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Minority Report [Blu-ray]
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Tom Cruise stars as a cop pursued by his own colleagues in this Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation of the short story by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick ('Blade Runner', 'Total Recall'). John Anderton (Cruise) works for the Pre-Crime Division of the Washington DC police force, a special unit which acts on information obtained from mutants with pre-cognitive abilities in order to prevent murders before they have been committed. When the mutants have visions of a murder carried out by Anderton himself, the cop goes on the run and attempts to prove his own future-innocence. But no matter how hard he tries, Anderton cannot stay hidden from the city's advanced surveillance systems for long.
Many catalogue movies are increasingly being shovelled onto the Blu-ray format with the bare minimum of care and attention, in the hope of picking up a few extra quid. Minority Report, whilst not a radical overhaul of the DVD special edition, thankfully treads a different path.
Much of that is down to a terrific collection of behind the scenes extra features, that retrospectively dig into the look and feel of the movie. It’s interesting material to work through. But it’s the film that’s stood the test of time very well, and Minority Report is arguably one of director Steven Spielberg’s finest movies of the past decade or two.
Taking a Philip K Dick story as its inspiration, Minority Report stars Tom Cruise as an officer in Pre-Crime, a department in the future that stops crime before it’s happened. Yet when his name appears as a future criminal, he has to get to the bottom of just what’s happening.
This all sets the scene for a fabulously entertaining futuristic thriller, that only stumbles slightly as it heads to the end. Spielberg delivers some excellent action sequences, and the look and feel of the movie is simply outstanding. That’s enhanced too by the excellent high definition transfer the film has benefited from, which will both test out any quality 1080p display, and also give a solid speaker set-up a real workout.
Minority Report is, then, one of the best catalogue Blu-ray releases of recent times, and a welcome chance to revisit a film that’s otherwise in danger of being lost in the Spielberg back-catalogue. And it’s a movie that simply deserves a lot more than that… --Jon Foster
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Minority Report is brilliant in every regard from script to acting and from design to visual effects, all expertly marshalled by Steven Spielberg who skilfully combines the intricate, intelligent plot with dramatic action sequences. Cruise has never been better and the supporting cast is also superb, with Samantha Morton especially excellent as the Pre-Cog Agatha. There are also some really creepy sequences, such as the spyders and the eye surgeon. My only gripe is the way Cruise has to explain what has been going on rather than allowing the audience to work things out for themselves.
The film looks and sounds fantastic on Blu Ray, but I have some minor gripes about the bonus features. The good news is that all the material from the previous DVD release has been carried over, though bizarrely while you can pause these featurettes you cannot scan forwards or backwards, so if you miss something that someone has said you’ll have to start from the beginning! There are some very good new retrospective documentaries looking at the life of Philip K. Dick, the props, and the real world application of the movement-controlled computer interface. There is also some behind the scenes and previz footage from various key action sequences. One featurette I could have done without though is the Pre-Crime ‘mockumentary’.
Aside from not being to the control the old DVD extras this is an excellent collection of bonus material, but when you first click on ‘Extras’ the first option you see is an ‘interactive’ interview with Steven Spielberg. The interview runs for 34 minutes but along the way you have the option to watch various related interviews and photo montages and it took me a good couple of hours to get through everything. Then, to my dismay, I discovered that *everything* here is included in the other bonus material on the disc, apart from a few seconds of the Spielberg interview. In fact the vast majority of the disc’s bonus material can actually be watched via the rather cumbersome interactive pop-ups. I would suggest that you watch the Spielberg interview but don’t brother with the pop-ups, and then watch all the bonus material separately.
Minority Report is a brilliant film and aside from some niggles about the bonus features this is an excellent Blu Ray and absolute must-buy for any sci-fi movie fan.
I must admit the main interest which kept me going to the end was more the whole concept of how political states and mass marketing regimes monitor their citizens/buyers in the future which given subsequent developments on facial recognition especially makes the end film not as throwaway as my initial comments may infer.
I look at his films with a degree of trepidation. This one, however, isn't bad at all.
Cruise plays John Anderton, a drug using pre-crimes cop who is forced to go on the run after the pre-cogs show that he will commit the premeditated murder of a man he doesn't know. The film follows Andertons attempts to discover who the man is and why he's going to kill him. Once he has discovered who and why, he has to decide what to do next.
Yes, it raises the obvious question over free will, there is always a point in crime when you make the decision to continue or to stop. Which reminds me of the UK Government's intention to look for the "evil" gene so it that criminals can be institutionalised before they commit crimes. Such preemption can only cause problems, no matter the reasoning behind it, it assumes that all people will act to type, that children born into a family of criminals will become criminals, that children of murderers will murder, and so on. Free will isn't just the right of the politicians or the rich, it is a basic right of all. This film touches on that.
Overall, it was an interesting film about an interesting idea.
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