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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Drama > The Interpreter (HD-DVD)

The Interpreter (HD-DVD)


Picture: B     Sound: B+     Extras: B-     Film: B-



When Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter hit theaters, it received a mixed critical and commercial response, something the DVD release of the film did not make up for enough.  We did cover the Widescreen version as this link shows:





I was one of the people who advocated the film and felt it was Pollack getting back into form.  However, I had some issues with the performance of the DVD, so when Universal announced that they would make the film into one of their early HD-DVD releases, I was happy to hear it.  The good news is the film still works and is still enjoyable, with its leads remaining enduring stars.  Then there is the performance of the new disc.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital high definition image is an improvement over the DVD, but with some limits I did not see on the DVD due to its lower definition and also did not notice on the 35mm print for whatever reasons.  Shot in real anamorphic 35mm and not lesser Super 35mm, the HD-DVD reveals some of the great definition and color fullness the DVD just could not handle.  However, flaws in the Digital Internegative work by cinematographer Darius Khondji, A.S.C., A.F.C., not noticeable before sadly surface here and play havoc with the amazing camera work he pulled off otherwise.  Since it is intended for the most part, we have to chalk it up to style, but it hurts the presentation.


As for the 5.1 sound mix which sounded impressive even in standard Dolby Digital, I always felt this would sound better in DTS and I was right.  It is a mix included here, as well as an even higher bit-rate Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, though the DTS still has some moments over the DD+ mix.  The combination of the James Newton Howard score and clever surrounds enhance the thriller and narrative elements.  You also get the same extras as on the previous DVD, so this is now the copy of the film to own and is a sonic HD demo if nothing else.  However, you might just enjoy the film too.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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