Colossal Blu-ray Review
We all have demons; some are just bigger than others.
Colossal sees two people violently picking at old scars in the most wacky way imaginable.Perhaps it's a frame of mind thing, but writer/director Nacho Vigalondo's curious, dark and offbeat drama, Colossal will likely either annoy the hell out of you, or leave you feeling thoroughly at one with the filmmaker's admittedly unique take on the personal tragedies and buried horrors that define us. The uncomfortably slow-burning story has Anne Hathaway's out-of-work drunk-all-night, sleep-all-day party-girl kicked out by her slightly neurotic (or perhaps that's just Dan Stevens' go-to form of acting) working boyfriend's flat and sent tail-between-her-legs back to her small home town, where she meets up with Jason Sudekis' childhood 'friend' and gets a job at his bar and gets gifts lauded upon her by him in the form of a TV, sofa and, basically, everything. Before she can even consider putting her life in order, however, she begins to notice strange occurrences which coincided with her return home, including a giant Godzilla-like monster rampaging through Seoul every morning at 8:05 am on the dot.Colossal certainly takes a little getting used to, but, for those who don't get on board this train, it's the acting that will immediately take you out of the piece. Hathaway feels better than this role, and never once convinces in her interactions with Dan Stevens (not even on the phone), whose aforementioned neurotic dialogue and behaviour leaves the two seeming like unconvincing partners. It's only Sudekis that embraces the part, perhaps because he's less concerned with explaining the inexplicable alter-ego shenanigans going off across the world, and more interested in playing the kind of real-life character that's rare to see in dramas of this nature. Colossal certainly strikes some chords, but its message - largely played out in blisteringly obtuse (either that or painfully blunt) metaphor, is vague and not particularly interesting. Certainly there's more to this than if they'd left the monstrous alter-egos out, but surely they could have come up with a stronger story upon which to play out a battle between metaphorical giants?
Picture QualityColossal comes to UK Region B locked Blu-ray courtesy of Entertainment in Video, offering up a strong enough 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen.
Hardly demo material but generally very good nonetheless
Detail remains very good throughout, with softness creeping into only a few scenes, and motion problems associated with only a couple of shots. Overall, it's pretty impressive, affording nuanced observation of the faces of the lead characters, decent clothing weaving and background textures, and strong environmental representation irrespective of the limited scale of the piece. The effects are nominal and a sidebar to the proceedings, largely relegated to news footage watched on a computer, and never intended to be the focal point (it looks like a giant gremlin fighting a giant toy robot - and nobody's going to complain about that because we're not watching Transformers here). The colour scheme is limited by the dour setting, but afforded a few rich tones in the moody environment, and black levels are strong and seldom falter across the piece. It's hardly demo material but is generally very good nonetheless.
Sound QualityThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a surprisingly meaty affair, delivering some interesting LFE work to impose thunderous footfalls into otherwise mundane environments, and bustling with a few nice song tracks, a solid score and prominent dialogue coverage.
Not quite demo territory but surprisingly potent for this kind of indie flick
Delivered with priority across the frontal array, dialogue remains clear and coherent throughout, whilst the score encroaches on the surrounds at every turn, giving the film some mystery and impetus often otherwise only alluded to in the more suburban environments. The effects are both nuanced and precise for the 'normal' settings; the bar and home sets, whilst Seoul has a thunderstrike of Godzilla-esque mayhem leveled at it, coming alive with furious bombast and LFE input with every weighted footstep. Again, it's not quite demo territory, but it's surprisingly potent for this kind of indie flick.
Blu-ray VerdictSurely they could have come up with a stronger story upon which to play out a battle between metaphorical giants?
Colossal's Region B-locked UK Blu-ray affords the piece strong video and audio, but zero extras. Fans will have no hesitation in snapping it up, but those previously curious may want to consider a rental, or wait for it to come to a streaming service first. It's an odd flick, and may well fall into the marmite category for many.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £18.99
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