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Surrogates
(Blu-ray)

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For Intense Sequences of Violence, Disturbing Images, Language, Sexuality and a Drug-Related Scene)

Running Time: 89 Minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, Boris Kodjoe with James Cromwell and Ving Rhames

Screenplay by: John Brancato & Michael Ferris
Based on the graphic novel by: Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele

Directed by: Jonathan Mostow

 

Studio: Disney

Retail Price: $39.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Director Jonathan Mostow, Deleted Scenes, "I Will Not Bow" Music Video by Breaking Benjamin, A More Perfect You: The Science Of Surrogates, Breaking The Frame: A Graphic Novel Comes To Life

Specs: 2.40:1 Widescreen 1080p High Definition, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, French Subtitles, Scene Selection

Released: January 26th, 2010


 

 

"Surrogates" is presented in 1080p High Definition, in a widescreen presentation with the theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1. This is a pretty sharp transfer that certainly draws you into the filtered visuals of the movie. Colors come off well saturated, that are bold and vibrant and don't smear. Fleshtones appear accurate, and black levels really hit their mark. Detail is quite excellent too. There is a little noise, but the transfer itself is spotless. The picture quality really pops for the most part, so well done.

 

"Surrogates" features DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and it is pretty excellent. This, of course, is an action movie and this track does the film justice in this regard. Dynamic range is not only remarkably tight, but the use of the rears is discrete and quite strong: when it comes to the chases and crashes, you very well might feel the need to duck in your living room. Yes, that's how intense the surrounds can be — and the robust subwoofer use only pushes that further. Needless to say, imaging is great as this mix really immerses you into this futuristic world. As far as the other sound elements, they sound good too: dialogue is always crisp and easy to hear, while Richard Marvin's music is mixed well through the speakers. For what this movie consists of, you can't ask for a better or more balanced mix.

Standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in French and Spanish are included, plus subtitles in English, French and Spanish. 
 




There are a few supplements here, starting with an Audio Commentary with Director Jonathan Mostow. Mostow is a thoughtful and engaging speaker, covering a lot about the film's production, story points and themes. It's clear he gave a lot of thought in how to pull the movie off, and what he wanted to say in it. If you're interested in not just the film's design but bigger thoughts, this is well worth a listen.

There's also a Music Video for Breaking Benjamin's "I Will Not Bow."

The rest of the extras are exclusive to this Blu-ray release. A More Perfect You: The Science Of Surrogates is a featurette that runs around 15 minutes. It's a decent enough of making-of piece that only has your cast and crew interviews, but takes on a more relevant text by going into real-life robotics and a man who made an actual surrogate of himself. Maybe a bit on the typical side than anything really hard-hitting, those who liked the movie should check it out.

Breaking The Frame: A Graphic Novel Comes To Life is a 6-and-a-half minute piece that focuses on Robert Vendetti and Brett Weldele, the duo that created the graphic novel the film is based on. You get a glimpse of their original work, as the two talk about what their comic consisted of. Interesting, but I wish there was even more to this.

Finally, there are a few Deleted Scenes that total about 15 minutes.
 

"Surrogates" was something of a box office miss, but I get a feeling it will have a bigger following on video (and cable in the future). The Blu-ray is certainly worth checking out, as it features a great presentation and some decent bonus features. For sci-fi/action fans, it's worth a rental.