Mission: Impossible III: 2 Disc Collector's Edition (2006)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Tom Cruise And Director J.J. Abrams
Featurette-Generation Cruise-Tribute MTV Awards
Featurette-Inside The IMF, Mission Action: Inside The Action Unit
Featurette-Visualising The Mission, Mission: Metamorphosis
Featurette-Scoring The Mission, Moviefone Unscripted Cruise & Abrams
Featurette-Launching The Mission, Excellence In Film
|Year Of Production||2006|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||J.J. Abrams|
Paramount Home Entertainment
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Is Tom Cruise
I'll leave the choice up to you, but it would seem that questions of that ilk were at least partially to blame for the film underperforming at the box office when it was released earlier this year. As the third film in an incredibly successful series, Missing: Impossible III always ran the risk of being a poor film, especially considering its difficult history, which meant a few different directors were attached and then left or were replaced until the final choice of TV director J.J. Abrams was settled on, based on his work for the hit series Alias. The cast and story also seemed to change regularly, with people such as Carrie-Anne Moss and Ricky Gervais attached to the project from time to time. However, despite all of this noise, the project finally came together. Filming was completed during 2005, covering diverse locations such as Shanghai, Rome and various parts of the US.
Interestingly for such a major project, this was J.J. Abrams first time at the helm of a feature, and it becomes obvious in the extras that there was a large degree of collaboration between him and Cruise. The second unit director, Vic Armstrong, also played a large role in designing the fabulous actions sequences. He is a very well known action director, having been responsible for second unit direction for at least three recent James Bond films amongst many other titles. With this assistance, Abrams has certainly created a top quality action film which also has some good human dramatic intensity.
The plot obviously involves Cruise's character from the previous M:i films, Ethan Hunt, this time returning to the field after a spell as an agent instructor. The film opens with a very tense scene involving Hunt and his wife, Julia (Michelle Monaghan) being held hostage by a sadistic psychopath, Owen Davian (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Very little of the opening scene's dialogue makes sense at first, as we have obviously joined the story part way through. Davian is demanding to know the location of something called 'The Rabbit's Foot' while threatening to kill Hunt's wife; Hunt is trying to talk him out of killing his wife as he genuinely seems not to know the location of 'The Rabbit's Foot', and Julia Hunt is alternatively whimpering or screaming. This is a very tense start to the film, really drawing you in as you try to work out what is going on. Then the story jumps back in time to just before when Ethan gets married. During a party at his house he is contacted by the IMF Operations Manager, Mr Musgrave (Billy Crudup), who wants him to take on a mission. One of Ethan's star pupils, Lindsay Farris (Keri Russell), has been kidnapped by Owen Davian and IMF wants him to get her back. The action sequence which follows is excellent, especially the helicopter chase. The rescue mission is not a complete success and it draws the ire of The IMF Director Mr Brassel (Lawrence Fishburne). Hunt's new team is Luther Stickel (Ving Rhames), Declan Gormley (Johnathan Rhys Meyers) and Zhen Lei (Maggie Q). Of course, the result is that Hunt sets out to track Davian down using the resources at his command, resulting in viewers arriving back at the scene which kicked the film off but not exactly when or how they might expect.
I enjoyed this film very much. Obviously it is not great art, but it is certainly a high quality action thriller. I thought it included some fantastic action sequences (some of which are certainly unique), some great stunts (many actually performed by the actors themselves), well integrated CGI, and some very cool props, not least being a bright orange Lamborgini. In addition to things you expect from this series, it also adds depth to the Ethan Hunt character by showing some of his private life. There is also some excellent and amusing dialogue, especially the speech about the film's mcguffin, 'The Rabbit's Foot'. There are also a couple of excellent twists which certainly caught me off guard. The cast is very strong and the performances generally good. The music score, which includes intelligent use of the famous theme and new music by Michael Giacchino, is excellent.
This movie is available in a multitude of formats locally, including this two-disc edition, a single disc edition which I would guess is the same as the first disc of this set, and even a three-disc edition at some retailers. I have no information as to the extra features contained on the third disc.
Lovers of action cinema will certainly get a lot out of Mission: Impossible III and should not allow themselves to be put off by the Cruiser's public persona. Recommended.
The video quality is stunning except for one issue.
The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced, which is the original aspect ratio.
The picture was razor sharp and very clear with no grain to speak of. There was no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail is also excellent.
The colour was excellent throughout with no issues to speak of.
The transfer problem comes in the form of artefacts, which includes some quite distracting aliasing such as on the stairs at 45:06, a wall at 41:40, and some moire on a wall at 38:55. Whilst I understand that the aliasing will not be an issue for those with progressive systems, it will certainly be distracting in one or two places for those without. It is not regular – however, it is quite distracting when it does occur.
There are subtitles in English, English for the hearing impaired, plus other European languages. The English subtitles are clear and easy to read. There are also subtitles available for the audio commentary. A default set of subtitles will play if no subtitle stream is chosen, which include translations of foreign languages used during the film, especially Italian.
The layer change occurs at 61:15 and caused quite a pause on my system. It was also badly placed in the middle of an action scene.
The audio quality is also stunning.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s. This is a great surround sound track and will certainly give your home theatre a good workout. All the speakers and subwoofer are used regularly and to excellent effect. The case also lists a stereo soundtrack. However, this is the director's audio commentary.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.
The score by Michael Giacchino, featuring the famous theme by Lalo Schifrin, is excellent, and it's great to hear that this signature theme is not overused. Quite a lot of other extra music has been composed for the film. The new music fits well with the theme and adds significantly to the film overall.
The surround speakers are used constantly to create a very immersive experience, whether it be for general background atmospherics or specific surround effects, of which there are many, such as during the gunfight at 17:00, the helicopter chase at 21:30 and inside the aeroplane at 58:00.
The subwoofer was also used constantly, whether adding bass to the score, filling out the sounds of gunfire and vehicles or by adding serious rumble to the countless explosions.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are lots of extras spread over the two discs. As usual with major Hollywood productions, some of the extras are little more than space fillers, but there is also quite a lot of quality to be found. I also discovered three easter eggs. These are listed below.
The menu includes an intro, lots of action, music, and the ability to select scenes and subtitles. The disc 1 menus are well designed and look great, however the menus on Disc 2 suffered from a lot of flickering which I found annoying.
Tom and the director get together here to have a friendly, relaxed and reasonably informative chat about the film, including discussion of the story, casting process, script development, locations, editing choices, etc. They also point out some goofs and talk about the great work of Vic Armstrong. Quality stuff.
Very good quality making-of documentary which does more than just the usual promotional fluff. Most of the major cast and crew provide interview snippets, and location and behind the scenes footage is included. It covers stunts, costumes, music, CGI, visual effects and other topics. 16x9 enhanced.
Five deleted scenes are included, none of which would have added much to the story despite being quite reasonable in themselves. They are 16x9 enhanced. The scenes are
A tribute to Tom Cruise which was played during the 2005 MTV Movie Awards show. Contains highlights from his various films.
Featurette which focuses on the cast and their characters. Bit of a love-in and not overly full of content. 4X3.
An interesting featurette which focuses on the second unit led by Vic Armstrong and covers the staging of various stunts in a reasonable level of detail. Includes discussion of the technology, how much the cast did themselves and how the action was put together. 16x9 enhanced.
Featurette about the use of a pre-visualisation computer program, allowing them to build computer graphics so they can design the action sequences. Includes comparison shots. 16x9 enhanced.
Featurette about the process by which they designed and constructed the mask-making machine used in the film. Interesting info about a very cool prop.
Short doco on the music used featuring the composer.
Tedious love-in of Tom Cruise and the director asking each other questions.
Short featurettes about the global premieres of the film and how Tom arrived for each one. Includes segments on New York, Rome, London, Paris & Japan.
Included are the teaser, Japanese teaser and two theatrical trailers.
A total of six TV commercials for the film.
50+ stills from the film and behind the scenes.
Tom Cruise tribute put together for the 2005 BAFTA's.
(SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Go right from Mission : Metamorphosis on the menu which will give you access to a short film about the director going on a joy flight. Boring.
(SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Go right from Teaser Trailer on the Trailers menu which will give you access to a short film about actor Dermot Mulroney playing cello on the soundtrack. Best of the three easter eggs I found but that is not hard.
(SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Go right from Theatrical Trailers on the menu which will give you access to a short film about nuns and priests on set in Rome. Boring.
This movie has recently been re-released in Region 1 in a very similar format. The differences are quite minor and are as follows. The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:
On this basis you may as well call it a draw. A HD-DVD version is also available in Region 1.
The video quality is excellent except for one issue.
The audio quality is stunning.
The two-disc set has a large collection of extras, some of good quality, others which are a waste of time.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer|