Pandorum (Blu-ray) (2009)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Christian Alvart|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I am a fan of the Science Fiction genre whether it be in feature films or television series. It is my belief that this genre tends to include many films which although panned by critics on theatrical release are often quite decent movies which deserve to be given a chance. This, to my mind, is one such movie which although certainly not perfect is an effective science fiction/action/thriller which is interesting and entertaining. It has an excellent creepy and disturbing atmosphere which is best enjoyed if you know as little about what is going on as the characters do, learning as they learn about their surroundings. It did not do well at the US box office upon original release in late 2009, taking only about $10 Million. To my knowledge, it did not receive a theatrical release here in Australia, rather debuting on DVD & Blu-ray from Icon Home Entertainment.
In order to not spoil the films twists and turns I will only provide a very basic plot introduction here, explaining only the setup. On a spaceship called The Elysium, a young member of the flight crew, Corporal Bower (Ben Foster), wakes up from an extended hypersleep to discover that things have not gone according to the original plan. Due to the long term hypersleep, he initially has memory loss and cannot work out what he is doing there or where they were going. Soon he is joined by Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) and together they must try to resolve where they are meant to be going, where they are and what is wrong with the ship. The title Pandorum, refers to a disease which can affect those who have undergone long term space travel. That is enough of a plot summary to get you interested without spoiling elements of the story.
The film is based on a story/screenplay by Travis Milloy, which was then added to by the director Christian Alvart. This is Alvart's first major picture as a director (although he did direct some smaller films like Antibodies) and it was filmed in Germany using a combination of quite extensive sets and green screen. The film itself has a very dark colour scheme (probably with a blue colour filter) which really suits the tone and style of the film. The music by Michl Britsch is also a huge addition to the creepiness and scares of the film. The story has many twists and turns, not all of which are necessarily completely clear and easy to understand. There are some plot holes but if you go with it the film is a worthwhile experience for those who enjoy science fiction thrillers.
Recommended for fans of the genre. Certainly a worthy rental.
The video quality is excellent.
The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is encoded using the AVC codec.
The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with deep inky blacks and lots of intricate detail especially in exterior shots of the spacecraft. The darkness of the production design did not result in murkiness with lots of detail to be seen in shadows except where its was obviously meant to be dark and unknown. The colour was excellent doing a great job of representing the dark colour scheme of the film focused on blue and green hues.
There were no noticeable artefacts.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read. I did notice one minor error.
The audio quality is excellent, with a huge dynamic range. If you are not careful how loud you play this to begin with you will end up plastered on the wall of your home cinema room.
This Blu-ray contains two audio options, a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack and an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The TrueHD is a stunner. Dialogue was very clear and easy to understand at all times. The soundtrack varies widely from quiet and creepy to incredibly aggressive during action scenes.
The music by Michl Britsch is great for the film adding a lot to the atmosphere.
The surround speakers are used aggressively throughout with lots of atmosphere in quieter sections and a cacophony of surging sound across the rears during action scenes.
The subwoofer was given a real workout by this soundtrack with lots of thumps, thuds and tension sounds shaking the room.
|Surround Channel Use|
A decent selection of extras.
The menu included scenes and music. The menu items on subsidiary menus are quite hard to read due to the menu colour scheme and size of font.
Fairly standard making of including interview snippets with cast and crew combined with scenes from the film. Covers development, casting, creature design, sets and the director.
Lots of content here but nothing incredibly illuminating. There are longer sequences as the characters wake up, more exposition and more detail in some scenes. Some are not complete in terms of effects.
Four large still galleries covering the following topic areas, Models & Monsters, Designs and Drawings, On Set & Turbine Pit Sequence Storyboards.
The Region A Blu-ray release of this movie includes the follow extra items
- Featurette - What Happened to Nadia's Team?
- Featurette - Flight Team Training Video
- Digital Copy
- Theatrical Trailer
The Region B release has the following in addition to the Region A version
On this basis, the Region A seems to be the better choice.
A slightly confused but enjoyable sci/fi action thriller.
The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is excellent.
A decent selection of extras are included.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, 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 into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|