Surrogates Blu-ray Review
'Surrogates' comes to Region A locked Blu-ray in a very good copy of the cinema original with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer that's framed strikingly in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
The image is colourful, depicting the red and blue hues of a graphic novel strongly amid the deep colour palette. We have the Hollywood tan skin tones you'd expect of a blockbuster along with chunky black levels and effective use of contrast to achieve the required look. It would also appear that grain has been injected to try to recreate the texture of the printed page - and it does so effectively. Some people may be offended by the appearance of grain in a recent release, but when you can see it has been done for a reason - and it works - then that's okay.
There's a fair amount of detail on show here. I'm thinking of scenes like the close ups of James Cromwell's face where every line is etched on screen. For those who like to complain that actors' faces look waxy, then they'll love this movie. The surrogates' faces do indeed look waxy but not through DNR applied to the transfer, they're supposed to look that way.
In all we have a very fitting transfer for the source and a faithful representation of the way it looked in the cinema.
The audio on 'Surrogates' comes in a DTS HD-MA 5.1 flavour that does not disappoint. My only niggle would be that the dialogue occasionally seemed muddy amid all of the effects. There's plenty here to test your sound system, from screeching car tyres to the sound of the destructor weapon as it sonically fries your listening room. The subwoofer is kept active with deep rumbles and the stereo pair are fed a powerful, slamming music track courtesy of composer Richard Marvin.
The mix is pretty dynamic but within a range that stops you wanting to constantly adjust the volume. Play nice with the neighbours, folks.
- Audio Commentary
Director Jonathan Mostow flies solo here as he provides a great deal of in depth information about considerations made for the production in terms of casting, lighting, the use of wide angle tilt lenses as well as reasons for shooting in Boston. If you're interested in feature film production, then this one is for you.
- Deleted scenes (HD, total 5 mins)
Here we have a set of 4 scenes that seem to be mainly extensions or precursors to scenes used in the final cut of the film. The story did not really lose anything by their removal but they would have slowed the pace if included. One has really ropey green screen as it's not a finished scene.
- A More Perfect You: The Science of Surrogates (HD, 15 mins)
This is an interesting featurette that investigates the current situation with development of robots, hinting that we may not be too far away from the premise of the main feature. We hear from various scientists as well as from director Mostow and there is footage of several different robots under testing. The Japanese guy with the robot double was a bit spooky.
- Breaking the Frame: A Graphic Novel comes to Life (HD, 7 mins)
In this short we hear about the translation from graphic novel to movie of 'Surrogates' with input from its creators Venditti & Weldele as well as cast & crew and we see how the original artwork looked as the final scenes in the production. It kind of fizzles out at the end. For lovers of comic books.
- Music Video: I Will Not Bow (HD, 3 mins)
A good track performed by Breaking Benjamin that was used in the movie. It gets your toes tapping.
The recent Bruce Willis Sci-Fi extravaganza 'Surrogates' lands on Region A locked Blu-ray with a very good 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed at 2.40:1. Colours are strong as they emulate the original graphic novel in style with added grain for texture.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track will give your sound system a workout with plenty of surround effects and powerful score, although the enveloped dialogue was muddy in a few places.
Director Jonathan Mostow provides an interesting comm track for production buffs, while a couple of featurettes, a set of deleted scenes and Music video by Breaking Benjamin round off the package.
As a movie, there's plenty going on here to hold an audience's interest as FBI Agent Greer (Willis) tries to work out who is killing off surrogate doubles and their owners.
Maybe not totally original, but entertaining none the less.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £39.99
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- Audio Commentary