'Race to Witch Mountain' descends onto Region A locked Blu-ray with a very good 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer that's framed at 2.40:1.
The picture is nice and sharp without displaying any characteristics of over sharpening. The colours are generally vibrant, although in some shots inside Jack's cab the skin tones seem a bit muted. Black levels are inky, which is generally a good thing although inside the underground cave there seems to be a lack of contrast as there are no varying levels of grey. Everything seems to be near solid black. This may be what the director intended to build up some kind of fear of what we can't see, but it looked rather strange on screen with no real detail popping out of the darkness.
In daylight scenes, however, the contrast looks spot on and there's the only occasional hint of grain, which you'd expect from a movie shot on the latest film stocks.
The audio on 'Race to Witch Mountain' comes in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround flavour which is very good indeed. Your surround speakers will be given a full work out thanks to the immersive quality of this track featuring many car chases where cars whoosh by from front to rear as well as left to right. The sound of the hurtling helicopters and swooping UFO as well as the large explosions are all presented in a clear, lifelike manner to involve the audience in the action. The LFE adds presence to the most intense moments and packs the necessary punch for the explosions.
In the midst of all the sonic action, dialogue is kept generally crisp and intelligible while mainly being locked to the centre speaker. Only the very occasional piece of quiet speech was hard to make out, but it didn't detract from the comprehension or meaning.
Overall, this is a soundtrack to be proud of - and one to play loud when the neighbours are out.
Surprisingly for a 3 disc Disney release, the extras are somewhat on the thin side. It looks like you're getting a chunky package but with the movie and extras on disc 1, discs 2 and 3 are taken up with the DVD and digital copy versions. So what do we actually get to delight us in the extras?
- Deleted Scenes (SD, 23 min)
The deleted scenes are introduced by director Andy Fickman and you can easily see why they were cut as they add nothing to the story and would only have slowed down the overall pace.
- Out-takes (SD, 4 min)
A fairly amusing, short collection of out-takes which gives the impression that people mainly got the giggles on set. Not much of an extra at 4 minutes, but better than nothing.
- Which Mountain? (HD, 8 min)
This is a very short Blu-ray exclusive and while it's an interesting bonus, it looks as if it was an afterthought rather than planned. Andy Fickman, the film's director, guides us through the references to the earlier Disney films "Escape to Witch Mountain" and "Return to Witch Mountain" that are incorporated in the new movie. This could really have benefitted from being a bit longer to put some more meat on the bones as it only gives the impression of scraping the surface, where a lot more could have been revealed.
The family oriented, sci-fi actioner 'Race to Witch Mountain' comes to Blu-ray in a very good 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The transfer generally does good justice to this recent movie release with a nice, sharp, colourful image with no real problematic visual artefacting to bother the viewer. Blacks are deep pools, although contrast in some really dark scenes could be better.
If anything is lacking in the picture department it is more than adequately compensated for in the rousing DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track as our ears are assailed by helicopters, cars and UFOs intruding upon our living rooms with startling reality. All of this and clear dialogue too.
Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson proves he has a talent for light comedy as well as action scenes in this special effects laden extravaganza that wlll entertain young and old alike.
Strangely, extras are a bit thin on the ground, but you do also get a DVD and digital copy in the package.
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