and Mrs. Smith on DVD
If anyone is curious as to what you get when you cross two of the
biggest faces in Hollywood, a red-hot director, a $100 million budget,
and a mediocre-at-best screenwriter, the answer is as follows:
You get a disappointing, mediocre-at-best action-comedy.
Brad Pitt stars as Mr. Smith, an assassin whose wife has no knowledge
of his true profession. Angelina Jolie stars as Mrs. Smith, an assassin
whose husband has no knowledge of her true profession.
As the film opens, we find the couple in counseling, apparently
there to discover the meaning behind the fizzle in their relationship.
We learn they’ve had “five or six years” of a
moderately happy marriage, and now they need to put the spark back
Naturally, both of their respective employers send them on the
same mission. But they don’t know it yet. They end up attacking
each other, seeing each other as a threat. But they don’t
know it yet. Before long, their intelligence pieces together that
their nemesis is, in fact, their significant other. Now the fun
really begins. Mr. and Mrs. Smith square off in an ultimate battle
to the death. Almost.
The film has a clever premise, despite the fact that it’s
almost blatantly ripped off from James Cameron’s True
Lies. Even the script is fairly cleverly written, despite the
fact that there are some holes and it ends ever-too-abruptly. Director
Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity)
adds his solid touch, which would have resulted in an above-average
action romp were it not for the script problems.
The real stars here, though, are the stars. Pitt and Jolie are
tops in their game for a reason; because they (almost) always do
an exceptional job and pick good projects. Their screen charisma
shines through from start to finish, and their onscreen chemistry
rivals that of Bergman and Bogart. In such a film, you watch it
less to see the greatest movie ever made, and more to see Hollywood’s
most beautiful people kick the crap out of each other.
In that sense, it delivers.
You can’t deny the entertainment value of the film, but based
on what went into it, you also can’t help but be underwhelmed.
One of the most solidly made films of the year, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
will undoubtedly go down in history as one of those forgotten hits
that you pull off your rack every few years and say: “hey,
this wasn’t a bad movie, let’s give it another shot.”
The DVD comes in an impressive package, but we’re fairly
certain there will be a special edition in the future, so buyer
The video is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen (as well
as a separate Pan&Scan version), and looks good if not a bit
old-fashioned. We’re speculating that it was the choice of
Doug Liman to add a bit of a classic look to the film, which includes
a soft transfer with no foreign artifacts. Colors and detail are
solid, and Angelina’s skin shines through beautifully (and
what else are we looking at, really?).
Audio is available in Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 tracks, and for
the most part are both fine. Dialogue is too quiet in some places,
but all five speakers get a great workout during the action scenes.
Three audio commentaries are available on the DVD. The first, by
director Doug Liman and screenwriter Simon Kinberg, is quite good.
We learn much about the production, studio involvement, the contributions
by the actors, and even why some parts of the script are less-than-stellar.
The other two commentaries are by producers Lucas Foster and Akiva
Goldsman, and editor Michael Tronick, production designer Jeff Mann,
and visual effects supervisor Kevin Elam. The two tracks equal about
one track of pure, solid information.
We also get an 8-minute fluff featurette, three deleted scenes,
and some trailers.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
120 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby
Digital & dts 5.1
Starring Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Vince Vaughn
Produced by Lucas Foster, Akiva Goldsman, Eric McLeod, Arnon Milchan,
Written by Simon Kinberg, directed by Doug Liman
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