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Mr. & Mrs. Smith(2005)
After five or six years of vanilla-wedded bliss, ordinary suburbanites John and Jane Smith are stuck in a rut the size of the Grand Canyon until the truth comes out! Unbeknownst to each other, they are both coolly lethal, highly paid assassins working for rival organizations. And when they discover they're each other's next target, their secret lives collide in a spicy, explosive mix of wicked comedy, pent-up passion, nonstop action and high-tech weaponry that gives an all-new meaning to "Till death do us part!"
For more about Mr. & Mrs. Smith and the Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray release, see Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray Review published by PeteR on December 6, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Morrison
» See full cast & crew
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray Review
"You two stay together, you're dead." - Eddie
Reviewed by PeteR, December 6, 2007
A handsome couple sits apart in a therapist's office. After a few awkward questions, the unseen therapist asks when and where they met. The scene shifts to Bogota, Colombia…five or six years ago. Police are sweeping the area for single tourists. Alone in the lobby of a hotel, John (Brad Pitt) sees police swoop down on Jane (Angelina Jolie). Realizing that they both need each other, they pretend to be together. Later that night, they dance in a cantina and romance blossoms.
Six weeks later, they are still together and back where they live in New York City. John is talking excitedly about Jane to his friend and coworker Eddie (Vince Vaughn). When John reveals that they are getting married, Eddie warns that they barely know each other and are moving too quickly. John ignores the warning, telling him that she is perfect. Meanwhile, a similar conversation is occurring between Jane and her friend/coworker Jasmine (Kerry Washington), who has similar reservations. These are dismissed by Jane as well.
The film then jumps back to the present. John & Jane have a large, beautifully appointed house in the suburbs. They are the picture of success. Unfortunately, the marriage is one of boredom. It is evident that the spark has disappeared, and they are in therapy. They are also apparently keeping secrets from each other. Very large secrets. Jane has told John that she is a computer technician for a firm that services large Wall Street accounts. John pretends to be a construction contractor. Instead, they are paid killers, each working for competing agencies. When both are assigned to eliminate the same target, at the same time, their hidden careers threaten to end more than their marriage.
The film Jennifer Aniston probably wishes were never made, I enjoyed Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but there are some flaws that keep it from completely fulfilling its potential. I enjoyed the scenes of suburban life... but they are so brief that you only get a small sample of what their lives are. This is just one of a few things that could have been fleshed out a bit. Perhaps an additional scene of each of them at "work": we only see one before they are set on collision course. There was also a lot more comic potential at the neighbor's party, but it's a missed opportunity. We really never get a feel for the organizations that Pitt and Jolie work for. Finally, the ending is extremely open ended and several important questions are left unanswered. It's as if the filmmakers decided the film had to be exactly two hours (the film is 1:59:59 with credits).
The direction is handled by Doug Liman, best known for The Bourne Identity and Swingers. Liman is adept at both comedy and action sequences, keeping the film light enough without becoming too cartoonish or campy. I appreciated the light touches; such as making John's character somewhat clumsy, Jane uncomfortably holding a child, or the winks to Fight Club and Tomb Raider. The script by Simon Kinberg gives the leads plenty of good lines to bounce off each other. As far as the cast goes, the chemistry between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie electrifies every scene they are in together. Both actors have fun with the script, taking small lines or looks to a whole new level. Vince Vaughn, who worked with Liman on Swingers, steals every scene he's in. You wish he was in a lot more of them.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray, Video Quality
The video is presented in 1080p encoded in MPEG4 AVC, and is an excellent transfer for the most part. The picture is noise and artifact free, color is excellent, and it's clear of grain or damage. Unfortunately it shares that process/color graded look that seems to be favored by a lot of filmmakers lately. The image is so processed that it almost looks too clean and polished to a degree that it almost appears unnatural. This processing also robs the image of some dimensionality and depth of the best HD film transfers. Black levels are deep but at the expense of shadow detail. A good example is any scene where a character is wearing a dark outfit against a dark background: the actor can sometimes look like a disembodied talking head. Unfortunately this seems to be a decision by the filmmakers, so I can't fault the disc for that.
Detail is excellent. The Smith's suburban home offers a wealth of background items to visually explore. The desert scene is a particular standout: rocks, brush, and other fine textures are crisp and clear. Finally, there is no noticeable edge enhancement to mar the experience. A solid, but imperfect disc.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The sound is brought to you encoded in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio format. This is a fairly lively mix; with plenty of gunfire, explosions, and crashes for surround junkies. Dialog is clear and easy to understand. There is also no harshness or distortion to the soundtrack. The music score sounds crisp and natural as well. No complaints here.
From the very beginning in Colombia, you can tell that this mix is above average. It starts with a helicopter swooping down with explosions and sirens below on the ground. Inside the hotel you can hear distant gunfire, with soldiers running around shouting and banging on doors, punctuated by rumbles that shake the room. The scene then slowly dissolves into quiet and romantic music during a rainstorm without jarring the listener.
For another good demo, skip directly to the ending shootout in the Ikea-like department store. Gunfire, explosions, bullet hits and raining debris give the scene a full 360 degree sonic experience that give the scene an extra kick. You won't be disappointed in the slightest.
The audio is also available in Dolby Digital (DD) Spanish and French 5.1 @ 448 kbps
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The extras included here replicate the initial DVD release by Fox in 2006. Needless to say: it's a fairly slim package that will disappoint anyone looking for what was included on the unrated Special Edition. Since this disc replicates the original DVD version right down to the menu, you'll have to wonder if they're planning on duplicating the unrated SE later down the road.
There's a LOT of commentary to go through here. The film's creative team are divided among different commentaries, and each track has something of value for a listen. They all talk about the shoot, the difficulties of maintaining the budget, the fact that all of it was shot in the Los Angeles area, and other interesting tidbits of information. I'm a fan of the concept here of having 2 or more speakers, it allows the filmmakers to bounce ideas, jokes, and memories off each other and makes for a lot less dead air.
Another positive is that the video supplements has been upgraded to high definition, encoded in MPEG4 AVC.
Commentary by Director Doug Liman and Screenwriter Simon Kinberg (feature length)
Commentary by Producers Lucas Foster and Akiva Goldsman (feature length)
Commentary by Film Editor Michael Tronick, Production Designer Jeff Mann and Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Elam (feature length)
Deleted Scenes (various running times, 2.40 16x9, DD 5.1 @448kbps): 3 deleted scenes that are basically full versions or trims of other scenes in the film. More Vince Vaughn is a good thing.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene (0:08:05, 4:3, DD 2.0 @224 kbps): In a featurette produced for the cable channel, filmmakers discuss a chase scene that was dramatically scaled down due to budgetary constraints. Worth a look...but only once.
Trailers (various running times, 2.40 16x9, DD 5.1 @448kbps except Speed which is DD 2.0 @224 kbps): Theatrical trailers for Entrapment, The Sentinel, The Transporter and Speed.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a flawed but enjoyable film. It has with enough action, romance and comedy to appeal to both sexes. Pitt & Jolie are terrific together, a combination that spawned a million tabloid stories. The video is very good, the audio excellent. The only major problem being the noticeable lack of extras: this brings down the overall grade a bit. Fans will have to wait for a truly definitive edition. Hopefully one with the unrated cut seamlessly branched and all the extras from the DVD SE. With this version's higher price it seriously diminishes the value of the package presented here.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith: Other Editions
Blu-ray bundles with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (3 bundles)
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Mr. & Mrs. Smith Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Fox Announces and Dates 29 Blu-ray Titles - August 20, 2007
Fox and MGM have revealed 29 upcoming Blu-ray releases. Included are 19 catalog titles from Fox and MGM, and 10 new release titles to be sold day-and-date with their DVD releases. These titles include 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' and 'Live Free or ...
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