Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Director & Actors
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (70:41)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Paul McGuigan|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I am a big fan of science fiction in all its many guises and tend to give things this benefit of the doubt even when the press they received theatrically was pretty average. I respond well to movies that have interesting ideas and style even if they are not overly well put together or take a bit of time to get into. Accordingly, I was keen to take a look at this 2009 production as it sounded like it had an intriguing premise and featured a good cast of up and coming young actors and actresses.
The story is somewhat complex (some would say confusing) but if you are prepared to go with it, it lays the foundation for some good entertainment. The basic premise is that there are numerous different types of people with superhuman skills living in normal society. These people have been exploited by a US government agency called The Division for decades in an attempt to create an invincible army of superhumans. They have been experimenting for many years on these people to try and extend their powers. Up to date, these experiments have resulted in the death of their subjects. But now, a young girl, Kira Hudson (Camilla Belle) is the first to have survived the injection. After survival, she immediately escapes, with some of the drugs she was injected with. She is a 'pusher' which is someone who can 'push' ideas into the head of people they meet, making them believe it absolutely. Meanwhile, a young man, Nick (Chris Evans), with the power to move objects (called a 'mover') has been trying to escape The Division for many years ending up in Hong Kong. Here he meets up with Cassie Homes (Dakota Fanning) who is a 'watcher' someone who can see the future. They have been fated to team up for years and now must work together to keep the drugs taken by Kira from getting back into The Division's hands. The Division's team trying to regain control of the drugs and capture the runaways is lead by Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou), a pusher and includes a powerful mover and some 'sniffers', people who can track others by smell, across time and great distances. There is also a group of Hong Kong based super humans trying to get the drugs including pushers, watchers and 'bleeders' (who can scream in high notes very loudly causing people to bleed out their ears). Other categories of super humans include 'stitches' who can repair damage done by bleeders and other injuries or cause horrendous injuries themselves and 'shadows' who can hide people from watchers.
As you can probably tell from the plot description I just laid out, this film probably has a few too many concepts for its own good which although interesting probably give most audiences a bit too much to keep up with. The pause button proves useful to stop and make sure you understand all the concepts. Rewind also proved useful on a couple of occasions. Thus with the benefits of DVD you can keep up with what is going on. Leaving this aside, this film is quite stylish and benefits from its realistic Hong Kong setting. The actions scenes are fast paced and exciting with some good music choices helping to power the action.
If you can cope with having to follow lots of concepts flowing past you at great pace, there is quite an enjoyable entertainment experience to be had here.
The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.
The picture was very clear and sharp but just a little disappointing in the backgrounds for such a recent film. Shadow detail was excellent.
The colour was excellent throughout portraying both the cold steely scenes inside The Division and the more colourful scenes in Hong Kong.
The only artefact I noticed was some minor aliasing at 18:40. There were no noticeable MPEG artefacts.
There are two sets of subtitles in English. One is in English for the hearing impaired for all dialogue and the other is for foreign languages and on screen captions only. They were clear and easy to read.
The layer change caused a slight pause at 70:41.
The audio is excellent.
This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English DTS 5.1 soundtrack. The DTs track is a ripper and the Dolby Digital is no slouch either.
Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand, it was more picking up what they were on about that was the problem.
The music consists of a score by Neil Davidge plus lots of funky, modern tunes which give the film a very contemporary feel.
The surround speakers gets lots of use (especially in the DTS track) for gunfire, sound effects, ambient sounds, music and lots more.
The subwoofer is also well used during the action scenes and for the bass heavy music.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu contains minor motion and includes music from the score. Scene selection is available.
A chatty, jokey commentary with the director doing most of the talking. Most of the discussion spent explaining the plot and the action onscreen. He asks the stars some questions and discusses the various colour schemes and locations. Not bad but not spectacular.
These are available with optional director's commentary but are not very revealing. Mostly they are just extra exposition.
The director and a former Intelligence officer talk about how the film is based on extrapolated reality. Light and fluffy.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This version seems to be the same as the Region 2 edition. The Region 1 version is the same excepting that it does not include the DTS track. On this basis the Region 4 is the winner.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is excellent.
A small selection of decent extras are available.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|