Surrogates (Blu-ray) (2009)
Music Video-Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Alternative Version-DVD Copy of Film
Featurette-Science of Suffogates
Featurette-Graphic Novel to Screen
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Jonathan Mostow|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
James Francis Ginty
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 EX
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
French dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In a shiny-happy near future a technology that allows the brain to remotely operate prostheses, invented by Dr. Lionel Canter (James Cromwell), has been abused by a profit hungry corporation to the point that just about the entire population goes about their daily life locked in a chair living their life through a robotic surrogate. This has led to a dramatic drop in crime rates as folks are home all day and when out in public the risk is to their surrogate rather than themselves. The handful of people that choose to live their lives in the flesh, who call themselves "The Dreads" (seemingly named for their dreadlocked leader Ving Rhames’ appearance), have become outcast and live in communities where they are segregated from the surrogates.
Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) and Jennifer Peters (Radha Mitchell) are FBI agents tasked with investigating the deaths of two people, the first murders society had seen in many years, which occurred when an unknown assailant fired a weapon at their surrogates. Matters start to become complicated when it emerges that one of these people was the son of Dr. Lionel Canter and further complicated when Greer's FBI-issue surrogate is destroyed, leaving him to investigate in the flesh. Not only does this make things riskier for Greer, but it further pressures his fragile marriage to his surrogate-addicted wife (Rosamund Pike).
Surrogates is a high-concept trashy sci-fi popcorn movie. The plot is shallow without being stupid. The inevitable plot holes are reasonably convincingly patched over. The ladies are pretty and the men tough (the plot even offers a good excuse for action legend
John McClane Bruce Willis’ usual wooden acting). Most importantly the cool futuristic bits and pieces are just that; cool and futuristic. Provided that's all you want from the film then it is likely to satisfy.
The film is presented in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.
The Blu-ray video is certainly a noticeable step up from the DVD, although this is far from the most stunning film you will see on the format. The image is slightly soft and lacks fine detail in many cases. This appears to be a stylistic choice to support the dreamy artificial look of the robot incarnations of actors for the most part, hence the film looks as intended but the intended look is inherently imperfect. The colours are subdued and pale (verging on pastel) and like the soft look of the film this appears to be primarily a stylistic choice more than an issue with the transfer. Despite the slightly dull appearance of the colours, there is a good level of depth to the colour palette and an excellent level of detail in shadows and dark areas.
There is no sign of compression artefacts or film artefacts in the video.
The film features English subtitles for the hearing impaired, which appeared to be reasonably accurate and well timed from the portion sampled.
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps), French DTS, and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 Kbps) audio tracks are present.
The audio does the job intended, with plenty of bangs, bumps and pans, but is not the most impressive surround experience you will find. The dialogue is a little low in the mix and occasionally struggles to compete with the environmental effects and score. The audio appears to be well synchronized.
The surrounds get a solid workout, particularly with a stock collection of whirry sci-fi environmental effects. The subwoofer channel contains plenty of support for the many crashes and explosions in the film, which is about as subtle as a brick through the window but also as effective as one. It is a fun surround experience, although it lacks finesse.
Richard Marvin presents a pretty stock standard orchestral score mixed with a few electronic touches that fit the tone of the film well.
|Surround Channel Use|
A music video for the closing credits song which, rather fittingly, sounds like a surrogate for a decent metal/hard rock song.
A press-kit style advertorial featurette, which vaguely ties the futuristic tech of the film to things in the real world today. The obvious parallel to using the Internet as a life surrogate are glossed over in favour of cooler robot stuff, but suits this shallow take on the material fine.
A brief press-kit style featurette that discusses the page to screen transition, featuring interviews with the original author and illustrator of the graphic novel.
Four deleted scenes are presented, each adds little to the film and only one particularly changes any event in the film (and even then it's a rather trivial change). The scenes are titled Dread Encounter (1:25), Apologies & Theories (1:28), What You’re Looking At (1:44), The Real Peters (1:26).
The set includes a second disc containing a DVD copy of the film, which appears on spec to be identical to the standard DVD edition of the film.
The Australian Region B edition appears to be identical to the US Region A edition in terms of content on the Blu-ray disc, however the Region A edition does not include the bonus DVD copy of the film.
The DVD edition in Region 4 and Region 1 misses out on the two featurettes and deleted scenes that are included on the Blu-ray.
Entertaining, albeit shallow, popcorn science fiction. The action is exciting, the gizmos are cool and the story hangs together well enough if you don't read too deeply into it.
Video is decent without being particularly spectacular. Audio is of a high standard. The extras are reasonable in number, but lack depth.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Optoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|