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February 22, 2009
The Wrong Man Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
9/11/20065/2/2009Village RoadshowPaul McGuigan
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MA15+Josh Hartnett

When the Blu-Ray version of The Wrong Man popped on my desk I was a bit confused. A movie staring Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsly and Lucy Liu and I had never heard of it? How could that be? Well with a bit of research I discovered that the movie was actually titled Lucky Number Slevin outside Australia. Now that name was a little more familiar to me and my interest in this movie rose dramatically as a result.

In an airport waiting room, a man in a wheelchair tells a stranger a story about a fixed horse race in 1979 that resulted in a family's deaths. In Manhattan, two bookies and the son of a Mob boss die.

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Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman in The Wrong Man.
A young man just out of the shower answers the door to a neighbour woman and explains that he's visiting, has had a bad week, including being mugged, and doesn't know where his pal, who lives there, is. The neighbour is chatty; she's a coroner. Two thugs arrive and, believing the visitor to be the guy who lives there, take him to see the boss with the dead son, who tells him to kill the son of his Mob rival. Mistaken identity? What connects the threads? Cops are watching.

This really is a remarkable, engrossing movie, with a stellar cast who each put in brilliant performances. The movie builds from the opening moments to the final frames and you'll be guessing how all the pieces fit together until the fitting finale.

Make no mistake about it this is a violent film in places with ample swearing and some sex scenes as well. Indeed the movie is worthy of its MA15+ rating here in Australia so parents should be wary before watching this movie with kids around.

It's criminal to think that a movie this caliber only manages to gross $56 million worldwide, while utter trash like Meet the Spartans pulls in $US84 million. Do yourselves a favour go out and grab a copy of The Wrong Man (or Lucky Number Slevin if you live outside Australia), you won't be disappointed.

The Wrong Man is presented here in the films original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 at 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. The transfer, and the film, have a natural film like quality with realistic flesh tones and colouring and good black levels. The transfer holds a quite high bitrate in the low to mid 30Mbps range, and there were very few areas that caused any major concern. Indeed the small details shine with the increased resolution here over DVD. Many of the rooms and apartments in the movie have wallpapers with fine details and patterns which really shine through at the 1920 x 1080p resolution.

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Note the unique wallpaper patterns.
Having said that though there were certainly areas of this transfer that lacked a visual punch of many major Hollywood movies. While it looks great, you won't be using this as demo material for your new Blu-Ray player and TV set. While very good overall it doesn't quite do the format full justice.

The primary audio track on this Blu-Ray disc is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track which sounds quite wonderful. This is quite a dialogue driven movie, so there isn't overly aggressive or heavy use of the surround sound and LFE channels for much of the movie, but when they do kick in you will know it.

Two other audio tracks are included including an English and a French Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. Each of these tracks is impressive enough and certainly get the job done. Subtitles are provided in English for the Hearing Impaired and Spanish and sampling the English track demonstrated accuracy to the dialogue on screen, as well as good pacing for reading.

The Wrong Man comes to Blu-Ray with a few extras worth spending some time with, most notably the commentaries.

Commentary with Director Paul McGuigan: A somewhat dry, but still interesting, audio commentary with the director of the movie. He discusses many aspects of the production, and storyline with plenty of detail provided.

Commentary with Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu and writer Jason Smilovic: Certainly more upbeat and entertaining then the directors commentary this one is quite a bit more lively with some great banter between Josh and Lucy in particular. Worth a listen.

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Working in the morgue.
Making The Wrong Man (13:19/HD): A pretty standard promotional making of featurette with too many scenes repeated from the movie, and limited on-set footage.

An Intimate Conversation with Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu (14:27/HD): Again, rather promotional, but the two actors speak fairly candidly about making this movie.

Deleted Scenes (20:32/HD): With optional directors commentary there are three deleted scenes here as well as an alternate ending. Each is presented in HD, but only with 2 channel audio at 192kbps. Lengthy and good quality visually (with some unfinished effects) these are worth a look.

Theatrical Trailer (2:05/HD): The theatrical trailer in HD but only with Stereo sound.

Expecting nothing I was blown away by this movie. A brilliant cast, superb direction and excellent script combine to make The Wrong Man one of the best movies I've seen in the last year or so. If you've never seen this movie then do yourselves a favour and check it out. If you have seen it then you'll likely want to add this to your Blu-Ray collection. This disc contains an excellent transfer, and a few decent extras too.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.