||DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1
Well meaning, but flawed in its pacing, “BEYOND BORDERS” is being released on dvd from PARAMOUNT. Angelina Jolie’s face, alone, makes almost any film worth seeing, but a decent script, strong performances, a call for humanitarian assistance and its semi-epic proportions, all combine to make “BEYOND BORDERS” a film at least worth watching, if not owning.
The terrific opening sequence, set at a charity gala, introduces the main characters Angelina Jolie as a beatiful(inside and out)and Clive Owen. Owen bursts into the event, unwelcome, pointing out the plightof a young, hungry child, whose needs have been deserted by the
wealthy elite gathered there. His plea for conscience moves Jolie enough for her to desire to travel to Ethiopia to assist Owen’s work in relief. As the film moves ahead in time, we find Jolie and Owen’s relationship coming to a slow, but steady simmer, and her
relationship back home with her husband headed towards a disastrous end. Jolie becomes a mother, and the one major flaw of her character, is her willingness to abandon her daughter, even with the good intent to help others.
There is a fair share of tension thrown in, involving arms smuggling, some minor twists, and spying, but it all takes a back step to the serious social issues raised. The love story, against all odds,
actually begins to take hold of the viewer, albeit not until the last 30 minutes of the film. Pacing varies from a rapid pace to sluggish.
PARAMOUNT has preserved the film’s 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. Colors are solid and often vibrant. Contrast is
excellent, with deep blacks and grays. Fleshtones appear natural.
PARAMOUNT has delivered an outstanding DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 mix for this release. There are a bevy of directional effects throughout the film,
and they’re extremely effective. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
Director Martin Campbell, a James Bond veteran, provides a running commentary along with the film’s producer. It’s a decent commentary,
filled with technical insight as well as some engaging discussion around the social issues of the film.
“BEYOND THE LE LINES: THE MAKING OF BEYOND BORDERS” is a documentary, made up of many short segments, some engaging but far too brief, and
others worth skipping over.
“WRITING BEYOND BORDERS” offers an interview with the film’s writer. The best extra, about Jolie’s real-life humanitarian efforts as a
Goodwill Ambassador, is great, but, again, far too short.
Several trailers are included.