Dead Space Downfall (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=120086&d=1221828806
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

84






Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 2008
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Feature running time: 74 Minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English & Spanish
Starring: Nika Futterman, Bruce Boxleitner, Keith Szarabajka, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jim Cummings, Kelly Hu
Directed by: Chuck Patton
Music by: Seth Podowitz
Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 28, 2008







"Meet your maker"



Film Synopsis:

For the crew of the USG Ishimura, this is how the horror begins: On a deep space mining mission to a remote planet, an ancient religious relic - thought to be proof of the existence of God - is unearthed and brought aboard. It is worshipped by some, scorned by others. But when the unholy artifact unleashes a long- dormant alien race, its glimpse of Heaven transforms the ship into a living Hell. The chaos is immediate. The carnage is uncontrollable. And an onslaught unlike anything ever witnessed by mankind has now been set free to rip this world apart. Prepare yourself for the disturbing opening chapters of the new EA game that takes adult animation to graphic new levels of bloodshed and terror. This is DEAD SPACE: DOWNFALL.



My Take:

Dead Space Downfall is a full length feature film that is a prequel to the multi-platform video game of the same name from Electronic Arts. The film is graphically violent, bloody and gore filled which should please gamer/genre fans. The story is straight forward and wastes no time jumping right into the action with a strong central character in USG Ishimura chief security officer Vincent. She and her team fall into a visceral life and death struggle against the growing number of undead who seem capable of becoming much more horrific as the infestation spreads aboard the stranded ship. Looking at this film as a stand along sci-fi horror movie it reminded me a little bit of Event horizon, Alien, and one of Living Dead series films combined. Not being familiar with the game or the Image series comic I had no frame of reference for the story or characters. I didn't see that as a prerequisite to understanding or enjoying the film. There were a few unanswered questions but no gapping plotline holes. As far as its ability to be suspenseful and scary I didn't find to be either really. I thought its dialogue was well written and voiced by the cast. I felt it was mildly entertaining from a sci-fi thriller aspect. I think for fans it will be a nice segway into the game's release.




Parental Guide:

This animated film contains graphic violence, language, and bloody gore.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Dead Space Downfall comes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.

This video presentation looked quite good and featured colors that were reserved in saturation and consisted of tones that were not especially bright but definitely seemed appropriate for the film's theme. Blacks were not as deep as I would have liked. This was evidenced by the many shots in outer space where the black of space wasn't starkly distinctive in depth which makes it appear multi-dimensional against the white of the stars and colors of the planets. It was more of light black that looked good but less dimensional and flat compared to the better blacks that I have seen. Images were cleanly resolved with excellent resolution and consistent sharpness. I saw no signs of video noise or issues related to compression.

I was happy to see a lossless audio track on this release and I commend Anchor Bay for supporting it on this Blu-ray Disc. Right from the opening segment it was apparent that this was a relatively hot surround mix. Levels were high across the board from what I am used to hearing at my normal reference volume. It was certainly not a problem in any way. Dialogue was a bit forward sounding with crystal clear intonation that bordered on being strident at times. Strong dynamics coupled with the soundtrack's opulent surround use helped to generate a fairly immersive sound field that contained a host of sound effects. There was a mix of discrete and ambient sounds that were emanating from the left, center and right speakers as well as surrounds. Front and rear soundstage integration was very good for the most part. I expected to experience some room shaking bass however I found that deep low frequency detail wasn't used that often. There were instances when bass response provided solid impact that was palpable but there were times when I felt it should have be more prominent but was lacking. I wouldn't say that it diminished the quality of this surround mix however it certainly would have enhanced it. That is a minor quibble though. In the end I thought that this presentation was strong and most will find it very enjoyable.



Bonus Features:


  • Isolated 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack

  • 1 deleted scene - The grave robber which is told using storyboards and cast dialogue

  • The art of Dead Space Downfall - Photo gallery

  • (HD) Dead Space Downfall - Movie trailer

  • Dead Space Downfall - Game trailer

  • BD-Live - online features are not enabled yet but should be operational by release day

  • Digital Copy - Bonus disc that contains a standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable playback device





Final Thoughts:



Dead Space Downfall is an average sci-fi horror/thriller that will probably appeal more to fans of the game than to genre fans. I didn't think it was bad on its own but conceptually it's a not that strong which might leave those without a stake in it feeling a little dissatisfied. Anchor Bay has done a very nice job with its presentation on Blu-ray Disc. Its bonus content isn't very comprehensive however it is exciting to see Anchor Bay's first Blu-ray offering to feature BD-Live access.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 03:18 PM
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Cool, I didn't know they were launching the game with a movie. Added to my netflix queue.

Back off man, I'm a scientist.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 05:16 PM
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Nice Ralph, thanks for the review.

I have this coming from Netflix tom. I have gotten hooked on the game the past week and it is a phenominal HT experience so I am looking forward to the movie as it will just enhance the game experience I am hoping.

Off topic question Ralph, but are you planning on doing a review on The Incredible Hulk (2008)?

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 05:47 PM
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After playing the fantastic game, this is like an early Halloween treat!

Blu Ray... 3-D TV... 4K... I Like New STUFF!!!

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post #5 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

Off topic question Ralph, but are you planning on doing a review on The Incredible Hulk (2008)?

Greetings,

I have gotten numerous inquiries regarding The Incredible Huk. Unfortunately Universal hasn't been very responsive to my requests for Blu-ray Disc screeners. Sometimes it just takes persistence so I will keep trying. So I would say that I probably won't be reviewing it in the near future. I plan on picking it up but my review slate it busy with disc from the studios that I do cover so it will take a back seat to them.

Thanks and hopefully things will materialize soon with Universal Blu-ray..


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post #6 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

I have gotten numerous inquiries regarding The Incredible Huk. Unfortunately Universal hasn't been very responsive to my requests for Blu-ray Disc screeners. Sometimes it just takes persistence so I will keep trying. So I would say that I probably won't be reviewing it in the near future. I plan on picking it up but my review slate it busy with disc from the studios that I do cover so it will take a back seat to them.

Thanks and hopefully things will materialize soon with Universal Blu-ray..


Cheers,

Sounds good. Thanks

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 07:20 PM
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Damn, I'm going to have to get the game. It will be my first game purchase for my ps3.

Back off man, I'm a scientist.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

Damn, I'm going to have to get the game. It will be my first game purchase for my ps3.


I bet you will like it. I dont get hooked on many games, but this one has me

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post #9 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 10:16 PM
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Yes the game is excellent. After playing the game, I would like to check this flick out.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 10:16 PM
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One of the most enjoyable experiences I've had to date with my PS3. Dead Space gets so much right that it's easy to forgive the derivative elements that comprise the narrative as well as the graphical eye candy. At least they borrowed elements from the A-listers! Note to surround sound owners: this game demands no less than 5.1 to be fully appreciated. The sound design should win an award all on its own. Top notch effort all around... already on my second playthru after getting the Level 6 suit (Military Issue - NICE!) and it's just as much fun if not more, what with the beefed up weaponry and all. Kudos to EA for the early Halloween present to us discriminating adult gamers. HIGHLY recommended.
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 10:37 PM
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Bioshock did it. Best sound design of any videogame ever. Also may be the best ever.

Need to check out deadspace though. It looks like Bioshock lite for the less cerebral.

Thanks for the Review Ralph. I'm going to send Uni hate mail until they start sending you screeners. not really, the audio they provide is consistently top notch.

You need to check out U-571 for sure, I can't believe it's always had that mix.

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post #12 of 15 Old 10-28-2008, 12:01 AM
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Picked up BioShock over the weekend and yes, it's a winner. But it's a different beast than Dead Space. Once you've played both, you'll see what I mean.
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-28-2008, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowrage View Post

Bioshock did it. Best sound design of any videogame ever. Also may be the best ever.

Need to check out deadspace though. It looks like Bioshock lite for the less cerebral.

Thanks for the Review Ralph. I'm going to send Uni hate mail until they start sending you screeners. not really, the audio they provide is consistently top notch.

You need to check out U-571 for sure, I can't believe it's always had that mix.


Bioshock lite it is not....I played Bioshock as well and agree that it is fantastic as well. If pressed I would give the sound edge to Dead Space though....it is that good! I also personaly like Dead Space more overall slightly. One thing that Dead Space does better than Bioshock is using the environment more (zero gravity situations, etc....). Bioshock could have used some more interactivity with the whole ocean setting IMO. Dead Space is incredible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

Picked up BioShock over the weekend and yes, it's a winner. But it's a different beast than Dead Space. Once you've played both, you'll see what I mean.

Agreed. Both great games though.

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post #14 of 15 Old 10-28-2008, 02:24 PM
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Watched the DVD edition of Downfall, to see if it's worth my picking up on Blu Ray. The jury is still out on this one. I liked the return to the USG Ishimura, but there was nothing outstanding about the animation; perhaps the TrueHD sound will make it worth it in the end, but I may simply take the money I had set aside for this Blu and actually put it toward buying the game itself, the rental having gone back and I'm already missing playing this one.

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post #15 of 15 Old 04-04-2011, 12:28 PM
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I got this as a bonus when I ordered Dead Space 2. I have to say the first Dead Space game was epic, and the second even more so. For those who play the games, Dead Space Downfall gives us an interesting background storyline that leads into the games. Well done EA.
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