Tears of the Sun
Bruce Willis' latest, Tears of the Sun didn't connect with an audience. Regardless, Columbia/TriStar has gone all out on the special edition DVD release. Loading up on supplements, this title contains a fine scene-specific commentary track from director Antoine Fuqua covering numerous aspects of the film, from politics to production. Although a second track is also offered, with screenwriters Alex Lasker and Patrick Cirillo -- presenting their views on the political elements of the film and the African continent -- they don't speak past the 17-minute mark. In addition, a featurette that is somewhat better than the standard studio PR piece gives some added depth. A fact-filled optional text track is also available with notes on a wide range of subjects from Africa to the U.S. military. Alongside this are a handful of deleted scenes which can be played together or separately and an "Interactive Map of Africa," where different parts of the continent can be explored textually. Furthermore, there are a number of interviews from Africans who experienced similar issues raised by the film. While interesting, as it adds profundity to the film's narrative, it's often difficult to understand some of the individuals. Finally, a range of theatrical trailers are offered, from this film to Anger Management, Bad Boys II, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Radio, S.W.A.T., and a number of others. This trend of quality is continued with the picture and sound. The anamorphic image, framed at 2.40:1, is outstanding in every way. Realistic colors are mixed in with dense, dark blacks, creating a very authentic visual experience. Detail is equally first-rate, as well. Even better is the disc's 5.1 Dolby Digital track. Both aggressive and exciting, the full use of the surrounds recreates the theatrical feeling. Dialogue isn't sacrificed, even with the loud auditory fields. This is truly a soundtrack that will test a home theater system, especially the room shaking bass primarily used later in the film. This is an exceptional disc, and while it may not be as comprehensive as some, it still has plenty to offer.