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Case Number 11432

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Mission: Impossible (HD DVD)

Paramount // 1996 // 110 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Ryan (Retired) // May 22nd, 2007

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge: Dave Ryan. Review: Wordy.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Mission: Impossible: Special Collector's Edition (published May 1st, 2006), Mission: Impossible (Blu-Ray) (published May 17th, 2007), and Mission: Impossible Trilogy (Blu-ray) (published December 15th, 2011) are also available.

The Charge

"And you think we can do that?"
"We're going to do that."

Opening Statement

Good evening, Mr. Phelps.

Facts of the Case

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to revitalize Paramount's Mission: Impossible franchise. Your first task is to re-release the first film of the series on the recently-introduced high definition DVD formats. As you may recall, this picture was a highly-fictionalized version of our IMF operations, concerning a fictional IMF agent named Ethan Hunt, played by popular actor Tom Cruise, and his quest to clear himself of charges of treason. As part of our continuing efforts at "hiding in plain sight," we, through our connections in Hollywood, had you included as a character as well, played by Jon Voight. We hope you did not…object to the way in which this part of the operation was executed.

To refresh your memory, the other available agents for this mission were French hunk Jean Reno, American medieval-on-their-asses-getter Ving Rhames, English famous-family-member Vanessa Redgrave, and French actress Emmanuelle Beart, who appears to be some sort of human-carp hybrid.

The Evidence

It has been eleven years since our original plan to cover the existence of the IMF by turning our exploits into a major summer blockbuster was first implemented. Since then, the impact and profitability of our franchise has been diminished somewhat, due to our association with the increasingly insane Mr. Cruise. This only compounds the criticisms leveled from both inside and outside the Agency that Operation Mission: Impossible, despite the use of A-list talent such as Brian DePalma, David Koepp, and Robert Towne, failed not only to live up to expectations, but failed also to live up to the standards of our long and successful television project from the 1960s. Indeed, we found ourselves unable to recruit the original agents utilized in this ongoing project, who refused to provide even nominal or token assistance to us. However, thanks largely to your efforts at the time, the operation was successful; the film was popular with audiences and profitable for the Agency. Our researchers tell us that it is, to this day, still viewed as a solid and entertaining "popcorn movie," perfect for the summer movie season.

In the intervening years, video and audio technology has advanced, leading to the introduction of sophisticated "high definition" DVD players. Your mission is to exploit this technology to re-introduce the Mission: Impossible assets to the marketplace. To assist you, the Agency will provide an original aspect ratio transfer of the film, with solid color balance and clear, crisp imagery. It is anticipated that this will meet the expectations of today's DVD consumers. (You may wish to compare the feature with the film clips contained in the special features; the difference in quality is striking.) Our technical engineers have prepared three alternatives for audio tracks, each of which is encoded in the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround format. Besides the original English, dialog is available in Spanish and French. Unfortunately, our engineers have informed us that the dynamic range of the audio track is excessive—the sound is either whisper-quiet or explosive, with no in-between. I trust that the skills of your team will overcome this handicap.

To assist your team in this mission, our researchers have retrieved the set of DVD extras from the 2006 "Special Collector's Edition" DVD, and included them on this disc. Testing has shown that the average viewer finds these extras, which include (again, under the theory of "hiding in plain sight") interviews with former Agency personnel concerning real-life activities, besides the usual cast and crew interviews, informative and entertaining. Unfortunately, our researchers were unable to up-convert the extras into high definition, save for two theatrical trailers for the film.

We would like to spread this new HD DVD disc to as many consumers as possible. In this way, we will revive the Mission: Impossible name and increase our notoriety, which will, perversely, enable us to better hide our activities. To best execute this plan, you will be required to infiltrate various media outlets, especially those specializing in the review of DVDs, in order to increase the awareness of this product. In that way, the attention directed at this re-release will insure that our continued operations will remain covert.

Closing Statement

Should you be caught or killed in the course of this mission, the Agency will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck.

The Verdict

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Scales of Justice

Video: 98
Audio: 85
Extras: 88
Acting: 85
Story: 85
Judgment: 89

Perp Profile

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround (French)
• Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
• Action
• Blockbusters

Distinguishing Marks

• Mission: Remarkable -- 40 Years of Creating the Impossible
• Mission: Explosive Exploits
• Mission: Spies Among Us
• Mission: Catching the Train
• Mission: International Spy Museum
• Mission: Agent Dossiers
• Excellence in Film: Cruise
• Generation: Cruise
• Photo Gallery
• HD Theatrical Trailers


• IMDb

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