State of Play

Washington, D.C., reporter Cal McCaffrey (Russell Crowe) stumbles into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation's power structure when a congressman's aide dies in an apparent suicide and buried secrets come out in the investigation.

This is one of the best political thrillers I've seen in years, and it looks outstanding in 1080p. The VC-1 encode is phenomenal, exhibiting excellent attention to detail. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack isn't reference-quality due to the dialog-driven soundtrack, but there is at least one scene that is demo-worthy.

Old news

  • Chapter 3, 0:09:50
  • Detail
  • Cal McCaffrey doesn't keep his desk very tidy, but it shows off the spectacular encode with fabulous detail in the background. Look at the plethora of legible press clippings, stacks of books, and post-it notes—many of which you can actually read!

Stagg's file

  • Chapter 4, 0:15:31
  • Detail
  • While Cal makes some instant potatoes, he also does some research on a murder victim. We get a glance inside his file on the victim with clear, legible text, and if you pause the movie, you can do your own research by reading the documents.

Narrow escape

  • Chapter 13, 1:10:34
  • Surround imaging, frequency response
  • This is the best audio scene in the film with superb ambience placing you in Cal's shoes as he tries to escape a tenuous situation. Listen as the footsteps move through the parking garage while the score ratchets up the tension, and when he makes his desperate move for escape, prepare yourself for an all-out sonic assault.

Release Date: September 1, 2009
Studio: Universal

Movie: 8/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 8/10