But first, the positives. Because, for goodness sake, this review needs some. The source print here is absolutely pristine. This could be a new release of a recent blockbuster. The level of clarity on display here is fantastic and there is not a blemish or speck of dirt to be seen. The image is incredibly sharp and truly displays that 3D pop that we expect from our best discs.
In addition to this, the colour is very well presented. Colour tones are rich and realistic, with none of the artificial processing that can ruin this area. Colours are also sharp and vibrant. Reds and Blues sear of the screen, but again are never over processed or artificial. Blacks show a pleasing depth to them, and contrast is natural and realistic.
Unfortunately, this attention to detail does bring out a few flaws within the film, noticeably within the CGI scenes. The best example of this is the futuristic copter sequences. The CGI just looks so poor in these scenes that it totally destroys any sense of realism that is being aimed for. The increased resolution clearly shows the edges between the CGI generated machines and the natural world they are meant to be interacting with.
However, this is a flaw with the effects rather than the transfer itself - and indeed if the transfer wasn't as good as it was this wouldn't be a problem. However, some reviewers have given this transfer near full marks and I feel unable to do that. This is because of some edge enhancement that is present in some scenes, and also because the sharpness looks artificial. It appears to be over processed to my eyes, so loses points here too.
However, despite these minor flaws this is still an excellent transfer and therefore scores a solid 8 out of 10.
First, the good points. The mix is very well balanced volume wise. None of the speakers sound significantly louder than the others, and even during the action scenes, the dialogue comes through loud and clear. The score is also well mixed and sounds good without ever over powering the film.
During the action scenes, all the speakers get a good workout with the rears in particular seeing a lot of the action and the sub powerfully underpinning events on screen. Unfortunately, directionality is a bit of a problem. The sound designers have gone for the unsubtle “fill the whole room approach” so beloved of many action films. This means that whilst it does envelop the watcher in the action, there are very few specific pans and placement of sound effects.
Sadly, during the dialogue scenes, the rears are almost completely ignored, instead of being used to add ambience and atmosphere.
The sound mix, then, is a mixed bag. It certainly packs a lot of punch, and is extremely well balanced. It just lacks the subtlety to deserve truly high marks.
Having updated my PS3 to profile 2.0 I eagerly fired up this feature. Now, I know that the wireless performance of the PS3 leaves a lot to be desired - but really this is very poor indeed. The PS3 then acted like it had crashed, the only clue that anything was happening was that the menu loop continued to play. All buttons on the remote were disabled. I couldn't even cancel the operation. So the menu continued to play, and continued, and continued. After nearly four minutes the screen disappeared, and a loading bar appeared. This shot up to halfway in about 20 secs and I got very excited. Unfortunately, it then sat on halfway for two minutes, before finally completing and loading up the Live screen.
And what did I get for my near six minute wait? A selection of trailers. In the interest of giving you a fair review, I did click on download of the HD version of Spiderman 3 trailer so I could tell you what the quality was. But after ten minutes the loading bar hadn't even moved so I gave up. However, this may be because I was accessing American content from the UK. But that argument doesn't really stand up when you consider how fast my access to the US store is. There are a reasonable selection of trailers for you, if you are interested in testing out the feature however. But nothing more that that.
Back on to the old fashioned disc based extras then. On the 6th Day advertises itself as being 22 minutes long, but it is in fact a selection of little mini docs, with the same credits running at the end of each single one. Very annoying, and the information given really isn't that in depth at all.
TV Special : The Future is Coming is a self congratulatory puff piece about how ground breaking, and intelligent the film is. No-one speaking had obviously bothered to watch the actual final cut.
Finally, we get Storyboard Comparisons and Animatics. The disc is also D-Box compatible if you have one of the fancy seats.The 6th Day arrives on Blu ray as one of the first BD Live enabled titles. Sadly, everything about this disc is rather poor. The film is quite simply hokum, with very few redeeming features whatsoever. The story is weak, the acting weaker, and the sum of all its parts add up to one of the most pedestrian action flicks I have ever had the misfortune to sit through.
The picture is excellent (although the quality of the transfer does reveal inherent flaws in the original master), and the sound mix is bombastic to the extreme. However, the extras are a very flimsy package indeed, and the BD Live content (when you finally get to it) is pretty much non existant.
If you are a fan of the film, then the picture quality is likely to make it worth an upgrade but anyone else would be far better giving this a miss.
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