Plot: What’s it about?
George Clooney seems to have found somewhat of a niche playing the “tail-kickin'” Army officer-type. First in this movie as Col. Tom Devoe, and in similar roles in the highly acclaimed “Three Kings” and “The Thin Red Line”. So what is it about him in this type of role that makes it so believable? He seems to, pardon the pun, have some sense of “authority” about him that makes you want to just do as you’re told. Nevertheless, he buts heads with U.S. Nuclear specialist, Julia Kelly (played by none other than Nicole Kidman) while trying to recover some stolen nuclear warheads. The story starts, literally, with a bang. A hijacked train full of unsuspecting Russian military men is set on a one way course with an armed nuclear warhead. After some highly though out plans are executed, the train collides with another and then we hear and see a very big “BOOM”! Of course this is too easy of an explanation for Tom, and he sets out to prove (and very quickly he does) that it’s a terrorist act that set off the nuclear explosion in the middle of Russia, and not the force of impact of two trains. Tom, being the rebellious officer he is, is assigned to Julia to help track down the other 9 missing warheads. The motive, they think, is to sell them on the black market, but as Dr. Kelly states…”I’m not afraid of the man who has 9 warheads, I’m afraid of the man who only wants one”. After a few fight scenes, and action sequences, we learn that the missing warhead (as the ‘good guys’ had just recovered the other 8) is to be set as a target to the United Nations, and of course we can’t let that happen! Whether it’s just a good “shoot ’em up” action movie, or a thriller that does everything but re-establish the cold war, this one is for you. Running at just over two hours, this plays more like a long cat and mouse chase. I know I sound kind of corny, but Clooney and Kidman do make a good team and it’s fun to see them try to one up the other…all while saving the world.
Video: How does it look?
Presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer that has no hint of anything wrong with it. Colors are natural and vibrant, no errors at all. I could go on and on about how good the picture looks, citing different examples…but just trust me when I say that it’s perfect.
Audio: How does it sound?
Ok, now we’re talking! This is the DTS version of the movie, so it’s literally “optimized” for the best sound possible, DTS. As with most all DTS titles, this version will sound better. The sound is not as compressed on the disc and therefore has more of the speakers to “play with”. A few things I noticed were the trains at the openeing scene, one is on the left side of the screen, and one is on the other and it’s cleary apparent to tell, just by hearing, which one should be where. Through the many chase scenes, the helicopters blowing up, the nuclear bomb blowing up and about 1,000 explosions in between—they all sound great! Dialogue, as always, is sharp and well-defined. These DTS titles are short on supplements, but oh the sound!
Supplements: What are the extras?
While the Dolby Digital counterpart has some production notes, a trailer, cast bios and some behind the scenes footage, this has none. It’s a question of what you like more…extras or sound. If you answered sound, then this is one disc you should have.