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PHOTOGRAPHY

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE Special Collector's Edition

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 110 minutes, multiple featurettes, photo gallery, trailers, TV spots, M:I-3 teaser

STUDIO: Paramount/ Cruise Wagner productions

RELEASE DATE: 4-11-2006

I remember seeing MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE first in 1996. Hard to believe it has been 10 years and the third film will be out next month in theaters. Some reviewers said it was convoluted when it first came out, but I understood the film. It was a clever spy thriller used as a franchise launch vehicle for Tom Cruise. The actors in it (Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Redgrave to name a few) were top notch with some nice twists and sequences. It does basically give the finger to fans of the original TV series, but Tom and his producer could care less. They were concerned with the finished product and not if it respected the show.

Tom Cruise is Agent Ethan Hunt. The latest mission for his IMF team lead by his mentor, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), goes south big time. Hunt is framed as mole and he looks for the mysterious Job who is after the NOC list (list with agent names and their locations). He puts together his own team to steal the real NOC list to expose Job and clear his name hopefully.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Ghastly transfer. Grain is heavy at times and chapter 8 in the white room is full of aliasing.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English 2.0 DS, French 2.0 DS

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Thankfully, the audio fares much better than the video.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Most of the extras are a missed opportunity. The one of the only things they really do quite well is to include every theatrical trailer, TV spot (nine of them), and a teaser for M:I-3. The featurettes are basic fluff. An audio commentary track would have been welcome and even a little bit on the troubles of the film's production (DePalma and Cruise had a falling out during post-production and Peter Graves didn't want to play Phelps since they changed him for the movie). They even missed the chance to include the deleted love scene between Claire and Ethan (you do see a glimpse of it in the theatrical trailer. I just wish the SCE wasn't such a PR stint for the film and Tom Cruise as in regards to the extras. Mission: Remarkable- 40 years of Creating The Impossible is basically a promo piece for all three films in the Mission: Impossible series while Mission: Explosive Exploits tells how Tom likes doing his own stunts (and focuses on the restaurant explosion). Mission: Catching The Train is a very brief featurette on the special effects work for the train sequence. Mission: Spies Among Us has real spies talking about US intelligence missions of the past and sometimes Hollywood may be imitating teh spy world (and maybe even the other way around).   Mission: Interational Spy Muesem features the executive director of the ISM showing some of the items used by real spies (mostly Cold War items). Mission: Agent Dossiers has detailed info on every IMF agent in the first Mission: Impossible film.

A couple of tribute montages to Tom Cruise (Excellence In Film: Cruise and Generation: Cruise) and a couple of Acceptance Speeches for awards given to Tom (a BAFTA award and a MTV Generation Award introduced by Katie Holmes, Tom's current girlfriend) are included and I rather have had that space on the disc for featurettes or extras about the film. A photo gallery is also included.

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you don't own the film on DVD and like the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film series, buy the DVD and get the free ticket to see M:I-3. I just hope Paramount releases a better Collector's Edition of the film in the future.

this review is (c)4-6-2006 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