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.
It's amazing how many ways a story can be told. Byron Haskin's 1953 version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (Warner; Movie ••••, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras ••••) has a completely different focus and tone than Steven Spielberg's gloomy take on the H. G. Wells fantasy.