The Feature: 4.5/5In 1935 the Cold Mountain Penitentiary gets a most unusual addition to its death row cell block (nicknamed the Green Mile for its lime-colored corridor to the execution room). John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted for the rape and murder of two little girls, would be the epitome of evil if he weren't so obviously innocent - in respect to the crime that has imprisoned him and to his very being. Though a giant of a man, he has the sensibilities of a child - scared by the dark and delighted by things that most have come to take for granted in their age. But a personality that belies his appearance and supposed misdeeds is not what makes him different; Coffey also has a gift. The first to experience it is block supervisor Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), but eventually, to varying degrees, so do the other guards on the block. Though knowing Coffey will unequivocally change their lives - Paul's in particular - it will also remind them of the one thing that can never change. Even for a soul like Coffey, everyone has a Green Mile to walk eventually.
Coming five years after the success of "The Shawshank Redemption" it's easy to categorize "The Green Mile" as yet another prison-set, adaptation of a Stephen King work by writer-director
Video Quality: 4/5Presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec, the film's image fills the entirety of my 16:9 display despite the package labeling it as 1.85:1. The picture is blemish-free and exhibits solid and inky black levels, though contrast usually looks compressed, perhaps a byproduct of the deep saturation of the color palette. Though colors can skew quite warm at times, the color grading is appropriate for the sentimental elements of the story. Overall sharpness and detail are good - textures in fabrics and skin in particular; however, many wide shots show a noticeable drop in detail. Though some instances seem related to the use of motion control (e.g. the pan across the execution room with dissolves into various stages of its preparation), others don't have such technical complications to explain their appearance. Fortunately there seems to be no attempts to compensate with excessive sharpening measures. Likewise the image shows no signs of noise or grain reduction. Overall, it's a very good transfer with the majority of issues appearing to be source related.
Audio Quality: 4/5The surround channels in the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track provide balanced and detailed support for the score with mostly mild, though enveloping, environmental effects. In the most dramatic moments the entire array perks up and includes some impressively clean and strong LFE. Dialogue is consistently clear and detailed with no moments of strain or edginess to the vocals. Overall it's a strong and effective audio presentation. Worth noting is I had to raise my receiver volume level about 10 clicks above my standard setting.
Special Features: 4/5The special features package, which includes all the items from the 2006 special edition DVD release, features a nice balance of behind-the-scen
Audio Commentary by Writer/Director
Walking the Mile: The Making of the Green Mile (25:30, SD): Behind-the-scen
Miracles and Mystery: Creating the Green Mile (1:42:54, SD): Divided into six sections, "Miracles and Mystery" is essentially a longer version of the preceding piece, hitting on the same general topics. "Stephen King Storyteller" (23:56) looks at King and his work; "The Art of Adaptation" (14:04) looks at Darabont's adaptation of "The Green Mile" novel; "Acting on the Mile" (21:04) looks at casting and characters; "Designing on the Mile" (14:19) looks at the sets and production design; "The Magic of the Mile" (15:11) looks at visual, makeup and special effects; and "The Tail of Mr. Jingles" (14:16) looks at training and working with mice.
Deleted Scenes (3:38, SD): Two scenes with optional commentary from Darabont.
Michael Clarke Duncan Screen Test (8:26, SD): Duncan's fully realized performance of Coffey is as impressive as everyone has said.
Tom Hanks Makeup Tests (5:30, SD): Before the filmmakers opted to use actor Dabbs Greer as "Old Paul," they tried out old age makeup on Hanks, with varying degrees of success.
The Teaser Trailer: A Case Study (4:47, SD): The filmmakers wanted a trailer to sell the heartwarming, "miracle" aspects of the film, but the final product didn't turn out like what they were envisioning.
Teaser Trailer (1:58, SD): The notorious final product (abandoning it was a smart move).
Theatrical Trailer (2:23, SD)
Collectible Book: The nicely produced book-that-is-th
RecapThe Feature: 4.5/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5
It's hard to imagine outdoing "The Shawshank Redemption" but Darabont comes close with another fine adaptation of written source material by Stephen King. No longer a Best Buy exclusive, "The Green Mile" on Blu-ray gets a very good audio and video presentation and a fine set of special features.