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Paycheck - Blu-ray DVD / sci-fi DVD / action adventure DVD / thriller DVD review
PAYCHECK Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Featuring: Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Aaron Eckhart, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti
Director: John Woo Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 19 May 2009 Runtime: 118 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, English, Spanish, French, Portugese), Commentary (dir. John Woo), Commentary (screenwriter Dean Georgaris), Paycheck: Designing the Future, Tempting Fate: The Stunts of Paycheck, Extended/deleted scenes

Although I had watched Paycheck when it was originally released in 2003, the only thing I really remembered about it was that it was an exciting movie - which will give you a laugh when you know the plot.

Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, Paycheck is directed by noted action director John Woo (Minority Report, Face/Off). It is set in the near future, where technology exists that can erase part of a person's memory. Ben Affleck plays Jennings, a computer engineer who is highly paid to "borrow" technology from one computer company for another company's use. After a job is completed, that portion of his memory is erased in order to keep things quiet. Jennings is approached by his good friend James (Aaron Eckhart) to do a job that will pay in the multi-millions, but it will require three years of his life to be erased. Against the advice of another friend, Shorty (Paul Giamatti), Jennings takes the job, and it appears when it is over that all is well.

When he goes to collect his paycheck (stock options), he discovers that he signed away his rights to the millions and all that he's left with is an envelope of his personal items-including sunglasses, a pack of cigarettes, and other worthless items that he doesn't recognize. It doesn't take Jennings long to figure out the nature of the project he was involved with, and to discover that the items in the envelope will help him in ways he cannot imagine. To complicate matters, during the three years he can't remember, he was involved with a biologist named Rachel Porter (Uma Thurman).

The Blu-ray transfer of Paycheck is excellent in both picture quality and sound. John Woo's close-up style of directing is perfect for the Blu-ray format, placing the viewer in the midst of the action from start to finish. The surround sound on a home theater system, coupled with the superior high-def format, definitely makes you feel like you are either at the theater watching or acting in the movie yourself. The only disappointment about this Blu-ray release is that the producers haven't really taken advantage of the format for the special features - they've all been transferred directly from the DVD, including the audio commentaries and the standard shorts and deleted scenes.

Overall, Paycheck is a thriller that truly delivers. The acting is perfect for the film, and the mystery is just enough to keep the viewer guessing and involved in the story. The Blu-ray clarity and sound add to the overall experience - definitely a movie to watch.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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