PictureGattaca comes at 2.40:1 using the MPEG-4/AVC codec at 1080p and for what is regarded as a back catalogue film is surprisingly pristine. It's only ten years old though and as such I would expect nothing less than this from releases of this period, as we've found though this can be far from the truth.
It's pin sharp, and at times perhaps a little too much so; there's an obvious level of edge enhancement which can predominantly be seen around the straight edges of some of the buildings as they are contrasted against a bright sky.
Because of this sharpness though there's a finer amount of detail on offer than the standard DVD release. Jerome's apartment, the table on which he carries out his procedures for fluid transfer to Vincent, the restaurant they share a meal at all offer better clarity. The print is in fine shape with no real blemishes to be found, grain is largely non-existent although it does crop up during some darker scenes. In saying that the brightness fluctuates ever so slightly but like the grain it's never consistent nor apparent for extended periods so never intrudes on the viewing experience.
Colours are sublime, the glowing warmth of the restaurant, the ball room where Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke finally laugh, the sunsets outside the Gattaca building itself starkly contrasted with the all too emotionless blue greys of the interiors of Gattaca. Greens and red come across the best which literally pop right off the screen; deep, bold and always kept within their borders Gattaca does present a glorious improvement over its DVD counterpart and sets the tone of the film impeccably.
SoundThe English track is a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD offering, although there's never any real use of the surrounds. The film's not an action vehicle, laser pumping Sci-Fi or a horror which all demand subtle though extensive use of the surrounds, all the audio action here will come from the frontal stage.
Panning between left and right is kept well in place for vehicles, or action off screen. Vocals are always delightfully crisp and rock solid in the centre channel. As such it's quite a narrow field but don't let that distract you, any more would have taken the focus of the ideas currently being presented on screen.
There's a wonderful haunting, yet surprising uplifting score by Michael Nyman during which the field opens up, widens the fronts as the score slowly creeps towards the viewer. The score almost adds an additional character to this film and comes across wonderfully.
As for LFE, well it's the same really as the surrounds; never really used. At the end perhaps when the final rocket is dispatched does it go low but it's never really required for the rest of the feature.
- Substance Test Outtake. - 0:0:36
Has to be one of the funniest outtakes I've ever seen really, watch carefully or you'll miss it.
- Original Featurette. - 0:06:52
A standard EPK, more of an extended trailer than anything else. Danny DeVito pops up giving his input on why he wanted to be associated with this project. The usual cast and crew have brief snippets.
- Welcome to Gattaca. - 0:22:00
A more updated EPK really, further interviews with cast and crew. Budget limitations are discussed and this gives a good insight into what they have accomplished with such short amounts. Casting is mentioned with particular attention on Jude Law as his break into Hollywood. A worthwhile watch.
- Do Not Alter -0:14:52
Want to know about DNA, well this is a good starting point. The history of its discovery, the Genome project, unravelling the secrets and the potential for the future are all too briefly touched upon here. Yes eggheads present it but it's a good watch to fill in the back-story of Gattaca itself.
- Deleted Scenes. - 0:10:43
6 deleted scenes in total which thankfully have a Play All option. The doctor when screening for Vincent's brother has been extended and really I feel should have been left in. There are additional scenes with Ernest Borgnine which really don't add anything better to the film as a whole.
Gattaca deserves a lot more than this, sure it never broke even at the box office but it's gained a cult following ever since, and rightly so. This demands a better insight into it's production at least a commentary.
The extras we have are good enough but should have been so much more.
VerdictIt's a must see for fans of Sci-Fi and fans of cinema alike. A beautifully told story set in a world towards which ours is rapidly approaching. It's intelligent, well acted, beautifully shot and leaves you both down hearted yet revitalised at the same time.
Niccol's certainly choosing his projects wisely, not churning out any old drivel but thoughtful introspective works and Gattaca is proud to be a member of that stable. It never recouped its money at the box office but you could say like other earlier Sci-Fi Thinkers it's a smouldering pot, one whose appeal will grow through the years to come.
It's one I can go back to time and time again; I love the acting particularly by Jude Law and this is without a doubt his best role to date. I can wholeheartedly recommend this, those who already have the DVD should upgrade; the picture is so much better. Those who have yet to see it should wisely invest, it's one to add to your collection rather than watch and pass on.
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- Substance Test Outtake. - 0:0:36