Road to Perdition (Blu-ray) (2002)

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Released 24-Aug-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mob Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Making Of
Deleted Scenes-11 +/- commentary
Trailer-CD Soundtrack
Featurette-Conrad Hall Doco
Featurette-A Futher Exploration of the World of Road to Perdition
Introduction-Director
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 116:58 (Case: 113)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Sam Mendes
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Tom Hanks
Paul Newman
Jude Law
Tyler Hoechlin
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Stanley Tucci
Daniel Craig
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Thomas Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Italian DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement Unknown
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
Spanish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is a quietly spoken family man by night and a mob hit man by day, working for local district boss John Rooney (Paul Newman), who is several heads down the line from Al Capone at the height of his reign. Michael's life is turned upside down when his son Michael Jr. sneaks along on a job one night and witnesses him at work along with the boss' son Connor (Daniel Craig). As if this hiccup in father/son relations wasn't enough, Connor becomes paranoid about the situation and decides to eliminate the evidence but instead manages to kill Michael's wife and other son. Fearful for their lives and eager for vengeance, Sullivan and son hit the road to seek approval from the boss' boss, Frank Nitty (Stanley Tucci), to take revenge. When that proves hard to come by, the pair attempts to persuade a change of mind by cleaning out the mob's banks at the point of a gun. Unsurprisingly, that soon puts the mob's slipperiest hit man on their trail (Jude Law).

     The Road to Perdition is a film that oozes style. The film's visual flair evokes a dark mood that more than makes up for the obvious shortfalls in the plot itself. The tone simultaneously captures the juxtaposition of both the film's themes, the gritty underworld and familial bonds, without forgetting either at any point. Hanks is oddly cast as Sullivan. Though the role is quite a diversion from his usual type, the warm everyman persona he brings to every role (irrespective of how well it belongs) actually manages to complement the dark side of the character surprisingly well in this instance and helps the film rise above its fairly straight-forward revenge plot.

     The film's stunning cinematography deservedly won the late Conrad Hall an Oscar. Every scene is beautifully lit, capturing the mood perfectly, and expertly shot. More than a few scenes look truly stunning. One of the film's climactic points, shot at night in heavy rain as two of the main protagonists face of for one last time, is arguably one of the best looking scenes of the decade (and makes for a reference quality Blu-ray demo).

     The Road to Perdition is a great movie that holds up well nearly a decade on and likely will for years to come.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in 1080p. The video is near reference quality. The image is clear and sharp. The colours are rich and the palette shows great depth. There is an excellent level of shadow detail in the image. The image is spotless and shows no sign of any sort of compression artefacts or undue edge enhancement.

     The film features a range of subtitles. The English subtitles are well timed and accurate to the spoken word.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The film features English, Italian and Spanish DTS HD MA 5.1 audio tracks. The audio is of an excellent standard. The dialogue is clear and well placed in the mix. The audio is well synchronised to the video

     The film features a powerful orchestral score from Thomas Newman, one that borders on going over the top time and again but manages to stop just short. The score is presented magnificently in the mix.

     The surrounds are used to perfection, particularly during the action sequences. The subwoofer is used intelligently, amping up the action and supporting the rest well also.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Sam Mendes Feature Introduction (1:17)

     Director Sam Mendes spares a minute (literally) of his time to provide an old fashioned warm, fuzzy "thanks for watching and aren't these Blu-ray things neat" introduction. Altogether unnecessary but pleasant.

Audio Commentary by Director Sam Mendes

    An meticulous and ever-interesting commentary track from the director.

A Cinematic Life: The Art and Influence of Conrad Hall Featurette (26:37)

    A reasonably interesting featurette that reflects on the work of legendary cinematographer Conrad Hall, though focuses heavily on The Road to Perdition. Well worth a look, though not terribly deep stuff.

The Library: A Further Exploration of the World of Road to Perdition Interactive Content

    A series of text-based tid bits about the period of the film and the themes it touches on.

Deleted Scenes (22:09)

    11 deleted scenes with optional commentary. Well worth a look for fans, although none really take the film places it doesn't already go.

HBO Special: The Making of Road to Perdition Featurette (25:02)

     A generic making of featurette. Worth a look, but largely fluff.

Theatrical Trailer (2:52)

     A reasonable theatrical trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 and Region 4 editions are identical save for the language tracks. The Region 1 features English, French and Spanish, although the latter two are Dolby Digital 5.1, which is slightly inferior to the non-English tracks on the Region 4.

Summary

     A moody, visually spectacular mob action movie that holds up as well today as it did when it was first released.

     Audio and video presentation are top notch - good enough to be demo worthy for fans. The extras are diverse and reasonably worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, November 05, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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