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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Mystery > Action > Comedy > Crime > Drama > The Fifth Element: 20th Anniversary Edition (1997)/Leon The Professional (1994/both Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays w/Blu-ray sets)

The Fifth Element: 20th Anniversary Edition (1997)/Leon The Professional (1994/both Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays w/Blu-ray sets)



Picture: A/B+ Sound: A/B+ Extras: B Film: B+/A



In the wake of the release of Valerian and the City Of A Thousand Planets (2017), Sony has upgraded two of Director Luc Besson's most celebrated films, Leon the Professional (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997). Oddly enough, they also released these same two titles last year in both detailed Blu-ray discs (the same ones included here), which also sport the same Dolby Atmos 11.1 tracks and (mostly) the same extras. However, the 2160p image is really the selling point here and if these are two of your favorite films, then these are a must have on the new format.



The Fifth Element


No doubt paving the way for Besson's new film Valerian (2017), his sci-fi favorite The Fifth Element is another film that has been released so many times on so many formats with so many special edition versions (a few of those reviewed elsewhere on this site, as well as with Leon for that matter) that it's hard to tell one from another. This one, however, is the 20th Anniversary edition, which aside from one new featurette and the 4K Ultra HD transfer (improving over last year's Supreme Cinema transfer), doesn't have a whole lot new to bring to the table.


In the 23rd century, a New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), finds the fate of the world in his hands when Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) falls into his cab. As the embodiment of the fifth element, Leeloo needs to combine with the other four to keep the approaching Great Evil from destroying the world. Together with Father Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm) and zany broadcaster Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker), Dallas must race against time and the wicked industrialist Zorg (Gary Oldman) to save humanity.


With technical specs similar to Leon, The Fifth Element is mastered for the first time in 4K 2160p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 track that are on both the 4K UHD disc and the Blu-ray (also included). CGI effects do not look bad for their age. A lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track, both of which push the original Sony Dynamic Digital Sound (aka SDDS) 7.1 soundmaster, is also included, along with a digital UV copy. Fans who never heard the SDDS version will find the mix a revelation.


ALL-NEW FEATURETTE: "The Director's Notes: Luc Besson Looks Back"


plus The Visual Element


The Digital Element


The Star Element


The Alien Element


The Fashion Element


The Diva


Imagining The Fifth Element


The Elements of Style



If you need these for your 4K library or own older versions of the films on another format, then this is the version you should upgrade too. However, if you have last year's Supreme Cinema Series editions then you won't get much new aside from the 4K presentation.



Leon The Professional


This will make the sixth copy of this film that I've owned over the years on various formats (starting with VHS!. It is amongst my top ten favorite films of all time and it never gets old to me. However, I've never seen it look THIS good before. Captivating, action packed, and dramatic, it will be hard for Besson to ever match what he pulled off with this film. It kickstarted Natalie Portman's career and didn't hurt Gary Oldman's either... I just wish we saw more Jean Reno in recent years (though he's had his fair share of enjoyable flicks). If for some reason you haven't seen this groundbreaking action classic, then I would highly suggest checking it out in 4K UHD.


Mathilda (Natalie Portman) is only 12-years-old, but is already familiar with the dark side of life: her abusive father stores drugs for corrupt police officers, and her mother neglects her. Leon (Jean Reno), who lives down the hall, tends to his houseplants and works as a hired hitman for mobster Tony (Danny Aiello). To say that Leon is good at what he does, is an understatement. He is a disciplined and trained individual with not much room in his life for friendships or relationships. When Mathilda's family is murdered by crooked DEA agent Stansfield (Gary Oldman), Mathilda joins forces with a reluctant Leon to learn his deadly trade and avenge her family's deaths. More happens then either expects, giving the audience one of the best third acts ever put on film.


Mastered in 4K 2160p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 track that are on both the 4K UHD disc and the Blu-ray (also included), of which we were able to access from a solid, lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track, both of which push the original Sony Dynamic Digital Sound (aka SDDS) 7.1 sound master will make your neighbors think a gun battle is going on in your home. This was one of the first films to offer the full SDDS treatment theatrically and the sonics hold up well, most apparent in Atmos. Skin textures are more defined than before and shots have more contrast, making this a big step up from even the Blu.



Special Features are the same as the previous release that was issued last year...


Theatrical and extended versions of the film


Cast and Crew Look Back


Jean Reno: The Road To Leon


Natalie Portman starting young


Fact Track (Extended Version) and the Original Theatrical Trailer.


Digital UV copy



- James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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