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Category:    Home > Reviews > Aciton > Adventure > Swords > Hero > The Mask Of Zorro (1998/Sony Blu-ray)

The Mask Of Zorro (1998/Sony Blu-ray)


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



The latest revival of Zorro by Steven Spielberg and Martin Campbell should have (could have) been the definitive version of the character, but despite being a hit and running two films, is not discussed much and plays like a junior version of the Indiana Jones films.  Mask Of Zorro (rumored to be entitled Mark Of Zorro earlier on) introduced Antonio Banderas in the role of the swordsman avenger with Anthony Hopkins as old Zorro turning to him as his replacement.  Again, yet another superhero film (yes, it qualifies) that is stuck on its origins and goes on and on and on and on with them.


However, it has a few minor good moments, but is otherwise slightly overproduced, competent, corporate product with enough energy to just keep it moving.  Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the (surprise?) able-bodied love interest, but in the end, this was like a pale imitator of Kevin Reynolds’ Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and in the end offers little we have seen before.  Robert Rodriguez was originally supposed to direct this, but his approach was apparently too radical for Spielberg, despite the tame children’s fare Rodriguez eventually helmed.  Too bad, because that could have been something more exciting than this.  Now, we’ll have to enjoy better, earlier Zorro films (and TV?) to see the character at its best while it currently lingers in these films.  For diehard fans only.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image has some good moments, but does not always look good in its darker scenes and has detail issues here and there.  Phil Meheux, B.S.C., delivers some nice shots as expected and money is on the screen, but this is far from as dynamic in transfer or the final shoot as it could have been.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix has some good moments when the surrounds and action kick in, but this is a subdued mix (was not an 8-track Sony Dynamic Digital Sound release like the sequel) and is not as active as Campbell’s mix for the Bond film GoldenEye (1995, reviewed elsewhere on this site) was from a few years before.  The combination is better than a DVD or HD broadcast could be, but not as much as we had expected.


Extras include Deleted Scenes, BD Live interactive functions, Unmasking Zorro featurette, Marc Anthony/Tina Arena Music Video, Campbell feature length audio commentary and both a scene & behind-the-scenes piece on the sequel Legend Of Zorro.


I liked that sequel even less, though it made for a better Blu-ray.  You can read more about that at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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