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We take a took at this HD DVD of Smokin Aces too see if it worth its weight in gold.

Joe Carnahan made a splash with his low-budget 2002 crime movie Narc, which was championed by Tom Cruise, who came on board as executive producer to ensure its release. Sadly, this second film disappoints.

Smokin’ Aces tells the story of sleazy Vegas performer Buddy ‘Aces’ Israel, who has turned state’s witness to testify against the mob. The mafia put a contract on Aces’ head and now all that stands between him and a host of competing hitmen and women are two FBI agents.

While the premise is good, it’s a bit of a mess. Carnahan has great fun with a big budget and an all-star cast, but the result is just superficial and confusing sub-Tarantino gunplay that entertains without satisfying.

The HD DVD is far more impressive, with one of the best 1080p transfers available and a lively DD+ soundtrack.

Extras include U-Control functionality (including some surprisingly candid interview material and an onscreen Assassin Tracker), plus an audio commentary, deleted/extended scenes, outtakes and a trio of featurettes.

The finished disc inside the box is a single-sided HD DVD version, (though it was originally touted as the first Combo Disc – DVD on one side, HD DVD on the other – in the UK). The Aussie RRP is comparable to other single-sided HD DVDs ($44.99).

HD PICTURE:

HD SOUND:

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THE MOVIE:

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