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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Videogames > Lara Croft – Tomb Raider (HD-DVD)

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider (HD-DVD)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: C-



Angelina Jolie has appeared in action genre films and film franchises over and over, but as the sole lead, none of them have hit big.  However, Simon West’s adaptation of the wildly successful videogame Lara Croft – Tomb Raider (2001) was just successful worldwide that it spawned a sequel and is a favorite on home video.  It is such a favorite that Paramount has made it one of its initial HD-DVD releases.  Literally like a female Indiana Jones, and “Perils Of Penelope” tales were forerunners of that franchise, she travels the world to get her mission done.


The MacGuffin this time is “The Triangle Of Light” and it can alter time and space.  If you can believe that, you might like the film, but this critic never did and the action sequences are too manicured for their own good.  Jolie is physically up to the task on her part, but the directing and script are not.  Her real-life father plays her father here and among the cast of mostly unknowns is new James Bond Daniel Craig.  Unfortunately, it is almost as annoying as the last two Pierce Brosnan James Bond films (The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day) in its lack of memorability and any sense of action satisfaction.  It makes Mr. & Mrs. Smith even look good.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 High Definition image is better than past DVD versions, and some money was put on the screen to make the film look good, but its video game aspirations and some dated digital work help to hold the film back.  There are also a few flaws in the transfer throughout that are minor, but also hold it back in detail and color.  Now, even odder is the sound, which is still better than the regular Dolby Digital 5.1 on the previous DVDs, but sounds held-back.  Both The Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 are not bad, but neither are as good as it should sound or sounded in the theater.


Why?  Because there is more sound fidelity here than any of the U.S. home video release formats can offer.  Overseas, the film was one of the only standard feature film DVDs ever issued in DTS 96/24, which is better than any of the above formats, but DTS 96/24 was rarely used for non-music programs in the formats because of the fear of playback fears.  As a result, this HD-DVD should have had DTS 96/24 or even DTS HD and Dolby Digital Plus, but this is not what it should be and some diehard fans might be disappointed.


Extras include five featurettes, U2 Music Video, alternate main title, deleted scenes, audio commentary by director Simon West and both a teaser and a trailer in HD.  This will make for an interesting comparison to the sequel when it arrives on HD-DVD.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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