Release Date(s)2011 (April 17, 2012)
- Film/Program Grade: B+
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A+
- Extras Grade: C+
In Ghost Protocol, the Mission Impossible franchise has delivered its best outing of Tom Cruise's reign and done so by managing the simple expedient of invoking the spirit of the original TV series - plenty of human mental ingenuity on display, reliance on masks, and dependence on opponents' human frailties.
One doesn't want to dwell too much on the plot convolutions, but suffice it to say that Russian-American relations are in the balance, the search for stolen nuclear launch codes is at the heart of the problem, and the IMF manages to get its actions disavowed by order of the President. IMF operative Ethan Hunt manages to Cruise his way through the mayhem with his appealing team of Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Carter (Paula Patton). To be sure, some of the action sequences are over the top in terms of what human beings are physically capable of and which even the original MF series would have disdained for its time, but accepting that, there's much to marvel at in some great set pieces that include a marauding sand storm plus Ethan Hunt's usual glass-scaling derring-do exploits. The overall impact easily made Ghost Protocol 2011's best-made and consistently entertaining action/adventure thriller. Now thanks to Paramount, the film also has been granted a superb Blu-ray presentation. The 2.40:1 image is one of Paramount's impressive efforts, excelling in all aspects from image sharpness and colour fidelity to the overall depth of field and detail. Complementing the video is a 7.1 Dolby TruHD audio mix that is state of the art too. 5.1 DD French, Spanish, and Portuguese tracks plus English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese sub-titles are provided. The Paramount release I looked at came with 2 Blu-ray discs and 1 DVD disc. Supplementary materials included some 14 featurettes on all aspects of production and ranging in length from 1 to 18 minutes; 15 minutes of deleted scenes; and theatrical trailers. Visually and sonically, the home theatre experience doesn't get much better than what Paramount offers in its Ghost Protocol product.
Based on Istvan Szabo's treatment of George Moore's story, Albert Nobbs has finally made its way to the screen through the efforts of actress Glenn Close and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, some 30 years after it first opened off Broadway in 1982.