Hilary Swank is one of those mysteries around Hollywood. While no more talented than Steve Guttenberg, she's won "two" Oscars for "Best Actress!" This reviewer also suggests that none of the films she's made since "THE NEXT KARATE KID" have been any better for entertainment purpose. A perfect example is apparent with the release of "AMELIA," on blu-ray from FOX. Director Mira Nair has also been praised for her films, and while never fully getting why those earlier films didn't seem as powerful as reviews would leave one to believe, this reviewer suspected he just didn't get or appreciate them. However, having seen Nair's work in "AMELIA," it's much more likely that her previous work, like Swank's has been praised, more out of trying to over-compensate for the lack of female leading roles and directors, than any obvious talent. Just as the real-life "Amelia" missed reaching her destination point, the film "AMELIA" misses exploring or even remotely developing the most interesting aspects of the aviator's life.
With credit given to two separate autobiographies about Amelia Earhart for source material, it's frustrating to find that only the most superficial, already known aspects of her life are showcased here. Sure, her willingness to partake in an "affair" may seem shocking to 90 year old viewers, but nothing else of note really happens. Nair aspires for epic moments, but drains the potential for any visual flair with cliche'd smiles of Amelia at every opportunity available. Hilary's "AMELIA" doesn't seem complex, she seems daft!
Richard Gere is completely wasted, and so are the talents(if still existing)of the screenwriters. Ron Bass wrote "RAINMAN," and the adaptation of "JOY LUCK CLUB," for g-d's sake! How did he not notice this script was dreadful?
FOX has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this AVC MPEG-4 1080p blu-ray. Colors are vibrant throughout and Nair manages to not ruin the great cinematography(at least for the most part)with her poor decisions as helmer. Inky blacks mean terrific detail in even the darker scenes. It's a shame that the film's story lacks the depth achieved with the transfer! This stunning image is reference quality!
FOX has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix While there are some effective panning effects and some surround moments, Nair, again demonstrates her complete lack of ability to create an immersive experience. The mix fails to add any sense of majesty to the imagery, and is consistently average.
FOX has provided some notable extras, most of which are in 1080i. these include:
"MAKING AMELIA," a documentary about Swank's interpretation of the flier, featuring herself, Nair, Gere and more.
"THE POWER OF AMELIA EARHART" looks more at the costume and production design.
"THE PLANE BEHIND THE LEGEND" is a short look at Nair's explanation for the Lockheed Electra utilized in the film.
"DELETED SCENES" in 1080p, offers ten scenes, running less than 14 minutes. while adding to some plot aspects, none would've made the film more engaging, as the film's painfully dull at less than two hours.