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A view from the Blu (-ray) on DVDBeaver by Leonard Norwitz


A Little Background     Openers     


    Modus Operandi     The Scorecard:     

Emotive Connection      Audio     Operations    Extras     The Movie     Equipment





Mr. and Mrs. Smith - BRD

(Doug Liman, 2005)









Theatrical: New Regency Pictures (USA)

DVD: 20th Century Fox Pictures Home Entertainment


Review by Leonard Norwitz



Aspect ratio: approx. 2.35:1

Feature film: 1080p / AVC

Supplements: HD

120 minutes

28 chapters



English 5.1 DTS Master Lossless

French DD 5.1 Surround

Spanish DD 5.1 Surround



English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Korean



• Audio Commentary by the Director & Screenwriters

• Audio Commentary by the Producers

• Audio Commentary by the Editor, Production Designer & FX Supervisor

• Deleted Scenes

• Featurette: Making a Scene

• Theatrical Trailers in HD


Standard Blu-ray case: 1 disc

50 GB dual layer

Release Date: December 4, 2007



Mr. & Mrs. Smith ~ Comment

The critics were seriously divided on this movie.  Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle absolutely hated it ("an awful movie with two very good-looking stars in it" and gave it a Rotten Tomato score of 25), as did Chicago Reader's Jonathan Rosenbaum (with an RT score of 30, he wrote: A deeply stupid and offensive action comedy-romance.)  But Ken Tucker of New York Magazine liked it (80 on the RT meter: A cool summer thriller whose laughs don't slow down the suspense), as did Scott Tobias of The Onion (Plays like an old-fashioned romantic comedy with updated hardware.)  Even David Edelstein from Slate Magazine found it enjoyable (giving it an 70.)



I saw this movie for the first time earlier this year on DVD and was prepared for the worst.  I suppose low expectations helped.  My response was lukewarm but didn't find it an utter waste of time.  I also never expected to see it again.  When this blu-ray arrived for screening I gritted my teeth at the prospect.  What I could not – and still cannot explain is that I found the movie much more entertaining than on the first go around.  Could it be the Blu-ray experience?  Not entirely, I am guessing, though it certainly played a role.  I suspect I simply was able to put my various complaints in perspective and began to see the movie more as a filmed comic book than a romantic comedy.  That worked.  Prizzi's Honor this ain't, and no mistake.




Mr. & Mrs. Smith ~ The Score Card


The Movie : 7

John & Jane Smith (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) have been married for 5 or 6 years and find that the spark that got them together in the first place has sort of gone out of their lives.  Jane complains to their marriage counselor that the space between them is filled with things unsaid.  "What's that called?" she asks.  "Marriage," he replies.  Well, if nothing else, this couple has more than their share of secrets.  With carefully worked out covers, they are unaware that they are both professional high-tech assassins.  The inevitable finally happens when each is assigned the same target, but on opposite sides of the question.  Both being pretty good at their jobs, they manage to avoid getting killed by one another in the process, and it isn't long before they figure out just whom they have been shooting at.  Most of the rest of the film consists of noisy, but amusing set-pieces that place them at the end of each other's sights, but somehow fail to do accomplish their new missions.  Will they finally annihilate each other or join forces to go after their respective employers?  Is the pope a bear that falls in the forest?


Image : 8.5 (8~9/9)

The score of 8.5 indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray DVDs.  The score in parentheses represents: first, a value for the image in absolute terms; and, second, how that image compares to what I believe is the current best we can expect in the theatre.




Since I never saw this movie in the theatre I can only speculate as to this BRD's probable resemblance to same.  I keep coming back to the question of enlargement and how it affects contrast.  This Blu-ray image, especially in the opening scenes in Colombia, sports a very saturated high-contrast image. Elsewhere the blacks tend to block up so that shadow detail is sometimes lost.  But I can't help but feel that these effects are made all the more apparent because the image is reduced when we watch it on video.














Audio & Music : 9/7

The audio track is pretty good here, with lots of lively noises of various ordinance, and walls and doors banging and burst through, outrageously outsized and more or less in place in the audio field.


Operations : 8

I am growing quite fond of Fox's chapter search on the menu, which allows quick scanning with titles for each scene.




Extras : 6

While there's not much in the way of variety or depth here, I don't know that this movie can support more than what it gets here.  The three commentaries look at production from different points of view, and the fact that there are two and three person panels make for lively discussions and interplay.




Recommendation: 6

Worth a second look, I thought.  Coolly Recommended.

Leonard Norwitz


December 8, 2007








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