In fact the only thing that was keeping me awake was the outstanding transfer on this disc. The film is presented in a theatrically correct 1080p 2.35:1 transfer – and trust me the picture here simply pops with clarity and detail.
From the very beginning this transfer impresses. Whether it be the CGI landscapes of Susie’s heaven, or the more subdued tones of Earth – this transfer brings out a stunning level of detail. Whether it be character’s faces, or the individual stalks in the cornfield, everything is shown up to perfection. The level of 1973 period detail is amazing and this transfer brings it out superbly. Furniture, clothing, decoration – everything is beautifully rendered.
The print is also completely clear of any defect or blemish, as you would expect from such a recent film. Black levels are dense and deep, and detail is present even in the darkest areas. The 3D pop that we expect from the best Blu-ray transfers is present here and really draws the viewer into the image.
In fact, I am going to break a personal habit and give this transfer top marks. It truly is stunning and a reference disc if you want to demonstrate just how amazing a Blu-ray disc can be.
Whereas the DTS HD 5.1 sound mix never quite reaches the height of perfection evidenced in the picture, this is still an excellent mix that serves the film well. The reason why it maybe doesn’t get such high marks is that it is quite a restrained track, but it is still excellent.
The first thing to mention is that the front separation is beautifully designed. Ambient sounds come from left and right, and the dialogue is firmly anchored to the centre. The dialogue is crisp and clear and you never struggle to hear it at normal volume. One slight problem in the earlier scenes is the music though, which I found slightly too loud in the mix to the extent where the constant piano motif just annoyed. As the movie went on though, this balance improved.
The soundtrack isn’t really one that’s going to shake your room through sub-woofer use, but the bass in the soundtrack nicely underpins the main action.
The surround speakers were, again, beautifully utilised. They are not overly relied upon, but when they are used for ambient effects then they add a pleasing sense of atmosphere to proceedings. Particularly notable are the subtle echoes of Susie laughing panning around the room.
To sum up, then, apart from very minor problems with music balance in the first half of the movie this is an excellent sound mix that deserves a high mark.
Unfortunately, the disc we were sent to review was only the single disc edition so we are unable to rate the extras. There is also a two disc edition with hours of extras on it – but that is quite substantially more expensive which seems a little bit of a cheat in this day and age.
I am very sorry, and I hope I don't offend any fans of the film, but this really is a very poor movie indeed. As mentioned earlier I have not read the book (and have little desire to after watching this), but this film fails on so many levels it is quite embarrassing. The writing is poor, and the concentration on CGI at the expense of emotion is unforgiveable. Perhaps what makes it so frustrating is that the idea is so promising you cannot help but think about what could have been achieved if the material had been approached in a different way. If you are coming in cold then this is a definite rental.
One thing that cannot be faulted is the picture and sound. The picture is reference and the sound is not far behind. I have had to rate the extras on this disc as zero as they were non-existent but there is a two disc special edition available which will obviously score higher in this department.
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