Viewed – 16 May 2010 Blu-ray
Steven Spielberg’s return to futuristic sci-fi after the luke warm A.I. Artificial Intelligence is probably one of his more underrated movies. Whatever your opinion of Tom Cruise post scientology madness, he remains one of the most bankable Hollywood stars and teaming for the first time with the most celebrated director of all time will certainly grab an audiences attention. Cruise plays a Police Officer in the experimental Pre-Crime division where technology and the unique skills of three psychics allow the prediction of violent crimes before they happen, enabling the perpetrator to be arrested before he or she can act. Naturally this form of law enforcement has its army of ethical doubters, with Cruise’s character also at times troubled by its supposedly perfect system but propelled to believe in it following his own son’s kidnapping. Yet whatever doubts he may have are soon answered when he becomes a target, and soon he is on the run and must somehow prove his own innocence.
Spielberg’s movie, based like Blade Runner, Total Recall and many other movies on a story by renowned science fiction author Philip K Dick, is an intelligence anti-blockbuster, that although filled with a stunningly imaginative vision of the future and bursts of breath-taking action, spends much of its time in a complex plot, with a bevy of wierd and unusual characters held together by Spielberg’s expert direction and some stand out performances. Cruise is seriously on form along with a scene stealing Samantha Morton as one of the three psychics at the heart of Pre-crime. Max Von Sydow also lends commendable presence to proceedings as Cruise’s ageing Boss, and along with stunning cinematography and an exaggerated soft-focus style with overblown whites and a muted colour palette this is as unique to look at as Philip K Dick’s story is to take in and absorb.
Watching it eight years after initial release, Minority Report remains a rewarding experience, even if some of the action feels a little stilted and awkward (especially the alleyway fight with the flying cops) and its overwhelming world is a little hard to get into for the first hour, until the plot reveals itself. Yet these are small gripes to what is otherwise a thought-provoking and well made piece of science fiction. One I recommend you check out.
The Blu-ray can’t really be faulted, although as mentioned above its use of subdued colours, overblown contrast and soft focus may mean it doesn’t jump out and shout high-def like say, Avatar does but the brilliant cinematography and fine detail still makes it a showcase title in my opinion. In DTS HD Master Audio this is brash & loud when it matters and full of little details to completely absorb the viewer. Extras-wise we have a wealth of extras, including concept art, interviews and behind the scenes all thrown together in ‘The Future According To Spielberg’ bonus-view section that brilliantly copies the movie’s style to present its content. A must-own Blu-ray.
Verdict: 4 /5