UNIVERSAL has released Sydney Pollack's "first" real thriller in quite a while, "THE INTERPRETER". There are many moments in "THE INTERPRETER" that help remind the viewer Pollack has made some of the best, intelligent thrillers of all time, eg. "3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR". Nicole Kidman stars as an Interpreter, who accidentally overhears an assassination plot in the making, set to take place at the UN. Sean Penn, in yet another terrific performance, stars as the Federal Agent assigned to protect her while investigating her claim.
The opening sequence, having nothing to do with the UN, involving some decent people trying to uncover atrocities in Africa, but being set up in the process, is incredible! The film's biggest disappointment lies in the fact that the rest of the film doesn't really pick up where that scene left off. This isn't to say there aren't plenty of good and even great moments. There are! A particular scene, involving a bus chase sequence, is thrilling no matter how many times it's been viewed! Pollack has put together a decent script, incredible actors, great cinematography and more, culminating in a flawed, but still highly worthwhile thriller.
UNIVERSAL has provided a terrific transfer for this release! Colors are solid and vibrant in every scene! The detail, whether in Africa, interior hallways, or in the darkest situations, is always perfect. Contrast is excellent. There are no artifacts.
UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While it offers some terrific discrete effects, this isn't an aggressive mix. Pollack seems to like silence to create tension, and there are plenty of silent sequences throughout the film. The front soundstage is effective when utilized, boosting the film's score and providing some fine separation moments. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
UNIVERSAL has provided plenty of extras. An audio commentary featuring Pollack, is well worth a listen. Pollack is one of the few directors, often more entertaining than his films. He provides some of the best insight into the filmmaking process offered on any dvd in recent memory.
There are some great featurettes, including one focused on real interpreters with examples of what they do. Some deleted scenes, and a slightly altered, ending are also included.