Widescreen Review Webzine | HD DVD Review | Syriana

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Syriana

Featured In Issue 111, August 2006

Picture5
Sound4
WSR Score
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
(Studio/Distributor):
Warner Bros Pictures
(Catalog Number):
80792
(MPAA Rating):
R
(Rating Reason):
For violence and language
(Retail Price):
$34.99
(Disc Type):
Single Side, Dual Layer (HD-30)
(Widescreen Edition):
Yes
(Full Screen Edition):
No
(Running Time In Minutes):
128
(Color Type):
Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access):
Yes
(Closed Captioned):
Yes
(Regional Coding):
1
(Theatrical Year):
2005
(Theatrical Release):
Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release):
No
(Disc Release Date):
06/20/06
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
No
(Director):
Stehpen Gaghan
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Story):
(Music):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):
(Co-Producers):
(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):
(French Language):
(Spanish Language):
(Chinese Language):
(Subtitles):
(Cantonese Language):
(Mandarin Language):
(Japanese Language):
(Italian Language):
(German Language):
(Portuguese Language):

From the Middle East to the United States of America, and everywhere in between, oil is a valuable commodity that is heavily relied on by all members of society. The oil business is a ruthless one, and no one understands this more than CIA agent Bob Barnes (Clooney). Greed, corruption, he's been a part of it all, but one thing he never planned on was becoming a scapegoat—and suddenly, that's exactly what he is. Syriana is based on the book entitled See No Evil by Robert Baer. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include a nine-minute interview with George Clooney, an 11-minute Make A Change, Make A Difference featurette, three deleted scenes, the theatrical trailer, and up-front ads.

The high-definition 2.38:1 HD DVD picture exhibits a beautiful, crisp image. The highly contrasted stylizations are perfectly solid while the more natural scenes are well balanaced. Sharpness and textures excel over the SD DVD picture. Facial textures and fine details make for an impressive high-definition experience. There is no The anamorphically enhanced 2.38:1 DVD picture exhibits clean and solid imagery, with little smearing to distract. There is no obtrusive edge enhancement and only occasional minor pixel breakup noticed. (Suzanne Hodges)

Like the DVD, the Dolby® Digital Plus 5.1-channel mix is wanting in excitement, but the clarity and naturalness of the Dolby Digital Plus encoding is heavily favored over the DVD's Dolby Digital track. Dialogue still sounds slightly forward and slightly off in regards to spatial integration, but the naturalness of voices is impressive. Dynamic range is also impressive, with low level effects and intricacies in subject's voices imparted nicely. Bass is tight and controlled, making the soundtrack that much more realistic. A noticeable hum can be heard from time to time throughout the presentation, which occasionally will become a distraction in some scenes. Much of the Dolby Digital 5.1-channel presentation is dominated by the center channel, oftentimes seemingly never deviating into the corner full-range channels if music is not playing. Dialogue is recorded and delivered well, with a full, natural tonality, although it does sound slightly forward with poor spatial integration at times. (Danny Richelieu)