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Blu-ray Review: Get Smart

Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2008 6:12 PM by Scott Jentsch

Front Cover ArtworkGet Smart
Blu-ray
Warner Home Video
110 Minutes

List Price: $35.99 (Check Price at Amazon.com)

Available 9/16/2008

Rated PG-13

Click here for additional movie details, including the full plot summary, cast listing, trailers and videos, photos, reviews of the movie, and links to the official movie web site and more.

 TheatricalThis Disc
Video Format:
35mm and HD
1080p VC-1
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1 1.85:1
Audio:

Dolby Digital
DTS Digital
SDDS

Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1

Other: 

Movie: BD-25 (x1)
DVD Game: DVD-9 (x1)
Digital Copy: Data DVD (x1)

Disc 1 Contents

  • No Upfront Ads!
  • Movie
  • Extras
    • Comedy Optimization Mode (45 mins, HD)
    • Gag Reels (8 mins, SD)
    • Sneak Peek (9 mins, SD)
    • Featurettes
      • The Right Agent for the Right Job: Behind the Scenes Training (11 mins, SD)
      • Max in Moscow (6 mins, SD)
      • Language Lessons: Spotlight on Linguistics (4 mins, SD)

Disc 2 Contents

  • DVD Game: Get Smart: KAOS Control

Disc 3 Contents

  • Digital Copy of Movie

About the Movie

Funny man Steve Carell takes up the difficult job of playing Maxwell Smart in the movie version of the popular TV series from the 1960's (played with legendary skill by Don Adams). Anne Hathaway joins him in the role of Agent 99 as the two agents for secret agency CONTROL sent to Russia to stop the nefarious intentions of KONTROL.

How Does it Look?

Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell

While the transfer is clean and there aren't any noticeable artifacts, there isn't anything spectacular here. It almost looks like a TV production more than it does a movie production, but the picture serves the story and doesn't distract.

How Does it Sound?

Like the picture, the sound mix is unspectacular. For an action movie, one would think that there would be more for the surrounds to do, but rarely did I notice any kind of surround field going on. That said, however, the dialogue in this talkative movie is always easy to understand.

Can we blame this on the fact that Warner chose to do a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 transfer instead of a lossless TrueHD or DTS HD-MA track? While it's dissapointing to see a studio using a sound mix from the previous generation of home video, I tend to think that the faults lie more with the original sound mix than some failure on the part of the transfer to Blu-ray disc.

Even though, Warner, don't skimp on the movie and give us the best the format has to offer! I would gladly give up a DVD game for a dual-layer Blu-ray disc that can max out the video and sound quality.

Extras

I like to see the theatrical trailer included with movies, so I was disappointed to see that one was not included here.What we have been given are a series of featurettes in standard definition and deleted scenes offered in a play mode called "Comedy Optimization Mode" which shows a popup telephone booth whenever extra scenes can be viewed during the movie.


This package features something else that is gaining traction among Blu-ray releases, which is a digital copy of the movie. One of the challenges of the Blu-ray format is that its discs cannot be played on DVD players that people have throughout their homes, portable units, and vehicles. A third data DVD in this package contains a digital copy of the movie in both Windows Media and iTunes formats, presumably for downloading to your PC, iPod/iPhone, and Zune portable devices. I inserted the disc into a Windows XP laptop and a welcome screen came up and offered to install either format and then asked for the access code provided in the printed materials. I didn't install the movie to see if it worked, as I have no desire to watch movies on a tiny iPod screen, or even my PC.

Personally, given the DRM aspects of these digital copies, I'd prefer if the studios copied Disney's approach with Sleeping Beauty and just included the DVD version of the movie in the package.

Other Aspects

This disc does support bookmarking, which allows you to mark particular scenes for future reference. This feature is also convenient when watching a movie in multiple sittings, so that you can come back to where you left off. The auto-resume feature on the PlayStation 3 does not work with this BD-J-formatted disc. Bookmarking/auto-resume is a feature that should be standard on all Blu-ray releases, so I'm glad to see it included on this title.

Conclusion

I enjoyed the movie itself much more than I was expecting to, and I recommend seeing it. However, given the average quality of the movie's picture and sound and the disposable extras, I can't say that this is a purchase for anyone that isn't a huge fan that wants to enjoy it over and over again and have a digital copy to carry on their iPod so they can revisit their favorite scenes and lines.

Given the apparent emphasis Warner placed on the extras (DVD game, Digital Copy), it would seem that they are trying to find out if the market wants such things included in Blu-ray titles. I don't mind them, but they shouldn't come at the expense of the quality of the movie itself, and I can't help but think that the picture quality and sound quality might have been better if less of the budget had been spent on ancillary extras.

Recommended Reading

Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the disc.

RentBuy


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