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.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Sony Pictures - 2014
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian/Bahasa
Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
June 16, 2015
"Humanity's last hope isn't human"
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.
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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element):
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.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
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.
- (HD)Alternate ending
- (HD) Extended scene
- (HD) 8 featurettes (totaling 71 minutes):
- “Chappie: The Streetwise Professor” – An inside look at Chappie and casting Copley to play the robot and his performance via motion capture.
- “Arms Race: The Weapons and Robots” – Get a deeper look at the real-world firepower tech and the design of the “Scout” robots & “Moose.”
- “Bringing Chappie to Life: The Visual Effects” – The film’s VFX artists discuss the pre-production design process.
- “From Tetra Vaal to Chappie” – An in-depth exploration of the scriptwriting process, the early concept design work and other aspects of pre-production.
- “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.
- “The Reality of Robotics” – Discover present day robotics capabilities and next generation artificial intelligence, featuring an interview with Robotics Professor Wolfgang Fink.
- “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.
- “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
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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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package