Body of Lies appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Across the board, the movie boasted a fine transfer.
Virtually no issues with sharpness materialized. Softness was essentially non-existent, as the majority of the flick looked concise and accurate. No signs of jagged edges occurred, but I saw a little shimmering from some Muslim caps and a smidgen of edge enhancement. Except for light grain, source flaws were absent from this clean presentation.
Colors varied dependent on the setting. Middle Eastern scenes tended to be a bit amber or gold tinted, while CIA-related shots took on a bluish tone. Those hues dominated the film in a quiet manner but the they still came across as warm and full through the film. Blacks were also deep and firm, and shadows looked smooth and clear. This image consistently impressed.
As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Lies, it also was fine for the movie. The soundfield made good use of various effects. Of course, gunfire and explosions created the majority of the material. These elements opened up the mix well, and the track used music in an active, satisfying manner as well. Throw in a few vehicle sequences and the soundscape worked nicely.
Audio quality always seemed solid. Music was full and rich, with clear highs and tight lows. Effects sounded accurate and dynamic as well, and speech was good. Dialogue came across as natural and concise. All of this was enough for a “B+”.
A few extras flesh out this two-disc release. On DVD One, we start with an audio commentary from director Ridley Scott, author David Ignatius and screenwriter William Monahan. All sit separately for this edited piece. They cover the project’s origins and development, the novel and its adaptation, cast, characters and performances, story elements and factual influences, shooting in Morocco, and other production elements.
Expect a pretty good chat here. As usual, Scott gives us too much narration; he seems content to simply describe the onscreen action at times. However, this tendency decreases as the movie progress, and all three participants provide a lot of useful information. I especially like Ignatius’s remarks, as he gives us a solid exploration of his work as a reporter and how this impacted the movie. Overall, the track succeeds.
Three featurettes appear under Actionable Intelligence: Deconstructing Body of Lies. We find “Master of the Craft: Ridley Scott” (7:59), “Safe Haven: Morocco” (7:50) and “Author Provocateur: David Ignatius” (7:56). Across these, we hear from Scott, Ignatius, production designer Arthur Max, location manager Christian McWilliams, producer Donald DeLine, executive producer Charles JD Schlissel, Middle Eastern technical advisor and consultant Sam Sako, set designer Sonja Klaus, and actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, and Ali Suliman.
The pieces cover aspects of shooting in Morocco, Scott’s style as director, the source novel and its adaptation. Expect varying levels of quality from these. “Master” tends to be somewhat puffy and not terribly informative, but “Haven” rebounds with some good insights into the complications related to working in Morocco. “Author” also works pretty well, as it lets us know a bit more about Ignatius’s book and how it came to the screen. While not terrific programs, these work well enough to add to our understanding of the film.
DVD One opens with a few ads. We get promos for Blu-Ray Disc, Pride and Glory, RocknRolla, and Watchmen. No trailer for Lies appears here.
DVD Two consists on only one component: a digital copy of Lies. It seems like every DVD provides this option these days; it allows you to easily transfer the flick to a portable device. I have no use for it, but I guess someone must dig it.
For a thriller ripped from modern headlines, shouldn’t Body of Lies provide a dynamic flick? Yeah, it should, but it doesn’t. Instead, it remains moderately interesting at best, and fairly dull at worst. The DVD provides strong picture and audio along with a few pretty good supplements. While I have no complaints about this release, I still chalk up Lies as a cinematic disappointment.
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