Media

Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2009

ARTICLE INDEX

"Doom" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

Doom

Synopsis

Sometime in the near future, something goes horribly wrong on the Olduvai research center on the planet Mars. After receiving a rather frightening request for assistance from the Mars station, "Sarge" (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and his battle-hardened Rapid Response Tactical Squad are teleported to Mars to quarantine the facility and prohibit any potential threats from reaching Earth. Little does the RRTS team know what hell the Olduvai scientists have unleashed.

 

Specifications

  • Universal Pictures
  • 2005, Color, Not Rated, 1 Hr 53 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Karl Urban, Rosmund Pike, and Raz Adoti
  • Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Strong
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

Doom will always hold a special place in my heart. Credited with being the breakout "first-person shooter," Doom was a defining moment in video game history and I spent countless hours playing the game and its sequels and expansion packs. "Doom" is not a very faithful translation of the game's storyline (not that the game was big on plot), but the changes really don't impact how the movie plays out. Unfortunately, "Doom" seems to have fallen prey to the same issues that have plagued every other video game translation in Hollywood history; weak storyline, cheesy acting, hokey dialogue, and the loss of what made the video game such a hit in the first place - fun. However, there are some great action scenes, plenty of gore and mayhem, lots of guns, and a kick-ass hard rock/industrial soundtrack. There is also a valiant attempt at recreating the "first-person shooter" point of view used in the video game. I found myself enjoying this movie more than I expected to, at least until the final act of the film. The ending was far too "Hollywood" for my taste, and didn't fit well with the darker tone set up to that point.

Technical

Overall, this was a fantastic looking disc. The image was very sharp, with no noticeable grain or video noise. The picture had great depth to it, with excellent black levels and contrast. This is an excellent disc to test your display's black level and shadow detail performance. Some may think that the footage is too dark, with many scenes being obscured by almost total blackness. This is an aspect that mirrored the game closely, making the viewer wonder what's going to be around the next corner. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack was great as well. The LFE and surround channels were used judiciously, with great dynamics befitting an action movie. Dialog was very clear and there were plenty of subtle sound effects that helped establish a feeling of dread. I got a real kick out of the soundtrack, which features cut after cut of thumping industrial-rock tunes. While it may not be to your taste, I think the soundtrack fit the movie very well and was the highlight of the film for me.

Extras

There were some pretty good bonus features on the disc, but not all were in HD. The featurettes include: "Basic Training" - a video that shows the cast getting trained in basic military maneuvers, "Rock Formation," "Master Monster Makers," "Doom Nation," "Game On," and "First-Person Shooter Sequence" for those who wish to view an extended version of the first-person shooter scene from the movie and see how it was shot. There is also some basic BD-Live connectivity to upload favorite scenes and view other movie trailers.