Born into wealth and provided with the best education, Lara Croft travels the world in search of
rare, lost crypts and long-forgotten empires. After discovering an ancient clock left by her late
father, she will face her greatest challenge - to find two halves of an ancient artifact buried at
two ends of the earth. To possess the two halves means ultimate power for its possessor and a
rival of Lara's is keen on getting his hands on that power. To get to the relic, Lara must take
on a powerful and dangerous society. The film is based on the popular video game of the same
For more about Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Blu-ray release, see Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Blu-ray Review published by Sir Terrence on January 19, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Lara Croft; Tomb Raider is a film adaptation of the video game Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider is a series of games featuring Lara Croft, and its appearance on film comes during a period of time that Hollywood starts on a video game tear. Completed in 2001, it went on to do very well at the domestic and international box offices making $130 million domestically and another $147 million internationally. By all intended purposes, Tomb raider is a women's version of Indiana Jones series complete with non-stop action, dangerous stunts, and unpredictable situations that at some points seem out of this world in terms of reality.
The date is May 15, the beginning of the alignment of planet that will ultimately lead to a solar eclipse of the earth. This astronomical occurrence happens only once every 5,000 years. Meanwhile, in Italy a secret order known as the illuminati is anxious to find the key that joins the "Triangle of Light". The joining of the Triangle must been accomplished before the alignment is complete.
Later that evening Lara has a dream of here father telling of the alignment, and of an object linked to the alignment. She awakens to the sound of a ticking clock coming from somewhere within the mansion. When she finds the clock, she discovers a key within the clock, the key that eventually leads to the next clue. This begins the race to see who will reach the triangle of light first, join the pieces together, and gain its power. Will it be the Illuminati, or Lara Croft?
The picture quality on this 1080p MPEG-2 release is all over the map. There are times of astonishing clarity, and times where the picture just barely looks better than its DVD counterpart does. The print master this movie was sourced from appears to be pristine. I saw no pops, scratches or any film based artifacts. What I did see is a lot of grain in certain points in the movie, especially in the details of the suits worn by some of the characters. Color reproduction is a non-issue here; it is noticeably free from noise. The colors and hues appear dialed down and drab, which is how I remembered it being in the theater. Also spotty is the level of detail. Sometimes the image was full of detail filling the screen with a 3D quality. Other times the image appeared grainy and flat. I did notice a bit of edge enhancement and halos in certain scenes, but largely at the beginning of the movie. This is far from the worst picture quality I have seen, but it certainly not the best high definition I have seen either.
The sound quality of this 640kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 encode is excellent in dynamics and imaging. With this being an action film, you get the usual bombastic sound effects accompanied by a rising and ebbing film score by Graeme Revell. The bass is pounding, but not overly intense so. The front sound field is big, wide, and deep with the sound stage ending just outside my speakers. Pans and effects placed in between the speakers are solid and very distinct. Pans to the side and rear walls are firm and solid. The surrounds are used very effectively convey the ambience of each scene very accurately. The LFE is where the lion share of bass is located. It is tight, and at times reaching pretty deep in the second octave. The music has an outstanding midrange and treble, with nice envelopment when it is pulled into the surrounds. When the action heats up, the music takes on this great video game feel that heightens the excitement. Dialog is always clear, even when sound effects are going full bore. This soundtrack is a 360-degree blast. I compared the Dts track to the Dolby Digital track(level matched of course) and found the Dolby track had a VERY slight edge in imaging, and the Dts track had tighter, deeper bass with a slightly more coherent sound field.
The supplements on this title are a port over from the DVD. You have a pretty good commentary by Simon West who talked about how hard Angelina worked to bring Lara Croft to life on screen. There are five featurettes totaling 75 minutes. "Digging Into 'Tomb Raider'" (29 minutes), "The Visual Effects of 'Tomb Raider'" (20 minutes), Stunts of 'Tomb Raider'" (9 minutes), "Crafting Lara Croft" (7 minutes, "Are You Game?" (8 minutes). Next are the deleted scenes (7 minutes), and an alternate titles sequence (2 minutes). Rounding out the set are some promo items, including a music video for U2's "Elevation" (a la the "'Tomb Raider Mix," with a bunch of annoying clips and sound bites from the movie) along with the film's theatrical trailer and teaser, both presented in full 1080p high-definition video.
This movie kicked butt in a major way. Yes there were some slow spots, and points of bad dialog. But overall this was great popcorn munching fun. It is a shame that the second movie tanked so bad, thereby killing off what could have been a pretty good franchise for Paramount (imagine this and Indiana Jones series). I have to admit, I am a sucker for action, especially when Angelina Jolie is the central character.
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