Four Brothers (HD-DVD)

John Singleton hasn't made a film as great as his debut, "BOYZ 'N THE HOOD", yet. But, "FOUR BROTHERS" manages to be surprisingly entertaining in spite of its dialogue and plot holes, due to Singleton's skills.

Mark Wahlberg stars as one of the "Four Brothers" in this crime-drama. All four were orphaned and eventually adopted by a kindly, but slightly off kilter Irish woman. When she's killed during a convenience store robbery, the brothers reunite to do their own investigation and uncover facts leading them to believe she wasn't just an innocent victim, but quite possibly the actual target.  Singleton showcases a confusing penchant at both glamorizing and de-mythologizing gangsters. Although some of these scenes are mesmerizing, they also suggest borderline ineptitude.  There's also a lot of things uncomfortable about the film, having nothing to do with its central theme.  Singleton seems to be a real homophobe and the jokes relating to this are not only tasteless but so juvenile, they really lessen the film immediately, causing it to lose tension and feel like it was made by a high-school student, snickering all the way.

While Sofia Vergara is enticing to watch, if anyone ever questioned her acting abilities, she proves how awful she is in every single scene. She's so annoying, it's hard to believe she's acting at all, and the attraction fades quickly.

PARAMOUNT has preserved the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  It's a slick image and colors are much sharper now than in the previous standard dvd version. Detail is often astounding, as is evident during a car chase scene in the snow, wherein individual snowflakes are incredibly distinctive. The contrast is great, offering incredible shadow detail in darker scenes.  This is one of the best HD-DVDs to be released so far from PARAMOUNT.

PARAMOUNT has presented both a DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 mix and a DTS 5.1 mix. Neither mix is extremely aggressive, however both are an improvement over the standard dvd version.  Fidelity is greatly improved, offering better bass and clarity during action scenes. Surrounds are utilized during some key scenes, but the lack of rear effects during a majority of the film is disappointing. The DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 offers superior quality to the DTS version.

All of the extras from the standard dvd, including deleted scenes and commentary, have been carried over.