The Interceptor comes to Blu ray in a theatrically correct 2.35:1 1080p transfer, and any ambivalence I had towards the film itself is certainly not present when discussing this transfer.
As mentioned earlier, the film is shot in a very stylised manner. The image is drained of any colour whatsoever, boasting a grey, crushed palette. The only exception to this is the odd scene where bullets thud into flesh. When this happens, the vibrant red sprays are stunning and realistic, spurting against the grey background. This is the kind of brilliant contrast that could never be realised on DVD and is a major plus for this transfer.
One can also imagine that this almost (but not quite) monochromatic palette could cause a problem on DVD, but this disc serves the director's intention perfectly. Detail is consistently stunning, with faces showing every pore and blemish perfectly. This level of details is also present in the scenery - just watch the scene where the enemies cut through the water in their speed boat craft. Every drop of water shows clearly as they cut through, spraying around them in great clarity.
Contrast is also good, and the sense of depth is immense displaying that 3D “pop” that the best transfers can give us. The source, as one would expect, is pristine and the print shows no damage.
Overall, there is nothing negative I can say about this transfer. It won't be to everyone's cup of tea, simply because of the way it is shot - but as a faithful representation of what the director intended, you couldn't really ask for any more.
The film is presented to us with two subtitled tracks in the original Russian. One is a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, and one a 2.0 track. I was pleased to see there was no dubbed option (I am not a fan of dubbed films). I chose to listen to the DTS-HD track and again, like the picture, I was most impressed.
The beauty of this track is in the subtlety of it. Everything does what it should do, and every speaker is used well, but at no point do you feel bombarded by the track. The front stereo separation isn't noticeably wide, but it does a good job of underpinning the dialogue, which is always clear and precise despite all the mayhem going on around. There are plenty of quiet, dialogue driven scenes and these also work well, with every word clearly defined.
The score is a bland, electronic one, but it is well integrated into the film underpinning the dialogue well and never overwhelming it.
The sub doesn't interfere unnecessarily - but when it is required it does a fantastic job of relaying the onscreen action. Explosions are well served, going deep and low - without really shaking the room. The surrounds are really well used, showing a nice stereo separation, with the sound steering well between the right and left. This is a very immersive mix and really adds to the atmosphere.
All we get here is a trailer which does a good job of giving you a taste of the action scenes without spoiling the film. I would still recommend you don't watch before viewing the main feature though.
Ultimately, although Optimum releasing should be praised for adding to the eclectic mix of UK Blu-ray releases, it is very difficult to offer this disc an unqualified recommendation. The picture and sound are both excellent, serving the director's intentions well, and consistently impressing.
Unfortunately, the film itself is disappointing. It is very stylishly shot, that is for sure, and the Director could easily cross over into Hollywood should he wish. The trouble is, the story is just so confusing that the film simply cannot be recommended. However impressive the action and staging is, if it is impossible for the viewer to work out what is going on then there is very little point. It is difficult to know whether this is down to the adaptation (of a source novel) or the subtitles not properly conveying the dialogue - but I found the plot just too confusing.
If you are a fan of action films, then you will certainly get some impressive set pieces here, staged in a way that hasn't been seen before - but this cannot be enough to recommend a purchase. So this one should definitely be marked down as a rental first.
We should also note that the preview disc we received was not region coded, although we have since received information that the final disc will be locked to Region B.
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