Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson
Extras: Featurettes, Deleted Scene, Photo Galleries, Trailers
Continuing their series of ’Superbit’ releases, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has recently unveiled a 2-disc Superbit version of the Mel Gibson vehicle ’The Patriot.’ Although previously the ’Superbit’ series of releases was merely committed to offer the best possible presentation quality, it appears as if pressure was too high for Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment to charge premium prices for reduced content. As a response, the studio now seems to adjust its direction by adding supplements to these releases on a separate disc.
For an elaboration on the movie and the extras on the disc, please consult my review of the Special Edition release some time ago, which can be found here. The movie is still the same and the supplemental materials are identical.
In terms of its presentation, the Superbit version of ’The Patriot’ the DVD certainly doesn’t disappoint. The video is noticeably improved over the previous release with a level of definition that brings out every little bit of the intricate images on the screen. Compared to the previous version, these details are sharper and clearer, creating an image that is definitely a worthwhile improvement. Colors are very vibrant and rich, beautifully bringing to life the lush outdoor scenery of the movie. Black levels are identical to the previous version, creating a rich image with good visual depth.
The new version now contains a 5.1 channel DTS track alongside the Dolby Digital track that was found on the previous release – dropping the French language track and the commentary in favor of it. The audio is superb and allows the viewer to sink into the movie. The DTS track offers a slightly improved presentation with a beautiful transparency in the mix and the ability to reproduce timbres and textures a tad more naturally than the Dolby Digital track.
Here we have another example that ’Superbit’ can and does improve on existing releases. While the differences may not be stellar, the subtle differences clearly make for a better presentation. Since now Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is beginning to add extras to these releases they are truly replacements for the previous releases. Fans of ’The Patriot’ who are discerning about the quality of their home theater experience can’t afford to miss out on this one.