Guns, explosions and attractive people are the very bread and butter of the Hollywood system. Mix a reputed $75m budget and some ‘A’ list cast members, and there’s a distant chance something entertainment might emerge…
If you’ve not seen this movie it’s an interesting combination of the ideas behind True Lies and War of the Roses. It’s then nlended by director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, and more recently, Jumper) into a quirky yet polished action vehicle. The premise: two people locked in a loveless marriage share the same secret, they’re lethal assassins.
And as this is Hollywood at its most predictable, those two people are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, ticking a large demographic for those who had to market this film to a less than discerning public.
So does putting it on Blu-ray add anything new? Well in one respect it’s actually taken stuff away, because disappointingly this isn’t the unrated Director’s Cut that was available on DVD. Why they did this I’ve no idea, because in my mind the Blu-ray market is surely for film fans who’d want that version?
However, on the upside this is an amazingly crisp conversion which possibly draws on the digital intermediary that was created during the editing phase of this production, and from which the cinema distributed 35mm prints ultimately came. What impressed me was that it doesn’t fall into the usual trap of great external daytime shots and then murky night time reproductions: much of this film is at night and it doesn’t suffer with the onset of digital mush.
Another plus here is the audio, which demonstrates exactly what DTS HD can do when the effort is made to use it correctly. It might require the right hardware to appreciate it, but the sound in the action sequences is certainly worth the expense.
Those keen on extras will find the perfunctory deleted scenes, three production staff voice-overs and a ‘Making A Scene’ featurette. They’re nice enough, but hardly anything new from the content already seen on the DVD DTS version. In fact some of those items aren’t even presented in HD: that’s sloppy, Fox.
But my big issue with this film isn’t how well they’ve done putting it on Blu-ray, but the repeat viewability of this movie. It’s a fun ‘popcorn’ movie that’s well made and slickly delivered, but would it really stand being watched more than once or twice?As much as I enjoy the old world charms of Angelina, and I’m sure others can’t get enough of Brad, there actually isn’t enough in here to make me want to see this again on a regular basis.
I guess that’s what separates a good movie from a ‘classic’, and as enjoyable as Mr. And Mrs. Smith is, it never quite makes that category.
But at least it didn’t share the fate of the Doug Liman-produced spin-off TV show, which was cancelled with four of the first thirteen episodes unaired.