The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 110 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 Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, Frieda Pinto, Isabel Lucas, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt
Directed by: Tarsem Singh Dhandwar
Music by: Trevor Morris
Written by: Charles Parlapandies & Vlas Parlapandies
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 6, 2012
"The Gods need a hero"
In this epic tale of vengeance and destiny, power-mad King Hyperion (Rourke) threatens to destroy all of humanity on his maniacal quest to obtain the ultimate weapon - the legendary Epirus Bow that gives the power to unleash war on both Heaven and Earth. But Theseus (Cavill), a heroic young villager chosen by the gods, rises up to stop Hyperion's brutal rampage. With supernatural help from the beautiful oracle Phaedra (Pinto), Theseus embraces his destiny and leads a fierce band of warriors in a desperate fight for the future of mankind.
I have been a fan of Tarsem since reviewing The Fall on Blu-ray back in 2008. His penchant for visual storytelling is superb and in that regard Immortals has something to offer. The screenplay consists of a contemporary Greek Mythology tale spun against elements of love, hate, retribution and destiny. Neither the characters or story are developed enough to be substantial but what keeps interest going is the invigorating visuals and moderately diverting action. In the end I enjoyed Immortals for what it is but those looking for an engaging balance of action drama and visceral storytelling will be disappointed. My advice is to go in with low expectations, sit back and enjoy Tarsem's visually arresting artistry.
The rating is for sequences of strong bloody violence, brief nudity and a scene of sexuality.
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:
Immortals comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.1 Mbps.
This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray, black and crimson set against a sepia toned aesthetic. Warm golden accents are used to break up the film's monochromatic essence. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is spot on which empowers whites and grays with washing away detail. Whites are snappy and crisp and grays are multi-staged and layered. The film was largely shot against green screens which softened some of the background elements during wide angle pans but I never found it to be excessive or distracting. Overall I found the quality of the video to be high. It isn't always razor sharp but it was cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement that increased the perception of fine detail. Blacks are dynamic and gradationally revealing and shadow detail is just as strong. I found myself enamored by the film's deep grays, rich contrast and intriguing use of color. Framed at 1.85:1 its images have incredible depth and a stimulating visual aura that look terrific on my large screen. I didn't note any deleterious signs of video related artifacts or compression noise.
This 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is fairly aggressive and features an active surround mix that has extended dynamic range that positively renders the bombastic nature of the elements in the recording. The action based sequences transform the listening area into a three dimensional sound field filled via immersive surround activity that mates perfectly with the events unfolding onscreen. Low frequency effects produce deep bass that rumbles with tactile authority as it pressurizes the room. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity that produced just the slightest hint of sibilance in the upper registers. This is a wonderfully involving and dynamically rewarding sound design that features high level sonic detail, superb directional correlation and rhythmically charged bass extension. My advice is to crank this one up, sit back and enjoy.
- (HD) Alternate opening - Young Theseus
- (HD) Two alternate endings - This is our last embrace, Theseus kills Hyperion
- (HD) Featurettes:
- It's no myth - 5 minutes
- Caravaggio meets fight club: (4 segments)
- Tarsem's vision - 5 minutes
- Visual effects - 5 minutes
- Stunts - 4 minutes
- Creating the score - 4 minutes
- (HD) 8 deleted scenes
- (HD) Immortals: Gods & Heroes (graphic novel)
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
Immortals is a contemporary Greek Mythology tale spun against elements of love, hate, retribution and destiny. I didn't find much depth in its characters or story but found its beautifully crafted visuals and slick production to be worthwhile. Speaking of worthwhile, its high definition audio/video presentation on Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox makes for a rewarding home theater experience. The supplemental material offers a glimpse behind the scenes as well as the inclusion of several alternate takes and a graphic novel that are worth a look if you like the film. This isn't great cinema but has found its way into my collection based strictly on the merit of its high quality presentation. Give it a rent and see for yourself.
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