Director Danny Boyle has consistently proven to be one of the most daring and entertaining directors over the past decade. While FOX hasn't released his earlier works, "THE BEACH" or "SHALLOW GRAVE" on blu-ray, hopefully the success of his latest, "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE" will convince them the time is right! Having won most of the major Oscars in 2008, newcomers might wonder if the film can deliver what is expected, considering high expectations. It can and does with great ease! The script is extremely clever and Boyle's creative direction never hinders or overshadows the "story" from taking center stage, as it should be in any great film. As the film opens, Jamal, an 18 year old poor kid, from the slums of Mumbai, has made it to the final, big pay-off round of the Indian version of "WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE." Only in currency valuation, the final night's trivia will award him closer to what would be $5 million in American dollars. Because Jamal is completely without any form of education, dirt poor, and an orphan, the show's host, producer and local police suspect fraud and are brutally("BRUTALLY") interrogating him, expecting him to reveal just how he's been succeeding in providing the right answers to seemingly impossible trivia. As the film's compelling narrative unfolds, Jamal's explanation brings the interrogators and the audience back through time, starting with him as a small child, demonstrating how his actual life experiences, have led him directly to understand the exact, specific trivia he's confronted with. Of course, there's also a good love story, sibling rivalry, some truly despicable villains and more thrown in, somehow culminating in a feast for the senses, heart and head, and making "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE" not just one of the best films of any year, but a blu-ray that should certainly be a "must-have" in any film lover's blu-ray collection!
FOX has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. Boyle employed a variety of camera techniques and formats in completing the film, some from necessity(so as to not anger the actual residents of the slums wherein various scenes were shot)and some for creative reasons. The combination of hand-held high-def video and actual film, create imagery that could've easily been incompatible for enjoyable viewing, let alone for an accurate transfer. Thankfully, FOX has managed to present the accurate level of representation with this transfer. The various lighting styles, ever-changing hues, colors that are pushed to the brink of oversaturation, and contrast levels that are pushed to the breaking point, all blend together seamlessly, as presented here, without any hint of noise reduction or artifacts. There are some moments wherein the image falls flat, particularly in darker scenes, but the overall viewing experience is great and there are plenty of scenes that provide the jump-off-the-screen type of depth one expects from blu-ray!
FOX has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The significance of great sound editing, music and other aspects of a film's mix are really highlighted in a film like "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE" and it's no surprise that these areas gained much praise at the Oscars. Discrete, panning, bass effects and the Oscar winning score are all brilliantly captured in the lossy mix. The audience is subdued, enthralled and even (as end credits will attest)compelled to dance, due to the brilliant complexities that encompass one of the best mixes to be found on any blu-ray so far. While the bass can be deep when necessary, the most subtle effects are perfectly presented as well, with dialogue and the unforgettable score, balanced and never overshadowing one another! OUTSTANDING!
FOX has provided a variety of extras, and "all" of them are worth experiencing, but particularly the 1st of two commentaries provided. The 1st being the one with Boyle and actor Dov Patel. It's insightful, intriguing, educational, often funny, and completely engaging from beginning to end! The deleted scenes, while rightfully cut, are all interesting.