The legendary swordsman is once again portrayed in the big screen after the previous attempts. There was TV show that some of the older generation of people might even remember, but how is this version compared? Some may say that this film is the best Zorro ever made, while others consider it a slight disappointment. Let’s see how it fairs out on Blu-ray.
Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) had spent 20 years in jail, thanks to the power hungry Don Rafael Montero(Stuart Wilson), and now he is out to seek revenge for the killing of his wife and the kidnapping on his only daughter. For that he must find a new successor to wear the legendary costume to continue fighting the oppression and corruption that fills the land. Diego turns to Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) and recruits him to become Zorro. The new Zorro sets off to find what Montero is really up to and during his endearing adventure he confronts Captain Love (Matt Letscher) and subsequently the beautiful Elena Montero (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who’s past is yet to come back and haunt her. Diego hopes that this new Zorro finally puts an end to Montero’s plans.
The film is very entertaining; it’s fast paced, great dialog, and screenplay. The actor’s chemistry is very visible throughout the film and it’s easily complimented by the screenplay which doesn’t just use them for mere witty comments. They all appear to be having fun which then translates to the viewer’s enjoyment (hopefully). The sword fighting is phenomenal, from Banderas to Hopkins it never disappoints. The entire cast delivers a fine performance so there’s nothing really to complain in that department other than maybe some bland moments.
The entire set is beautifully recreated to fit the 1840’s. The attention of detail on the clothing by the design artist is impeccable; it’s like being placed right in that period of time. The surroundings are also very nicely recreated, from the church to the palace where Don Montero lives with beautiful courtyard and the hallways always display a hefty amount of details. The styles of fighting and action are also spot-on, very entertaining to watch Banderas and Zeta-Jones handle the swords so well and with so much grace. With all things said the story of Zorro never truly felt this fresh and alive.
The Mask of Zorro arrives to Blu-ray with a solid 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 2.40:1. This release is simply eye candy; the colors are very vibrant especially the reds, yellows, and blues which are simply eye popping. The inky and deep blacks make this a very dynamic presentation. Not to mention the skin tones appear warm with a golden touch and remains throughout each scene. There’s no detection of oversaturation or any dust or specs. There’s always a high level of detail all around, very noticeable when Banderas wears his fist mask and you can tell the texture of the fabric. Sony has done an excellent job with this transfer.
The Mask of Zorro arrives to Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. What else can I really say about these transfers Sony has done in the past couple of months, nothing short of great. The music is always rich with the rasgueado style of guitar playing always so pleasant to ears. The score is so incredibly well performed and appropriately placed throughout the film that it never gets in the way. The dialogue is crisp and clean. The sound of the blades striking, the bullets flying around, cannons and explosions all will leave a lasting impression. The view may very well feel right in the middle of the action.
I am a bit disappointed about the extras, there isn’t any new content being added here. I would have imagined that new content would be created for a film that was successful to say the least. However, don’t get me wrong the audio commentary and other extras are worth a look. Check it out below.
Director’s Commentary – The movie plays as director Martin Campbell talks about the film, what goes on in every scene, the cast, and much more. Very interesting supplement worth to listen if you have the time to watch the film once more.
Unmasking Zorro – This is perhaps the best extra on this release, features the filmmakers, crew members, cast, designers, and much more. The tackle everything about the film, the challenges, anecdotes by the cast, difficulties, costume design, etc. This moves at a very fast pace switching from topic to topic, but definitely worth the watch.
Deleted Scenes – This release features 2 deleted scenes: “The Wallet” & “The Resolution”
Music Video – “I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You” by Mark Anthony
The Legend of Zorro Behind the Scenes Sneak Peek – A look into the sequel of The Mask of Zorro
Exclusive Scene from “The Legend of Zorro”
Previews – As usual there are Sony included several previews including: The Da Vinci Code, It Might Get Loud, Angels and Demons, and Casino Royale.
BD-Live – Basic BD-Live functionality, access an array of previews and downloads via your Profile 2.0 enabled Blu-ray players.
MovieIQ – Get information on the film as you watch the film.
I remember having The Mask of Zorro back during its original release on DVD and I must say this is such a huge upgrade. The overall high video and audio quality certainly should be enough for fans of the film to not let this one pass by. The great acting and chemistry among actors make it very hard to go unnoticed, it’s a very entertaining swashbuckler film and it comes highly recommended.