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WANTED

WANTED ($40) is a extremely entertaining, high-octane action movie loosely adapted from the limited series comics Mark Millar. The plot of the movie is somewhat thin, but it serves as much of a springboard that is required to propel the film from one deliriously unbelievable action set piece to the next. After a physics defying opening hail of bullets, WANTED introduces us to Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), who (like so many) works at a job he obviously hates. Wesley is also bullied by his overbearing boss and needs to take medication to control panic attacks. To make matters worse, his girlfriend is cheating on him with his so-called best friend, who just happens to work in the same office as Wesley. Just when Wesley thinks his life can’t get any worse, he finds out that he has been targeted for assassination.

Fortunately, for Wesley, a beautiful woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie) saves him from the assassin’s first attempt. After the rescue, Fox takes Wesley to back the headquarters of The Fraternity, a thousand-year-old secret society of assassins, where we are introduced to Sloan (Morgan Freeman), the leader of The Fraternity, who delivers a whole lot of exposition. It seems that Wesley’s father was a member of The Fraternity, and was recently killed by an assassin named Cross (Thomas Kretschmann), who was a Fraternity member, before turning rogue. We also learn that Wesley possesses the same special abilities that made his father a top assassin. Of course, Wesley’s inherited abilities are the reason Cross is trying to kill him. To reach his full potential, Wesley undergoes assassin training before going after the man who killed his father. The cast of WANTED also features Terence Stamp, Common, Kristen Hager, Marc Warren, David O'Hara, Konstantin Khabensky, Dato Bakhtadze, Chris Pratt and Lorna Scott.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made WANTED available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is quite stunning and is just about always demonstration worthy. Image sharpness, detail, clarity and dimensionality are all at the top of the class. The image bristles with fine detail; textures on objects and inconsistencies in the actors’ skin are cleanly visible. Colors tend to be mildly stylized, but are otherwise very strong and very vibrant. Blacks are pure and the whites are crisp, even if the contrast pushes the envelope a little. Additionally, shadow detail is usually very impressive. The elements from which WANTED have been transferred appear virtually pristine. Grain is mild, with the presentation maintaining a fairly organic quality.

WANTED is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The highly aggressive sound design delivers everything one would expect from a movie with such deliriously over-the-top action visuals. This is definitely one of those soundtracks you’ll want to demo for your friends- but make sure you stow the breakables first. Sounds are launched at the viewers from all sides, with all the discrete channels engaging on a regular basis. Additionally, the sonic assaults fly from one corner to the other with a clear, precise and effortless quality. Fidelity is stunningly good; the music sounds great, plus the sound effects are weighty and totally convincing. The bass channel is ground shaking and fully percussive. Dialogue is crisp and maintains complete intelligibility. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Featurettes include Cast And Characters (twenty minutes), Stunts On The L Train (two minutes plus), Special Effects: The Art Of The Impossible (eight minutes), Groundbreaking Visual Effects: From Imagination To Execution (eight minutes), The Origins Of Wanted: Bringing The Graphic Novel To Life (eight minutes), Through The Eyes Of Visionary Director Timur Bekmambetov (nine minutes), Wanted: Motion Comics (fourteen minutes) Making of Wanted: The Game (ten minutes). An Alternate Opening and Extended Scene are also featured.

Universal's U-Control interface is utilized for an interactive version of the movie that provides in context picture-in-picture, pop-up supplements in relation to individual moments or sequences in the film (requires a Profile 1.1 player). WANTED is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). A Digital Copy of the film is also provided.

WANTED is a wild ride that is certain to leave action fans breathless. The Blu-ray presentation is top of the line and certain to earn itself a place in one’s demo disc pile. Recommended.

 

WANTED 


Wanted [Blu-ray] (2008)

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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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