We take a look at the three Mission: Impossible films now available as a collection on HD DVD.
Although Paramount has announced it is, like Warner, supporting both HD formats, this HD DVD collection of the Mission: Impossible trilogy is the sum total of the company’s next-generation release schedule so far. The box-set, does, however, represent good value for money, so that’s a promising start from the studio.
Also of tantalising promise is the inclusion, for the first time on the format, of a second disc, packed with extras. In this case it accompanies M:i:III, and allows for a better picture transfer for the film itself and a large collection of the documentaries and deleted scenes to be rendered in 1080p. But more on that later, as the fi rst included movie, Mission: Impossible, is far less impressive.
Unfortunately, its major problems arise from the print used for the HD transfer; it’s muckier than a mud-wrestling world championship between tramps…
Seemingly, there’s been no attempt at digital restoration, which is a huge shame as the movie itself still stands up when compared to its own sequels, the Bourne…movies and, even, Casino Royale.
It’s even more surprising when you consider that the recently released Special Collector’s Edition on DVD had great images. Go figure.
It doesn’t skimp on features though, even including HD versions of the teaser and main theatrical trailer, as well as all the standard def features found on the Collector’s Edition release.
M:i-2’s picture transfer is much better, but the disc is more stingy with features. Paramount seems to have found a better print, or it’s been passed through a digital cleaning processor a couple of times.
Detailed shots are fi ne, with depth, but skin tones are grittier than you’d expect. Colours, though, are intense and John Woo’s contrast-heavy fi lmic style holds up well.
As mentioned, though, features are limited, with no 1080p or high-def bonuses whatsoever. All you’re treated to are the standard-def extras as seen on the single-disc DVD release. The John Woo commentary is also included, which is of some note to those who want to hear his excuses for, possibly, his worst movie yet.
The third movie in the set, M:i:III, is by far the most impressive all round. It’s the best fi lm, easily the best transfer and has the biggest range of features. The fi rst disc even features an interactive (alongside a conventional) commentary with JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise, while the second has most of its extras in full 1080p.
Although there’s a disparity in the quality of each title, it’s worth investing in the box-set if only to have the complete set of Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible movies now that Paramount are set to replace him.
HD DVD, widescreen, Dolby Digital Plus 5.1