfect.
Despite early rumours to the contrary, Columbia's UK Panic Room DVD seems identical to the American Superbit release. The transfer is easily on a par, and this means that there is little space for extras other than a teaser trailer and filmographies. While this does mean that those who only care about the film are getting everything they want, anybody out there hoping for more is better off waiting to see if the rumoured Special Edition rears its head in 2003.A fantastic transfer for an undemanding crime thriller; those hoping for extras though are best waiting for the inevitable Special Edition.
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