Tuesday, January 20, 2009

HANCOCK (Blu-Ray)

When I bought my Blu-Ray player last Fall, the store threw in a copy of HANCOCK, Will Smith’s most recent genre blockbuster. While it wasn’t quite what I had expected, it turned out to be a pretty interesting film.

Smith plays Hancock; the world’s only (as far as he knows) super-powered human. He has the usual comic book powers – super strength, flight – but he’s also an amnesiac, irresponsible drunk. When he saves the life of a struggling public relations expert (Jason Bateman, TEEN WOLF TOO, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT), the PR guy decides to help Hancock improve his image and become a genuine super-hero. But once Hancock meets his new friend’s wife (Charlize Theron, AEON FLUX), some long-suppressed memories and odd feelings begin to surface; does she hold the key to his forgotten past?

There are some interesting ideas in there for a super-hero movie, and a reliably strong performance from megastar Smith. The digital effects work is generally convincing, and the film only suffers from a weak third act. Still, it’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre.

Sony’s Blu-Ray presentation is, unsurprisingly, a stunning hi-res visual and audio experience, and a great demo disc for the Blu-Ray format. The film is presented in 1080p Hi-Def at the proper 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The disc includes both the theatrical release version and an unrated, extended version, along with seven behind-the-scenes featurettes and trailers for other Sony releases. There’s also an On-Set Diary Visual picture-in-Picture track.

My only real complaint with the disc is that the video clip that plays behind the main menu screen is way too loud, and makes it difficult to concentrate on navigating the various options. Of course, that could be just the fact that I’m getting old.

BUY: Hancock (Unrated Special Edition) [Blu-ray]