The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 110 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hatah way, Alan Arkin, Dwayne Johnson, Terence Stamp
Directed by: Peter Segal
Music by: Trevor Rabin
Written by: Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 4, 2008
Saving the worldand loving it"
Film Synopsis:In the world of covert intelligence, only one man is Smart. Steve Carell is in CONTROL as Maxwell Smart, the novice agent often out of his depths but never out of options in this action comedy pitting him against the nuclear scheme of the evil spy group KAOS. Anne Hathaway partners with Max as ever-capable Agent 99. And director Peter Segal (The Longest Yard ) guides his stars (including Dwayne Johnson and Alan Arkin) through the dangerous realm of molar radios, multifunction pocketknives, exploding dental floss and more.
I grew up watching Get Smart on TV and loved Don Adams as Agent 86. His signature a Ha! followed by the old is indelibly etched in my best recollections of the show. I think that Steve Carell was a great choice to portray the character in this film. His comedic timing and dry delivery came off with just the right amount of Don Adams reminiscence but was enough of his own so that it didn't feel like an imitation. Anne Hathaway's 99 wasn't really much like Barbara Feldon's but that was fine. A new approach made it feel more up to date and fresher. I can't say that I find her to be extremely attractive but there is something about her. She looked stunning in that glittery gown during the Russian Party scene. I thought the rest of the casting was well placed and featured some fun cameos and notable character actors. The story was simple enough and didn't offer any deep twists. I saw this while it was in theaters and thought it was okay. This re-visit left me liking it just a bit more. There are some great references to the old series and the it looked to me like everyone had a great time making the film. If you liked the TV show and/or are a Steve Carell fan that this film is lots of fun.
The rating is for some rude humor, action violence and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Get Smart comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 mbps and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 channel audio that has a constant bitrte of 640 kbps.
This high definition presentation comes framed in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and features vibrant images that are predominantly well defined and razor sharp. Certain shots that utilized low lighting weren't as definitively resolved which reduced dimensionality and depth. It hard to say whether this is innate to the photography or the encoding but I suspect it is the latter. Fine detail was clearly visible and at times was revealing of subtle texture in the physical characteristics of the cast. The long range camera shots of Moscow looked incredible as all of its aspects were rendered with an extended depth of field that persisted for everything caught within the cameras view. This is not a high bitrate encoding but I didn't detect any obvious signs of bit starvation. Colors were naturally rendered with pleasing tonality and vivid textures. Fleshtones were spot on and had excellent complexional divergence and subtle description among the cast. Blacks were deep and dynamic with noticeably limited gradational stages (slightly crushed). There were certain sequences where blacks and image depth really popped and looked superb. The nighttime shot of the square in Moscow looked wonderfully diverse as the deep black of the sky, and streets was offset by the bright lights of large central structure. Shadow detail was scene dependent, being very good at times and barely perceptible at others but overall was more positive than negative. Grain was present and appeared to be fairly consistent over the course of the film. I noticed some minor digital noise in backgrounds but couldn't say for sure what it was attributable to.
The lossy Dolby Digital soundtrack boasted a fairly wide dynamic palette and occasional over zealous bass extension. I love deep bass and I would never want to look a gift horse in the mouth. The amount of bass mixed to the LFE channel was probably not necessary. The quality of the bass was good as it was clean, extended and fairly room penetrating. My rather minor nitpick is that there were many instances where it was associated with events that really didn't require deep bass emphasis. I want to be clear that while this is noticeable it didn't infringe upon the balance of the soundstage or over shadow other elements present in the mix. Quite honestly I would rather have a situation such as this versus the opposite where LFE is lacking where it should provide emphasis. During the sequences where it felt appropriate bass had powerful authoritative impact that created a tangible low frequency platform that permeated the room. Dialogue was reproduced with clear definition and intonation. This mix was aggressive at times in it use of the entire surround platform. The sounds of explosions, falling debris, exterior venues, and the film's music score were spread out over the listening area with precise imaging and three dimensional envelopment that was rewarding. I couldn't help but feel that this soundtrack might have gone to the next level with a high resolution lossless audio encoding. I hope to start seeing lossless encodings on all future Blu-ray Disc releases from Warner but at a minimum on all new release titles.
- Smart Takes: Alternate scenes movie option
Behind the story:
- The old I hid it in the movie track - References from the TV series contained in the film
- The right agent for the right job - Training and screen tests for Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway
- Max in Moscow! - A look at the location shooting locations in Russia
- Language lessons with Steve Carell
- Get Smarts Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control sneek peek
- Additional footage - The vomit reel and Spy confidential: gag reel
- Digital Copy: Bonus disc containing a standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable playback device
- Bonus disc - Get Smart: KAOS Control DVD game
Get Smart won't win any awards but it is a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. It respectfully pays homage to a wonderful TV sitcom that is loved by many and adds an updated flair of its own. Warner has done a good job with its debut on high definition Blu-ray Disc. Its video quality is excellent and although not a lossless audio encoding, the lossy Dolby Digital surround mix is satisfying. The bonus supplements are just average but do add a Blu-ray Disc exclusive in the form of an additional Get Smart interactive DVD game and a Digital Copy SD version for taking the film on the go. If you're a fan I would recommend you pick this one up. Everyone else may want to give it a rent first.
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Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
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Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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