Paramount Home Video
Cast: Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, Sean Bean, Thora Birch, Patrick Bergin
Extras: Featurette, Trailer
Paramount is now re-releasing the Tom Clancy-based Jack Ryan thrillers starring Harrison Ford on DVD as ’Special Collector’s Editions, ’ and ’Patriot Games’ is one of the releases. The term ’Collector’s Edition’ comes more from the inclusion of a DTS audio track on this release than the treatment as a special edition, since the release is effectively devoid of bonus materials.
In ’Patriot Games,’ former CIA agent Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) and his family witness a terrorist attack in England, during which Ryan saves the life of Lord Holmes, a member of the Royal family, killing one of the terrorists in a shoot-out. The brother of the killed terrorist swears revenge and when he flees prison, Jack Ryan soon finds himself and his family threatened back in the US. A desperate fight against the IRA ensues.
Paramount is presenting ’Patriot Games’ in an anamorphic widescreen transfer on this DVD, in its original widescreen aspect ratio. The transfer is pristine, without any speckle, scratch or blemish. Grain is virtually not existent and the transfer reveals a very high level of detail. Colors are naturally rendered with faithful skin tones. Highlights are well-balanced and never bleed, while the shadows are perfectly delineated without ever breaking up or obscuring detail in blackness. No edge-enhancement is visible, leaving the transfer free of ringing artifacts, and the compression is equally well done, making ’Patriot Games’ a superb showing.
On the audio side, the DVD contains a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track, as well as a DTS track. Both are equally impressive with a dynamic soundstage that makes very frequent and aggressive use of the split surrounds. I found differences between the tracks virtually indistinguishable since both of them are really of top notch quality. A French language stereo track can also be found on the disc.
As an extra the DVD contains ’Patriot Games Up Close,’ a 25-minute featurette filled with cast and crew interviews, as well as behind the scenes footage. While it doesn’t compensate for the lack of other features, it is nonetheless a great addition to the release.
Overall ’Patriot Games’ is a solid release but the lack of extras is disappointing. At least a commentary track could have been added to this DVD to validate the term ’Collector’s Edition.’