Even though I expected a little more from this film, I must say that the DVD release is wonderful. Paramount has put together a jam-packed Special Edition, which should be enjoyed by all. For those who are not familiar with the Tomb Raider premise, here is a little synopsis for you…
“Lara Croft was born into wealth and groomed at the most elite schools. She travels to dangerous and mysterious locales around the globe in search of rare, lost crypts and lon…-forgotten empires. She speaks numerous languages, is highly trained for combat and answers to no one, obeying only a desire for adventure.
But now she must face her greatest challenge yet: to find two halves of an ancient artifact buried in space and time. To possess it means ultimate power for its possessor. But to get there, she must first take on a powerful and dangerous secret society. The fate of mankind rests in the hands of one Lara Croft, a twenty-first century heroine inspired by the most popular interactive video character in history.”
BIG action films such as this deserve BIG sound, and this DVD delivers. The soundtrack is powerful and very bass intensive. The use of the speakers is very effective, and the sound quality was very clear. The surround channel was used not only for the score, but also for many effects. Explosions, bullets and cars can all be heard whipping by in all of there surround glory. My only request for Paramount would be for them to start including DTS audio tracks on some of their DVD releases.
The commentary track by the director of Tomb Raider, Simon West, was very interesting. He discusses the basics such as the characters and the story, but also delves into such areas of conception and the filmmaking process. If you are interested in the behind the scenes aspect of Tomb Raider, this commentary track must be heard.
Similarly to audio be so important for such a BIG action film such as this, the Video also plays a large part. Whenever a superhero is brought to the big screen, especially if that superhero originates from the world of video games, the picture does a lot to bring that character to life. This disc has done a great job in regards to both quality and color structure, effectively bringing Lara Croft to life. This film contains a lot of dark images, and the blacks are maintained very nicely. The colors were all also very solid, and the 2.35:1 aspect ration helped to bring out the grandeur of the film. There was little-to-no grain in the picture, and there was no pixilation in the transfer.
This disc contains some of the best animated menus I have ever seen. They contain 3D graphics, fully animated page transitions, 5.1 audio, and are super cool to navigate through. Menus such as these totally add to the DVD experience, and really incorporate the viewing into the films experience. Nice work Paramount, keep up the good work.
Now to the Special Features… This disc contains lots and lots of fun stuff to sort through. The “digging into Tomb Raider” featurette was interesting, and the interviews were very informative. This featurette, along with the audio commentary track, should be all of the behind-the-scenes info you could ever want from Tomb Raider.
Due to the “Special Effects” nature of this film, there are a lot of special features that surround these visual effects. There is a featurette entitled “The stunts of Tomb Raider”, which details the stunts in the film, go figure. There are also 8 sequences explaining the visual effects used to make a few of the amazing scenes in the film. Lastly, there is a featurette entitled “Crafting Lara Croft”, which goes through the physical training the Angelina Jolie faced to get in shape for the film.
Included on this disc are 4 deleted scenes as well as an alternate main title sequence. The deleted scenes looked polished, but were useless to the film, but the alternate main title sequence was super cool. I think it was left out only because t slowed down the start of the film. Many other DVD basics were also included, such as a U2 music video, a look into the Lara Croft video game phenomenon, and DVD-ROM features.
Everyone who enjoys the DVD experience should buy this disc. The film is fun and action packed, the video and audio are really sharp, the special features are solid, and the menus are amazing! Buy this disc today!
Special Features List
- Commentary by director Simon West
- Digging Into Tomb Raider – In depth cast and crew interviews
- Crafting Lara Croft – Angelina Jolie’s physical training for the role
- The Stunts of Tomb Raider
- Visual Effects of Tomb Raider
- Are You Game? – A look at the Tomb Raider video game phenomenon
- 4 deleted scenes
- Alternate main title sequence
- U2 music video, “Elevation” Tomb Raider Mix
- DVD-ROM Features