The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: DreamWorks - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand
Directed by: D.J. Caruso
Music by: Trevor Rabin
Written by: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Marti Noxon
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 24, 2011
"Who will be next?"
Extraordinary teen John Smith (Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.
I am always up for a little incredulous sci-fi action and while I didn’t have high expectations for I am Number Four I figured it might make for a decent popcorn flick. Unfortunately there are a few problems. The plot revolves around a lame teen romance that is supported by a paper thin narrative about nine teenaged super powered humanoid aliens that flee to earth after they are targeted for extinction by a race of assassins known as the Mogadorians. Each of the nine is assigned an “adult” alien protector and they go into hiding by blending into human society. The Mogodorians arrive on earth and begin hunting down and systematically annihilating the nine along with their guardians. The story centers on John (Pettyfer) who is known as “Number Four” of the nine. He and his guardian Henri (Olyphant) have to move frequently to avoid Modadorian detection and their latest landed them in a small Ohio community. John tries to blend in but being the new guy at the local high school has its share of growing pains. It’s when he meets Sarah (Agron) that he experiences first love and the wave of emotions that come along with it. He has little time to adjust as his untested abilities are growing and he must learn to control the power surging from within. When the Mogadorians discover his location John is forced to reveal himself in order to protect those around him. Alone he is no match for them and must rely on the help of his new friends….and another.
The intent for this to be the beginning of a film series is obvious however its potential is hampered by a derived concept, disjointed/shallow script and abysmal acting by leads Argon and Pettyfer. I like Timothy Olyphant but he was seriously miscast in the role of Henri. Kevin Durand was just fine as the leader of the Mogadorians but the character was poorly drawn. In my opinion the best character in the film wasn’t given nearly enough screen time. Teresa Palmer’s Number Six was spot on and each scene that involved her proved to be the most rewarding in the movie. The best of which was the extended fight sequence at the high school. Otherwise I found I am Number Four to be elementary, clichéd and a little dull.
The rating is for intense sequences of violence and action and for brief language.
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:
I am number four comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that that boasts image quality that is indicative of a newer release film coming to Blu-ray. Resolution is generally strong as images have crisp definition and lucid clarity. Objects onscreen appear dimensionally strong with exquisite rendering that discloses subtle minutia captured by the camera’s lens during close ups. The level of sharpness fluctuated some however this is attributable the extensive CGI used and I never felt it adversely affected the quality of what I was seeing. The range of colors used appears vibrant with warm vivid hues and delineated textures that look great in high definition. Fleshtones are naturally rendered with warm accents that give them lifelike tonality. Blacks are inky and mildly crushed while contrast is slightly elevated. The combination gives the image a dynamic enhanced quality that is occasionally distracting but rarely infringes upon fidelity. The deep shadows, gradational grays, and delineated colors look terrific in high definition. I didn’t notice any overt signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise.
I have continually been impressed with the DTS-HD MA soundtracks from Disney and I am number four is no different. This is a very involving surround mix that delivers an enriching home theater experience. Integration of the front and rear soundstages is seamless as discretely placed sounds follow a deliberate and realistic path as dictated by the events onscreen. This is an active sound design that incorporates a vast number of sound effects that are intricately mixed to engage the listening position. Bass is robust and can sometimes be substantive in depth but never rises inappropriately in prominence within the soundfield. The blend of Trevor Rabins’ music, discrete/spatial ambience, crystalline dialogue and invigorating dynamics is supremely enriching as it weaves an aurally stimulating pattern across the surround platform. I found this to be an excellent audio/video presentation that enhances this film experience.
- (HD) 6 deleted scenes (including 1 extended scene) with director introduction
- (HD) Becoming Number six – 11 minute featurette with Teresa Palmer
- (HD) 3 minute blooper reel
- Bonus DVD of I am Number Four
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc of I am Number Four
I am Number Four is a middling and derivative teen sci-fi action film that suffers from a poorly conceived script, bland performances, and lackluster direction. It isn’t completely without merit thanks to Teresa Palmer’s diminutive but well played role in the part of Number Six. Couple that with the fact that it looks and sounds great in high definition and you have a three disc Blu-ray offering from Disney that is worth considering when you're in the mood for a little mindless entertainment.
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