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Salt - Blu-ray Movie Review

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Salt Movie Review

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The spy genre has had something of a reviving in the last decade, what with the Bourne series and rebooted Bond films tearing up the box office. And let’s not forget the Cruise-Meister’s Mission Impossible series, now working on its fourth instalment. It was, in fact, Tom Cruise who was all set to embark on another spy movie, and, after seeing the final incarnation of what became Salt, it was probably for the best he moved on.

Edwin A. Salt had a sex change at some point in development, and the always bankable Angelina Jolie stepped into the role of a CIA Agent with a very complex and engaging history. We meet our heroine being tortured by North Korean interrogators, swearing through the pain that she is not, as they assert, a spy. Freed by the efforts of her lover, Evelyn Salt seems to be living safely behind a desk, happily married, with a good working partner (Liev Schreiber). Then a wacky old Russian defector strolls into the CIA and asserts on the record that there is a Russian sleeper operative within their midst. Her mission: to kill the Russian President and insight the old East/West animosities. And her name: Evelyn Salt.

From that point on, Salt is on the run, trying to find the real bad guys, uncover the many levels of corruption, save her husband, and save the United States.

This is an old-fashioned cold war spy movie dressed as a contemporary action film. The flick’s major draw card is its star, a woman, not the script itself. Jolie has the responsibility of decrying this film different from the rest of the pack, and if not for the decision to cast her it really wouldn’t stand out from what’s come before it.

Nothing about this film is particularly original, or even outstanding, but the fact it is a female spy, kicking arse as well as the boys do, does give it a novelty value. It is a well made action picture with very good actors convincing in their respective roles all round. Jolie has already proven herself as a more than capable action star, and her role as Salt is no different (although, it should be mentioned she was only 6 or 7 months past giving birth to twins when she shot this, so that’s something the boys can’t brag about.)

There is intrigue, mystery, rollicking over the top action sequences, plot twists, disguises, good old fashioned good vs. evil concepts, and each and every ingredient ever stirred into the spy genre employed to be chewed up along is fast paced fun. It delivers exactly what it promises, and, like most modern (and expensive) fare these days, leaves it wide open for a follow up.

Not a stand out for 2010, or the spy genre, really, but an enjoyable, competent effort nonetheless. Definitely worth a look if the spy genre is your thing.

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{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

Component Grades
Movie
Blu-ray Disc
3 Stars
4 stars
Blu-ray Experience
3.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 21, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0; French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); Bonus View (PiP); BD-Live; movieIQ

The MPEG-4 AVC transfer is flawless. Colours veer to the cold side without sacrificing accurate flesh tones or diverse palettes when the landscapes change. Picture depth and clarity are reference quality, there is no sign of aliasing or banding or any of the other transfer nasties. It’s perfect.

The DTS-HD 5.1 audio is every bit as impressive as the picture; a lossless, diverse mix that spreads the wealth of sounds around the room constantly. Dialogue is clear even in moments of high action; the rears are giving a good workout, even in no action moments. Good one to show off your sound system.

Extras are very generous. You get three cuts of the film, a director’s picture in picture commentary, many short featurettes covering topics that won’t really surprise, and a half-hour featurette on the development of the movie. There is another version (not reviewed) with a digital copy.

Supplements:

Spy Cam: Picture-in-Picture (Theatrical Cut Only)

Commentary:

  • With director Phillip Noyce

Featurettes:

  • The Ultimate Female Action Hero (1080p,8:05)
  • The Real Agents (1080p, 12:33)
  • Spy Disguise: The Looks of Evelyn Salt (1080p, 5:26)
  • The Modern Master of the Political Thriller: Phillip Noyce (1080p, 9:15)
  • False Identity: Creating a New Reality (1080p, 7:14)
  • Salt: Declassified (1080p, 29:47)
  • "The Treatment" Radio Interview With Phillip Noyce (1080p, 27:12)

Trailers

BD-Live.

MovieIQ.

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{2jtab: Trailer}

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