'Minority Report' [Blu ray]
(Tom Cruise, Arye Gross, et al / Blu ray / PG-13 / (2002) 2010 / Dreamworks)
Overview: Tom Cruise stars as John Anderton, a Washington, D.C. detective in the year 2054. Anderton works for "Precrime," a special unit of the police department that arrests murderers before they have committed the actual crime. Precrime bases its work on the visions of three psychics or "precogs" whose prophecies of future events are never in error.
Blu ray: Minority Report, I would say, is one of the best science fiction films to be released over the past twenty-five years, and that is certainly no small feat given some of the competing films released over that time-span. Minority Report obviously had a lot of effort put into it by both the filmmakers and its actors and the result is a brilliant thriller. In the past decade I would call it Spielberg's best, ranking among his other great thrillers, `Raiders of the Lost Ark', and `Jaws'.
The movies is based on a short story by the late sci-fi master Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly) and it ranks up with Blade Runner as the greatest adaptations of his work. John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is the Chief of the Pre-Crime division in the District of Columbia. What exactly is his job? To use the unusual psychic abilities of three beings - known as "Pre-Cogs"- it is his job to analyze future crime scenes and prevent murder from happening. For ten years this system works without a flaw and they are close to taking the program national, only there's one problem...John's name has been called for the future-murder of Leo Crow -a man he has never once before met. On the run Anderton must evade the highly controlled security of the future United States capital all while trying to prove his innocence, and in so doing unraveling the secrets of the system- secrets that would destroy everything the organization has worked so hard to achieve.
What really makes this movie stand out is not the visual effects (though, they certainly are amazing), but it is the human aspect of this film that makes it a memorable experience for the audience. The film manages to cater to all human emotions contained within the plot, from the fear of loss, obsession, greed, fear, insecurity, and many more. All the characters are found to be believable, as none of them come across as being cardboard, as so many other action films do.
Tom Cruise pulls a very believable performance and I consider this one of the best of his "Average Joe" performances. By this I mean like in `War of the Worlds' he doesn't come across as being a superhero, as he was in the `Mission Impossible' franchise. He is perfectly believable as a sad soul who only wishes to make up for his past mistakes and punish the criminals of the world. Haunted by tragedy of the past we can't help but symphonize for his loss, because we can believe him. This isn't a straight-forward "tragic" character, such as Kurt Russell's Colonel O'Neil in `Stargate' (1994). John Anderton is suffering, but he hides it well, going on with his job. In fact his loss is his drive in his work, so naturally he can't believe it when the system turns against him. It's the compelling characters and performances from the actors that make the difference between a good movie and a great movie. Special effects have nothing to do with the quality of the human element of the story.
The special effects of this film are amazing, providing a believable, yet still fascinating view of the future. Unlike visions presented in Blade Runner, and to a certain degree Total Recall, this is a very clean, well kept design for the future. All the buildings shine and all vehicles appear to be in tip-top condition, but like those other Dick based films the underlying structure of society is as corrupt as ever. How the effect crew for this film was skipped over by the Academy I will never understand, because even two years after I first saw the film many of the visuals remain stuck in my mind. [NJ] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Future According to Steven Spielberg HD
Inside The World of Precrime HD
Phillip K. Dick, Steven Speilberg and Minority Report HD
Minority Report: Future Realized HD
Minority Report: Props of the Future HD
Highlights from Minority Report: From the Set
Minority Report: Commercials of the Future HD
From Story to Screen
Deconstructing Minority Report
The Stunts of Minority Report
ILM and Minority Report