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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Unrated) (2005)

"Your aim's as bad as your cooking sweetheart...and that's saying something!"
- John Smith (Brad Pitt)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: June 06, 2006

Stars: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie
Other Stars: Adam Brody, Kerry Washington, Vince Vaughn
Director: Doug Liman

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (sequences of violence, intense action, sexual content, brief strong language)
Run Time: 02h:05m:21s
Release Date: June 06, 2006
UPC: 024543244684
Genre: action


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AAA+ A

DVD Review

Mr. and Mrs. Smith will go down in history as the film that spawned Brangelina and went on to be a smash at the box office, but the bigger hit was the new tabloid entity that was, and is, the ridiculously good-looking star couple.

Jane (Angelina Jolie) and John (Brad Pitt) Smith are a couple seeking counseling for a bland, troubled marriage. Seeing their life together as boring, neither of the Smiths knows that the other is an assassin, working for a rival employer. The truth is revealed when Jane and John are separately hired to kill Benjamin Danz (Adam Brody), and the Smiths wind up on a mission to kill each other, with Jane turning to her friend Jasmine (Kerry Washington) for support. John can only turn to Eddie (Vince Vaughn), his friend, who still lives with his mom and keeps some secrets of his own. Now the only thing that can save their lives, let alone their marriage, is their deeply-rooted love for each other. That, and some clever gunplay.

While not director Doug Liman's best film (that would be Swingers), Mr. and Mrs. Smith is an engaging, all-out action romp worthy of repeat viewings. I (and most men) would watch it over and over again for Ms. Jolie alone, as she has never looked better. The outfits she dons bring out all of her best features. She doesn't necessarily give her best performance, but this action-heavy project is all about the leads keeping their guns-a-blazin' and reeling off witty one-liners. Pitt is great as well (good luck finding two better looking actors sharing the screen), as he comes across as his usual ultra-cool, down-to-earth guy.

Jolie and Pitt are great, but Vince Vaughn steals the few scenes that he's in. Vaughn's his usual fast-talking, funny self, giving a very believable performance as an adult child who may never leave the friendly confines of his mom's house. Despite his scenery-chewing, Vaughn has great chemistry with Pitt. Whether the pair are friends off-screen or not, they have a rapport that's tough to beat.

This new, "unrated" version is roughly five minutes longer than the theatrical cut. A few of the additions are taken from the deleted scenes on Fox's previous DVD edition. There's a bit more heat during Jane and John's post-gun-battle sex scene, but no late-night, Cinemax-type, raunchy material. It was surprising to see a few sequences actually taken out of the theatrical version, including a scene with Jane changing her clothes (I can hear the sighs from the male readers now), but these have been replaced with faster-moving moments that result in a smoother overall flow. This version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is an example of the proper way to go back and re-cut an already impressive film.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: While I've seen better transfers for recent films, this 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation doesn't disappoint. Sharpness is rarely a problem, as the images are extremely detailed. This seems to be on the level of the earlier release, which is just fine, given that it featured consistent shadow and black levels as well. The colors are natural and well-rendered, with accurate flesh tones, and no bleeding. Aside from the slightest bit of grain, there aren't any print flaws to bring up.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanish, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Also similar to the earlier disc, we get the choice between Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS mixes, and, once again, both are excellent. The smoother, wider dynamic range and channel separation give the DTS a slight edge over the Dolby Digital, but you can't go wrong with either one. Bass is nice and powerful, while the sharp, witty dialogue is always easy to hear.

Audio Transfer Grade: A+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 36 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
11 Deleted Scenes
2 Alternate Endings
Screenplay
2 Documentaries
6 Featurette(s)
Storyboard
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Doug Liman
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Gag Reel
Extras Review: This large extras collection is spread out over two discs, with Disc 1 containing a new audio commentary by director Doug Liman. He goes into great detail about each sequence, including the changes that were made to the theatrical cut for this new DVD. Never boring, Liman's love for his film keeps us involved throughout.

The rest of the supplements are on Disc 2, beginning with 11 deleted scenes. This is mostly filler that was rightfully left out of this new cut of the film, but there is some nice material from Jane and John's early relationship, and more of the pair in action as well. There's an alternate ending, as well as a "Screenplay Alternate Ending," with the former flashing forward to Jane and John's offspring, and the latter a text-based, unfilmed copy of a screenplay for another finale. This "Confidential Files" section of extras concludes with a nearly four-minute gag reel that shows the natural chemistry between Jolie and Pitt.

Domestic Violence: Shooting Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a 33-minute documentary featuring cast and crew interviews and film clips. This great piece gives us an in-depth look at the project's conception and the shooting of specific scenes, including the dance numbers and frenetic final set-piece.

The "Doug's Film School" section gives us seven more behind-the-scenes features, including Framing Device. This runs for six minutes, and is Liman talking about the studio's concern that the film was overly dramatic. After this discussion, we get to see the scenes in question.

Mother and Father is 10 minutes of talk about Jane and John's bosses, "Mother" and "Father," who were going to be played by Jacqueline Bisset and Terrence Stamp. We see footage of cut scenes with these actors, as well as a look at Angela Bassett and Keith David, who wound up playing similarly-named, but radically altered characters.

Next, is the 20-minute Snowy Ravine, which gives us an extensive look at some fight sequences, from the shooting to the screenplay. Hood Jump also breaks down a scene, showing us the storyboards, animatic, and screenplay.

Underground Garage is a four-minute look at an action sequence, and we learn how Liman changed the shooting location and get to watch the original way the scene was going to be shot. HomeMade is a 12-minute look at the time change for the finale, complete with a pair of storyboard sequences. The final feature in "Doug's Film School" involves Previsualizations, a nearly eight-minute collection of animations that were created during pre-production.

Wrapping up the extras collection are three galleries that include photos from Liman, producer Lucas Foster, and other members of the film's crew.

Extras Grade: A

 

Final Comments

A worthwhile double dip from Fox, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is the two-disc, definitive set for this excellent film. A consistently entertaining two hours, with two of the best-looking lead actors you'll ever see, this is a great upgrade from the excellent previous DVD release. While the audio and video are virtually identical, the new extras give us more insight into the film's somewhat rocky production.

 


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