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Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) has inherited a great deal of wealth from her father, Lord Richard Croft (Jon Voight), which includes an estate and a lot of money. She has also inherited his great sense of adventure and love for all things rare and archaeological. This time however, adventure will come to her from a haunting dream about her missing father and a rare clock. Croft discovers that the clock will lead her to an ancient triangle, which was split into two halves long ago. When the halves are placed together, the triangle has the ability to control time. Lara is asked to find the triangle, and destroy it before someone who would use the power in an evil manner discovers it.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Much the like the video game, Lara trots around the globe to various locations, including Cambodia and Siberia.

Angelina Jolie, a reputable actress in her own right, was perfectly cast as Lara Croft. In fact, she is nearly identical to the heroine featured in the adventure games. Jolie adds a certain conviction and determination to the role as she flaunts her body, breasts and acting talents. She is independent and is displays a confidence in her character, which only adds a bit more reality to the premise of the film.

Jon Voight also has bit part as Lord Richard Croft. The decision to cast the real-life father-daughter was a great casting choice as well. There is a scene that is quite remarkable, in that the Crofts are exchanging some powerful dialogue, and there is “real-feeling” to the scene. I hope Jolie and Voigt work together again soon! They definitely have a screen presence.

Video
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is anamorphically enhanced. What can I say? This picture looks amazing! Each scene, regardless of if it is in a bright environment or a darker one, is very detailed. The colours are sharp and crisp and actually look like a brand new film from the studio! I did not notice any scratches or blemishes on this print! Way to go, it’s fantastic!

Audio
Wow! Paramount has presented an audio track in Dolby Digital 5.1 that is equally impressive as the video transfer!  The surround sounds are fabulous. The fight scenes sound amazing, and actually put the viewer in the action audibly as well as visually. The dialogue came through as crisp and clear as well, while the rocking soundtrack breathes a unique sense of life into the film.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
In addition, viewers have the option of choosing an alternative Dolby 2.0 surround track.

Extras
It really boggles my mind how Paramount can litter some recent titles with a ton of extras, while other recent titles are bare. However, in this case Paramount has loaded this disk with extra features that should appease any Tomb Raider fan.

First up, numerous featurettes including “Crafting Lara Croft”,  “Stunts”, “Digging Into Tomb Raider”, “Are You Game” and “Visual Effects”. These various featurettes vary in length from five or six minutes to twenty-five minutes long. Fans of the film will certainly find these interesting. Yet at times I did feel like some were just fluff material, and sometimes repeated information that was presented in a former featurette. Just the same, I was pleased with these.

Next up, director Simon West has provided an audio commentary, which is quite good. He gives considerable insight into the making of the film, special effects, members of the cast and of course the usual problems that occur on any set when making a film. In these days of commentaries on DVDs, this is one is unique in the fact that West does not try to talk for the sake of talking, but actually offering titbits of information that the real fan of Tomb Raider may find interesting. In my opinion, a great commentary track!

Paramount has also given us four deleted scenes. In general, I am not a big fan of deleted scenes, unless of course these scenes actually advance the story. In this case, none of the four presented are actually memorable for making this a better film, hence, deleted scenes.

To wrap up this special edition, the music video for “Elevation” by U2 is included.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Overall
I really enjoyed Tomb Raider as nothing more then pure, Hollywood, escapist entertainment. Angelina Jolie’s performance is no Oscar contender, but she certainly has the ability to fill the big shoes of the Lara Croft character. Fans of the video game series should be satisfied. For those who are not familiar with Lara Croft, well, all I can say is welcome! Check out this movie, I don’t think you will be sorry.


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