Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
I’m torn on this cover. It’s bold and catches your attention, that I do like. It’s the fake looking images of DiCaprio and Crowe that irritates me. A straight up rough and tumble black and white photo would have done the job for me.
The menu is just as neutral for me. The movie starts automatically, as always with Warner Brothers, which is excellent. When you do go to the menu for extras and whatnot it’s laid out very clearly, easy to navigate, and in the theme of the movie.
- Focus Points In High Definition – I LOVE focus points. I don’t love the name, kind of like a corporate seminar babbling on, but fair enough. The fact that we can go to a menu and watch these extras individually OR watch them threaded through the movie is exactly the way it should be presented. These bits and pieces are all really good, not too long, not overly produced, just a lot of behind the scenes, interviews, etc.
- BD Live Features – There are two streaming special effects videos to watch online, not much to brag about, but they can always add more later.
- Commentary By Ridley Scott, William Monahan & David Ignatius – OH, this is good. Scott is always fascinating for me. I’m not sure why exactly, he could be full of shite, but I like listening to him talking about making his movies.
- Interactive Debriefing – Hmmm what do they think “interactive” is exactly? This is a way for us to just see more short bits of extras, which are fine, but the delivery system is a bit odd.
- Additional Scenes With Introduction & Optional Director Commentary –We watched with the commentary which added a LOT to the scene in which the young Terannian actress was expected to touch her leading man’s hand, which is forbidden in REAL life.
- Digital Copy – It is what it is.
The Movie: 8/10
Tell me again, a movie directed by Ridley Scott, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and co-starring Russel Crowe? What’s the punchline?
It is a reality. Not that I”m star struck by folks, but come on. I’ve been aware of and interested in these fellas for many years. Scott is just one of those directors who you either “get” and follow with great enthusiasm or you don’t give a hoot if his name is on the bill. I give a hoot!
Body of Lies is big, bold, topical, well shot, well edited, and it captured a moment in our times that I think is handled with great intuition. Tensions with the middle east are not an easy subject to dance around in the entertainment world. Telling a story about a covert operation involving decisions made by fat cats back in Washington while pawns are put in play, left for dead, discarded when the have outlived their usefulness, it could seem daunting. I think somewhere between the excellent performances, quality dialogue, and well scripted action, this tale brought me into a world I’m so far away from and yet made me feel I got an incite I didn’t have before.
Yes, it’s a movie. Yes it’s Hollywood. Fair enough, but when a story teller goes beyond the fanfare of a subject and seems to dig deeper, with the authentic locations, amazing extras, sets that were designed with such detail, and a certain gritty gloos (if that’s possible) that Scott gives us, it makes for a solid experience. One that I don’t come across very often, not often enough anyway.
DiCaprio and Crowe are both captivating in their roles. They grab you and don’t go. From Crowe’s looking over his reading glasses with an arrogance I have seen in people in real life many times, to DiCaprio’s subtle emotions that he shows with just right gestures, facial expressions,and a kind of calm that he has developed over the years.
Golshifteh Farahani more than holds her own up against the screen presence of DiCaprio. She’s got a charm about her that I want to see more of in the future. She commands herself on screen in a way that makes you watch her every movement. A first movie role that should make her very proud.
There are a lot of people in this movie and with only one exception everyone made it a pleasure to watch.
Ok Mr. Scott, what’s next?
Audio & Video: 9/10
Ridley Scott always uses cutting edge film techniques and Body Of Lies is no different. Filmed in high definition, the image is super sharp and well defined throughout. Unfortunately, the transfer utilizes a bit of artificial sharpening which makes the image look a little to sharp and is quite unnecessary due to the pristine source material, still most people will not notice this and that’s the only gripe I have. The movie uses a 1080P/VC1 transfer which is presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1, fine detail is present in almost every scene including the dark torture chamber which is almost devoid of light.
The audio on this release (this happens with quite a few Blu-Ray releases) is mixed quite low so you may need to step up your amp a couple of notches from your normal listening position. This isn’t a problem though as the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is quite spectacular and some of the scenes involving gunfire will have you looking behind your seat for a hidden gunman. Overall Ridley Scott can do no wrong in my book and I would like to think his attention for detail also influenced the transfer process of this disc. Highly Recommended.
Buy or rent? I say rent it while it’s full price. Definitely don’t miss it if you are a fan of any of the ingredients, Scott, DiCaprio, or Crowe. I would buy it when the price drops to a reasonable level, when the dust settles on Blu-Ray. The extras are good, and the movie is an epic action drama that makes a great night at the movies.
Overall Score 8/10