Featured In Issue 131, May 2008

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.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Xavier Gens
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Only known as Agent 47 (Olyphant), this genetically engineered assasin carries out high-profile hits for a mysterious organization known as "The Agency." When on assignment to assassinate a Russian head of state, the "Hitman" is caught off gaurd with the appearance of presidential look alikes. The high-profile hit catches the attention of Interpol and the CIA, prompting intelligence agent Mike Whittier (Scott) to attempt to reign in Agent 47. (Stacey Pendry)

In addition to the same five deleted/alternate scenes that are on the DVD, the Blu-ray Disc™ includes the following featurettes: In The Crosshairs (24 minutes); Digital Hits (11 minutes); Instruments Of Destruction, which can be watched in its 14-minute entirety or in six different chapters; Setting The Score (five minutes); a five-minute gag reel; and the theatrical trailer. There is also a bonus digital copy of the film for portable media players included.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.31:1 DVD has a somewhat hazy image, with elevated black levels and somewhat limited shadow delineation. Resolution is good, although there are scenes that can look overly soft. Occasional source element artifacts can be recognized from time to time and while grain is noticeable throughout, it is very noticeable in darker scenes. Contrast can be somewhat too hot. The image often looks artificially digitized, and edge enhancement is noticeable on the higher contrast transitions. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc has more solid black levels, but shadow delineation is still lacking, which helps leave the image looking relatively flat. Some scenes also look overly soft, but generally resolution is good. Grain is still noticeable throughout, but it isn't as noisy as the DVD. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital and DTS® Digital Surround™ 5.1-channel soundtracks feature tight, impactful bass delivered by the full-range channels as well as the LFE channel. While the mix can be exciting from time to time, with a good use of each available channel, there are many times when the mix is too reliant on the front three screen channels. The front stage is fairly broad and deep, but it is not as natural sounding as the best releases can sound. The LFE channel is incorporated at relatively low levels for much of the presentation (although in key action scenes it is mixed quite hot), but it is supported by deep bass in the full-range channels that routinely drops down to 20 Hz. Dialogue intelligibility is good, but it is obvious the majority of the dialogue was recorded on a looping stage, and the integration is less than pristine. The DTS encoding provides a noticeable increase in overall fidelity, with much better fluidity in the audio, as well as tighter, better controlled bass. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless DTS-HD™ Master Audio 5.1-channel encoding provides an improvement in overall fidelity and dynamic range, but the dialogue still has less than pristine spatial integration. The improved dynamic range, however, really adds a level of excitement to the soundtrack. (Danny Richelieu)