Columbia has provided National Security with a 1.33:1 fullscreen presentation, as well as an anamorphically enhanced widescreen presentation in the film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. (FYI, I only checked out the widescreen version of the film for the purposes of this review.)
The film was consistently sharp and detailed and displayed all the positive properties that such a recent film should. The master print is obviously in pristine shape, as there were rarely any instances of dirt, grain, or specks seen at any time throughout the short running time of the film. National Security’s color palette was rather generic and didn’t do much to impress, but Columbia has accurately rendered all of the hues in a very precise and accurate manner. Black levels were deep and bold and allowed for strong shadow detail and delineation, with a very film-like and three-dimensional appearance.
Flaws with Columbia’s transfer were minimal, as I noted a bit of shimmer and haloing in a couple of scenes, as well as a miniscule amount of grain. Major flaws and inaccuracies were non-existent in National Security and Columbia has really done a fine job here on the video transfer for the film.
National Security looks quite nice – as it should for such a recent release from a major studio. For fans of the film who haven’t already checked this one out, you’ll be pleased with Columbia’s results.
National Security gets a somewhat impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 audio transfer that was rather active for a comedy, although the film does attempt to straddle the “action” genre as well. In spots, the track became very busy and enveloping, with some really nice activity heard in the rear surrounds.
The track was very crisp and natural, with the front surrounds getting the majority of the play. However, the rears make sure to get a piece of the action too, as there were a couple of warehouse shootouts that had gunfire bouncing around the soundstage and there were more than a few occasions where general environmental effects filled in the soundstage quite nicely. There was some nice separation and imaging in the front surrounds, with dialogue anchored there as well and ultimately, Columbia has provided National Security with a very pleasing mix that should gratify hardcore and casual fans alike.
The musical soundtrack for National Security could be slightly overpowering at times, but it never got so bad that it interfered with the rest of the film. The hip-hop tracks were quite rich, with very crisp highs and taut lows that sounded quite nice coming through your surround setup. The LFE was most bombastic during these moments and sounded quite nice.
Columbia has also included a Dolby Surround mix in French, as well as English and French subtitles.
While National Security didn’t do bang-up business at the box office, it did well enough that Columbia decided it was worthy of “Special Edition” treatment. However, don’t let the SE banner fool you, as there’s not a whole heck of a lot here to keep fans engaged for too long.
Starting things off is an Audio Commentary with director Dennis Dugan. While Dugan has been the man behind some really funny films, his commentary is rather boring and lackadaisical, without much in the way of very interesting or engaging material. His personality is such that you can’t help but listen to him because he seems to be a very energetic person, but in the end, there’s not a whole lot offered up here to make it very worthwhile. Hardcore fans might glean something interesting from Dugan’s comments, but everyone else would be better served spending 90-minutes doing something else. I mean, how much do you really want to know about National Security?
Following is Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending and included are two deleted scenes from the film (“Martin Lawrence Improv: Interrogation” and “Overhead Hallway”) and a much more convoluted alternate ending for the film. The two deleted scenes are shown only after we view the pages from the actual script. The script runs as a slideshow that can only be advanced through by using the –FF- button on your DVD remote. This was a different type of implementation than what I’m used to seeing and unfortunately, I didn’t like it as much as having the two features (script / deleted scenes) separated. While the scenes and alternate ending were nice additions to the set, the filmmakers made the right decision by going with what was seen during the theatrical feature.
Last up is a Music Video: “N.S.E.W.” by Disturbing Tha Peace featuring I-20, Tity-Boi and Lil Fate. The mere mention of the participants will tell you whether or not this one is up your alley. If you’re interested, the video is presented in fullscreen and Dolby Digital 2.0.
Also included are some Trailers for National Security, as well as other Columbia titles including Bad Boys II and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
Gibson/Glover and Murphy/Nolte this ain’t and even though National Security is the rent-a-cop version of a “buddy/action” film, it still managed to make me laugh in more than a few spots. It features Lawrence in one of his better roles of late and Columbia has put out a quite acceptable DVD to match.
Fans of the film can’t go wrong picking this one up, while everyone else might want to rent it for the weekend first before splurging for an all-out purchase.