This is the first Disney HD title I've viewed, and sadly it wasn't a particularly auspicious launch. On standard-definition DVD Eight Below seemed fine, but with the higher resolution of Blu-ray, there just doesn't seem to be enough detail.
Stealth (Sony; Movie •••, Blu-ray Picture/Sound •••½, Extras: None). The opening aerial assault is also an audio assault: I was so overwhelmed by the dramatic orchestral score, rocket whooshings, and booming explosions all around me that I wasn't even aware of the high-def visuals.
It combines elements of The Prisoner, The Twilight Zone, and Forbidden Planet with the philosophy of It's a Wonderful Life - that we're all intrinsically intertwined, affecting each other in ways we'll never know. And it continues to chart new TV territory in an extremely addictive way, taking the mystery in unpredictable directions.
First skirmish in the Blu-ray Conflict: martial arts vs. illegal arms. (As with the HD DVD roundup in our previous issue, this is a fair fight, so all ratings are relative to other high-definition discs, not to standard-definition DVDs. All discs were screened using an unmodified Samsung BD-P1000 player.)
In Match Point (DreamWorks; Movie •••½, Picture/Sound •••½, Extras: None), Woody Allen creates a Shakespearean tale of ambition, passion, and madness that can only end in tears, and he does so in a uniquely cinematic way. By usual DVD standards, the quality of the picture and sound might seem lacking.
From The Company of Wolves to The Crying Game, Mona Lisa to Michael Collins, and Interview with the Vampire to The Butcher Boy, Neil Jordan has consistently made films that take us deep into the woods of his unusual characters' imaginations.