The Final Destination Blu-ray Review
The film is presented three times in the package. Once in 3D, once in 2D and once as a digital copy. The non-digital copy versions are presented in the OAR of 2.40:1 and as is standard nowadays is in 1080p.
To start with, lets look at the 3D version (which, by the way, is only on the Blu-ray, not the DVD). Now, before I write what I have to say, I should make it absolutely clear that I am a fan of the new range of 3D films. I have seen most of them in the cinema and own a lot of them on Blu-ray. I am excited about 3D, and although the technology in the home is still not even remotely there, I look forward to the day that it is. In the cinema, The Final Destination was one of the best examples of the 3D genre I had yet seen. Some of the effects were truly amazing and I found myself involuntarily ducking on several occasions - the only time that has happened in the cinema. It may have lacked the true immersiveness of Avatar which has taken things to a new level, but it was very impressive.
Because the technology is so different in the home, we are presented with an anaglyph (red/blue) version of the film. Sadly, only two pairs of glasses are included instead of the four that have come with other 3D films. I was excited to see this in 3D in the home so was crushingly disappointed when I quickly realised that this is probably the worst of the current crop of home 3D releases. For a start, there was simply no sense of depth or of penetration out of the screen. In addition, the whole picture seemed far too blue, and everything had a ghostly second image. I tried the second pair of glasses, only to get the same effect. I took the glasses off and was very surprised to see very little separation in the image. In fact there seemed to be surprisingly little difference between the 2D and 3D images without glasses. In addition to this, within about ten minutes I started to get a really bad headache - to the extent that I couldn't actually watch any more. This is a problem I have never had before. I therefore watched a few key scenes throughout the movie that I remembered being particularly good in the cinema. The same problems presented themselves. Sadly, then, I can only conclude that the 3D version in this package is a complete waste of time.
On to the 2D version then, and thankfully things here are a lot better. The picture is immediately more vibrant and colourful. The opening scenes with the race cars, for example, really show up the bright colours that each one is painted with. This continues throughout the film, colours really popping (especially the gore and viscera), and making it look better than even the 3D version in the cinema.
Shadow detail is similarly impressive. A few of the key early scenes (the first death, and a memorial scene) and shot at night but still the detail level is impressive with every part of the scene showing up clearly. The 3D pop that we expect from the best transfers is clear and brings the picture vibrantly to life, with (ironically) a better sense of depth than the 3D version. In addition, as is to be expected, the source print is clean and immaculate.
Overall then, you need to be giving the 3D version a miss and sticking with the 2D version. Thankfully, the film isn't too gimmicky with its 3D effects so it can still be enjoyed quite adequately in 2D.
Well, as in the film itself, there is very little subtlety in the sound mix. Those who like their mixes loud will certainly love this. The track is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix.
The first thing to mention is the general dynamics of the mix which are generally very impressive indeed. The mix can move from the lowest of bass up to the highest of frequencies with little trouble at all. The sonic range is never anything less than impressive. This is particularly noticeable as the mix goes very low in the sub at times and this does nothing to drown out any of the other sounds. The front sound field is nicely separated and wide - giving a nicely expansive sense to the dialogue, effects, and music.
The surrounds are similarly well utilised, wasting no opportunity to kick in to support the fronts when needed to add to the immersion. The problem here, as with many mixes of this type, is the surrounds rather lack definition. There seems to be an almost mono sound to them, with very little left and right placement. This is enough to deduct a few marks.
As previously mentioned the LFE is nice and powerful underpinning explosions and other effects well, without overpowering the rest of the mix.
Unfortunately, the disc is rather disappointing in terms of extras provided. There is no PiP feature and no commentary. Instead we get just 45 minutes of material, much of which is very samey. Over half the running time of the total is taken up by Body Count : The Death's of The Final Destination. This is, an admittedly, very interesting section in which we get to see just what lengths they went to in order to create the death scenes. You can watch each one individually, or the whole lot in one documentary. It is interesting, for sure, but probably a one-time only watch. We then get Racecar Crash and Mall Explosion, the storyboards, animatics, and visual effects behind two of the most complex scenes, 7 rather poor deleted scenes that are more alternate scenes, and 2 alternate endings which come with no effects or explanation so are really a little confusing in exactly what was intended. Finally there is a 2 minute trailer branded as a first look at Nightmare on Elm Street (the remake). This doesn't really give much away about the new film.
Whichever way you dress it up, The Final Destination is rather a disappointment. The film is what it is, a fun Saturday evening thrill-ride which offers some entertainment but probably has little replay value. There are some excellent scenes here, but also some really laughable ones which drag the whole film down.
In the cinema, the 3D was excellent, but even judged against the lower expectations of home 3D this is probably the poorest 3D Blu-ray yet presented. If you get through the film then you are a better man than me. In 2D, the picture is much better - being a colourful and vibrant transfer. The sound is rather unsubtle, it has to be said, but is always loud and is certainly involving. The extras are interesting but poor in terms of quantity.
This, then, is the ultimate average disc. The film is average, the extras are average. If you are a fan of the series, then you will probably want to add this to your collection but everyone else should approach with caution.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £35.99
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