SRP $29.98 1.85:1 DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 UNIVERSAL
 

UNIVERSAL has released "MYSTERY MEN" on hd-dvd, and while this reviewer was excited at the prospect of seeing this unusual, colorful film in high-def, UNIVERSAL appears to have not given it much consideration, as it's been given only a fair high-def transfer, much less impressive in quality than what many of their newer films have received. Based on a comic book, "MYSTERY MEN" is an ingenious take on superheroes, presenting a sad group of characters with less than impressive abilities.  An ingenious example,..."The Invisible Boy," a character who could become invisible, only when no one was watching!  The film has an impressive production design and cries out for a high-def transfer.

UNIVERSAL has provided a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  While detail is marginally better than the standard dvd, the lack of greatly improved detail is disappointing.  Colors tend to look drab instead of vibrant. Blacks and grays are deep in some scenes, but many other scenes appear darker than expected, lacking depth and creating flat imagery.

UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix  Although not an aggressive mix, there are a fair amount of ambient effects and the score is well complimented throughout. Dialogue is always intelligible, however, there were a few instances wherein the volume appeared lower than layered effects, requiring it to be increased.

UNIVERSAL has carried over the extras featured on the dvd, including numerous deleted scenes and an audio commentary.