The Final Destination has been released previously on Blu-ray as a multi-region two disc package, containing a standard 2D presentation and an anaglyph 3D version. This new release is also multi-region but boasts a Full HD 3D transfer which delivers 1080p high definition images to each eye. There is an option to watch either the 2D or 3D version and both are presented with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 using a 1080p transfer that is encoded with the VC-1 codec. The 2D version is identical to the previously released disc and exhibits the same excellent image with fully saturated colours and warm hues. The contrast is also good, with deep and solid blacks and excellent shadow delineation with plenty of depth. Flesh tones are natural in appearance and resolution is very good with plenty of detail throughout, although this sometimes makes some of the CGI look less realistic.
The Final Destination was originally shot in digital 3D and intended for 3D theatrical exhibition and this is the first time the full 3D experience has been available for home video. The previous 3D release used anaglyph 3D and was of very poor quality but there are no such worries with this new 3D Blu-ray release. The imagery is visually engaging with well rendered dimensionally and a generally sharp and perfectly clear picture. The film was shot in native 3D using the Pace System and Fusion 3D digital cameras that were developed by James Cameron. However the filmmakers fail to show the restraint that Cameron himself has shown when shooting in 3D and they use a lot of negative parallax. This results in a great deal of gimmicky in-your-face and out-of-the-screen visual effects that are designed to add more shock and gore to the plot of the film. Objects are frequently hurled at your face to jolt your senses and enhance the effects which can be very effective, occasionally resulting in the urge to duck. The 3D photography also achieves its intended aim of creating both depth and a convincing imagery and overall the 3D is undeniably effective as a narrative device. There are a few instances of crosstalk but these are rare and overall this is an aggressive 3D assault on the senses that is thrilling to experience and preferable to both the previous 2D and anaglyph 3D presentations.
The new 3D Blu-ray of The Final Destination includes the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack that was included in the previous 2D release. As such it is a well produced soundtrack that offers an aggressive soundfield that perfectly compliments the less than subtle visuals. The soundtrack utilises energetic atmospheric and sound effects that are combined with extensive panning and directional placement to truly enhance the visual excitement. The lively orchestral score combines well with the other sound elements and projects an expansive soundstage that extends throughout the soundfield, for an engaging sonic experience. As is often the case, dialogue is a combination of production sound and ADR and as such at times it lacks spatial integration. However the dialogue is always intelligible, even when all the sound elements are engaged and remains firmly anchored to the centre speaker. The soundtrack has a wonderful dynamic range, going from high frequencies right down to as low as 25Hz on the LFE channel and delivering some really deep and solid bass through both the music and effects. Overall this is an exciting and engaging soundtrack that delivers a lot of sonic energy and aggressive surround envelopment. Anyone wishing to give their sound system a thoroughly good work out is sure to be pleased with soundtrack on this Blu-ray.
The extras on the 3D Blu-ray are identical to those found on the previous 2D release and are presented in high definition:
- Body Count: The Deaths of The Final Destination (HD, 22:07) - This feature shows how seven of the eleven deaths in the film were created and includes a look at both the practical and CG effects work. The seven deaths covered are ‘Janet Explosion Death’, ‘Samantha Engine Block Death’, ‘Cowboy Racetrack Death’, ‘Racist Truck Death’, ‘Lori Escalator Death’, ‘Hunt Pool Death’ and ‘Gearhead Fence Death’; you can either watch each one individually or use a ‘play all’ function
- The Final Destination: Race Car Crash (HD, 5.00) - Through a combination of storyboards, pre-visualisation and before and after effects shots, this featurette shows how the opening race car crash was created. Whilst some of the effects shots in the film are quite obvious, it is interesting to see how many effects are seamless and never even noticed.
- The Final Destination: Mall Explosion (HD, 6:04) - Through a combination of storyboards, pre-visualisation and before and after effects shots, this featurette shows how the closing mall explosion was created.
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 7:16) - These deleted scenes are mostly extra shots of gore and brief extensions rather than complete scenes but there are some excised moments that develop the character of George the security guard. The problem with these deleted scenes is that there are no introductions or commentaries to accompany them and so no explanations to put them in context or explain as to why the cuts were made.
- Alternate Endings (HD, 3:33) - The first alternate ending has Nick decide to sacrifice himself to save others and thus take his fate back into his own hands. Of course it doesn’t work and Death still comes calling for the rest of the cast. The second alternate ending appears to be a slightly longer and more gory version of the ‘Lori Escalator Death’ but with no premonition attached. As with the deleted scenes there are no introductions or commentaries to explain the reasons for the changes. Interestingly all the Final Destination films have had their endings changed after negative test screenings.
In 2D The Final Destination is a rather tired and stale entry in a series that is well passed its sell by date but the addition of 3D revitalises the film in just the way the filmmakers intended. Yes they use the third dimension in decidedly unsubtle ways and sometimes the plot seems to be designed to serve the 3D effects rather than the other way around but there’s no denying that the film is very enjoyable in 3D. Anyone who is familiar with the Final Destination films will know exactly what to expect but that’s half the fun and there are some nicely inventive deaths on display that are definitely enhanced by the addition of an extra dimension.
This 3D Blu-ray manages to recapture the original 3D theatrical presentation of the film very well and thanks to the wonderfully rendered images and incredibly aggressive soundtrack the resulting experience is a full-on assault on the senses. Objects fly out of the screen and sounds bounce around the room and whilst this might be considered bad form by purists it does make for an enjoyable 82 minutes. The extras hold very few secrets and the deleted scenes and alternate endings really need some context but overall this is an excellent Blu-ray that is sure to please fans of the film or of old school in-your-face 3D.
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