UNIVERSAL has released the incredibly entertaining, consistently gripping, "WANTED," on dvd and blu-ray! While this reviewer admits to generally being less than impressed by the main actor(James McAvoy) in his previous work, he's perfectly cast here! He plays Wesley Gibson, who points out in the opening narration, upon looking himself up in "Google," has done nothing deeming notice in his life. Working in a dead-end, dull job, with an obnoxious boss, knowing his supposedly best friend is sleeping with his girlfriend, he just wishes he was someone else, and had a life worth living. In minutes, he's about to find out that he's not just an ordinary bloke, but the offspring of a line of incredibly gifted assassins, charged with saving the world, with the motto, "taking one life to save a thousand!" It's the stuff only a comic book could dream up, and, in fact, "WANTED" was a graphic novel, before being turned into a superbly crafted(for the most part)screenplay and film. There are state-of-the-art effects taking place throughout, and "WANTED" often feels like a more accessible "MATRIX" film, with "fantastic" moments, that feel less fantasy-like than the other film series. Angelina Jolie proves once again, why she's considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood, and while not given much to do in terms of range, she's also perfect in her role as a tough mentor to the main character.
The pacing is terrific, and while the film almost comes to a sluggish halt in its last minutes, this disparity is short-lived, and the film picks up again as it should, leading to a great climax. "WANTED" as a film, is easily re-watchable and certain to win over many fans, making up for a surprisingly less than stellar box-office demonstration.
UNIVERSAL has provided a single(no-frills)dvd, 2 disc special edition dvd, and blu-ray. For the small price difference, we highly recommend the 2-disc dvd. But, better yet, "WANTED" looks and sounds so great on blu-ray, this release is ample reason enough to bite the bullet and get a blu-ray player, if not owning one yet!
The proper 2.35:1 aspect ratio is provided for on dvd(16:9 enhanced) and on the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. Both formats offer stellar presentations. The dvd offers vivid colors, pushed to the limits, without over-saturation. Detail is impressive throughout and there were no annoying artifacts, in spite of consistently fast-moving sequences and editing. However, blu-ray blows away the dvd image, with deep, inky blacks, allowing for frequently darker sequences to shine with depth. The state-of-art effects are presented with flawless, dazzling detail, and scene-after-scene jumps off the screen with depth! Sure, the dvd looks great, but why settle for great, when there's something even better? This blu-ray demonstrates that as good as the best looking dvd can appear, a well produced blu-ray can still blow it away!
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix of the dvd offers an immersive experience that never lets up. Surround/discrete and bass effects make this one of the best sounding dvds of 2008. However, again, the DTS-HD Master Audio mix of the blu-ray takes the listener to another level. Even the most subtle sound effects are provided a certain acuity lost in standard Dolby Digital. The bass and discrete effects are presented with better dynamic range on the lossy mix, making "WANTED" a perfect demonstration disc to show off one's system, as well as the full-potential of blu-ray.
All of the substantial extras found on the 2 disc dvd, are carried over for blu-ray, but there's also an impressive "Blu-ray exclusive," an alternate ending. While short, this alternate opening sequence is fantastic looking and it makes one slightly mad that it wasn't included in the actual film, as it arguably gives better explanation as to the creation of the secret society depicted, and with a more epic feel.