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Based on a short story by the late Philip K. Dick, this science fiction-thriller reflects the writer's familiar preoccupation with themes of concealed identity and mind control. Tom Cruise stars as John Anderton, a Washington, D.C. detective in the year 2054. Anderton works for "Precrime," a special unit of the police department that arrests murderers before they have committed the actual crime. Precrime bases its work on the visions of three psychics or "precogs" whose prophecies of future events are never in error. When Anderton discovers that he has been identified as the future killer of a man he's never met, he is forced to become a fugitive from his own colleagues as he tries to uncover the mystery of the victim-to-be's identity. When he kidnaps Agatha (Samantha Morton), one of the precogs, he begins to formulate a theory about a possible frame- up from within his own department.
For more about Minority Report and the Minority Report Blu-ray release, see the Minority Report Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 6, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare
Director: Steven Spielberg
» See full cast & crew
Minority Report Blu-ray Review
'Minority Report' need be made a member of the majority of Blu-ray collections.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 6, 2010
Gotta keep running.
One of the best films in the exciting category of "future technology and radical ideas run amok," Director Steven Spielberg's (Saving Private Ryan) Minority Report dazzles through its high-octane action and visuals that are both gritty and fantastically futuristic, while at the same time the film thematically explores the dangerous world of pre-judgment and the quandary of pitting personal liberties and freedom of choice -- not to mention the moral, ethical, and judicial nightmare that is the notion that one may be found guilty of a crime that has yet to be committed -- against the guise of making the world a safer place. While other, later films -- I, Robot and Surrogates, for instance -- similarly explore the dangers and downsides of the role of advanced technologies in futuristic settings, Minority Report proves the best of the bunch for its ability to counter the wonderfully-realized visuals of a bright and glossy utopian future world with an examination of the dark and disquieting elements that under the surface make it so, with superb special effects and exceptional actions scenes in tow to make it a complete Science Fiction picture.
In the year 2054, Washington, D.C. has become one of the safest cities in the world. Premeditated murder has virtually disappeared, and crimes of passion are at an all-time low thanks to the Department of Precrime and the work of the Precogs, a trio of individuals with the capability to see future murders unfold and allow the would-be assailants to be arrested before they've had the opportunity to commit their heinous acts. The Department is headed by John Anderton (Tom Cruise, War of the Worlds), a divorced man who years earlier lost his son before the arrival of the Precogs. The program having proven a rousing success in the nation's capital, it's on the verge of going national, and Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), a representative from the Attorney General's office, has arrived for one final inspection of the process. When Anderton finds himself identified by the Precogs as a would-be assailant in a future murder, he must go on the run in an effort to clear his name of a crime he has yet to commit. In the process, he becomes privy to information that could jeopardize the future of the Precrime division while unearthing further disturbing information surrounding the project's origins.
Though perhaps most readily identifiable by its stunning action scenes and nearly impeccable and highly-advanced special effects, Minority Report is, at its core, a cautionary tale that, like the best of Science Fiction, incorporates ideas that may be seen as relevant today but framed within the worlds of tomorrow. Based on a story by the famed Science Fiction writer Phillip K. Dick (Total Recall, Blade Runner), Minority Report tackles some hard-hitting questions about not only one possible future of the American justice system, but also the impact of highly-advanced technologies on personal liberties. Is the future set? Is there no personal choice? Is one possible outcome of an as- of-yet physically unrealized future event enough to accuse, convict, and punish a man for a crime that ultimately went uncommitted? Spielberg, through the prism of Dick's story, manages to mesh a brilliant philosophical undertone with a big-budget special effects extravaganza, the film, then, -- unlike lesser effects pictures like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that seem interested only in blinding viewers to the shortcomings of the story through the guise of remarkable computer effects -- a rare moviegoing experience that manages to be both very smart and a lot of fun at the same time.
Indeed, Minority Report's invigoratingly deep and incredibly well-integrated thematic structure only helps in making the picture a complete experience that delivers everything the modern moviegoing audience could hope for in a film such as this. The tale of the hunter becoming the hunted and suddenly forced to more personally understand what it is he's done to others and experience firsthand how the system he heretofore so enthusiastically embraced can fail when forced to look at it while on the other side of the law lends yet another added layer of tension and purpose to the film, further accentuating the questions raised throughout the story. Featuring a quality cast, Minority Report still isn't a movie that's sold by its stars. Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, and Max von Sydow don't disappear into their roles, but they do embrace them wholeheartedly and all deliver convincing performances that, again, only accentuate both the heavier themes and exciting action pieces that define the movie. Cruise is Cruise, his character not all that different than other roles he's played (his John Anderton seems at least partially reminiscent of Ethan Hunt), but the actor manages to capture the feel of the movie superbly and convey enough raw emotion in conjunction with his abilities as an Action star to play the part very well in each of its several layers of complexity. Just as importantly, the picture's special effects are not only seamless, they're cool; and in conjunction with the wonderfully-choreogrpahed action pieces and Composer John Williams' (Star Wars) heart-racing score, Minority Report proves a wonderful movie when examined from every angle.
Minority Report Blu-ray, Video Quality
According to the packaging, this Blu-ray release of Minority Report comes from a "Spielberg-approved HD Master," and the results are indeed spectacular. This 1080p, 2.39:1-framed transfer retains a finely-tuned layer of grain that sometimes swells to enormous proportions but nevertheless lends to the movie a wonderfully gritty film-like texture that allows for the retention of an awe-inspiring level of fine detail and gives the film, in conjunction with the spectacular special effects, the "glitzy-meets-rough" visual tone that accentuates the thematic elements of the story. Colors often feature a washed-out tone; the picture is built around a color scheme that's heavy on blacks, blues, and grays, with every other shade -- whether the plants found in a greenhouse in one scene or even the film's most vibrant sequence, a flashback to a public swimming pool -- diluted to match the dreary tone that's dominant throughout the film. The dark texturing, then, demands strong shadow reproduction, and in that area Minority Report doesn't disappoint. Blacks are incredibly deep and natural without even a hint of swallowing up the screen, and there's never a point where they become unnaturally bright, either. This transfer also boasts incredibly strong detailing, particularly in solid objects such as brick façades and street surfaces where texturing proves nothing short of amazing. Likewise, the image reveals every nuance in faces, whether wrinkly lines or individual strands of facial hair, and while on the subject, flesh tones -- while a bit ghastly -- appear spot-on insofar as they blend in with the picture's drab tone. A few errant speckles are visible in the scenes with the heaviest grain structure, but they barely distract from the image and indeed, seem almost a part of the rough-and-tumble texture the film employs. Paramount has proven time and again that they're capable of delivering some of the absolute finest Blu-ray transfers on the marketplace, and Minority Report solidifies the studio as a leader in top-quality Blu-ray releases both new and catalogue.
Minority Report Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Paramount brings Minority Report to Blu-ray with a top-quality DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Every aspect of the track is reference worthy, whether the tight low end or the playback of John Williams' score. The track never seems too quiet or too aggressive, always instead managing to find the perfect balance for the tone of the scene, whether more quiet and contemplative moments or heart-stopping action sequences. The track delivers fully convincing atmospherics; a thunderstorm and the accompanying heavy rainfall as heard in chapter three are presented with a full surround presentation that effortlessly draws the listener into the environment. The next scene inside Anderton's apartment features light background music and the hint of the same thunder and rain storm outside, continuing on with the track's wonderful sense of immersion. This DTS track features plenty of back-channel activity to draw the listener into the movie, whether buzzing futuristic traffic that seems to maneuver throughout the soundstage or rocket packs that allow police officers to swoop about the listening area with a seamless whoosh. The latter -- and plenty of other effects -- are carried by a prominent and tight but never once overpowering or excessive low end that's convincing and natural, delivering a good rumble that's strong enough to rattle the soundstage but not tear it down to its foundation. John Williams' score enjoys a crisp and powerful presentation that's of the utmost fidelity and enjoys a wonderful sense of space as it flows into the room, and dialogue reproduction is consistently accurate and crisp. Like the video presentation, Minority Report's lossless soundtrack defines what the Blu-ray experience is all about.
Minority Report Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
With no commentary track, all of Minority Report's supplemental features are found a second Blu-ray disc. Things get started with The Future According to Steven Spielberg (1080p, 34:03), an interactive 18-part interview (edited re-ordered for this Blu-ray release) with Director Steven Spielberg. During the interview, users will be able to jump to various additional footage that's been culled from other features around the disc that reveal the film's storyboards and concept art, interviews with additional cast and crew members, and behind-the-scenes footage and still photographs. Next is Inside the World of Precrime (1080p, 10:11), a fictional advertisement for and overview of how the precrime program works, the piece supported by clips from the film and concept artwork drawings. It's also intercut with a futuristic commercial for Lexus. Phillip K. Dick, Steven Spielberg, and 'Minority Report' (1080p, 14:18) features Dick's daughter, Isa Dick Hackett; Dick Biographer Gregg Rickman; Minority Report Science & Technology Advisor John UnderKoffler; Minority Report Screenwriter Scott Frank; and Minority Report Production Designer Alex McDowell. They look at the man that was Phillip K. Dick, the themes of Minority Report, the movie's look and tone, changes between the story and film, the social commentary of the story, the participation of Tom Cruise, and what Dick might think of his fame today.
Minority Report: Future Realized (1080p, 6:22) looks at the highly-advanced real- world technology utilized in the film. Minority Report: Props of the Future (1080p, 9:43) examines many of the props found in the film, including the wooden balls, the data gloves, Agatha's helmet, the "sick stick," the "halo," and many more. Highlights From 'Minority Report:' From the Set looks at the construction and filming of two scenes: The Hoeverpack Sequence (1080p, 6:06) and The Car Factor Sequence (1080p, 2:57). Next is Minority Report: Commercials of the Future (1080p, 3:55), a look at the role of personalized media and advertisements in the future world of Minority Report. This set also includes two computer-generated storyboards, or Previz Sequences, for the Hoverpack Sequence (1080p, 2:10) and Maglev Escape (1080p, 1:43). Both feature a split-screen view with the previz sequence on the top and, in a smaller box below, the final scene from the film.
Moving along, viewers will find From Story to Screen, a two-part feature. The Story/The Debate (480p, 9:36) offers a brief overview of how Spielberg and Cruise came to work on the project as well as the story and its themes. Parts of this supplement have been culled from previous extras (notably the Spielberg interview segments). The second part of From Story to Screen is The Players (480p, 9:27), a look at the actors and the parts they play. Again, pieces of this supplement have been recycled from elsewhere. Deconstructing 'Minority Report' is next, the piece a five-part feature that further looks at the world on display in the film, again with some footage recycled from previously- discussed extras. The first segment, The World of 'Minority Report' -- An Introduction (480p, 9:21), looks at the near-future world and technology used in the film, the picture's noir look, and its soundtrack. Precrime and Precogs (480p, 8:20) features a glimpse at the set and prop designs of the Precrime building and the Precog chamber. Also included is a brief look at the weapons and gadgets used by Precrime officers. The Spyder Sequence (480p, 5:24) is an all-access look at how this complex sequence was assembled. Precog Visions (480p, 4:51) looks at how the jumbled Precog visions of future crimes were created and implemented into the film. Finally, Vehicles of the Future (480p, 5:10) provides viewers with an overview of the futuristic vehicles and their methods of propulsion as seen in the picture.
The Stunts of 'Minority Report' (480p) is a three-part feature that looks at how some of the film's more incredible stunt work was achieved. The three sequences that are highlighted include Maglev Escape (2:58), Hoverpack Chase (3:00), and Car Factory (2:48). Next is ILM and 'Minority Report' (480p), a six-part feature that examines the construction of some of the more elaborate effects as seen in the film. After an introductory overview (4:31), viewers are treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the construction of the effects for the following sequences: Holograms (3:09), Hall of Containment (3:09), Maglev (3:12), Hovercraft and Hoverpacks (3:08), and Cyber Parlor (1:54). Final Report (480p, 3:58) is next, a piece featuring cast and crew recounting their memories of making the film, with parts carried over from other extras. Production Concepts (1080p) is a five-piece segment that allows users to scan through a series of concept images for the following elements: Precrime, Hovership, Hoversuit, Hall of Containment, and Spyders. Additionally, viewers have the opportunity to scan through hand-drawn storyboard sequences (480p), overlaid with audio from the film, for the following three scenes: Maglev Sequence, Alley Chase, and Car Factory. Rounding out this extensive package of extras is a trio of trailers for the film (1080p, 1:26, 1:50, & 2:05, respectively).
Minority Report Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Minority Report probably isn't the first movie that jumps to mind when the name "Steven Spielberg" enters into a conversation, but its got the director's stamp all over it. It's slick, very well made, purposeful beyond its action veneer and layers of special effects, and rather epic in scope and feel, all of which make it a first-class Science Fiction piece and perhaps even one of the more underrated pictures in the Spielberg canon. Arguably his best film in the post-Saving Private Ryan era, Minority Report's ability to so easily combine a wonderfully deep and complex philosophical undertone with amazing action and impeccable special effects makes it a shining example of Science Fiction moviemaking done right, and this is must-see cinema for those that like to engage their brain while also enjoying the exciting world of modern filmmaking techniques and special effects. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Minority Report is as good as the movie itself. Sporting a practically flawless 1080p picture quality, an immersive lossless soundtrack, and a second disc's worth of high quality extras, Minority Report is a must-own disc for Spielberg fans, Science Fiction aficionados, and Blu-ray collectors. Minority Report comes very highly recommended.
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Minority Report Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Deal Alert: Minority Report Blu-ray $9.99 - July 1, 2010
Best Buy has an interesting BD-related deal of the day going on now. Today only, you can buy Minority Report for only $9.99 (66% off MSRP). This title sells currently for $18.49 at amazon, and its price history shows it has never been below $16.49, so this is an ...
• Geek Peek: Minority Report UK Blu-ray Limited Steelbook - February 26, 2010
When Paramount Home Entertainment announced that it would release Steven Spielberg's Minority Report on Blu-ray, there was much rejoicing, but it quickly turned to disappointment when the cover art was published. Now 20th Century Fox (which holds the European ...
• Minority Report Announced on Blu-ray (Update) - January 26, 2010
Paramount Home Entertainment has announced 'Minority Report' on Blu-ray. This Steven Spielberg science-fiction thriller, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick and starring Tom Cruise, will be released on a two-disc edition on April 20. A "true 4K master" of ...
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