The blacks are very good, perhaps not quite as deep, not quite as immersive as some others but not far from it. There's some excellent shadows in the moody internals of The Mayflower building and no crush is apparent with lots of detail from the foreground to way back into the frame. This of course adds a sense of depth and dimensionality to the film and certainly adds to the atmosphere, even though it is not always taken advantage of by the director.
Detail is further apparent in some close up shots of textures on walls, and of course skin and hair, with pores well defined, finger prints, and hair structure all easily seen. The text on some documents which Ben is reading in his sister's apartment can be read, the paper on which this text is printed showing good aged effects and subtle creases. Colours are strong and vibrant in some outdoor scenes or in Amy's house, reds are bold, greens are incredibly lush, whites pin sharp and all of these colours well defined within their respective borders.
Encoding wise I could see no faults including the dreaded DNR which is so often talked about these days. There's no banding apparent even in the gradients of a disappearing torch light. No noise in the darker scenes and no blocking on show either. In some brighter scenes there is some very slight evidence of edge enhancement but it is really very subtle indeed. Mirrors is a recent film, 2008, and as such the print itself is absolutely pristine with no hint of damage anywhere.
Dialogue first - not the main priority for this type of film however it's always crisp and up front steered as needed between the centre and left and right appropriately as characters are on or off screen. Staying with the frontal array and we get a deep backing score, lively and detailed going low when the frights are supposed to hit the screen. LFE is used predominantly to created a sense of foreboding and this suits well although it never overpowers the orchestral backing at the time.
Surrounds are used to great effect with some excellent use of water, weather from rain, thunder and the crackle of flames as The Mayflower shows its past. There's the odd shock moment from the surrounds as well, ones designed to make you jump but they do not create a good level of consistent ambiance though for this type of feature and I feel that was a let down from this mix.
Range is very good from the low tones mentioned earlier to the tightly defined swish of blades as Amy's son wields a knife in the third act of the film. All in all then a good enough mix but one which should really have been so much better to create a more haunting and immersive experience for this viewer.
- BonusView Commentary with Alexandre Aja and Writer / Producer Gregory Levasseur. - 01:51:12
Please note that this is only available in the Theatrical Version of the film, you do not get this option in the Unrated edition. During the playback of the film a small window will open in the bottom right of the frame showing the behind the scenes production of the scene in question. There are a number of cut scenes throughout this commentary and if your player is not BonusView enabled then you can view these independently through the disc's menu system. The commentary itself between the two is enjoyable enough with comments on the production (including some good references to techniques used to produce composite shots), the actors and casting, removed or altered scenes and filming techniques. There's never a quiet moment and whilst not one of the greatest tracks of all time it never really becomes that boring.
- Anna Esseker Hospital Footage. - 0:05:33 - 480i/MPEG-2
A silent short, with just some backing score, of grainy, tram-line ridden footage of Anna Esseker being taken to the hospital and the time she spent there. In the main a reworking of the cut scenes we see in the film itself, but here put together quite nicely to make up a little short story in itself.
- Reflections: The Making of Mirrors. - 0:48:40 - 480i/MPEG-2
Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, amongst others, discussing the film and with some repetition from the early commentary. They discuss the remaking of the original Korean movie whilst Alexandra Milchan, another producer, sold them this project and story on the basis that it was a reworking of The Shining; well it might be in her own mind but in all reality it does have some way to go. They had to redo the original script once they realised that the idea had potential but the initial script never really came up to scratch. The cast and crew have their say on their roles within the film or production so this really covers all the bases needed.
- Behind the Mirror. - 0:18:22 - 480i/MPEG-2
A brief discussion with some members of the cast/crew and others not associated with the film on mirrors in general and how they have always had mystical properties attributed to them throughout the ages, throughout cultures. It's mostly gobbledygook in all honesty with people saying things like...”They show the real person!”. OK for a laugh and depending on your viewpoint you'll either dismiss or love its New Age feel and the so called 'facts' contained within this small featurette.
- Animated Storyboard Sequence. - 0:01:19 - 1080p/MPEG-4
Animated storyboards for the bathroom jaw dropping scene... you know the one.
- Deleted Scenes. - 0:15:37 - 480i/MPEG-2
8 scenes which have either been removed or altered for the final release, including an alternative ending. These can be played individually or conveniently there is a Play All function. Also these may be played with or without an associated commentary. There's an interesting one which introduces Ben to the job as night watchman and this fits in well with scenes later in the film so perhaps should have been left in. The commentary is the standard affair, discussing which are extensions and which were deleted and more importantly why they were deleted.
A fair enough set of extras but none really which stand out and as a set themselves are not top of the class. Standard fare though and if you enjoy the film then you'll enjoy these additional features.
Mirrors is a lost opportunity in my book, one which missed the mark by some way due to a number of factors... the dialogue at times (even for this type of film) is just a little on the ludicrous side, the video and audio although fine examples of how Blu-ray can be used are not actually used to the best effect by the director and finally the storyline should have been not necessarily compressed but certainly characters later in the movie should have been brought in a little earlier.
The acting is good enough for what is required but I do think that Sutherland is more or less treading water; he's worth a lot more than this type of fodder. As mentioned the quality of the video and audio are good indeed and so the disc cannot be faulted from that point of view. The extras are pertinent and add something to the disc as a whole so nothing wrong there either, but even these are run of the mill stuff.
A good enough buy if you're a dyed in the wool horror fan but if, like myself, it's not a genre you indulge yourself with all too often then perhaps a rental is good enough for you as no doubt you'll find better creepies out there to permanently sit on your hallowed shelves.
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