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« Captain Phillips - Blu-ray Review | Main | Gravity - Blu-ray Review #72 »
Tuesday
Mar112014

Ender’s Game - Blu-ray Review #73

4.9 Stars (out of 5) - Rated PG-13  

Synopsis

70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. (Buy Now $19.96)

Starring:

Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin

Director:

Gavin Hood

Blu-ray Release Date:

February 11, 2014

Subtitles:

English, English SDH, Spanish

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 4.9 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

  • Subwoofer -  5.0 Stars
  • Dialog – 5.0 Stars
  • Surround Effects – 4.5 Stars
  • Dynamic Range – 5.0 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0

 

The bass performance in this film is a spectacle to behold. When it’s needed, the couch vibrated with every explosion and rumbles of spaceship engines. Punches even land the heavy thuds and a few random rumbles are thrown in for extra measure. This action drama relies on dialog just as much as bass and surround, and it handles each line in the script perfectly. The rear speakers could have been used a tad bit more, but they are used often enough to envelope you with sounds of whizzing spaceships, echoing voices on intercoms, weird alien clicks, and random computer noises.

Video  5.0 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

  • Color Accuracy  - 5.0 Stars
  • Shadow Detail – 5.0 Stars
  • Clarity – 5.0 Stars
  • Skin Tones – 5.0 Stars
  • Compression – 5.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

 

This MPEG-4 AVC codec is clean and helped bring out the details in sharp edges on cold steel, details on a huge tattoo, graphics on computer screens, pimples and freckles on young teen faces, and wrinkles and moles on AARP members. Color temperatures change depending on location. Earth colors are extra warm, living quarters are neutral, and in space everything is cold and blue. Some colors stand out a little more than others like blue skies, bright glowing direction lights, and those awful bright colored yellow jump suits. There are several dark scenes, and this Blu-ray handles them beautifully. Nothing gets lost in the shadows and no compression issues are visible.

Bonus Features 5.0 Stars (out of 5)

  • Audio Commentary with Director Gavin Hood.
  • Audio Commentary with Producers Gigi Pritzker and Roberto Orci.
  • Ender's Game: The Making of Ender's Game (1080p; 49:04) Eight featurettes that explore various subjects, such a adapting the book for the screen, casting, and some of stunts.
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes (1080p; 10:49) with or without optional commentary by director Gavin Hood.
  • Inside the Mind Games (1080p; 3:50) looks at some of the motion capture techniques utilizes to forge the games that Ender plays on his tablet.
  • Theatrical Trailers include Trailer A (1080p; 1:55) and Trailer B (1080p; 1:57)

Movie – 3.8 Stars (out of 5)

Review

Ever since the huge financial success of the Harry Potter series, movie studios have trying to find another teen book series that can translate into major dollars on the big screen. Ender’s Game is an entertaining, smart, and sometimes dark movie, but I don’t expect to see a second installment. At it’s heart Ender’s Game is a futuristic war movie with kids, however it mostly takes place in military school where they climb the military rank ladder. The film isn’t really about the war itself, it’s about how difficult it is for children to emotionally handle a cruel adult world. The acting is top notch from the young cast and from the Oscar nominated veterans. The plot seems thin but by the end of the film the story feels much richer. The movie is good but not great, several scenes are related to the aliens leave you scratching your head asking, ”What does this mean?”.

 

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