The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 2008
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Feature running time: 74 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
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"
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.
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.
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)
- 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:
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.
- 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
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.
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Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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