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post #1 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Chappie (Blu-ray) Official AVS Forum Review



Check out our review of this sci-fi drama from the filmmakers that brought us District 9 and Elysium. In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

94



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 120 minutes
Genre: Sci-fi/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian/Bahasa
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Written by:Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 16, 2015


"Humanity's last hope isn't human"


My Take:

In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind.

Chappie looked very interesting based upon the subject matter and trailer but I never got around to seeing it theatrically. Conceptually speaking there is ample possibilities here although none that we haven’t seen before. In the hands of Neill Blomkamp I hoped that we would see enough of a fresh narrative spin so as to elevate the film from its formulaic underpinnings. Unfortunately the script fails to derive any significant levels of depth in terms of the story’s development.

It sort of abruptly tosses you in, introducing its characters minimally, before delving in its idea of thought provoking themes and social commentary. It takes a few too many dramatic/melodramatic plot turns to make any of them meaningful which leaves things feeling a bit like a mash-up of sorts. Having said that there are several moments that warm the heart. Much of this is owed to the performance, through motion capture, of Sharlto Copley who steals every scene.

The action based elements are engaging and the special effects as you might expect are excellent, which is another positive for the film. I couldn’t help but feel as though Hugh Jackman was miscast as the film’s villain and Dev Patel was sorely underused which surprised me. I didn’t find Chappie to be an overtly bad movie but it’s fragmented script left me wanting on enough levels to prove unrewarding.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, language and brief nudity.


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.**



Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element):



Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Chappie comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.6 Mbps.

This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson red, and muted sepia tones. 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 without whitewashing detail. Bright scenes are snappy and crisp, with grays that are multi-staged. The use of CGI softened some elements but I never found it to be excessive or distracting. Overall I found the quality of the video to be high. It is cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement that increases the perception of fine detail. Blacks are dynamic and gradationally revealing and shadow detail is just as strong. Framed at 2.40:1 its image has excellent depth and a stimulating visual aura that accents the story. I didn’t see any overt signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. It looked great.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s thematic elements. Hans Zimmers music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and atmospheric sound effects, plays an intricate role in this sometimes active surround mix. The additional rear channels aren’t always in play however when applied the detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is excellent. The LFE channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the sounds of gunplay and later in the film, the larger battle sequence at the abandoned factory. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio presentation and found that it complimented the film’s thematic tone.




Bonus Features:
  • (HD)Alternate ending
  • (HD) Extended scene
  • (HD) 8 featurettes (totaling 71 minutes):
    1. “Chappie: The Streetwise Professor” – An inside look at Chappie and casting Copley to play the robot and his performance via motion capture.
    2. “Arms Race: The Weapons and Robots” – Get a deeper look at the real-world firepower tech and the design of the “Scout” robots & “Moose.”
    3. “Bringing Chappie to Life: The Visual Effects” – The film’s VFX artists discuss the pre-production design process.
    4. “From Tetra Vaal to Chappie” – An in-depth exploration of the scriptwriting process, the early concept design work and other aspects of pre-production.
    5. “Keep It Gangster” – A behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating an authentic South African gangster world featuring interviews with NINJA and ¥O-LANDI VI$$ER.
    6. “The Reality of Robotics” – Discover present day robotics capabilities and next generation artificial intelligence, featuring an interview with Robotics Professor Wolfgang Fink.
    7. “Jozi: Real City and a Sci-Fi Setting” – Discover the history of the real world locations in the film and the role these setting played in the fictionalized version of Johannesburg.
    8. “Rogue Robot: Deconstructing the Stunts & Special Effects” – A look at the film’s high-action stunt sequences.
  • (HD) The Art of Chappie
  • (HD) We are Tetravaal – 5 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Chappie is an uneven sci-fi drama that suffers from a fragmented, multi-genre script that feels too scattered to be wholly gratifying. It isn’t completely without merit and features a great motion capture performance from Sharlto Copley and top notch production elements. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring reference quality high definition audio/video mated with a complementary and worthwhile supplemental package. Chappie comes up short as a film but as a home theater experience on Blu-ray is well worth checking out.






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post #2 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 11:07 AM
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Thanks Ralph.
Bummer as I was looking forward to this one.
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post #3 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post
Thanks Ralph.
Bummer as I was looking forward to this one.
Greetings,

It's not all bad Lee. I look forward to hearing your thoughts..


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post #4 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 11:36 AM
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I was semi-interested in this one as well until I read/heard other reviews. The main thing that threw me off is the on screen time of Ninja and Yolandi (aka Die Antwoord). Seems too strange for me.

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post #5 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 11:41 AM
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It was much better (and different) than what I thought it was going to be. I ended up enjoying it more than I probably should have.

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post #6 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 11:52 AM
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I'll just say "dratz" and still put it in my Netflix queue. I'll consider it a late night watch.

Ralph thanks for the review!
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post #7 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 12:07 PM
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When I saw the trailer, I thought this has a District 9 feel to it and I didn't really care for D9 but it's certainly worth a rent. Added to the Netflix que and thanks Ralph.

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post #8 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post
It was much better (and different) than what I thought it was going to be. I ended up enjoying it more than I probably should have.
Greetings,

I agree that it was different than what I was expecting Dave. I can't say that I found it better than expected though. I plan on spinning it again..

Thanks for offering your thoughts.


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post #9 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 12:34 PM
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Stephen Hawking recently said that artificial intelligence could allow robots to overtake humans in 100 years:


http://www.computerworld.com/article...100-years.html


Too bad the movie wasn't better.
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post #10 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 01:01 PM
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I saw this in the theater and it about met my expectations. I agree with your review Ralph and for whatever reason I didn't have very high hopes for this one going in. I do really like Dev Patel though.
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post #11 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by markmathers View Post
I saw this in the theater and it about met my expectations. I agree with your review Ralph and for whatever reason I didn't have very high hopes for this one going in. I do really like Dev Patel though.
Based on trailers we saw at the cinema - I was hoping for better.
That said: this will still become a Redbox or VUDU rental for me
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post #12 of 64 Old 05-29-2015, 02:23 PM
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I saw this at the theater and was disappointed enough that I will not be buying this. I really enjoyed District 9 an was hopeful that this movie would be at least as good. I will admit that the visual effects in this movie were very good.
EDIT: The tactical robot that Hugh Jackman's character had developed in this movie looked a little too much like the ED 209 from Robocop.
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Thanks for your review Ralph. Will check it out
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Thank you for the review.The first two acts were decent, whereas the third act is generic Hollywood action. I guess they didn't want to draw any parallels with the Terminator franchise by letting the robots rise.

Also, did the score overpower one-two lines of dialogue at the start of the movie on the blu ray like it did at the cinemas?
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Quote:
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Thanks Ralph.
Bummer as I was looking forward to this one.
Me too...

Shame that so many of these recent sci-fi films have been disappointments. I'm sure I'll still see this one, but Ralph's excellent review has me checking expectations going into it.
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post #16 of 64 Old 05-30-2015, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the review.The first two acts were decent, whereas the third act is generic Hollywood action. I guess they didn't want to draw any parallels with the Terminator franchise by letting the robots rise.

Also, did the score overpower one-two lines of dialogue at the start of the movie on the blu ray like it did at the cinemas?
Greetings,

Not that I recall but I will go back to double check and post back.


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post #17 of 64 Old 05-30-2015, 03:22 AM
 
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Greetings,

Not that I recall but I will go back to double check and post back.


Regards,
Thank you. It was during the first assault on the gang base. I think around three minutes in.
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Thank you. It was during the first assault on the gang base. I think around three minutes in.
Sorry, it is during the first assault which starts around three minutes in.

Is there an edit button I am not seeing?
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post #19 of 64 Old 05-30-2015, 06:01 AM
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7.1 on IMDB. That was good enough for me to buy this blu ray. I really liked Disrict 9 and Elysium.

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7.1 on IMDB. That was good enough for me to buy this blu ray. I really liked Disrict 9 and Elysium.
If you like both of those you should like this one as well. Same visual style. Excellent effects. Don't know if it is South African cultural thing, but all the character motivations were weird. From the insane muscle-head white warlord, to the insane tweakers who adopt Chappie, to the insane mis casted Hugh Jackman. Weird settings like evil abandon buildings used as gang headquarters and safe houses, to weird cubicle "Office Space" like workplace for two guys responsible for huge departments. It was like there was no back story or setup what so ever. Still, the first 2/3 were entertaining enough, but got a little wonky there at the end.
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Saw Chappie in theaters and I was very disappointed.

Why did Blomkamp feature those South African rappers so prominently? Do they have blackmail pictures on him? They completely dragged down the entire film and they aren't good actors nor were their characters essential at all.

Blomkamp better watch himself. He's on the M. Night Shymalan career path (one excellent movie with every successive movie declining in quality). Although he did make good use of the Nissan GT-R like he has in other movies so that was good at least.

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post #22 of 64 Old 05-30-2015, 09:16 AM
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How is it compared to Elysium? I enjoyed Elysium but not as much as D9. If it's at least on par, I'll give this one a go.

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Well the critics didn't like this movie at all -- they saved their praise for Ex Machina. I've seen both and actually preferred Chappie. Maybe it was the low expectations going in. I liked Elysium best, then Chappie and lastly District 9. No accounting for taste I guess.
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I saw the previews and an interview with Sigourney Weaver and felt that this was going to be an intriguing movie about A.I. with some decent action. I really liked District 9 and didn't dislike Elysium, so I thought that this was going to be a pretty good movie. I was mislead. It stunk.
The wife and I saw this horribly written and poorly cast film that had some decent (but not that great) special effects with over-the top characters with absolutely no depth whatsoever. It has to be the most disappointing movie that I paid to see in the past year or two. It seemed as though it was a simple PG rated made for TV movie that had some money thrown at it and enough foul language and violence to give it an R rating. IMO it is not a buy or even a rental. Wait till it is available on Netflix streaming or is the movie of the week on USA or FX.

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post #25 of 64 Old 05-30-2015, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UGAd13 View Post
I was semi-interested in this one as well until I read/heard other reviews. The main thing that threw me off is the on screen time of Ninja and Yolandi (aka Die Antwoord). Seems too strange for me.
Rent it, their presence makes much more sense when you see the film.

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This film made me wonder if Chappie's director saw Ex Machina afterward and considered a career change.

What an absolute amateurish mess. This was honestly one of the most most ridiculous movies I think I've ever seen. It was so bad that you can't help but laugh at some of it, but it wasn't self-aware of how terrible it is to count that as a redeeming quality.

I'll say the best part of the movie for me was Hugh Jackman's hair:

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post #27 of 64 Old 05-30-2015, 10:25 PM
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Awesome movie!

I very much liked Chappie's personality and the gangters were just hilarious. The film has a lot of funny moments, but also some very sad ones.

7/10!
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post #28 of 64 Old 05-31-2015, 01:41 AM
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Ouch Ralph, coming off the heels of the awful Elysium I was hoping Blomkamp would wise up, though I haven't seen this movie the buzz around it is rather negative or lukewarm. As far as looks of characters, Chappie looks a lot like Briarios from Appleseed. As for Ex Machina, it was way way overhyped, but it's another thread.

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post #29 of 64 Old 05-31-2015, 06:28 AM
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Nice review Ralph. I agree the story and script were okay but the real stars were the production design and VFX.

Anyway, what happened to Sonys mastered in 4K, expanded color gamut BluRay releases? I believe Elysium was a MI4K release. Is Chappie as well?
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post #30 of 64 Old 05-31-2015, 03:05 PM
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I was curious about this one, guess I will check it out when it comes to Redbox.
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