on April 29, 2010
This is a review of the BD version of the film. I am sure most reading know the atory, so I won't get into all of that, though it must be said it is a chliing. exciting, and brilliant vision of the future down to its details. I have seen a couple of reviews that note the issue of "grain" on the image. Here's the deal with that...the grain is supposed to be there. The most common misconception about bluray is that it offers a more enhanced and retouched version of a film. High Definition lets you see the film as it was intended by the filmmakers. Mostb SD DVD has been treated with something called Digital Noise Reduction (DNR). This wipes the image so that it is smooth and waxy. It also distorts the colors, textures, and the original artistic vision. Bluray provides deeper colors, blacks, eliminates edge enhancement, halos, and other issues. Minority Report is intended and was shot to have a gritty feel, hence the grain. This is how the film is supposed to look. It has a kind of washed out, skip bleached look with lots of swirling film grain. This creates an emotional impact that informs the story and the characters. This movie looks fabulous. The grain renders the fine details and textures much harder to see in 480i. 1080p allows us to see it as it looked in the editing bay. Colors are fully accurate and resolved. Blacks are inky and detail is gorgeous, making the special effects all the more dazzling. This transfer was closely supervised and approved by Spielberg. It is the best this film will ever look and the HD DTS soundtrack is tight, robust and exciting. This is one of the films I have been waiting to see in this format and it exceeded my expectations.
I probably would have waited until Minority Report hit the rental stands if it weren't for all the five-star ratings critics have been giving this movie. After being digitally assaulted by the current crop of high-budget special effects films like Spiderman and Attack of the Clones, I was already weary of acting and storyline taking a backseat to gee-whiz computer graphics. I underestimated Spielberg's ability.
So what is the plot exactly? Well, dear reader, take comfort in knowing I will not spoil the movie for you. In the year 2054, Americans are subjected to Gap clothing stores (that scan your retina and hard-sell khakis by your name) as well as USA Today newspapers with animated front page covers that update in real-time. Tom Cruise is John Anderton, Washington D.C.'s top-cop in the experimental pre-crime unit that seeks out and eliminates would-be murderers through the use of precognitive beings that are able to sense murders shortly before they happen. The premise sounds wonderful until John discovers he's about to murder someone he has never met. This is the story on the surface yet it is not the story. I fear many will avoid this movie because this is all they will expect. I will stump for this movie because it's not just an action-thriller and it's not just a thinking-man's science-fiction movie. What lies beneath the story is much deeper and darker.
You see, even in knowing the future, Mr. Anderton is confronted with an awful dilemma. How can he prevent himself from killing the person he is supposed to murder if he has never seen the person he is supposed to kill or the location the murder is supposed to take place? Is the future preordained or does man create his own destiny? As Anderton uncovers the answers to these questions, viewers will find that this is not the underlying story either.
Minority Report is a dark and disturbing vision of the future made believable with Cruise's much more human characterization of Anderton than his previous Mission Impossible persona. Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, and the incomparable Max von Sydow all serve to effectively help and hinder Anderton's quest. Are there flaws in the movie? Perhaps. The action scenes are impressive and appropriate, but one particular scene in the LEXUS factory contained so much eyeball-jarring camera manipulation that I felt I was hit by a "sick stick." And speaking of brand-names, reviewers complain of the blatant commercialization of the movie. Without question, an obscene amount of advertising permeates almost every frame. Did Spielberg sell out to the highest bidder or is he making a statement about the not-so-distant future, or even the present? I'll let you decide. Finally, the fact this movie received a PG-13 rating is a statement in itself. I remember all the controversy generated by parent-groups when Poltergeist received a PG rating. It seems so long ago...
Yet credit must go to Steven Spielberg as there was much of this movie that could've been done ineffectively. After the disappointing box-office numbers of A.I., many (including myself) were expecting a dumbed-down formulaic hack to swing alongside the rest of the massives. Instead, Spielberg shows he's master of the technology as the impressive display of visuals serve to add to, not overwhelm the story. By the time the movie ends, you may find yourself pondering the kind of questions only philosophers argued over.
on December 19, 2002
This is a movie that I was unfortunately unable to see at the theaters and regretted it then and even more so now, seeing how great a movie it is. You can normally expect a Steven Spielberg film to contain; stunning imagery, intense suspense and an overly enthralling film, which he delivers perfectly in this film. Minority Report is an absolutely riveting film that will have you going from the moment the film starts to the very last second. Tom Cruise's more recent films really haven't really lived up to expectations, not so in this film. He seems to be completely in his stride with this role. He performs brilliantly in this film. Nods to Max Von Sydow as well. If you're into action/mystery films with a good dose of Science Fiction tossed in for good measure, this is your film. Minority Report is a must for your DVD collection!
It is the year 2054 and the film takes place in Washington D. C. For the past several years, murder is all but a thing of the past. With the advent of the Pre Crime division, where three pre-cogs, see a murder before it happens. Tom Cruise plays the chief of the Pre Crimes division, leading the troops in the apprehension of these criminals who haven't, yet are about to commit murder. His character is plagued by the murder of his son, six years prior and is suffering the emotional damage from that murder. The pre-cogs, foretell a murder and as Tom Cruise is working his amazing futuristic computer to discover who the murderer is, he finds that it is he who is the murderer. And so goes the film as he makes his way out of the Pre Crime building and starts on his quest to figure out who has set him up.
Along with at least ninety-five percent of the American population, I'm a huge fan of Steven Spielberg's work. With that in mind, to see both "Minority Report" and "Saving Private Ryan" released on Blu-Ray within mere weeks of each other was quite thrilling indeed! Much as with the "Saving Private Ryan" release, I was very pleased with the film transfer of "Minority Report". Due to the darker overall palette of colors within the film, it's not quite a benchmark of the format, but there is a remarkable sheen of clarity and level of detail that clearly sets it vastly apart from the DVD.
On the first disc, the film runs 2:25:15 and features audio and subtitles in English, French, Spanish (there are no features on the first disc). Prior to the menu loading is an easily skipped trailer for the long overdue home video release of "The African Queen", which truly does look amazing on Blu, though the standard definition trailer doesn't do it justice. But I digress.
Whereas "Saving Private Ryan" was somewhat of a disappointment in the special features department, "Minority Report" hits a stellar home run (if you'll excuse my completely out-of-place baseball idiom). On the second disc, there are eight brand new features created exclusively for this Blu-Ray release (in high definition), along with all of the original DVD features ported over (in standard definition). The first eight features listed are the new ones, with the five below them being the ones ported over from the DVD. Most of the titles are rather self-explanatory, but a complete rundown of the features is below:
1) "The Future According to Spielberg" (34:03) - This is an "extended interview" with Spielberg filmed on the eve of the film's theatrical release. The feature will prompt the user during playback of the interview to view storyboards, concept art, various interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage and photographs - mostly culled from the other features on the disc. It's structured similar to the "Maximum Movie Mode" seen on recent Warner Bros. releases, with the notable difference of not having the film itself playing in the background (Spielberg is known for his dislike of commentary tracks). Parts of this feature are in high definition, while some parts are not. According to the case, this requires a "BonusView-enabled" Blu-Ray player.
2) "Inside the World of Pre-Crime" (10:11) - This is a sort of faux documentary on the pre-crime unit. It's a fun feature, as it dives a bit deeper into the whole mythos of the idea.
3) "Phillip K. Dick, Steven Spielberg and Minority Report" (14:18) - This features Dick's daughter and others discussing his life and works, in addition to commenting on how they felt about Spielberg bringing Dick's story to celluloid.
4) "Minority Report: Future Realized" (6:22) - A brief feature on the technology the pre-crime unit utilizes, including interesting information on the "spacial operating environment" seen in the film.
5) "Minority Report: Props of the Future (9:43) - This features production designer Alex McDowell who opens by noting that Spielberg keeps vast amounts of memorabilia from his films. McDowell goes through some of the props and says a few words about them.
6) "Highlights from Minority Report: From the Set" - This is a two part feature with McDowell speaking about two of the unique action setpieces within the film, which includes "The Hoverpack Sequence" (6:06) "The Car Factory Sequence" (2:57).
7) "Minority Report: Commercials of the Future" (3:55) - McDowell speaks about how the crew went about creating the unique in-film product advertisements and promotions.
8) "Previz Sequences" - This is a two part feature which compares the primitive computerized storyboards to the finished product, which includes "Hoverpack Sequence Previz" (2:10) and "Maglev Escape Previz" (1:43).
The following features are ported over from the original DVD release and are all in standard definition. It's this pulling together of the old DVD features with new high definition ones that truly makes the Blu-Ray upgrade well worth it.
1) "From Story to Screen" - Another two part feature including "The Story/The Debate" (9:36), a good feature discussing the development of the film, and "The Players" (9:27) a rundown of the principle characters within the film as presented by the actors who played them.
2) "Deconstructing Minority Report" - This is a five part feature which includes "The World of Minority Report - An Introduction" (9:21), which focuses on the pre-production elements of the film, including the unique "think tank" Spielberg brought together to brainstorm over ideas of the future. "Precrime and Precogs" (8:20) has information on the production design of the film with special emphasis on the precogs set with some good behind the scenes footage. "The Spyder Sequence" (5:24) is about the design and implementation of those creepy robotic spiders within the film. "Precog Visions" (4:51) has Spielberg and some of the crew discussing the ideas behind their creation of the precog visions. "Vehicles of the Future" (5:10) has the crew talking about the conceptual design of the cars in the film.
3) The Stunts - A series of brief features about some of the more interesting stunt scenes in the film, including "Maglev Escape" (2:58), "Hoverpack Chase" (3:00), and "Car Factory" (2:48).
4) "ILM and Minority Report" - A series of five brief features on the combination of practical effects and stuntwork along with the computer generated effects within the film, which begins with an "Introduction" (4:31) with Cruise. "Holograms" (3:09) focuses on the ideas behind the holographic cameras used within the film. "Hall of Containment" (3:09) discusses the production design of the prison with the fancy name. "Maglev" (3:12) is yet another piece about those cool cars that drive themselves. "Hovercraft and Hoverpacks" (3:08) features the ideas behind the designs of those awesome devices we all wish we had. "Cyber Parlor" (1:54) is about that bizarre virtual reality escapist club briefly seen in the film.
5) "Final Report" (3:58) - A bookend piece for the special features which has Cruise and Spielberg adding a few closing statements about the film.
Also included is a massive picture gallery called "Production Concepts" which features production drawings, models, and photographs divided into eight sub-sections: "Precrime", "Hovership", "Hoversuit", "Hall of Containment", "Spyders", "City Apartment", "Greenhouse Plants", and "Objects". The "Storyboard Sequences" features easily navigated storyboards divided into three sub-sections: "Maglev Sequence", "Alley Chase", and "Car Factory". Rounding out the special features are three trailers in high definition.
"Minority Report" is a pitch perfect example of how a Blu-Ray release should be presented, particularly an 'older' film making its Blu debut. The high detail visuals and overall sheen of clarity to the film print, along with the wealth of brand new high definition special features, makes this an easy and beneficial double dip for those, such as myself, who've owned the DVD release for years now. With this film receiving the red carpet treatment and "Saving Private Ryan" only receiving a good-but-not-great release, it's impossible to gauge how future Spielberg films (such as "Artificial Intelligence: AI") will be presented on Blu. Time will tell. For now, I can easily recommend the "Minority Report" Blu-Ray to any film fan.
on June 22, 2002
The latest from the master of film, Steven Spielberg, Minority Report is a very entertaining film. Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell and others, is about a man in the future, who is being hunted for a Pre-Crime he does not believe he will commit. He has a certain amount of time before the pre-crime is supposed to take place, and tries to search for answers before it is too late. (This is a very, extremely, dumbed down version of the synopsis)
Spielberg tried to draw on the film noir genre to make the film, and doing this definitely gave the film a much more dark feeling overall. There was a certain sense of mystery to the whole movie, and while it is fairly predictable who the villain is,(there are only a limited amount of main characters in the movie, which is why it is predictable) the ride to get to that point where the movie reveals the villain is altogether thrilling, and visually astonishing.
As much as others have said the movie is loaded with action, I have to disagree. The movie has a couple nice action sequences, yes, but in reality, considering the movie's long running time, there weren't that many. The reason why the movie seemed action filled from beginning to end was really because Spielberg truly was able to convey a sense of excitement and intrigue through the dialogue. It reminds me of what the movie "The Beach" wanted to be -a thriller without the action, but where "The Beach" failed, Minority Report has succeeded.
That is not to say there aren't some nice scenes with action of course. The one I loved the most was the sequence where John Anderton (Tom Cruise) has to jump from one car to another, while all the cars are going down a literally vertical highway (the futuristic highways remind me of rollercoasters).
Many felt that the ending to this was way too drawn out, and similar to Spielberg's last movie AI, should have cut out the last 20 minutes or so. I disagree, as I felt the last part of the movie gave it that finishing touch that makes it even more film noir like.
Spielberg has also revealed a darker and more morbid sense of humor that may have come from his tangle with Kubrick in AI. One of the scenes that perfectly illustrates this new Kubrickan Spielberg is one where a man in the movie has to chase after his own eyeballs, bouncing down a hallway -something that is sickeningly funny, and definitely a type of scene that was previously not part of Spielberg's film vocab.
Overall, Minority Report is a thoughtful thriller that definitely warrants at least one viewing.
on August 10, 2007
Minority Report is a spectacular science fiction masterpiece directed by the great Steven Spielberg and loosely adapted from a short story by Philip K. Dick, one of the fathers of the cyberpunk genre. The movie shows us a world filled with dazzling technology but tells a personal story of a man who is betrayed by the system he worked for. There's plenty of action throughout the film but there's also some philosophy to make you think for hours after the end.
Minority Report is set in Washington, in the year 2054 and it's a great time to live in. The world has changed considerably and advanced technology pervades every aspect of life. Moving pictures draw your attention to every ad and poster. Holograms enable you to live out your wildest fantasies. Mag-lev vehicles ensure that 'car accidents' are a thing of the past. Retinal scanners are everywhere and the cops have jetpacks so the potential criminal has nowhere to run. In fact there hasn't been a single murder in Washington for six years thanks to a group of psychics who see every murder that's going to happen in the future. The police arrest these would-be criminals and place them in suspended animation. It's a good thing the system can't be tampered with and the precogs are never wrong.
At least that's what John Anderton the chief of police thinks until the precogs show him killing someone he doesn't even know. He must use all of his skills to escape and outwit the now-hostile system and find out the truth about the precogs, the conspiracies and his own destiny. All the actors give great performances, especially Tom Cruise and Samantha Morton.
Can we make choices that change our destiny or is the future inevitable. Is it fair to imprison someone for a crime they didn't commit...yet? Is this a worthy price to pay to maintain a murder-free society? Minority Report will give you a lot to think about and its engrossing mystery will keep you engaged until the very end. However, it is not a happy movie and some scenes are very heartbreaking so stay away if you don't like that sort of thing.
on December 7, 2002
Based on P. K. Dick's short story, and blessed by sure-fire duo of director Spielberg and star Tom Crusie, "Minority Report" would fascinate many film fans, but that's not in the same way as "Blade Runner" did. It's more like "Indiana Jones" in sci-fi area; it is always moving and entertaining, but the dark world that P. K. Dick's world represented is much modified for wider audiences. But still, "Minority Report" delivers much.
The year is 2054. Tom Cruise is a chief detective Anderton at Department of Precrime, where he and his team are dedicated to their mission; that is, to stop the crimes that have not happened yet. Helped by three "pre-cogs" floating in the water, they can detect the time, and persons that would be involved in the crime, and hurry to the crime scene. But what if there's a flaw in the system? What if the oracle of precogs is wrong, accusing of the wrong person?
Anderton, who has a sad memory in the past (which would be revealed later in the film), could shake off the doubt even before the strong argument from the hotshot agent sent by Department of Justice, Colin Farrell, who obviously does not share Anderton's thought. But still Anderton believed that he could keep on doing his job in order to elinimate all the crimes from his district ... until he is made to see something too unbelievable.
I just introduced the opening part of this long film (running time being almost 150 minutes), but you get the drift. There are great chase scenes, hauntingly realistic picture of the future world, and equally impressive acting from the leading actor Tom Cruise, whose role is not 100% heroic. But it is Spielberg as gifted storyteller who really stands out, leading us to the end of rather stretched story (and, inevitably, the story is greatly changed from the original).
The vision of the future is surely impressive, but if you're looking for the dark images of "Blade Runner", you will be disappointed. Remember, it is Spielberg, and his previous work "AI", which was once attached to Kubrik, is not a good example of describing the relentlessly cold world. It is similar to "Total Recall" essentially, only without the graphic violence Arnie and Sharon had to suffer. But, beware, Tom's character too in fact suffers a very painful scene (oh, eyes).
The film presents effective actions, and as I said, its visuals are impeccable, but as you know, Steven sometimes overreaches himself, and he did it again. To me, those "yoga" and "meat" and, well, as I said "eyes" should have been left in the cutting room. They are his brand of grotesque "humor", I know that, but they are also all out of tune in the final result.
As for Tom Cruise's career, I can say "Minority Report" is the best so far since his film-producing partnership with Paula Wagner started, being much superior to "Mission Impossible" and its sequel. However, it is also notable that supporting roles are a bit weak and unconvincing, even with the inclusion of Max Von Sidow and Lois Smith. It may be batural result for our attentions are all supposed to go to the lead Tom himself, and in this case the story requires so. That is why the conclusion is not as strong as the impressive first half, and even his fans would admit that the latter half of the film need more polishing. The original idea about detecting future gets lost among the muddled wrap-up, and sometimes you wonder at the film's inconsistency, like; "Why can't they think of this while they can do that?"
But as a whole "Minority Report" is a good work, but not as good as raving reviews of some critics suggest. I say so, because I like to see good storytelling, and you can find it there, but there is also too incredible moments and plot holes, which are barely covered by the director's great skills.
`Minority Report' is one of those movies that just gets better and better EVERY TIME I watch it. It's beautifully constructed, intense, meaningful, thought provoking, thrilling...an all around edge of your seat thriller that delivers on every front. Stephen Spielberg, the man who's famous for delivering intense science fiction thrillers doesn't disappoint this go around either. `Minority Report', while remarkably absent from the Oscar shortlist, makes a huge impact on the viewer. From an impressive and remarkably realistic script (we'll get to that in a minute) to the superb special effects and some well handled performances `Minority Report' never fails at being spellbinding.
So let's tackle that script for a minute. The thing that I love most about films of this nature is that they challenge the audience to think about the future in ways they maybe don't want to. While films like `I, Robot' may take things a little overboard (while I don't think that the idea of robots providing assistance is out of the question) there are films like `A.I.' and the like that tackle things in a manner that is believable. Now, while the initial concept of psychics predicting murders and thus stopping crime altogether is a bit far fetched, the world in general that is portrayed for us in `Minority Report' is not. A world that follows us around, watching our every move so as to `serve' us better is, in my humble opinion, right around the corner.
`Minority Report' also broaches on the subject of humanity and our willingness to suffer for the betterment of others. The three precogs give up their freedom, their lives, their shot at anything remotely normal in order to help the government stop the plague that is murder. Sure, what they are doing is something admirable and it makes life in general so much better for the rest of upstanding society, but do we think about what this means for them. They are forced to relive nightmarish situations over and over with no sense of comfort. `Minority Report' also asks the viewer to contemplate how necessary this scenario really is. Now one can argue that murder is wrong, but is it really necessary to lock someone away for a crime they have yet to commit, especially when it is one of passion that merely needs to be prevented, not avenged?
Spielberg's handling of the material is utter perfection here. He directs a masterpiece, giving us cinematic gold. There really is nothing about this film I can pick at or find as a fault, and I am an adamant Cruise hater, but even he delivered wonderfully here, really digging into the heart of his character to deliver real signs of pure emotion. Colin Farrell delivers a fine breakthrough performance for himself. This was the role that got him noticed and preceded his 2003 rise to fame. Max von Sydow is also deliciously mysterious as Lamar but it's Samantha Morton (an actress who is just orgasmic in everything) who steals the show here. Her portrayal of Agatha is honest and fragile and the backbone to the end of the show.
So, it's obvious that `Minority Report' has left me smitten and I hope that it will do the same for you. It's one of those movies that impresses the first go around, but it begins to root itself in its audience after repeated viewings. There is no denying it is a masterful piece of American cinema. One of the movies I'll never get tired of that is as visually stunning as it is mentally captivating. A true triumph of cinematic bliss.
on January 30, 2003
Stephen Spielberg's latest sci-fi/action film "Minority Report" is certainly a massive special-effects hit, but great special effects and a superstar actor cannot always compensate for a weakened story and predictability. The film is based upon the brilliant short-story (of the same name) that was written by Philip K Dick (1928-1982), who also wrote "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". Unfortunately, the original story was changed to better accommodate the film's lead actor, Tom Cruise.
Set in the U.S. in 2053, Americans have ceded many constitutional freedoms, privacy and protections to a new totalitarian federal agency whose sole purpose is to predict and prevent murders before they happen. The agency, headed by Director Lamar Burgess (Max Von Sydow), predicts murders by using the skills of three people highly gifted with precognitive extrasensory perception. The three "precogs" (as they are called) are regarded as being infallible, especially by Tom Cruise's character, John Anderton, who is one of the agency's star detectives. (In the original story, John Anderton was the police commissioner.) To John's great disbelief, the precogs predict that he will commit a murder of someone that he does not know. Like anyone else so accused, John runs to avoid the same fate as all other people accused and easily convicted of pre-crime: imprisonment via suspended animation.
Much of the film is devoted to John running from pre-crime detectives while he attempts to determine the identity of his supposed victim. During the high-tech chase (Hollywood sure loves chase scenes), Spielberg highlights many special effects. These included cars that can drive along vertical surfaces and electronic billboards that cater their advertisements to each person after scanning and identifying each from his/her retina. The billboards enhanced the film's Orwellian flavor.
Minor performances in the film include Lois Smith (who played Kathy in the 1980 film "Resurrection" and Aunt Meg in the 1996 action film "Twister") as Dr. Iris Hineman, a good performance by Samantha Morton as the precog Agatha, and an excellent performce by Peter Stormare as black-market eye surgeon Dr. Solomon Eddie. Plot twists used in the film's ending scenes (which totally abandoned Philip K. Dick's original ending) were highly reminiscent of an earlier Tom Cruise film, "Mission Impossible". Tom Cruise's formulaic portrayal of John Anderton was, unfortuneately, typical of many past egocentric characters including Lt. 'Maverick' Mitchell in "Top Gun", Charlie Babbit in "Rain Man", Lt. Kaffee in "A Few Good Men", Mitch McDeere in "The Firm", Jerry in "Jerry Maquire", Frank Mackay in "Magnolia" and Ethan Hunt in "Mission Impossible", to name a few.
Though the film is entertaining, it is doubtful that "Minority Report" will attain the same level of respect and appreciation in the sci-fi community as "Blade Runner", which was based upon "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and directed by Ridley Scott (It would be interesting to see how Ridley Scott would have interpreted Philip K. Dick's short story and who he would have chosen to star in the film.) With its Orwellian portrayal of the future, morbid humor, cyberpunk sets and great special effects, but less than stellar portrayal of the original story, "Minority Report" earns a reserved 4-star rating. It also shows that combining a superstar director with a superstar actor doesn't necessarily result in an infallible film.
on December 18, 2002
I just bought the movie on DVD today, and as soon as I pressed play I was glued to the couch. To be somewhat blunt, I was saturated with intrigue within the first 10 minutes. The visual effects are astonishing, the plot is so thick and complex it makes your head hurt. Every aspect of the story is flawless, and the acting is excellent. Every time I thought the movie was slowing down, it would at any given moment jump back into a whirlwind of action and mystery. You never fully understand the whole plot until near the very end, but watching the entire film to find out what's going on is most certainly worth the time. I was skeptical of this movie before I saw it; everyone I asked about it said it was disappointing. Personally, I think it was marvelously impressive... a *MUST-HAVE* on DVD.
Kudos to the entire cast and crew that assembled this masterpiece.