Wanted appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film featured a largely good transfer.
Sharpness seemed mostly fine. A few shots appeared a bit soft, but most came across as accuate and well-defined.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared. Edge haloes and source flaws remained absent.
Like most modern action flicks, Wanted featured an orange and teal palette. I thought the tones were a bit on the heavy side, but intentionally so, which meant the image reproduced them as desired.
Blacks appeared reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed acceptable clarity. All of this added up to a “B” for visuals.
On the other hand, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wanted proved wholly satisfying. The soundfield proved consistently active and involving.
Quieter scenes present a good sense of place and atmosphere, while the action sequences open things up in a dynamic manner. Bullets and vehicles zoomed and jumped around the room, and the scenes placed us in the action. Surround usage was quite full, and the mix created a strong setting for the adventure.
Audio quality was always excellent. Speech appeared natural and concise, with no edginess or other issues.
Music seemed rich and dynamic, and effects followed suit. Those elements were crisp and clear, and they showed terrific bass response. The audio earned a solid “A”.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio offered more heft and impact, while visuals were tighter and smoother. The Blu-ray became a step up, especially in terms of picture.
The Blu-ray offers most of the DVD’s extras and adds a few new ones like an Alternate Opening. This runs two minutes, 38 seconds and shows a prologue set in the Middle Ages.
It offers a formal introduction to “The Fraternity” and seems interesting, though it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the movie’s tone.
An Extended Scene lasts one minute, 58 seconds. It shows a little more of the sequence when Wesley shoots at cadavers. The addition just provides more comedy to the sequence; nothing more significant occurs.
Six featurettes follow. Cast and Characters goes for 19 minutes, 59 seconds as it includes comments from producer Marc Platt, director Timur Bekmamvetov, author Mark Millar, and actors Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Common, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Dato Bakhtadze, Konstantin Khabensky and Marc Warren.
The show offers basic character notes and a few remarks about performances and the shoot. Occasionally we learn something decent about the flick, but most of the time the show just reiterates plot and character facts that are already known to anyone who saw the movie.
Next comes the two-minute, 30-second Stunts on the L Train. It offers notes from McAvoy and stunt coordinator Nick Gillard as they discuss one big scene. We see a few interesting green screen shots, but we learn very little about this stunt sequence because the featurette is so brief.
With Special Effects: The Art of the Impossible, we get an eight-minute, 27-second piece that features Platt, Bekmamvetov, McAvoy, and special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy. The show gets into practical effects used in the film.
Like the prior featurettes, this one seems more focused on the film’s big-bam-boom than on facts, but it does allow for a few good basics to emerge. While it remains way too flashy and promotional, the behind the scenes bits help make it moderately worthwhile.
Groundbreaking Visual Effects: From Imagination to Execution goes for eight minutes, six seconds and provides remarks from Bekmamvetov, Platt, Khabensky, editor David Brenner, producer Jim Lemley, visual effects supervisors Craig Lyn, Stefen Fangmeier and Jon Farhat, senior visual effects supervisor Pavel Perepelkin, and visual effects producer Maria Karneeva.
“Imagination” resembles “Art” except it concentrates on computer imagery instead of practical elements. It works in a similar manner; it conveys a mix of decent facts but remains more style than substance.
During the eight-minute, five-second The Origins of Wanted: Bringing the Graphic Novel to Life, we hear from Platt, Millar, Bekmamvetov, and screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. We learn a bit about the adaptation of the source graphic novel and attempts to stay true to the source.
When we hear from Millar, “Origins” proves quite interesting; he offers great notes about his influences and the comic’s roots. The rest of the piece feels more like filler, but there’s enough from Millar to make it worthwhile.
For some filmmaker info, we head to Through the Eyes of Director Timur Bekmamvetov. In this nine-minute, five-second piece, we get details from Bekmamvetov, McAvoy, Jolie, Freeman, Platt, Common, Lemley, Kretschmann, and Millar.
Mostly the featurette just tells us that Bekmamvetov is brilliant. Once again, some interesting shots from the set help redeem the show somewhat, but the content remains forgettable.
Something different arrives with Wanted: Motion Comics. This area runs 13 minutes, 55 seconds as it shows segments from the graphic novel that inspired scenes in the movie.
Why are these called “motion comics”? Because they offer moving, acted-out scenes, not just still frames.
This becomes one of the disc’s more compelling extras, as it’s fun to compare and contrast the graphic novel with the film. For instance, the comic’s Fox shows a heavy Halle Berry influence; she couldn’t look or feel much less like Jolie.
For the final featurette, we go to the 10-minute, one-second The Making of Wanted: The Game. It features GRIN executive producer Emmanuel Marquez, GRIN CEO Bo Andersson, Universal game producer Nick Torchia, Universal executive game producer Pete Wanat, GRIN project manager Saul Gascon, GRIN creative director Pascal Luban, GRIN game designer Alvaro E. Vazquez, GRIN lead animator Jonathan Hodge, GRIN lead level designer Morten Sandholt, and GRIN game director Ulf Andersson.
They provide some details about the game. In essence, this acts as a long advertisement.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray, U-Control breaks into four domains. “Motion Comics” offers the same graphic novel material seen earlier, but it allows us to easily compare comic to film, which makes it fun.
With “Scene Explorer”, we can view four movie sequences with extra options. It allows us to check these out via story boards, CG previs, and footage from the set. It’s another good addition.
“Assassin Profiles” pops up 14 times during the film. It offers simple “fact sheets” about characters, weapons and locations. It’s not bad, but it’s the least interesting of the “U-Control” elements,
Finally, “Picture-in-Picture” presents shots from the set as well as comments from Millar, Bekmambetov, Jolie, Fangmeier, Kretschmann, Farhat, Brenner, Perepelkin, makeup/hair designer Frances Hannon, supervising location manager Michael Sharp, 2nd unit director Dmitriy Kiselev, composer Danny Elfman, and rigging/wire effects coordinator Kevin Welch.
They provide notes about the graphic novel, story/characters, cast and performances, effects, makeup, stunts/action, sets/locations, camerawork and music.
That’s a good array of topics, but the execution seems a bit lackluster, mainly because many of the PiP sequences are short. This makes the feature frustrating.