SRP $29.98 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 BUENA VISTA
 
Coverart: Lookout, The  (Blu-ray):
SRP $34.95 2.35:1 PCM 5.1 BUENA VISTA
 

BUENA VISTA has released one of the best films of this year or any year, "THE LOOKOUT," on dvd and blu-ray formats. Scott Frank has been a well-respected screenwriter for years, and "THE LOOKOUT" marks his debut as a director. He proves that he's the best one suited to film his original script and from beginning to end, "THE LOOKOUT" is skillfully crafted, well-acted and beautifully shot. It's as impressive a debut as Sam Mendes' "AMERICAN BEAUTY," while a completely different film.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Chris, a high-school hockey superstar, from a wealthy family, with a beautiful girlfriend. During the opening sequence, Chris makes a silly mistake while driving his girl and another couple to see fireflies on the open road, resulting in tragedy, and leaving him mentally impaired. The film quickly cuts to 4 years later, and Chris is now working as a janitor in a small-town Kansas bank, living with a blind man(Jeff Daniels in another terrific performance), and trying to cope with even simple tasks. Even remembering how to open a can of tomatoes can be stressful!  Soon enough, certain individuals, including a beautiful former stripper, enter his life. As he begins to feel some of the popularity back of his old self, he realizes that he's being used, in a complex scheme, intending to use him as a "lookout" in a robbery of his bank.  What could be a simple "heist caper" is much, much more. "THE LOOKOUT" is simply "BRILLIANT!" And, unlike many "great" or "near-great" films, "THE LOOKOUT" feels real, never succumbing to a contrived climax.

BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio on dvd and blu-ray, with 16:9 enhancement for the dvd.  Colors on both formats appear accurate and intentionally subdued. The director and cinematographer explain their choices in a great commentary, offered as an option on both formats. Because the filmmakers wanted a gritty atmosphere, grain is present in many scenes, but it never hinders the detail or of the image. The blu-ray format version offers notably better definition in dark scenes, however.

BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd and an additional PCM 5.1 mix for the blu-ray.  While not "aggressive," it's still a brilliant mix, with discrete and surround effects perfectly complimenting the story and intended atmosphere. Music is key to impacting many scenes, and it's perfectly balanced here with the dialogue and effects. While not as non-stop, pumping with effects as some releases, it actually ranks up with the best of them due to its powerful delivery.

BUENA VISTA has provided some great extras. The aforementioned commentary is excellent. Two featurettes are also worth checking out.