Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer
Featurette-MX Multi Channel
Featurette-The Music Of Stealth
Music Video-'Make A Move' Performed By Incubus
Trailer-The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, FinalFantasyVII: AdventChildren
Trailer-Into The Blue, The Longest Yard, Lords Of Dogtown
Trailer-Ringers:Lord Of The Fans
|Year Of Production||2005|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (78:16)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Rob Cohen|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Stealth resembles a cross between a video game and a parody of a Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay film. With its moronic dialogue often (fortunately) drowned out by aircraft noise and explosions, I can only ask: When will idealistic movie-scientists learn that their Frankenstein Monster creations will always turn on them?
W.D. Richter's embarrassingly bad screenplay is derivative of a number of superior films, most notably Top Gun and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The weak story of Stealth involves three US Navy pilots: The showy and impulsive Ben (Josh Lucas), the sensitive and caring Kara (Jessica Biel), and the playboy party animal, Henry (Jamie Foxx). This trio of Hot Shot pilots enjoy high-fives, call signs, and the requisite slow-motion walk towards the audience across an aircraft carrier deck while wearing their flight suits.
However, their happy and smug team spirit is rocked when the Navy adds a fourth member to their team - a UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle). The UCAV is a computer piloted, talking plane, a la KITT in Knight Rider, named Extreme Deep Invader, or EDI for short. We're told that EDI (voiced by Wentworth Miller) has "a brain like a quantum sponge", and can learn from others.
These four form a sort of World Police, who scour the Earth's surface looking for terrorists. Gee they get good mileage out of these planes!
Anyway, after enjoying some R&R, the team set out on their first mission. They've just heard that a group of terrorists are meeting in an empty skyscraper in the centre of bustling Rangoon. Wow - what are the chances of that? They can implode this huge city building without bothering any of the neighbours, or apparently, the people on the street.
This one mission is then followed by more R&R, this time in Thailand. Here, the gorgeous Jessica Biel swans around a waterfall in a bikini, and it all looks like a beautiful calendar shoot.
Things go awry, however, when EDI is struck by lightning. EDI becomes bad. He seems jealous of Ben - perhaps he also has the hots for Kara?
Fresh from their holiday of flirting, Team America fly to Tajikistan to blow up some people with nuclear weapons. This is understandable. After all, Americans only want Americans to have weapons of mass destruction. But Kara wants to abort the mission, as innocent bystanders will be hurt, so they do.
However, EDI doesn't agree. EDI is bad. EDI illegally downloads MP3s (apparently all of them), plays rock music loudly, and has plenty of attitude. EDI ignores orders and launches an attack anyway. The attack releases a nuclear cloud that will engulf over half a million people. Fortunately the caring Kara radios that the people will need medical attention. In the argument that follows, the token black guy (Jamie Foxx) is killed by EDI. What a surprise! However, to be fair, it looks like a welcome relief for Foxx, who by now seems to want to be anywhere but in this film.
Then, somehow Kara ends up stranded in North Korea (a la Behind Enemy Lines), while Ben is ordered to fly to Alaska. See, they really do get great mileage out of these planes! No one will help Kara, so Ben convinces bad EDI to help him rescue her. Man and Evil Computer, once bitter rivals, become friends. Of course they will have to land in the DMZ, and Ben will have to run on foot to rescue her. i.e. run across the most heavily mined and guarded area on Earth. But wait - somehow they forgot to plant mines in this bit. Lucky Ben and Kara.
Things are complicated further, however, when Ben and Kara's commanding officer, Capt. Cummings (Sam Shepard), decides to kill them off, as they might testify against his poor judgement. What?
However, absurdity abounds throughout. For example, Ben and friends accidentally enter Russian airspace while chasing EDI. When the Russians show up wondering why there are three fighter jets in their airspace, our heroes' response is to shoot them all down. No attempt is made to communicate with them, or ask for their help, or even explain the situation. Nope, our American heroes will just kill them - no time to talk - we're Americans and we have missiles.
Sadly, all of its CGI-heavy effects still won't cover up the absurd story, gaping plot holes, and mindless, moronic dialogue.
The transfer is excellent.
The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness is excellent. For example, consider the detail in the bank of computer screens at 17:51. The black level and shadow detail are also excellent. For example, consider the detail in the dimly lit scene in the night club at 8:16, or on the aircraft carrier deck at night at 30:37.
The colour is excellent, with a well saturated palette and accurate skin tones.
There are no problems with MPEG, film-to-video, or film artefacts. Some minor edge enhancement is noticeable at times, but I never found it distracting.
English, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, and Turkish subtitles are provided. The English ones are accurate.
This is a Dual Layer disc, with the layer change placed at 78:16. The layer change was obvious, but between scenes.
The audio is excellent, and the film features a wonderful sound design that really helps make the aerial battle scenes more immersive and involving.
There are four audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s).
While there are obvious moments of ADR, the dialogue quality and audio sync are fine on the English audio track.
The musical score is credited to BT, Trevor Morris, and Gavin Rossdale, and it is a combination of funky hip hop tunes, a traditional orchestral score, and some ethnic flavoured music to help set certain scenes.
As one would expect with this sort of film, the surround presence and activity is very good. The rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score and provide ambience, such as the rain storm at 29:24, and the gun fire at 46:16. There is also some panning between speakers, such as the jet fighters flying past at 50:53.
The subwoofer is also used very effectively to support both the score, for example the deep bass in the night club at 7:51, and the sound effects, such as the jet engines at 17:32 and the explosion at 49:14.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras are surprisingly slim.
An animated menu with stereo audio.
Featurette-MX Multi Channel
Using one's remote and a PIP interface, viewers can change the view and watch two scenes from three different angles.
Director Rob Cohen discusses his approach to sound design and the use of music in film. There is also some behind the scenes footage of the score being recorded.
Make A Move - Performed By Incubus
Stealth was released on DVD in Region 1 as a Two-Disc Special Edition.
The Region 4 DVD misses out on:
The Region 1 DVD misses out on:
Obviously the R1 Two-Disc Special Edition is a clear winner with the dts track and bonus disc of extras.
Let Stealth slip under your radar at the video store.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is also excellent.
The extras are slim.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|