Unquestionably, director/writer Frank Darabont's best film since "THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION," he's turned to Stephen King once again with his adaptation of the novella, "THE MIST." While the film failed at the box-office, Darabont has succeeded in making a masterful film, blending intense drama and a "twilight zone" atmosphere. In this tale of a New England town beset by a strange mist, entrapping a variety of characters in a small town grocery store, while horrors lie outside, trying to break in, Darabont succeeds in doing something remarkable; making one feel and believe that what's happening, as bizarre as it sounds, is real, and then having to deal with the ramifications of such a twisted reality. There are various themes running throughout, and King makes some grand, well-pointed arguments about religious zealotry, all within the confines of what could've easily been turned into a simple gore-fest.
WEINSTEIN COMPANY has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. As with the recent dvd release, Darabont offers the original theatrical version, as well as a newly created black&white transfer. While both are enjoyable, the black and white version, while still entertaining, is less intense, as the special effects come across looking artificial, whereas they look believable in the color version.
Both versions suffer from persistent grain at times, with the b&w version having less of it noticeable. Unfortunately, the color version tends to push colors to a point of oversaturation. Fleshtones also tend to come across as less than natural. Still, depth is impressive in both formats, and while the resolution doesn't have as many scenes with "jump off the screen" detail as the best blu-rays do, it's notably better than the dvd version.
The WEINSTEIN COMPANY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for both versions. Thankfully, it's fantastic. As good as the Dolby Digital mix was on dvd, the Dolby TrueHD mix is even better. It's exactly the kind of mix fans of the film could hope for, balancing the terrific Marc Isham score, with perfectly laid discrete effects, powerful bass and more subtle ambient effects, while dialogue is always intelligible.
Surrounds are used with restraint and impact, at just the right times.
A terrific commentary with the director is offered and well worth listening to, as are all of the extras found on the dvd(deleted scenes, featurettes) only now in full high definition.