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Face/Off

Score: 96%
Rating: R
Publisher: Paramount
Region: 1
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 138 Mins.
Genre: Action
Audio: DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 (English);
           Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (English);
           Dolby Digital 5.1 (French,
           Spanish)

Subtitles: English SDH, English, French,
           Spanish



Features:

  • Commentaries by Director John Woo and Writers Mike Werb and Michael Colleary
  • 7 Deleted Scenes Including an Alternate Ending (with Optional Commentary)
  • The Light and the Dark: Making Face/Off
  • John Woo: A Life in Pictures
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

What if you woke up tomorrow morning and the face you saw in the mirror and the voice coming from your throat weren't your own, but of the one person you hated the most in the world?

After catching his son's murderer, terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), Special Agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) uncovers a deeper plot to blow up Los Angeles. After attempts to gain information from Troy's gang come up empty, Archer must literally become Troy in order to learn the bomb's location. Though successful, Archer's plan backfires when Troy turns the tables and steals not only Archer's face, but his life. Now Archer must become the one person he hates the most in the world in order to save his family and finally bring Troy down.

Although Face/Off is an incredible action movie, it is ultimately a story that is all about characters. Even some of the more high-powered action sequences wouldn't work as well without the underlying human story that ties them together. Both Nicolas Cage and John Travolta do an amazing job at conveying their characters, especially after switching faces. It is one thing for an actor to give a believable performance as one character, so seeing two actors pull off two completely different characters with such consistency is really great to see and is what makes the movie's otherwise ridiculous plot work. This is one aspect that is repeatedly hammered on throughout the "Behind the Scenes..." extras as well as in the included commentary tracks. The movie's core isn't its action sequences, but the concept of identity; Are you who your face shows, or something else?

Typical of John Woo's other films, Face/Off is an incredibly visual movie. As one of the extras puts it, "There's a bullet shot, and then there's a John Woo bullet shot". While both are the same thing technically, though even small caliber bullets manage to cause large caliber impacts and manage to build up into breathtaking action sequences. Although incredibly violent, Woo manages to work a macabre, yet beautiful grace to every action scene. Every action shot is a carefully choreographed dance that looks incredible, especially when viewed in HD.

The Collector's Edition Blu-Ray version of Face/Off also comes loaded with extras -- many of which will make the movie even more engrossing. The set of "Making of..." extras (which can be viewed separately or as one long feature) offer loads of background information on the movie, such as the movie's initial futuristic concept. Little tid-bits like these are not only interesting, but also offer a better appreciation for the movie. All of the segments with John Woo are exceptional, especially when it comes to his views on the art of storytelling.

Overall, Face/Off is one of the better Blu-ray re-releases I've seen. It's clear that extra work went into the release rather than simply transferring a HD to turn a quick buck. Even if you own the DVD version, the Blu-ray release might be worth a look for the picture quality and number of extras.



-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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