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PHOTOGRAPHY

M:I 3 two disc Collector's Edition

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 125 minutes, audio commentary, deleted scenes, multiple featurettes, photo gallery, TV spots, and theatrical trailers

STUDIO: Paramount

RELEASE DATE: 10-30-2006

M:I 3 is a very viewing experience on a second viewing. I have seen it once in theaters and now it is my first time on DVD. The first 90 minutes have the IMF team dynamic really sharp, but the last half hour becomes all about Ethan Hunt. Yes, this sequel is like a big screen version of ALIAS by the guy the who created ALIAS. I do think the last half hour plays better on DVD and I can now be untroubled by the fact the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE films are a vehicle for Tom Cruise even if it means other IMF agents take the sidelines for the final minutes in this new film.

If you want to know the plot, it's really simple. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is now training IMF agents and is no longer in the field. He is about to settle down with a nurse (or doctor) named Julia (Michelle Monaghan). He is called back into the field to rescue an IMF agent (Keri Russell) that he trained from a bad guy (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) that wants some mysterious McGuffin weapon known as the Rabbit's Foot. Keri Russell in a way makes true Abrams dream come true for Keri Russell as he joked about what if Felicity (one of his TV shows and characters) had a double life as a secret agent while going to college. Out of that came ALIAS. Now back to the plot. The rescue mission goes off like planned in Berlin only to have said rescued IMF agent die due to a small bomb (shoved up her nose) that is activated in her brain. Hunt wants to to bring the bad guy in only to find out he has bigger things to worry about as Julia is kidnapped by the bad guy who is rescued in a thrilling bridge action scene. Hunt is given 48 hours to retrieve the Rabbit's Foot for said bad guy or Julia will be killed.

M;I 3 has great team dynamic and action pieces. I love Maggie Q and Simon Pegg in their roles. It makes me want to watch Simon again in SHAUN OF THE DEAD.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The transfer is great except for a few moments of aliasing here and there. It just depends on what equipment you have near your DVD player. Image detail is fantastic. I wonder what this film looks like in Hi-Def (HD-DVD or Blue-Ray).

AUDIO: English 5.1, French 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround

Subtitles: English, Spanish, French (for all except audio commentary)

Dialogue is clear and the 5.1 mix isn't half bad.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

DISC 1- The audio commentary with co-writer/director J.J. Abrams and star Tom Cruise is a production detailed track that is sometimes repeated in the featurettes in this set. The five minutes of deleted scenes are nothing to be excited about- just extended scenes that were cut down. The tribute Montage featurette is a featurette that was also seen on the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE SCE earlier this year. THE MAKING OF THE MISSION featurette takes a behind the scenes look at the production of the film. Also you get trailers for the upcoming TRANSFORMERS film, WORLD TRADE CENTER, and Tom Cruise films on DVD.

DISC 2-

INSIDE THE IMF- the actors, director, and screenwriters talk about the cast and their characters.

MISSION ACTION: INSIDE THE ACTION UNIT- a look at the stunt work

VISUALING THE MISSION- a look at the previz work done for M:I 3.

MISSION: METAMORPHOSIS- talk about the face mask maker prop designed by Syd Mead.

SCORING THE MISSION- a brief featurette on the score of the film.

MOVIEFOPNE UNSCRIPTED: TOM CRUISE/ J.J ABRAMS- a lame interview piece as they answer questions from fans sent in.

TRIBUTE MONTAGE: GENEREATION: CRUISE- a lame featurette on Cruise also from the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE SCE.

LAUNCHING THE MISSION has footage from the five premieres of the film: New York, London, Paris, Rome, and Japan. Japan is the best piece of the bunch.

Also included are various TV spots, four theatrical trailers (one teaser, two theatrical trailers, and a trailer shown in Japan), and a photo gallery of various publicity stills and film stills.

I did locate a couple of Easter Eggs which are brief featurettes which aren't worth your time at all.

The extras on this set are mostly PR fluff. They serve to promote Cruise or the film. The featurettes only scratch the surface of the movie's making. I wish there was a featurette on the first attempt to make this sequel which fell apart and saw Cruise do WAR OF THE WORLDS in the meantime.

FINAL ANALYSIS: M:I 3 isn't a bad entry in the series. It is better with repeat viewings, but I wish the extras were a little better with one featurette on the previous version of the third film that almost got made and not featurettes on how Tom Cruise is a great actor.

this review is (c)10-31-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com