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GET SMART ($40) is a surprisingly enjoyable update on the classic sitcom. What makes the film version of GET SMART work is the presence of Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, as well as the fact that this is less of a sitcom on a theatrical budget and more a funny action movie. GET SMART introduces the character of Maxwell Smart (Carell) as the top analyst at the American intelligence agency called CONTROL. Even though Max longs to be a field agent and has passed his proficiency exam, the Chief of CONTROL (Alan Arkin) feels that Max is too valuable to the organization in his present capacity, and refuses to send him out into the field. The situation changes, when CONTROL headquarters comes under a devastating attack from the supposedly defunct terrorist organization known as KAOS.

With all known CONTROL agents compromised, Max is promoted to the field and teamed with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), who is a highly experienced field agent, but has recently undergone extensive plastic surgery, which has prevented her identity from being compromised. Agent 99 and the newly dubbed Agent 86 are sent to Moscow to infiltrate KAOS and discover how and where the terrorist organization has been able to secure nuclear weapons. While Max has the technical know-how from his years of studying intelligence, his lack of practical field experience turns out to be the cow that the film version of GET SMART milks for its comedy. Carell handles the physical comedy with aplomb, while at the same time, having enough charm to prevent his character from being a one-dimensional joke, as well as displaying the right amount of chemistry with his lovely leading lady. The cast of GET SMART also features Terence Stamp, Terry Crews, David Koechner, James Caan, Bill Murray, Patrick Warburton, Masi Oka, Nate Torrence, Ken Davitian, David S. Lee, Dalip Singh, Geoff Pierson and original series fixture Bernie Kopell in a brief cameo.

Warner Home Video has made GET SMART available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. This being a brand new movie, it should come as no surprise that GET SMART comes with a really nice looking 1080p presentation. The image usually appears sharp and nicely defined, even down to the level of fine detail. Depth and dimensionality are also quite good. The image can appear a little softer anytime digital effects or digital composites are employed. Colors are vibrant and produce very pleasing flesh tones. Blacks are deep and whites are crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are very good, although the film isnít overly demanding in this area. The elements from which GET SMART are mastered appear virtually pristine. Grain is mild and the presentation maintains a pretty organic quality.

GET SMART is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtrack. Due to the action elements, this is a better than expected comedy mix. All of the outlying channels engage nicely anytime something big is happening on screen. Sound effects are well placed and move about without effort. However, much of GET SMART plays in the talky comedy mode, so those passage are localized up front. Even without lossless encoding, the music and sound effects have a very strong presence. Additionally, the bass channel is fairly potent. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and is always easy to understand. French, Spanish and Portuguese 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplements. The interactive Smart Takes version of the film offers Alternate Scenes at the point they would have appeared in the body of the film. Featurettes include The Old "I Hid It In The Movie" Trick (ten minutes of TV series references), The Right Agent For The Right Job (eleven minutes on casting), Max In Moscow! (six minutes on location), Language Lessons (three minutes), Get Smartís Bruce & Lloyd Out Of Control (three minute Sneak Peak), The Vomit Reel (five minutes) and Spy Confidential: Gag Reel (six minutes). On separate discs one will find a Digital Copy of the file and a Get Smart KAOS / CONTROL Game.

GET SMART is an enjoyable update on the classic sitcom. The Blu-ray presentation is a solid hi-def performer, although this isnít likely to be a title one would use to demo their system. GET SMART is a lot of fun and will certainly appeal to Steve Carell fans.



Get Smart [Blu-ray] (2008)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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