SRP $26.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 WARNER

Roland Joffe’s “THE MISSION,” has been released as a “Special Edition” on dvd from WARNER BROS.  From the very first scene, featuring a man tied to a cross, floating down a river, just before being hurtled down a steep waterfall, is just one of many stunning, provocative ones to follow.  Joffe and scriptwriter Robert Bolt, clearly intended to confront the viewer with various notions that would bring about debate.  Few films of the ‘80s, offer as much to think about as does “THE MISSION.”

Unlike many of Joffe’s other horrendous films, this one has a terrific script, and it allows for its characters to reveal some depth.  While no one in the film is perfect, “THE MISSION” demonstrates that ordinary or heavily flawed men can do heroic and monumental things!  Robert De Niro, responsible for killing his own brother, brings the audience along on his search for redemption, and it’s a journey wherein the viewer feels like a real participant in the events unfolding.  Jeremy Irons is also terrific, but then, everything about the film is pretty much terrific!

WARNER BROS. has preserved the film’s 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this release.  Colors are solid, and while the image is soft at times, for the most part, there’s a real vibrant look to the entire film.  Contrast is excellent, and there’s great clarity in darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural throughout.
WARNER BROS. has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for this release.  Most of the separation effects are focused towards the front soundstage, however, there are some ambient effects scattered throughout the film.  What the 5.1 mix really promotes best, is the incredible Ennio Moricone score, brought to its fullest potential here!

Joffe provides a terrific commentary for the film.  He’s obviously a brilliant man, and his knowledge of film and passion for the art comes across in an entertaining, yet educational manner.  It’s hard to think such a great filmmaker is responsible for so many other crappy films, and the horrible MTV soap-opera “Undressed.”

The first of two discs also offers cast and crew bios, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer in 2.35:1 and Dolby 2.0 stereo.
The 2nd disc of this 2 disc set, offers a terrific documentary, “OMNIBUS.”  It focuses on the many obstacles facing the film’s production.