"LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER" is a mildly diverting, semi-entertaining film. It's hard to imagine any viewer, male or female, not enjoying the vision of Angelina Jolie running around in sexy attire, playing badass with some nasty villains, and all sorts of high-tech gadgetry. And, for a good part of the film, those scenes work well. Unfortunately, near the last half-hour, the film feels very long. The sight of her battling rock-like monsters is also ridiculous and the lack of believable special effects in these sequences hurts the film's suspension of belief, badly!
Still, the film has legions of fans, proven by its box-office success and a sequel. PARAMOUNT has included it as one of its initial HD-DVD launch titles.
PARAMOUNT has preserved the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Surprisingly, the image varies in quality throughout. In some scenes, the detail is terrific, and in others the image is very grainy and soft. Colors are generally bright and contrast is typically solid, offering deep blacks and grays. Still, overall, the image is disappointing considering that at times it's so much sharper than the dvd. However, at least the dvd was more consistent, even though it never reaches the kind of detail found in the best parts of HD-DVD found here.
PARAMOUNT has provided both a DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 mix and a DTS 5.1 mix. Surprisingly, while DTS almost always sound noticeably better than Dolby Digital on DVD, the "DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1" sound better than the DTS found here. Both are incredible though, featuring non-stop directional/panning and discrete effects. Bass is used prominently on both mixes too, however the DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 mix offers slightly overall clarity.
All of the extras found on the dvd, have been carried over on this HD-DVD.