Fifth Element, The (Directors Suite) (Blu-ray) (1997)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||1997|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Luc Besson|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby TrueHD 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The best way to explain where this edition sits is a three way comparison between the most recent Blu-ray from Sony, this Blu-ray and the Collector's Edition DVD (although it is only useful to compare extras with the DVD edition).
|Remastered Sony Blu-ray||Madman Director's Suite Blu-ray||Sony Collector's Edition DVD|
|Video||AVC Codec. Excellent quality for a film of this age.||Based on screen shots this seems to be the same transfer as the remastered Sony Release or if not, very similar. It's certainly the best I have seen this film look.||N/A|
|Audio||English Linear PCM 5.1 (plus DD5.1 and the same repeated in Spanish)||English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 only (despite what the case says).||N/A|
|Extras||Fact Track Only||Making Of (not on any other local edition) |
Lots of Featurettes from the Collector's Edition (see below for details),
Theatrical Trailer (not on any other local edition).
Does NOT include the Fact Track or many other extras from The Collector's Edition (see list in next column)
|Fact Track plus the following items in addition to the extras ported to the Madman Blu-ray. |
So, what does all this mean? Well, completists will want to hang onto the Collector's Edition for the extras which have not moved over. The most important of these is probably the featurette on The Diva as the Chris Tucker one is more annoying than interesting. The test footage is interesting but you won't watch it more than once. However, this is certainly the best combination to date for local buyers as it includes a marvellous video transfer in 1080p, a great audio track in lossless Dolby TrueHD and the most important of the extras available including a Making Of which has not appeared locally before. In short, this is the best edition to date (until the next one).
The video quality is excellent for a film of this age and is based on a very clean print (unlike some previous Blu-ray releases of this film).
The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is encoded using the AVC codec. Leaving aside the obvious increase in definition and clarity this version is based on a cleaner print than the Collector's Edition DVD (and that was much better than other versions).
The picture was very clear and sharp throughout certainly the best I have ever seen this film look. Shadow detail was excellent. The colour was excellent, very vibrant with the colours of this wonderful movie jumping off the screen. Flesh tones were very natural.
There was some very minor telecine wobble as mentioned in our review of the previous Blu-ray but this is so minor as to be nearly invisible to all but the most pernickety viewers.
There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read.
The audio quality is also excellent. This is the best I have heard this movie sound.
This DVDs contains one audio option, an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack despite the fact that the case refers to it being LPCM. According to reviews of Blu-rays with both soundtracks the difference is not noticeable between the LPCM and TrueHD options.
Dialogue was very clear and easy to understand.
The wonderful music by Eric Serra really jumps out on this soundtrack.
The surround speakers were used really well throughout for atmospherics, crowd scenes, action scenes, gunfire, landing spacecraft, etc. The DVD sound was pretty good for this film but this Blu-ray is so much better especially in the rear speakers (and the definition of the dialogue). The subwoofer was also used really well throughout during gunfights, explosions, the approach of the black star and much more.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu includes action and music.
This is a great addition which has not previously appeared on any local release of this film (to my knowledge). Luc Besson hosts this very interesting making of featurette which includes information about casting, shooting, stunts, visual effects, costumes, the director's approach to the actors and lots of behind the scenes footage including outtakes. Definitely worth watching. 1.33:1.
An interview with Bruce Willis probably from closer to the time the movie was shot than now. He discusses acting, his role choices and working with Luc Besson. Not bad but no major insights either. Presented non 16x9 enhanced.
A more contemporary interview with Milla Jovovich discussing the audition process, screen tests, working with the director, rehearsals, learning Leeloo's language, problems with the bright Orange hair, costumes, how she coped with the action sequences and how the role affected her career. Quite interesting.
An interesting featurette about how these creatures were designed and built. If you don't recall, these are the good guys. Also covers the strange requirements for the actors who would work inside them. Includes interviews with Nick Dudman, the Creature Effects Supervisor and others. Presented 16x9 enhanced.
A featurette on the design and build for the bad guys. Again includes interviews with Nick Dudman, the Creature Effects Supervisor and others. Interesting Stuff.
A featurette on the design and construction of Zorg's strange little pet, Picasso. Covers the animatronics, silicon skin and how it interacted with Gary Oldman. Interesting.
A featurette on a creature which did not make the final cut of the film. These were the garbage workers who were on strike causing the large pile of garbage at the airport. Fascinating how much work went into something which got dropped.
An interview with Jean-Paul Gaultier about his designs for the film. Seems to have been recorded at the same time as the Bruce Willis interview. He is quite forthright and covers how he found working for someone else, costume budgets in films and his design process. Includes some of his preliminary sketches. Definitely of interest.
A featurette covering the work done on the film by Digital Domain. Includes interviews with the Visual Effects Supervisor, Mark Stetson, and other crew members. Covers how the various stunts were shot including Leeloo's jump and the use of miniatures for New York. Good stuff.
A very interesting featurette about the two comic book authors, Mezieres & Moebius, whose work was an influence on Luc Besson's thinking about design. He decided to employ them to do the production design for the film. This featurette includes interviews with both of them about the design process. Presented 16x9 enhanced. Newly made in 2004.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This edition pretty much makes our local Blu-ray release the best available globally, despite not having the LPCM option. It is the first Blu-ray release with any significant extras, so bravo to Madman! UPDATE : Based on user comment (see below) it seems there is a German release with a very significant set of extras.
The video quality is excellent for a film of this age. The audio quality is excellent.
The set has a good quality collection of extras.
|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|