Lara Croft (Jolie) is a resilient, sexy, and armed adventurer who was born into wealth and trained at the most elite schools. Traveling to dangerous and mysterious locales around the globe, Lara is in constant search of rare, lost crypts and long-forgotten empires. Now she must face her greatest challenge yet: to find two halves of an ancient artifact buried in space and time. Once whole, this ancient object gives the bearer the godlike power to control time and even undo the past. But to get there, Lara must first take on a dangerous secret society, the Illuminati. The fate of mankind rests in the hands of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Special features include audio commentary with Director Simon West, five featurettes: the 25-minute behind-the-scenes Digging Into Tomb Raider, seven minutes training Ms. Jolie titled Crafting Lara Croft, the eight-segment The Visual Effects Of Tomb Raider, nine minutes worth of stunts, and an eight-minute look at the game; four deleted scenes; a U2 music video; an alternate main title; teaser and theatrical trailers; and previews.
While the 2.35:1 VC-1-encoded HD DVD picture does deliver rich hues and well-balanced skintones, shadow delinenation is slightly lacking, making the picture seem somewhat flat, especially when compared to other HD DVD releases. Source element artifacts can become a distraction at times, with fine film grain and dirt apparent throughout the presentation. Edge enhancement can be seen on some high-contrast transitions, although it isn't overly distracting. Most scenes do look very detailed and clear, although other scenes seem to have a slight defocus that doesn't look natural. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital Plus and DTS® Digital Surround™ encodings of this soundtrack are exciting, with well-placed images around the soundstage and amply deep and tight bass delivered through each of the six channels. Fidelity is not perfect, as there is a slight hiss that can be heard over the dialogue at times. The added fidelity of the Dolby Digital Plus encoding, however, does do wonders for believability and phantom imaging around the soundstage, really bringing the listening space into the action. This is a first-rate soundtrack, with few faults. (Danny Richelieu)