Saturday, July 30, 2011

Babylon A.D. (2008)

Movie: 3.5/5
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

"We're All Going to Die in New York!"

In the Summer of 2008, after I had gotten to the Big Island of Hawaii for college and on my off time, I would go to movies and kill time since I was all alone on an Hawaiian island I had no experience in. The film came out in the end of August and I had seen that it was directed by one of my favorite current French directors Mathieu Kassovitz who directed the 2000 film "Crimson Rivers". Upon watching the film, I was confused, not about the plot but whether or not that I liked the film or just downright loathed it. On one hand, I felt it was trying to be the next great sci-fi movie; on the other hand, the dialog is atrocious. You hear someone just blatantly say; "We're all going to die in New York!"

When hearing something like that, it makes me ask the question; "Really?" I feel that it is poor writing to finish up a scene. She couldn't have said something around the lines of; "I feel something bad might happen to us in New York". I know that's not really a great line, but still, it's something better. I have two ideas on what happened, especially with dialog like this, they either were just trying to have fun with it and screwing around or that they were on a fast paced shoot and they had no time for screw ups.

I do feel that the action scenes were enjoyable, especially towards the end when it becomes an all out war in NY. After viewing the "International Cut" which is what version is on this Blu-ray, I felt that the international cut added more intensity to that fight scene. With the international cut being the version I am reviewing, I give the movie a 3.5/5. If this was the U.S. Cut, jeez, this movie might have gotten a 2/5.

The video is almost flawless, but there is a problem with it at one or two scenes towards the end of the film. At 1hr 19min into the film, there's specs and dirt and the film starts to wobble as if the negative was in distress. The film has a nice layer of grain and very rich in color and saturation. I find this Blu-ray to be almost 100% reference quality. The film has switchable/removable French and Dutch subtitles. And finally, all the credits in the film are in French. Video scores a 4.5/5.

The two audio tracks on the disc are amazing. The English and French DTS-HD MA 5.1 tracks are sweet. Studio Canal did a great job with this release. Audio gets a 5/5. And there is a nice amount of extras including an interactive version of the film which shows behind the scenes. There's an English language French trailer. Storyboard comparisons. And various other bonus features. However, the extras could be a little overwhelming to watch, extras get a 4/5.

Overall, Studio Canal has made an excellent release with Babylon A.D. I managed to score my copy off of a member who sold me the disc from the steelbook release for $5. Considering this was a few months after it's US release and that I have Region Free capabilities, this disc is Region B locked, I am glad I got this release. Studio Canal's Babylon A.D. scores a 4.5/5.

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