The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: The Weinstein Company- 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 97 minutes
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Keri Russell, Dakota Goyo, Josh Hamilton, Annie Thurman, J.K. Simmons, Trevor St. John
Directed by: Scott Charles Stewart
Written by: Scott Charles Stewart
Music by: Joseph Bishara
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 28, 2013
From the producer of Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and Sinister comes Dark Skies: A supernatural thriller that follows a young family living in the suburbs. As husband and wife Daniel (Josh Hamilton) and Lacy Barrett (Keri Russell) witness an escalating series of disturbing events involving their family, their safe and peaceful home quickly unravels. When it becomes clear that the Barrett family is being targeted by an unimaginably terrifying and deadly force, Daniel and Lacy take matters in their own hands to solve the mystery of what is after their family.
Suspension of disbelief for entertainment value is something I can easily do. I can even overlook minor potholes as not all films are perfect pieces of art. However, I don't like blatant rip-offs and movies that treat the audience as fools. Case in point, Dark Skies. It's a proficient film from technical standpoint, with above average acting and an attractive visual aesthetic, but it has so much to thank other films (Poltergeist, Signs...) that it as almost too in your face. Plot-points seem inserted just to take you from A to B, and the writing was just lazy and uninspired. There is a gloss to film the that helped it seem better than it is to audiences (6.1on IMDB!!??), and it did make over 5 times its budget, but I didn't buy into it. I will say that I bought into the films mood and story for the first 45 minutes or so, but as the insults to my intelligence started to tally, so did my patience and forgiveness. I am being vague intentionally as to not spoil the film for others as the above synopsis is plenty to give you an idea, but I really do have a laundry list of points that drove me crazy.
Rated PG-13 for violence, terror throughout, sexual material, drug content and language - all involving teens
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Dark Skies comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.4 Mbps and DTS-MA HD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps
Dark Skies has stellar video and interesting audio that helped make a disappointing movie watchable. Crisp details and well delineated definition meld well with inky blacks and colors that pop. Just about reference, I think you will find it hard pressed to find much wrong with the on screen imagery. The lossless audio does what a track for this type of film should, create a spooky atmosphere utilizing surrounds for chills and lfe for punch. Dialogue was always discernible and the front soundstage seemed well mixed. All of that was great, but there were a few times when things seemed awkward and slightly, for lack of a better term, boxy.
- Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Scott Stewart, Producer Jason Blum, Executive Producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones & Editor Peter Gvozdas
- (HD) Alternate and Deleted Scenes
- UV Copy
- DVD Copy
Dark Skies disappointed. It could have been really good, as it tried for mental chills and paranoia over gore and excess, however, its blatant rip-offs and lazy writing put the nail in the proverbial coffin. Great video and well designed audio help move things along, so fans will be very happy. I suggest a rental if interested.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4810 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5509 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad InRoom Gold LCR's
Triad OnWall Silver Surrounds
2 Triad Silver OmniSubs
Panasonic TC-P65VT60 3D 1080p 3D Plasma
Marantz NR1603 Receiver
Sony PS3 (HDMI Audio/Video)
MKSound MP-7 LCR's
MKSound SUR-55T Surrounds
MKSound SB-8 Subwoofer
Thought the LFE was well done but could have had some more and the surrounds could have been more active to get the spine tingling.
To me it was better than Paranormal Activity and Sinister. I think if it had involved more than one family and had a good dose of CGI action/violence it would be better received.
somebody wound up in a better place.
Overall, I wouldn't even recommend a rental. I did find the video pleasing but somewhat expected a bit more from the audio. It was engaging, but I just felt they relied on cheesy sound effects too much.
I think your take on this 1 pretty much summed it up for me as well Lee.
1 Onkyo TX-NR929 11.4 setup
2 Emotiva XPA-5's
1 Emotiva XPA-100
1 Definitive Technology CLR 3000 (Center)
2 Definitive Technology BP2004TL's (Mains)
2 Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000's (Heights)
6 Definitive Technology BPX's (Rears Wides Sides)
4 CHT VS-18.1 Subs
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