The Day the Earth Stood Still Blu-ray Review
'The Day the Earth Stood Still” (2008) materialises on Blu-ray with one of the very best 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfers. It's framed correctly in a widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio and, as you'd expect for a recent movie, a pristine source print has been used to ensure that what we see on Blu-ray is superb. Resultantly, there's no dirt, dust or print damage to be seen anywhere. The picture is sharp without any hint of over-sharpening. There's no ringing around outlines, yet we can see bristles on faces in amazing detail. The clarity is superb in even the night shots. Nothing has been compromised to achieve this as blacks are consistently nice and deep. The movie has an overall steely look, which I guess is what the director intended, as it fits in with the rather clinical approach to the subject. The colours have been desaturated just a tad to make this work, so at times, skin tones can appear a little cold. So, in the picture department, this movie has the kind of quality you'd use to demonstrate just how good High Def material can look.
Viewers of this movie have a real sonic treat in store for them. The English DTS HD MA 5.1 surround track really does immerse the audience from the very opening shots with the howling, whistling wind, so much so that I'd swear the temperature in the room dropped noticeably. The surround speakers are used to great effect to produce a dynamic soundstage and the LFE kicks in to add floor shaking rumbles that convey some kind of menace to cover up the fact that it's missing from the story.
Dialogue is crisp and clear, while locked to the centre channel and the mix is so good that it's never drowned out by music or effects. This is a stonking good audio track that will no doubt be appearing at demo rooms across the land.
There is a whole slew of bonus material in this 3 disc package including a Digital Copy of the movie for those who want to put it on the hard drive of their PC and also, most notably, a Blu-ray of the original movie 'The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)', which is presented in black and white with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
- Audio Commentary
This commentary track with Writer David Scarpa is available either from the main menu or via the green button on the remote control. Scarpa provides a fast paced, interesting commentary which begins by discussing the original concept for the film's opening then moves on to share his views on the characters, real-world inspirations for certain segments of the film, updating the look and function of the alien technology. Really for hardened commentary track fans.
- Re-Imagining “The Day” (HD, 30mins)
This fairly chunky featurette considers the challenge of living up to the legacy of the original film while lending a unique look, feel, and message to the 2008 remake. The doco covers a wide range of topics, from an examination of the importance of the 1951 version of the film to a look at the making of the new film.
- Unleashing Gort (HD, 14 mins)
This short featurette highlights the daunting task of designing the film's most striking and imposing character with a view to conveying the menace of the original - only bigger and better with CGI. The original was better.
- Watching The Skies: In Search Of Extraterrestrial Life (HD, 23 mins)
This featurette takes an interesting look at mankind's fascination with and technology utilized in the search for intelligent life beyond Earth. 'X-Files' fans will love it.
- The Day The Earth Was “Green” (HD, 14 mins)
This piece of PR puff examines the environmentally-friendly theme of the film and Fox's commitment to turning green.
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 2 mins)
Three short deleted scenes that pretty much show why they were removed, none of them adding to plot development or interest.
- Still Galleries
There are three different galleries covering Concept Art, Storyboards and Production Photos.
- Klaatu's Unseen Artifacts
This is a picture-in-picture feature that showcases animatic sequences, special effects progression footage, conceptual art, and photos. Hand drawn storyboards are also on offer to provide some fascinating research for film buffs.
- “Build Your Own GORT” BD-Java Game
This allows users to construct their own version of the robot by choosing from a collection of heads, torsos, arms, and legs. Fun for budding CGI artists.
- Trailer (HD, 2 mins)
The release trailer is included for good measure to show how they packaged the movie to make it appealing to audiences.
'The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)' comes in peace to Blu-ray with a first class 1080p AVC MPEG-4 transfer that's of reference quality. This widescreen 2.35:1 framed picture is simply bursting with detail and levels of clarity, including nightshots are amazing. Black levels are deep as outer space itself.
The audio comes in a demo quality English DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix that needs to be heard to be believed. The use of surrounds provides a truly immersive experience with LFE providing menacing rumbles. Crisp, clear dialogue and a dynamic music track make this a real treat for the ears.
The movie itself is somewhat of a disappointment. While all the toys available to the modern day film maker are used, more experienced hands could have used them to greater effect. Sadly, this movie in no way improves upon the original Sci-Fi classic of the 50's (which thankfully is included on Disc 3).
The extras provide a nice range of goodies for those interested in movie production.
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- Audio Commentary