State of Play (DTS-MA 5.1) - Tier1
When you put an ensemble cast together, it can be successful or backfire badly, depending not only on a good script, but also the C word - chemistry. In such a suspense thriller about the inner workings of the US Congress and how corruption and power intermix, the way the protagonists interact and play off each each other, make for a wonderful state of play (pun intended and literal too). What better way to show off this ensemble than in a movie about politics, corruption and murder.
Russel Crowe uses his brooding nature to interplay with the fresh and beautiful Rachel McAdams, who uses her looks, energy and a real freshman outlook as an excellent counterfoil to Russell. Helen Mirren is also perfectly cast, and this is another C word - Casting of all the actors could not be better and each looks excellent in their roles. Ben Affleck proves he is no pretty boy only, yet is able to use his matinee idol good looks to portray a crooked Congressman very well.
The plot works and the twists come fast and furious. The ending is also unexpected and this film will withstand a couple of viewings at least to understand the nuances. 4/5
But Home Theatre fans may ponder on whether it is worth it to invest in the Blu Ray disc for what some might term a "talkie". Also there has been a trend of some awful actioners having superb sound effects and bass. Fear not, the sound engineers on this disc did not go on a vacation, and they worked hard to convey the suspense, the emotions and also the sounds of Washington DC on the disc. Bass is effectively employed to add tension, and there are also flyovers of helicopters and a smattering of gun-shots to keep the bass-heads content. In my opinion, this works very well, and is a more effective use of the subwoofer than merely using it for the big explosions and all the boom!
Chick Factor: Having first come across Rachel McAdams in Red Eye, she exhibits spunk as well as charm, a real good next door girl with the hotness of a first line Hollywood actress. 4/5
So should you buy the disc, rent or avoid this?
I reckon it is worth a watch at least and the sound effects makes it a decent demo disc for those who are not convinced that atmospherics are just as fun as big explosions.