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post #1 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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The Fifth Element Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews acclaimed director Luc Besson’s outrageous sci-fi adventure, an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable twenty-third century world.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

97



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 1997
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 126 minutes
Genre: Sci-fi/Action/Adventure/Comedy

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

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker, Ian Holm, Gary Oldman, Brion James, Tommy Lister
Directed by: Luc Besson
Music by: Eric Serra
Written by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Region Code: A

Amazon ASIN: B013UZ6TP6

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 27, 2015


"There is no future without it"


My Take:

Two hundred and fifty years in the future, life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only Leeloo, the Fifth Element, a supreme being (Milla Jovovich) for good, can stop the Evil from extinguishing life, as it tries to do every five thousand years. Tossed squarely into the middle of it is ex-soldier, current-cab-driver, Corben Dallas (Bruce Willis), who is initially an unwilling participant, but after becoming smitten with the "perfect" Leeloo is all in. Unfortunately, saving the world isn't an easy task. Evil is being assisted by Mr. Zorg (Gary Oldman), a ruthless and profit seeking businessman, aided by a band of alien mercenaries, who seeks to gain from the chaos that Evil will bring. Corbin and Leeloo aren't alone though, with the help of priest Vito Cornelius and celebrity radio host Ruby Rhod the fate of the world is in…capable hands?

My wife thinks I am nuts. Last night she came downstairs and found me sitting in the theater room watching The Fifth Element with a big smile on my face. She doesn't especially care for it and can't understand my affection for this film. I love it and my enjoyment of it hasn't diminished despite the countless times I have watched it. Having owned it in various incarnations on DVD and now Blu-ray I find Luc Besson's sci-fi, action/adventure/comedy opus to be grandiose, inventive and most importantly thoroughly entertaining. Besson brings his vision to life in intimate detail while offering a superb blend of genre bending flavor that strikes all the right chords.

The production elements are simply marvelous, adding an enriching and complimentary element to the film. I feel similarly about the cast. Bruce Willis was the perfect choice for Corbin Dallas, providing the right combination of tough guy hero and comedic straight man. I could watch Gary Oldman in anything and revel in each scene he is in here. Milla Jovovich, no need to really say any more. Ian Holm is the film's requisite scene stealer and holds his own with Bruce and Gary. Chris Tucker, you either like him or hate him. I happen to like him and get a kick out of his flamboyant take on Ruby.

I have to imagine that The Fifth Element doesn't often come up during discussions about classic cinematic works. However it probably scores well among that same group when the topic of guilty pleasure films is on the table. I am most definitely a fan and always enjoy the opportunity to sit down with it. This release, fully remastered in 4K, with Dolby Atmos sound, re-mixed specifically for the home environment, offers the opportunity to sit down with it again. I have to say that the experience was all that I'd hoped it would be…Read on.

* It should be noted that in addition to this standalone Blu-ray offering, The Fifth Element is also available in limited edition collector’s packaging with the acrylic “Clear Case.” The limited edition Supreme Cinema Series version also includes a 24-page booklet of rare photos and behind-the-scenes detail that will only be available while supplies last.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for sci-fi violence, some sexuality 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): NA



Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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


Dolby Atmos Rating: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness:
  • Entertainment factor:



The Fifth Element comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 4.8 Mbps.

As audio/video enthusiasts we are all too familiar with the debacle associated with the first Blu-ray release of The Fifth Element. Sony made up for it with a remastered follow up that righted the ship. Here we are with UHD Blu-ray on the horizon and Sony presents us with a mastered in 4k release. The question is does it look noticeably better? I think it does. Colors are slightly richer, with illuminating primaries, clean rendering and visible delineation in the secondary hues that make up the futuristic clothing/sets. Fleshtones are appreciably lifelike with discernible texture and tonally warm depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Comparing the scene at 00:40:00 into the film where Corbin arrives Vito Cornelius' apartment with unconscious Leeloo, this version is noticeably sharper with discernable complexional detail and chromatic delineation. The same is true later at the 01:20:00 during the close up of Zorg as he speaks to Mr. Shadow on the telephone.

The weave in the fabric of costumes and props (check out the towel that Corbin gives to Leeloo in his apartment) is more apparent. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity appears intact. I could make out the rough texture on surfaces as well as the cleanly reproduced patterns in the walls and seating in the theater during the Deva's performance. Shadow detail is excellent and conveys appreciable dimension during low level scenes or those shot in uneven light. Blacks are gradational, stable and deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enliven bright scenes and colors while maintaining a discerning level of visibility in dark backgrounds. Having seen the Fifth Element numerous times on DVD and in high definition I found this to be the best it has looked to date. The differences between this rendering and the previous high definition release aren't night and day but to my eyes prove quantifiable enough to warrant upgrade consideration.


Like the video presentation the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround mix improves upon the previous 5.1 channel mix and sounds superb. This soundtrack runs the gamut between subtle passages of spoken dialogue to dynamically charged sequences that deliver opulent surround sound. Dialogue rendering is excellent. Detail is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Eric Serra's lavish music score is carefully integrated into the sound design and sounds wonderfully detailed, acoustically transparent and three dimensional. The recording's excellent dynamic range accents the soundtrack's varying elements during transitions from subtle to more aggressive active moments which highlights the potency of gunfire, explosions, or musical crescendos. Low frequency effects don't reach subterranean depths but its palpable presence is never in question, providing rewarding and ample bass response resonates with authority. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is appreciably involving as sounds and effects are seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the first act there are several instances where the mix generates a noticeable improvement in dimension and depth of field. Moments that I made note of were, the arrival of the Guardian's ship at the pyramid, the opening of the stone walls, The arrival of the evil orb (specifically when it solidifies sending an electric pulse through the room) and finally the attempts to destroy it with the missile bursts.

Audio object placement from both above and in the ear listening plane are put to effective use. The exterior building ledge sequence before Leeloo makes her famous slow motion leap sounds great as sounds/effects move in and around the room as dictated by what you see onscreen. While this scene sounds very good in the standard mix it's taken to another level in the Amos mix. This continues with the cab chase sequence that follows. The prep for takeoff scene that features the Reggae music bristles with enveloping ambience and discretely placed effects. During the scene where Zorg speaks to Mr. Shadow on the telephone I compared the Atmos and standard soundtracks. The Atmos mix sounds amazing, placing his growling voice in a floating three dimensional acoustic space while keeping Zorg's responses out in front. The difference between the two wasn't subtle in this case as the standard version kept Mr. Shadow's voice more in the rear soundstage.

Over the course of the film there are various environmental sounds, off camera cues and percussive music cues that are mixed into the sound field. Some are more pronounced than others but the overall effect is excellent. In terms of the overall experience I would have to wholeheartedly say that the Dolby Atmos mix noticeably enhances the enjoyment of this very familiar soundtrack. I had a ball with it.



Bonus Features:
  • The Visual Element
  • The Digital Element
  • The Star Element
  • The Alien Element
  • The Fashion Element
  • The Diva
  • Imagining The Fifth Element
  • The Elements of Style
  • Digital HD Copy


Final Thoughts:

The Fifth Element needs no introduction among home theater enthusiasts and for years has been among the go to discs for its varietal audio/video elements as well as its entertaining thematic content. Making its third appearance on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment it has received remastered high definition video and remixed lossless Dolby TrueHD/Atmos surround sound that elevates it above any previous incarnation available on home video. As a fan, I am pleased to own this latest release of The Fifth Element. For those of you out there that enjoy it and value excellent audio/video quality as much as I do, this offering deserves a place in your video library.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 10-28-2015 at 10:48 AM.
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post #2 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 09:58 AM
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Audio: 94 / Video: 100

YEAH! Finally will pick this up on blu-ray. Thanks, Ralph. It's such a fun, fun movie.

Yippee-ki-yay...
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post #3 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 10:01 AM
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Been waiting for this one as well, just left Best Buy picking up Pixels and forgot to get this one. Well no harm in going again later.


Great review Ralph and can't wait to give this a look and listen here at home.

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post #4 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 10:06 AM
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I too am enamored by this movie, always have been, I'll be picking up this version tonight, no doubt.
Plus it holds a special place in my heart, the very first DVD I ever purchased.

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post #5 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 10:18 AM
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I am with Mrs. Potts on this one. She obviously has good taste. I have this on BD, not sure why though.
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Louder is NOT better!
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post #6 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I am with Mrs. Potts on this one. She obviously has good taste. I have this on BD, not sure why though.
Greetings,

Don't worry Joe, we won't hold it against you buddy..

Regards,
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post #7 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 10:29 AM
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Great review as always Ralph
As a possible triple dipper
Is there any way to distinguish this version from the previous Blu-ray other than Dolby Atmos on the audio description.
Amazon are pretty poor when trying to confirm Dolby Atmos titles.
Cheers
Andy
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Bram Stoker's Dracula
The Fifth Element
The Professional
...

"Hey, Mr. Oldman, which one of your films do you want upgraded to Atmos?"

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post #9 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 10:33 AM
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Please share some screenshots.
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post #10 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Lesmor View Post
Great review as always Ralph
As a possible triple dipper
Is there any way to distinguish this version from the previous Blu-ray other than Dolby Atmos on the audio description.
Amazon are pretty poor when trying to confirm Dolby Atmos titles.
Cheers
Andy
It's the "Supreme Cinema Series"
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post #11 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesmor View Post
Great review as always Ralph
As a possible triple dipper
Is there any way to distinguish this version from the previous Blu-ray other than Dolby Atmos on the audio description.
Amazon are pretty poor when trying to confirm Dolby Atmos titles.
Cheers
Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post
It's the "Supreme Cinema Series"
Greetings,

The simplest way would be via use of the image on the cover. The Supreme Cinema Series is the other option which uses the Clear Case and includes the booklet etc. That version is for a limited time and is more expensive.


Regards,
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post #12 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 11:18 AM
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Thanks for the replies gents
I just checked Amazon,its not available in the UK yet not even on pre-order
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post #13 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies gents
I just checked Amazon,its not available in the UK yet not even on pre-order
Greetings,

Here is the Amazon link to the North American release:

The Fifth Element Blu-ray 2015


Regards,
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post #14 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 11:34 AM
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We do movie nights every sunday in my theater... I should be getting my copy from Amazon very soon and yeah I know what movie we are watching this Sunday in ATMOS ^_^

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

The simplest way would be via use of the image on the cover. The Supreme Cinema Series is the other option which uses the Clear Case and includes the booklet etc. That version is for a limited time and is more expensive.


Regards,
I ... did not know that. Yay, I just paid $12.50 extra for a digi-book!
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post #16 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 11:56 AM
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FYI: Both Leon and 5th Element are available on Family Video for $12.99 plus shipping ($1.99 flat rate for entire order). You should also check out their used selection for great deals on used Blu rays.
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@Ralph Potts

Considering this movie was already released in blu-ray, could you give the catalog numbers for these new releases?

That would be a good idea for all blu-rays you review.

Thanks
Rick
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What was the "debacle" associated with the first BR release?


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What was the "debacle" associated with the first BR release?


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I believe it was due to a rubbish transfer ending up with Sony recalling the disc and releasing a remasterd version
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I believe it was due to a rubbish transfer ending up with Sony recalling the disc and releasing a remasterd version

Hmm...how would I know if the br copy I have is the good or bad one?


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I will have my copy waiting for me when i get home, I'm hoping for the same 4K Remaster Picture Quality that Sony did to Dracula.
Thanks again for doing these review I always look forward for them.

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Great review Ralph. Fifth Element is one of the guilty pleasures in my collection. I found the new version today at Target for $15 and jumped on it. When DVDs first came out back in the day, Fifth Element was, in terms of video quality, among the best of them. Same thing when it came out on Blu-ray but this new version is stunning. Colors jump off of the screen and the Atmos soundtrack adds more depth to the audio. This and, if you like musicals, the newly remastered version of My Fair Lady which also hit the shelves today, are must haves.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post
Bram Stoker's Dracula
The Fifth Element
The Professional
...

"Hey, Mr. Oldman, which one of your films do you want upgraded to Atmos?"

Romeo Is Bleeding...highly underrated...
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Quote:
Milla Jovovich, no need to really say anymore.
I love how you say nothing so succinctly, you're my hero.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdwilly3 View Post
Romeo Is Bleeding...highly underrated...
One of my favorite Gary Oldman flicks, then the Professional! Sid & Nancy is somewhere in there too.


Glad The 5th Element has been done right...I'm getting this, and tossing out my muck up copy.


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Confused.

This is the UHD/4K scan correct? Why is the resolution listed at 1080p?

@ Ralph - you have your projector equipment list as a JVC 1080p, so you actually reviewed in 1080p not 4K?

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post #27 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdwilly3 View Post
Romeo Is Bleeding...highly underrated...
Agreed, one of my favorite movies. Has never been released on blu-ray.

To stay on topic... Just got an email today that Amazon has put my order for this movie in the mail. Probably won't get it until the weekend.

Packing a lot of sound into a small room.
268 square feet/2144 cubic feet
7.2 surround sound.
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post #28 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by highdefav1 View Post
Confused.

This is the UHD/4K scan correct? Why is the resolution listed at 1080p?

@ Ralph - you have your projector equipment list as a JVC 1080p, so you actually reviewed in 1080p not 4K?
How can he review it in 4K when UHD BD is not available yet? It is mastered in 4K, but it is a normal BD with 1080p resolution. Mastered in 4K means they have made a new 4K master for this BD release and will probably use the same master when it is released in UHD BD later.

Love this film by the way and look forward to see this version when I get my new JVC X7000.
Ralph Potts and bargervais like this.
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post #29 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highdefav1 View Post
Confused.

This is the UHD/4K scan correct? Why is the resolution listed at 1080p?

@ Ralph - you have your projector equipment list as a JVC 1080p, so you actually reviewed in 1080p not 4K?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas21 View Post
How can he review it in 4K when UHD BD is not available yet? It is mastered in 4K, but it is a normal BD with 1080p resolution. Mastered in 4K means they have made a new 4K master for this BD release and will probably use the same master when it is released in UHD BD later.

Love this film by the way and look forward to see this version when I get my new JVC X7000.

Greetings,

Andreas21 is correct...


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews
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post #30 of 197 Old 10-27-2015, 03:19 PM
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