PARAMOUNT's HD-DVD release of "THE ITALIAN JOB" offers a tempting buy. The film's extremely entertaining, with an incredible ensemble cast, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Donald Sutherland and more. And, after a powerful opening, for the most part, the film moves at a gripping pace. It's definitely F. Gary Gray's best work so far as a director, but there are a few slow spots. However, the highs are much better than the lows, and it makes a fine addition to any home theater collection.
PARAMOUNT has preserved the film's 2.35:1 ratio for the HD-DVD release. It's an impressive transfer, looking slick and polished throughout. Colors are incredibly detailed and black/gray delineation is remarkable. There are a few instances of edge enhancement, but other than this annoying defect, the image is terrific with great depth.
PARAMOUNT has included both a DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 and DTS 5.1 mix. Surprisingly, the mix isn't nearly as aggressive as I'd remembered it. There are some great moments during chase scenes wherein the surrounds kick in with great effect, and the music swells in a few moments. But, other than that, it's a pretty flat mix. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
All of the extras from the Standard dvd release are carried over here. The deleted scenes section, which is in rough form, really demonstrates how sharp the HD-DVD image really is!