Thursday, 14 June 2012

“The Mask Of Zorro” on BLU RAY. A Review Of The 1998 Movie – Now Reissued In 2010 On BLU RAY.


Back in the day I had a Superbit DVD of this beautifully filmed and hugely entertaining hero-of-the-people movie - and along with "Vertical Limit" - it was a virtual benchmark for how good the DVD format could look. The Superbit Series to DVDs were like gold audiophiles to CDs - dedicated to giving you the best quality possible.

So it's not surprising to find that Martin Campbell's skilfully filmed "The Mask Of Zorro" on BLU RAY is a proper 'looker' – gorgeous - and then some.

Right from the opening shot of canvas being slit by the two young boys hoping to get a glimpse of Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) - through to the confessional scenes between Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones where she explains her passion for a bandit (dialogue above) - indoors or out - "The Mask Of Zorro" is a treat to look at. You see their costumes - the sweating skin – the heat of the desert and the dust of the towns - even the deliberate sepia-tint that surrounds the face of Zeta-Jones at times – it's all cleanly rendered.

And while the film's natural default is 2.40:1 (which means bars at the top and the bottom of the screen) - even switched to FULL SCREEN - there's only minor stretching and very little loss of definition. The sound too is magnificent – horses hooves, blades clashing, gunpowder shots, wood splintering, buildings exploding – all brought to the fore by a storming 5.1 mix. 

The cast is spot-on too – Stuart Wilson as the dastardly and arrogant Don Rafael – Matt Letscher as the cold-blooded killer Captain Harrison (in the employ of Don Rafael) - and of course the trio of lead stars – Hopkins as the wronged older Zorro, Banderas as his hot-headed protégé and Zeta-Jones as the daughter stolen away from Zorro 20 years earlier along with his beloved wife. They have a ball donning capes, dropping onto moving horses and pitting steel-against-steel on tables, in barns and around goldmines.

And while Banderas is perfect for the part (sexy, witty, charming) and had great chemistry with his leading lady – it's the ethereally beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones who steals the show. She had a star quality about her at the time that was almost palatable - part Liz Taylor part Joan Collins – she was all-woman and a match for any wannabe bandito wanting to compromise her virtue. All in all – a wildly entertaining ride that stills stands the test of time (it even comes with a DVD and copious extras too).

"The Mask Of Zorro" is a cinematic blast on BLU RAY – a film that likes itself – and has every good reason to.

Recommended like a drunken canter with Tonto…

BLU RAY Specifications:
ASPECT; 1080DP High Definition 2.40:1
AUDIO: English, Italian and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES:  English, English for Hard f Hearing, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish

1. Blu Ray Exclusive – Movie IQ BD-LIVE connects you to access real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while you’re watching the movie
2. Director’s Commentary
3. Exclusive Documentary: Unmasking Zorro
4. Deleted Scenes
5. "The Legend Of Zorro" - Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek
6. Music Video by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena
7. Exclusive scene from "The Legend Of Zorro"

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc