Featured In Issue 119, April 2007

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number):
(MPAA Rating):
(Rating Reason):
For violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language, and some drug use
(Retail Price):
(Disc Type):
Single Side, Dual Layer (HD-30)
(Widescreen Edition):
(Full Screen Edition):
(Running Time In Minutes):
(Color Type):
(Chaptered/Scene Access):
(Closed Captioned):
(Regional Coding):
Not Indicated
(Theatrical Year):
(Theatrical Release):
(Direct-To-Video Release):
(Disc Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Alejandro González Iñárritu
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):
(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio):
(Measured Disc Aspect Ratio):
(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby Digital+ 5.1
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(DTS Bit Rate):
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate):
(Additional Languages):

A troubled husband and wife from Southern California. A wealthy Japanese businessman and his deaf daughter. An illegal Mexican nanny and her two American charges. A poor Moroccan herder and his two sons. All are tragically united when a stray bullet hits an American tourist while bus-bound in the remote North African desert. Babel earned Alejandro González Iñárritu the prize for Best Director at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. (Jack Kelley)

The supplements are the same as on the DVD: the theatrical trailer and previews. There are also up-front ads.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD boasts well-balanced contrast and good detail, but the colors generally look drab. Still, fleshtones have a natural, rosy complexion. There are scenes that can look rather soft, edge enhancement is used, and source element artifacts can be seen from time to time, but generally the picture is acceptable. The Blu-ray Disc and H.264 AVC-encoded HD DVD versions are much the same, with drab, uninteresting colors, and relatively soft details. Differences between the two high-definition versions are minute, but the HD DVD version does seem to have slightly less-resolved fine detail, noticeable only when directly comparing paused frames, and really only in the film grain structure. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features very well-recorded and delivered music, taking full advantage of the entire frequency range. The LFE channel is incorporated well, when needed, and dialogue sounds natural. The only downside is the general lack of surround envelopment, which can make the soundtrack sound one-dimensional, and some clipping distortion can be heard in the louder scenes. The HD DVD's Dolby Digital Plus encoding provides slightly improved fidelity over the Blu-ray Disc's Dolby Digital encoding, with improved dynamics and bass impact. (Danny Richelieu)