The Island (2005)

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Released 22-Nov-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Trailer-Batman Begins
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 130:25
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (59:32) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michael Bay
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Ewan McGregor
Scarlett Johansson
Djimon Hounsou
Sean Bean
Steve Buscemi
Michael Clarke Duncan
Ethan Phillips
Brian Stepanek
Noa Tishby
Siobhan Flynn
Troy Blendell
Jamie McBride
Kevin McCorkle
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Ramin Djawadi
Clay Duncan
Steve Jablonsky


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, I understand it was required as budget blew out
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Michael Bay's The Island is a fusion of intelligent, character-driven Sci-Fi and the usual Michael Bay over-the-top, loud, adrenaline-charged action film, with plenty of car chases and explosions. It's a movie of two very distinct halves, and when it changes gear midway, the action is fast-paced and relentless.

    Written by Caspian Tredwell-Owen, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, the story is set in 2019. A few thousand people have apparently survived a worldwide contamination, and live a very sheltered life within an oppressive and totalitarian society, housed within a massive, albeit completely antiseptic, underground facility.

    The facility is industrial and lifeless - concrete, glass and steel. The inhabitants live highly ordered lives, but they all dream of winning a lottery, which entitles that person to leave the shelter and move to the last unspoilt place on earth, a large tropical island described as "the Earth's only pathogen-free zone."

    The antiseptic environment is further enhanced by the citizens of this world all wearing largely identical white jumpsuits, which de-personalizes and de-sexualizes them. Kept apart, and treated largely like children, the inhabitants are watched closely through electronic surveillance, and by many watchful eyes, including the mysterious Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean).

    However, two inhabitants seem to be experiencing strange feelings for each other, confusing feelings that they don't understand. They are Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson). Furthermore, to make matters more difficult, Lincoln has begun to question his environment. He is naturally curious, and unsatisfied with the standard answers and explanations given to him.

    His curiosity is often rewarded through a disgruntled facility employee, McCord (Steve Buscemi), who unwittingly helps Lincoln discover the real (and horrible) truth of his existence.

    Despite the odd plot hole and stretch of believability, somehow the premise still works, largely due to the likeable McGregor and Johansson. Even the very predictable Michael Bay montage of action set pieces, with explosive stunts and frantic chases on foot and in cars, are all acceptable, and well . . . rather exciting and enjoyable.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is excellent.

    The widescreen transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, 16x9 Enhanced.

    The sharpness is very good, as can be seen in the detailed people included in the wide-angled shot at 48:03. The black level and shadow detail are also very good.

    Colour is strongly used throughout, especially in the absence of colour during the first half. The skin tones are accurate.

    There are no problems with MPEG, film-to-video, or film artefacts.

    English and English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are provided. They are accurate.

    This is a single-sided, dual-layered disc with the layer change occurring at 59:32. The feature is divided into 37 chapters.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio option on the disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s).

    Despite the frequent use of ADR, the dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent.

    The musical score is credited to Ramin Djawadi, Clay Duncan, and Steve Jablonsky, and it suits the film well.

    The surround presence and activity is good throughout. The surround sound mix is quite immersive and the rear speakers are used effectively to provide ambience and effects, for example the circling helicopters at 63:01 and the city background ambience at 73:44. The sound design is great, and there are some nice directional effects, and panning between speakers.

    The subwoofer is also utilised very effectively, for example the helicopters at 55:07.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    It's been a very long time since I saw a big release like this with so few extras.

Menu

    Animated with audio.

Theatrical Trailer

    Batman Begins

Featurette-Making Of (14:55)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Stereo audio, this is a short piece of marketing fluff. It includes a few sound-bites from Producer/Director Michael Bay, and some of the cast and crew, with some behind-the-scenes footage, but don't expect anything too in depth here.

DVD-ROM

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Island seems to be due for release on DVD in Region 1 in December, i.e. after it is released here.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    While it's pretty even, (in that both versions are pretty bare-bones), I have to select R1 for the Audio Commentary.

Summary

    If you like Michael Bay films, then rent or buy this one, as you will probably enjoy it. If, however, you hated Bad Boys, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor, stay clear!

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is also excellent.

    The extras are slim - very slim.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, November 21, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
beware: R1 Canadian only has 2.0 English track! -