SRP $26.95 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 COLUMBIA TRISTAR

The (sometimes) funny Martin Lawrence is paired up with the very funny Steve Zahn in “NATIONAL SECURITY,” being released on dvd by COLUMBIA TRISTAR. This is basically a “buddy” film wherein a down-on-their luck duo is forced to work together, this time on the low rungs of the police ladder.  Of course, they end up uncovering a big smuggling plot headed by main villain Eric Roberts.

The plot and most of the “surprises” have all been done before, and often better. Still, these two have a terrific chemistry together, and there are a “few” big laughs.  Director Denis Dugan doesn’t display the comic ingenuity and sense of timing that he mastered in “HAPPY GILLMORE,” and it prevents the film from being much better than it is.

COLUMBIA TRISTAR has preserved the film’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. This is a terrific transfer!  Colors are solid throughout, and often vibrant.  Contrast is perfect, with great definition in darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural. A full-frame version is also offered, but the letterboxed version offers better framing.

COLUMBIA TRISTAR has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for this release. Unlike many “comedy” mixes, there are plenty of directional/surround effects here.  There isn’t a lot of need for bass, but the .1(LFE) kicks in at appropriate times to heighten the tension to some of the action sequences. Music is well complimented throughout the mix. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

COLUMBIA TRISTAR has provided some extras for this release. Dennis Dugan provides an audio commentary, and it’s filled with the kind of technical information which all filmmakers can learn from, as well as basic production comments for fans of the film. While it’s not really funny, there are some fun moments here as well, and he’s never boring. It’s also quite obvious Dugan really doesn’t understand the film’s shortcomings.

There is a deleted scenes section, which includes two deleted scenes and an alternate ending.  Both scenes add nothing of value to the film, and one of them is nothing more than a shot of Zahn running. The alternate ending is a lackluster as well.
A music video is also included.