PictureThe Prestige comes to High Definition Blu-ray with a prestigious 1080p video presentation in the movie's original 2.35:1 theatrical widescreen aspect ratio. Detail is consistently excellent throughout, the picture being all-but flawless, with absolutely no grain whatsoever and negligible softness. The colour scheme is broad and luscious, with quite a vivid palette considering the period setting. Of course some scenes look a little more bleak, but other moments but other moments look absolutely tremendous and the vivid green tree-covered mountain scenery is breathtaking. Black levels are consistently good and make for superior shadowing. Without a doubt this is one of the best High Definition presentations I have ever come across.
SoundWith its High Definition Blu-ray release, The Prestige is adorned with a superior English 5.1 Uncompressed PCM audio track. Dialogue, from the whispers to the shouts, from the cheering and hollering of the crowd to the screams of pain and horror, it all dominates the fronts and centre channels (with the crowds lighting up the rears) and is presented keenly and clearly throughout. There are lots of effects, from traps springing to doors locking shut, to the occasional gunshots, and the crackling buzz of electricity. They are generally also front-dominant, although they offer some dynamism across the surrounds, and sometimes even light up the rear channels. The score is much more all-encompassing, brooding almost throughout the feature and making key moments more powerful and emotional, helping to absorb you into and carry you through the dark but magical proceedings. There is plenty of bass, often found in the aforementioned score, and overall it is a pretty punchy track for this recent production.
ExtrasDespite matching its DVD counterpart, the extras here are pretty thin on the ground. The Director's Notebook is a collection of six Making-Of Featurettes, each only three or four minutes long. There are split into: The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher Nolan - Conjuring The Past, The Visual Maze, Metaphors of Deception, Advocate for the Audience, Tesla: The Man who Invented the 20th Century and Resonance. We get interviews from the crew and most of the main cast: Bale, Caine, Jackman, Johannsson, making these over-short Featurettes still quite worthy of your time, and there are some nice glimpses of Behind the Scenes footage, the only trouble being that it is all over not long after it begins.
The Art of The Prestige: Film, Behind the Scenes, Costumes and Sets, Poster Art provides a montage of stills from the production and finally there's that irritating Movie Showcase gimmick which allows you quick access to three of the most visually/aurally potent scenes, as chosen by the Blu-ray production company. Apart from a couple of start-up trailers, that's it in terms of extras, and it's a bit lame.
VerdictThe Prestige is an extremely dark, powerful drama about egos, competition and the kind of blind pursuit of a dream that can make your life, and the lives of those around you, a nightmare. Its acute study of two warring magicians makes for a compelling, enthralling voyage which is only marginally marred by one twist too many, and a slight lack of likeable characters. The video and audio presentations to accompany the movie are superb but the extras are a thorough disappointment. Still, this is a must-have purchase for fans and the quality movie presentation probably makes it a recommended blind-buy for newcomers.
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