Detective Jack Mosley (Willis) has been assigned to escort talkative Eddie Bunker (Def) 16 Blocks to the courthouse. But Eddie isn't expected to make it to the courthouse...because a lot of cops want him dead. And after saving Eddie's life from a would-be assassin, Jack soon discovers that his partner, Frank Nugent (Morse), is one of the cops who Eddie was set to testify against. Now Jack finds himself on the line between corrupt cops and a small-time criminal who wants to change his life. This action-packed thriller stands out in a slew of ho-hum movies that are stinting the boxoffice. (Suzanne Hodges)
The DVD includes an option to watch the 102-minute theatrical version or a 100-minute version with an alternate ending. Additionally, there are deleted scenes with commentary by Richard Donner and Richard Wenk, the alternate ending with an introduction, and the theatrical trailer.
This new high-definition 2.35:1 HD DVD picture does an excellent job of delivering the color stylizations that enhance the edgy nature of the storytelling. Colors have a desaturated appearance, but they are well balanced. Shadow delineation is perfectly capable of delivering detailed visuals in the darkness. Sharpness can be exceptional, with natural definition and textures throughout. Clarity far exceeds the SD DVD visual experience. There is no sign of obtrusive edge enhancement or VC-1 compression artifacts, for a smooth, impressive picture throughout. As with the HD DVD, the 2.35:1 DVD picture looks great, considering the stylizations to give an edgy visual texture. The picture is sharp and detailed, with rare signs of smearing. Pixel breakup is also not much of a problem for this DVD, although the HD DVD delivers a much-preferred visual experience. (Suzanne Hodges)
With greatly improved fidelity over the DVD's Dolby® Digital encoding, the Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack on the HD DVD sounds much more realistic, and in turn, is more involving. Instruments in the score are more pristine and dialogue sounds slightly more robust, but the use of ADR in some scenes is more noticeable with the new codec. Deep bass is tight and controlled, imparting a sense of realism in everything from car engines to gun shots. The mix is the same in both the HD DVD and DVD releases, and as such, is not very inspiring. The DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is certainly intense, with an impressive score that heightens the story's moods well. Dialogue sounds spatially accurate, which is a plus, but much of the soundtrack is limited with respect to surround envelopment. The sounds of the city are not reproduced as effectively as they could be, with the surround channels often not incorporated as an equal part to the front channels. Atmospheric effects are directed out of the surround channels, but at low relative levels when compared to the fronts. (Danny Richelieu)