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(Widescreen Edition)

Even at sixty-four years of age, Harrison Ford has lost none of his appeal as a leading man. Sure, he looks older than he did during his Han Solo/Indiana Jones heyday, but he still has screen charisma. Okay, so his recent box office receipts probably don’t measure up as far as the Hollywood bean counters are concerned, but as an actor, he continues to deliver the goods. FIREWALL ($29) brings Ford back to familiar territory, portraying the everyman hero we like to believe resides in all of us.

In FIREWALL, Harrison Ford portrays bank security chief Jack Stanfield, who finds himself unpopular with the company’s new regime, as a result of a merger. If Jack’s professional and personal life wasn’t complicated enough, things go even further south, when a business meeting with Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) turns into something completely unexpected. As it turns out, the only business that Bill is interested in conducting with Jack involves the security chief robbing his own bank… And as incentive, Bill’s associates have taken Jack’s entire family hostage, inside the family home. FIREWALL is a solid thriller that has been tautly directed by Richard Loncraine, and the film maintains a solid level of tension throughout. Harrison Ford is completely on the money as the film’s leading man and this is probably the actor’s best role since AIR FORCE ONE. Virginia Madsen is well cast as Beth Stanfield, who plays lioness protecting her cubs, while staring down the muzzle of a gun. The cast of FIREWALL also features Mary Lynn Rajskub, Robert Patrick, Robert Forster, Alan Arkin, Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennett.

Warner Home Video has made FIREWALL available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. This being a new film, it should come as no surprise that FIREWALL delivers a crisp and highly defined picture. Colors are well saturated and the picture produces appealing flesh tones. Blacks are pure, as are the whites. Contrast is wonderfully smooth, and the transfer delivers excellent shadow detail. The film elements are virtually pristine and very little grain is apparent. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed.

As expected from any new action movie, FIREWALL features a terrific Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Sure, there are sections of the film that comprise of nothing but dialogue; however, once the action kicks in, so does the soundtrack. The action sequences in FIREWALL are aggressively mixed, with the sound design taking full advantage of all the discrete channels. Fidelity is absolutely terrific for both the rich sounding musical score and the fully convincing sound effects. Dialogue is wholly understandable and voices have a nice, natural timber. The bass channel is deep and completely effective. French and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also provided, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Firewall Decoded: A Conversation With Harrison Ford And Richard Loncraine offers a fifteen-minute interview with the film’s star and director. Firewall: Writing a Thriller is a three-minute program featuring the film’s screenwriter discussing the project. A Theatrical Trailer closes out the extras.

FIREWALL is a solid outing, which finds Harrison Ford backing in form and delivering the kind of entertainment his fans have come to expect. Warner’s DVD looks and sounds great- just add popcorn and you’ll have a solid evening’s entertainment.



Firewall (Widescreen Edition) (2006)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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