|Category||Science Fiction||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City|
|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||102 minutes||Other Extras||Outtakes
Featurette - Untitled
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
Welcome to the world of Gattaca, a world in which it doesn't matter where you were born, but where discrimination is based on your genetic code. The more perfect your genetic code, the more likely you are to succeed.
But what about people who aren't perfect, who have genetic imperfections? They become the downtrodden lower class, relegated to menial tasks that more superior genomic-types find beneath them. Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is an "In-Valid", conceived in the currently normal way, but not in the world of Gattaca. Vincent is a "faith birth", and has a number of significant genetic predispositions to illness which preclude him from holding down anything but a menial job. He aspires to space flight, but he is a prisoner of his own genome. Vincent, however, is determined to get what he wants.
Jerome (Jude Law) has a virtually perfect genome. He, too, is a prisoner of his genome. Vincent takes on the identity of Jerome, which allows him to get into the space program. Unfortunately, there is a murder at work, which has nothing to do with Vincent/Jerome, but the detectives find Vincent's genetic code in samples around the office. Naturally, the "In-Valid" becomes the suspect, and two investigators slowly but surely close-in on Vincent/Jerome.
Gattaca is a marvellous film. It is chillingly close to reality, and shows us a scenario that may very well be not far off the mark in the not too distant future. I was enthralled by the story, with all of the principal characters having fascinating, well-developed personalities and motives. It was a story that worked on several levels, and will stand up to repeated viewing. Well-written, well-acted, and well-directed, this is a great film.
This transfer is up to the usual Columbia Tristar high standard.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. The other side of the disc carries a Pan & Scan version of this film. There is some haunting scene composition in this movie, which is massacred by the Pan & Scan process. I did not watch the Pan & Scan side except to compare framing, so the remainder of the review pertains to the Widescreen side only.
The transfer was always sharp and clear, with no specific image problems. Shadow detail was very clear and clean in the darker shots. No low level noise was apparent.
The colours were vivid and quite saturated. A number of scenes, particularly the flashback scenes, were quite heavily hued yellow-green, but it appears that this is how the film was shot, rather than being any fault of the transfer.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of minor amounts of aliasing on the computer displays. This was virtually unnoticeable. Film artefacts went unnoticed.
I felt that the level of the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was set quite low, and listened to it at 5dB louder than my usual listening level.
Dialogue was always perfectly clear and easy to understand.
There were no audio sync problems.
The score by Michael Nyman was frequently present and nicely atmospheric. It added substantially to the overall effect of the movie.
The surround channels were frequently in use, with ambience, music and the odd special effect present in the surrounds. They created an excellent surround feel to this movie, enveloping you very effectively in the on-screen action. There were no particularly dramatic surround effects, except right at the very end of the movie, but nonetheless, the nearly constant subtle burble from the rears was extremely effective in creating an enveloping soundfield.
The .1 channel was used lightly, but nearly continuously and was well-integrated into the soundtrack.
The video quality is impeccable.
The audio quality is excellent, and highly enveloping.
The extras are excellent, and only lacking in a Director's Commentary track.
© Michael Demtschyna
5th March 1999
updated DVD-ROM info 20th March 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|