||DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1/ DTS 5.1
MIRAMAX is releasing two special editions of Anthony Minghella films,
“COLD MOUNTAIN” and “THE ENGLISH PATIENT”.
Jude Law stars as Inman, a Confederate soldier whom falls heavily in
love with Ada(Nicole Kidman). Ada is the epitome of the proper
Southern Belle. When the two meet, without much in the way of words,
they are instantly smitten with one another, and we can practically
feel their yearning for each other come off the screen.
Inman miraculously survives a serious injury, and there’s no doubt
that his longing to get back to Ada is the driving force that saves
him. As in the novel, he decides to get out of his sick bed and begin
his long journey back to Ada, by foot, and against many odds of
making it alive.
At the same time, Ada is finding it increasingly harder to surivive
single-handedly on her family’s farm. The only men that are around at
this time, with few exceptions, are either thugs serving the brutal
Home Guard, or busy trying to eke out an existence for themselves.
Ada ends up having to depend on the charity of a few decent people,
and this forced situation doesn’t appear to have any hope, until she
meets Ruby(Renee Zellweger). Ruby is an energetic girl, only too keen
to take life by the horns and overcome the hardships facing them.
It’s also apparent in their relationship, that they’re both
incredibly lonely. Perhaps, most importantly, Minghella powerfully
demonstrates the great potential of the human spirt in even the worst
situations. There are plenty of horrors to come, not only to Ada and
Ruby, but to other decent people and not so decent people as well.
But, there’s also a great message of hope that transcends even the
worst of circumstances. It’s a hope that’s partially self-imposed. A
case is made that much of horrors facing the world are man-made, but
at the same time, much of what helps humanity adjust and overcome
misery, also exists from within individuals.
Inman’s journey and encounters is contrasted with Ada’s throughout
much of the film, and at times, the film almost feels like a
non-supernatural “Lord of the Rings””, wherein the stage for battles
between good vs. evil, is set over and over. Even good people are
capable of doing some bad things, but when confronted with “pure”
evil, it’s reassuring to find that the best in some people, can
sometimes win out, even when faced with what appears to be a
potentially “Phyrric” victory.
MIRAMAX has preserved the film’s 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9
enhancement. It marks Minghella’s first use of this scope and he uses
the widescreen imagery perfectly in creating the epic feel necessary
to tell this tale. Unfortunately, the image is no way near what we
have grown to expect from MIRAMAX due to so many incredible transfers
from them. Colors appear duller than in the theatrical version. The
theatrical presentation was much more vibrant, and detail is often
lacking as well. Contrast is fine, with decent shadow detail in
darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural.
MIRAMAX has presented “TWO” options for the soundmix! Both the Dolby
Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 mixes are incredible! This is a complex mix,
and even with multi-layers of music, dialogue, bass and directional
effects, the fidelity on both mixes, is flawless! Still, the DTS mix
offers slightly better bass and definition than the Dolby Digital 5.1
Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
The film comprises the first of two discs, with an option for audio
commentary by Minghella and the film’s editor. It’s actually the
best commentary Minghella’s done, relying on a less technical
approach, instead focusing on his motivation behind scenes as they
The 2nd disd offers some great trailers,…”HERO,” “SHALL WE DANCE,”
and ALAMO. The featurette, “CLIMBING COLD MOUNTAIN,” explores
virtually every possible aspect of the film’s production, from
conception to final completion. It’s terrific!
A section of “DELETED SCENES” offers 11 scenes for a running time of
over 20 minutes! Several of these scenes really add to the film’s
depth, and we wish there was an option for them to have been left
intact, as with the FOX otpion available for “ME, MYSELF & IRENE.”
“THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF COLD MOUNTAIN” is a concert, filmed with
1.78:1 aspect ratio and 16:9 enhancement. Comprised of music from
the film along with readings from Sting, Nicole Kidman and others.
“A JOURNEY TO COLD MOUNTAIN” offers interviews with the cast and
filmmakers, as well as insight into the film’s production and costume
There are also storyboard comparisons for three important scenes.