SRP $29.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT
SRP $39.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT

PARAMOUNT has released the powerful, factual drama, "A MIGHTY HEART," on dvd and hd-dvd.  The plot, based closely on fact, follows the kidnapping of Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl, and the investigation that follows, all the way up to its agonizing conclusion.  The film plays like a straight procedural police drama, and even though we already know the fate of Daniel before the film starts, it's no less captivating.  Michael Winterbottom's directing has never been tighter, and every part is perfectly cast. Jolie gives a wonderfully restrained performance, and somehow manages to make one forget just how beautiful she is, and remember why she's one of the few deserving "Oscar" winners.

PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this release, with 16:9 enhancement on dvd and 1080p/VC-1 encoding for the hd-dvd. Both hd-dvd and dvd look solid. Having been shot in high-def, grain is inherently present in most scenes, but it's never intrusive. In fact, it gives the film a gritty, realistic feel.  Darker scenes lack the detail typically associated with better transfers, and this problem is even more noticeable in the hd-dvd format.  Noise is also present in both formats, but more noticeable in hd-dvd, causing a flat look during select scenes. Still, both formats closely reflect the theatrical presentation, and it's better than average, considering the original source material.

PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 for the hd-dvd.  While not an aggressive mix, ambient sounds are well processed through all speakers, giving a realistic, busy setting during street sequences. Most of the film mix is center channel focused. Separation focused in the front offers excellent dynamic range. It's a solid mix, without much fanfare. Dialogue is always intelligible and sharp. The hd-dvd "TrueHD" mix offers notably better fidelity than the standard dolby digital on the dvd.

A PSA and a documentary about the film's transition to the screen is offered along with a brief featurette.