Aeon Flux (2005)

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Released 6-Jun-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Trailer-Mission Impossible III
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Charlize Theron (Actor) & Gail Anne Hurd (Producer)
Audio Commentary-Phil Hay & Matt Manfedi (Co-Screenwriters)
Featurette-Creating A World: Aeon Flux
Featurette-The Locations Of Aeon Flux
Featurette-The Stunts Of Aeon Flux
Featurette-The Costume Design Workshop Of Aeon Flux
Featurette-The Craft Of The Set Photographer On Aeon Flux
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 89:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:07) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Karyn Kusama
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Charlize Theron
Marton Csokas
Jonny Lee Miller
Sophie Okonedo
Frances McDormand
Pete Postlethwaite
Amelia Warner
Caroline Chikezie
Nikolai Kinski
Paterson Joseph
Yangzom Brauen
Aoibheann O'Hara
Thomas Huber
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $36.95 Music Graeme Revell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
English
Dutch
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     In the not-too-distant future of 2011, a virus eliminates 99% of the earth's population. The final 1% are saved by a vaccine devised by scientist Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas), but the cure has a drawback and humankind is forced into the confines of a huge walled city, named Bregna. The Goodchild regime governs over the city for four hundred years, maintaining a utopian order and calm. But, while it might seem harmonious on the surface, Bregna's inhabitants are ill at ease. Many people begin experiencing bad dreams and bizarre visions. Coupled with the unexplained disappearances of scores of civilians it becomes apparent that something is not quite right. A rebellion forms to overthrow the Goodchild government, dubbed the Monicans, who are embodied by an elite assassin named Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron).

    When her sister is assassinated by the regime, Aeon is left with nothing to live for except the cause. Finally an avenue is found that will lead Aeon to Goodchild, a mission that promises vengeance and requires her to penetrate the government fortress in the tightly guarded non-civilian zone. It quickly becomes apparent that Aeon and Goodchild share some kind of past, but what is its nature, and can Goodchild be trusted?

    Aeon Flux is great entertainment, packed with dazzling special effects and superb action. The concept began as an animated series for MTV in the 1990s, created by Peter Chung. Charlize Theron is amazing in this very physical role, with a subdued performance that matches the atmosphere of the film. Director Karyn Kusama has loosely captured the essence of the animated original and created an engaging, if slightly flawed vision of humanity on the brink of crisis. As a film, it feels rather condensed and many elements of the story are only skimmed over, or not explored at all. Plot inconsistencies aside, this is an intelligent, unique and entertaining love story that deserves a look.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is presented in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement.

    There is a fair degree of sharp detail present, provided there is minimal motion on screen. The detail level is betrayed by a low MPEG bitrate, explained further below. Otherwise, the transfer has a nice depth to it with deep black levels and realistic shadow detail.

    Colours are faithfully rendered throughout - in fact, I didn't detect any inconsistencies in the slightest. Skin tones appear spot on and I didn't notice any unsightly bleeding or oversaturation.

    As I noted above, MPEG compression is an issue with this transfer. At 5:17 the detailed texture of a stone wall in the background is riddled with MPEG grain, while macro blocking can be seen in cherry trees during the fast motion at 74:00. There are absolutely no film artefacts present, however a moderate amount of edge enhancement has been applied. Edge halos can be seen during many scenes in the film, however the most obvious to my eyes was a dark scene at 45:50, around Charlize Theron's face. I'll be very interested to assess this film's transfer on Blu-Ray when it is released.

    English subtitles are available in standard and Hearing Impaired forms and seem to follow the dialogue closely. The fonts are bold and easy to read.

    This disc is dual layered, with a layer transition placed during the feature at 57:07. The layer break was transparent on my system.

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

Audio

    There are three soundtracks available, two of which are Audio Commentaries accessible via the Special Features menu. The default soundtrack is English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). Compared to the video transfer, this audio soundtrack is stellar.

    The English dialogue is clear, easy to understand and never overpowered by effects or score. The ADR is absolutely seamless. I didn't notice any audio sync issues in the slightest.

    The surround channels are consistently active with assorted effects, gunfire, atmospherics and musical score. During the film's opening a fly is heard circling the viewer. I processed this soundtrack with my rear centre speaker active (via EX processing) and noticed that as the fly passes behind the viewer the centre rear kicks in as well, creating a superb, enveloping effect. Bursts of the soundtrack score can also be heard from the rear channels on occasion, as well as directional effects such as gunfire and explosions. Voices are generally confined to the front centre channel and rarely stray. This is a very well produced audio mix that fits the atmosphere of the film like a glove.

    The score by Graeme Revell is a little subdued, but picks up the pace when it is most needed. I certainly wouldn't say it's one of the most memorable scores I have heard, however it does match the feel of the film well.

    The LFE channel is utilised tastefully to add bottom end to many dedicated effects, such as explosions and the like. Even the score is given a subtle boost by the subwoofer at times.

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

Extras

Menu

    The main menu page is animated with scenes from the film and all pages are 16x9 enhanced. A language select menu loads first, followed by playback of the Mission Impossible 3 trailer which can be skipped using your menu button. None of the trailers or featurettes are 16x9 enhanced.

Audio Commentary - Charlize Theron (Actress) & Gale Ann Hurd (Producer)

    The ladies share a few stories from the film's production and reveal some of the hurdles they encountered, such as Charlize's serious injury early in the production. There are some lengthy pauses in the commentary and a fair amount of the information is duplicated in the featurettes. Both commentaries are available with English subtitles.

Audio Commentary - Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi (Screenwriters)

    Phil and Matt are an easy pair to listen to and they share quite a bit of interesting information about the production and screenwriting process. The guys often point out scenes that have been condensed or removed altogether, usually by the studio for pacing reasons.

Featurette- Creating A World: Aeon Flux (20:50)

    Director Karyn Kusama, Aeon Flux creator Peter Chung and Screenwriters Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi discuss their intentions with the film, their roles in the production and how it compares to the original animated series. We are also given brief interviews with assorted cast and crew and some footage captured on set.

Featurette- The Locations Of Aeon Flux (14:47)

    This short featurette looks at many of the amazing architectural structures in and around Berlin, Germany that feature in the film. A little of their history is also explained, as well as some clips from the final film for reference.

Featurette- The Stunts Of Aeon Flux (9:03)

    After completing Monster and losing the considerable body weight she had accumulated for that role, Charlize had not attempted strenuous physical activity for nearly two years. For Aeon Flux she embarked on an intensive training regime of gymnastics and martial arts in order to prepare herself for the physicality of the role. With the help of the stunt coordinator, Charlize completed 95% of her stunts on her own - an amazing feat.

Featurette- The Costume Design Workshop Of Aeon Flux (13:36)

    The costume designers discuss their approach, the extent of their involvement in the production and what inspired the overall appearance of the film's wardrobe. Some featured costumes are given special attention, with clips from the film provided.

Featurette- The Craft Of The Set Photographer On Aeon Flux (3:33)

    Jasin Boland explains his role as a still photographer and talks us through the variety of lenses he carries around. There are some beautiful images displayed here, all captured during the film's production.

Theatrical Trailer (2:08)

    A fairly stock standard trailer, however there are a few shots not present in the final film.

Trailer- Mission Impossible 3

R4 vs R1

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

    This title appears to be identical in content across all regions.

    As an aside note, some Australian retaillers are selling this title packaged with an additional disc that includes the featurette The Effects Of Aeon Flux. This may be exclusive to some particular stores.

Summary

    Aeon Flux is an interesting piece of sci-fi action, but feels heavily condensed overall. A director's cut would be very interesting to see.

    The video transfer isn't the greatest, which is disappointing for such a recent production.

    The audio transfer is fantastic.

    The extras are worthwhile viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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