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SRP $34.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT

“MISSION IMPOSSIBLE” is that rarity of a film. The third in the action-packed series of spy films, combining high-tech gadgetry, fight to the death encounters, and elite agents, it’s actually the best of the lot so far!  Brian De Palma’s original film offered some great moments and of course the beautiful Emmanuele Beart. However, the story was convoluted and some of the action scenes were just too over-the-top for their own good. “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2” at least had the beautiful Thandie Newton on board and much more action, but being a John Woo film, even his penchant to make bullets fly with the precision and beauty of a ballet, couldn’t make up for a very troubled script, riddled with cliché’ after cliché’. 

“MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3” has an incredible script!  It also has an incredible director.  J.J. Abrams brings something new to the action-genre. It’s a thinking man’s “JAMES BOND” film.  In fact, why the hell isn’t JJ Abrams taking on that series? It needs him!  In the same way that Bryan Singer treated the first “X-MEN” film with a reverence, so too does Abrams treat the action genre.  Say what one wants about Tom Cruise’s looney and despicable public behavior, but he proves in the film’s opening seconds, he’s an actor to be reckoned with!  The film’s ingenious opening has Cruise tied up across from another hostage, as villain Philip Seymore Hoffman begins a countdown to 10, after which if he doesn’t get the info he wants, he will blow the girl’s brains out.  What ensues is one of the most believable, jaw dropping performances to come out of Cruise thus far, and that’s saying a lot after the incredible portrayals he gave in “MAGNOLIA”, “JERRY MAGUIRE” and “RAIN MAN”. 

Abrams never allows the film to feel as hokey as the lesser moments of his “REGARDING HENRY” script, although there are a few moments that come close.  Still, he blends together a love story, a mystery, and a spy film with action simmering just around every corner.  There are no slow moments here and every action scene, while providing an adrenaline rush, never succumbs to the problems of most action films, …silliness.  Every actor is well-cast, and the script allows virtually every main character to have an unusual amount of depth. It’s filled with surprises, even if this reviewer did find the revelation of a double agent a little predictable by the film’s conclusion.

PARAMOUNT preserved the film’s 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement.  It’s a slick transfer.  ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS!!!! The colors are rich and vibrant throughout. The blacks and grays are deep, offering wonderful contrast and detail in even the darkest night scenes. There are no blemishes or artifacts.

PARAMOUNT has provided a DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 mix.  It’s an aggressive mix, filled with powerful surround sound and discrete effects in sequence after sequence!  The bass is used effectively and one never senses separation confined to the front. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

The CRUISE/ABRAMS commentary is outstanding. It’s actually one of the best commentaries offered in years, and remains entertaining, while offering plenty of insight into the filmmaking process. TERRIFFIC!!

There are five deleted scenes, although none have an option for commentary, something that would’ve been beneficial.  The BAFTA “EXCELLENCE IN FILM” montage of Tom Cruise is engaging though very over-indulgent, even for an awards program.  There are also several trailers.

That’s what’s offered on the “single” disc edition. The “two-disc” edition offers a lengthy featurette, the commentary, deleted scenes “and” six more featurettes.  The single disc is more than sufficient.

“MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3” is an outstanding film and a dvd worthy of every film lover’s collection. It’s one of the best “DEMONSTRATION QUALITY” releases to show off a home theater’s video and audio capabilities.