Wanted appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The film featured a decent transfer that never quite excelled.
Sharpness seemed erratic. Most shots were reasonably crisp, but more than a few looked a little loose and soft. Some mild edge haloes exacerbated that problem and made definition inconsistent. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and source flaws remained absent, though the movie seemed a bit grainy.
Colors tended to be a little muddy. Like most modern action flicks, Wanted featured a stylized palette; the hues varied from scene to scene and tended to reflect each sequence’s motif. I thought the tones were a bit on the heavy side and not terribly vivid. Some colors fare better than others, but overall, they were mediocre. Blacks appeared reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed acceptable clarity. All of this added up to a “C+” for visuals.
On the other hand, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Wanted proved wholly satisfying. The soundfield proved consistently active and involving. Quieter scenes present a good sense of place and atmosphere, while the action sequences open things up in a dynamic manner. Bullets and vehicles zoomed and jumped around the room, and the scenes placed us in the action. Surround usage was quite full, and the mix created a strong setting for the adventure.
Audio quality was always excellent. Speech appeared natural and concise, with no edginess or other issues. Music seemed rich and dynamic, and effects followed suit. Those elements were crisp and clear, and they showed terrific bass response. The audio earned a solid “A”.
Virtually all of the DVD’s extras appear on Disc Two. An Extended Scene lasts one minute, 59 seconds. It shows a little more of the sequence when Wesley shoots at cadavers. The addition just provides more comedy to the sequence; nothing more significant occurs.
Six featurettes follow. Cast and Characters goes for 19 minutes, 59 seconds as it includes comments from producer Marc Platt, director Timur Bekmamvetov, author Mark Millar, and actors Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Common, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Dato Bakhtadze, Konstantin Khabensky and Marc Warren. The show offers basic character notes and a few remarks about performances and the shoot. Occasionally we learn something decent about the flick, but most of the time the show just reiterates plot and character facts that are already known to anyone who saw the movie.
Next comes the two-minute and 31-second Stunts on the L Train. It offers notes from McAvoy and stunt coordinator Nick Gillard as they discuss one big scene. We see a few interesting greenscreen shots, but we learn very little about this stunt sequence because the featurette is so brief.
With Special Effects: The Art of the Impossible, we get an eight-minute and 28-second piece that features Platt, Bekmamvetov, McAvoy, and special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy. The show gets into practical effects used in the film. Like the prior featurettes, this one seems more focused on the film’s big-bam-boom than on facts, but it does allow for a few good basics to emerge. While it remains way too flashy and promotional, the behind the scenes bits help make it moderately worthwhile.
Groundbreaking Visual Effects: From Imagination to Execution goes for eight minutes, six seconds and provides remarks from Bekmamvetov, Platt, Khabensky, editor David Brenner, producer Jim Lemley, visual effects supervisors Craig Lyn, Stefen Fangmeier and Jon Farhat, senior visual effects supervisor Pavel Perepelkin, and visual effects producer Maria Karneeva. “Imagination” resembles “Art” except it concentrates on computer imagery instead of practical elements. It works in a similar manner; it conveys a mix of decent facts but remains more style than substance.
During the eight-minute and five-second The Origins of Wanted: Bringing the Graphic Novel to Life, we hear from Platt, Millar, Bekmamvetov, and screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. We learn a bit about the adaptation of the source graphic novel and attempts to stay true to the source. When we hear from Millar, “Origins” proves quite interesting; he offers great notes about his influences and the comic’s roots. The rest of the piece feels more like filler, but there’s enough from Millar to make it worthwhile.
For some filmmaker info, we head to Through the Eyes of Director Timur Bekmamvetov. In this nine-minute and four-second piece, we get details from Bekmamvetov, McAvoy, Jolie, Freeman, Platt, Common, Lemley, Kretschmann, and Millar. Mostly the featurette just tells us that Bekmamvetov is brilliant. Once again, some interesting shots from the set help redeem the show somewhat, but the content remains forgettable.
Something different arrives with Wanted: Motion Comics. This area runs 13 minutes, 55 seconds as it shows segments from the graphic novel that inspired scenes in the movie. Why are these called “motion comics”? Because they offer moving, acted-out scenes, not just still frames. This becomes one of the DVD’s more compelling extras, as it’s fun to compare and contrast the graphic novel with the film. For instance, the comic’s Fox shows a heavy Halle Berry influence; she couldn’t look or feel much less like Jolie.
Next comes a music video mash-up. Danny Elfman’s “The Little Things” simply takes that tune and plays it over movie clips. Yawn!
For the final featurette, we go to the 10-minute and one-second The Making of Wanted: The Game. It features GRIN executive producer Emmanuel Marquez, GRIN CEO Bo Andersson, Universal game producer Nick Torchia, Universal executive game producer Pete Wanat, GRIN project manager Saul Gascon, GRIN creative director Pascal Luban, GRIN game designer Alvaro E. Vazquez, GRIN lead animator Jonathan Hodge, GRIN lead level designer Morten Sandholt, and GRIN game director Ulf Andersson. They provide some details about the game, but in essence, this acts as a long advertisement.
Like seemingly every other DVD these days, DVD Two also includes a digital copy of Wanted. This allows you to copy the film to your computer or to a portable digital device. If that suits you, go nuts!
DVD One opens with some ads. It includes promos for the Wanted: Weapons of Fate videogame, Burn After Reading, My Own Worst Enemy, Slap Shot 3: The Junior League, Blu-Ray Disc and The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior. No trailer for Wanted appears here.
Some Easter eggs appear on the disc. If you scout about, you’ll find cheat codes for the Wanted videogame. Also, DVD Two provides something called “Code of the Fraternity”. This tells you to enter an eight-digit binary code to access more goodies. I have no idea where you find this string of digits. Nothing I found on the disc gave me a clue, so either I missed something or you have to get the code elsewhere.
I hoped that Wanted would provide a clever, exciting action flick. Unfortunately, it cared only about its ridiculous visuals and never became anything more than a long, tedious ad for slow-motion techniques. The DVD presents erratic visuals along with excellent audio and some fluffy extras. Wanted truly stinks; avoid this absurd action flick.