Articles

Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part II

ARTICLE INDEX

"Sunshine" (Blu-ray)

movie-sunshine.jpgSynopsis

Fifty years into the future, a team of astronauts are sent to deploy a device to reignite the dying sun.

 

Specifications

  • Fox Searchlight
    2007, Color, 1 Hr 40 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • English DTS Master Audio 5.1
  • English/French/Spanish DD 5.1
  • Directed by Danny Boyle
  • Starring: Starring Cliff Curtis, Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Chipo Chung, Hiroyuki Sanada
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

This is one of those films that I truly felt the studio completely dropped the ball on. Science Fiction films have been really hit or miss this last decade, and it is a rare opportunity when we get one that is not only gorgeously produced, but intellectually satisfying. Sunshine is one of those films. Unfortunately someone at Fox didn’t think it would appeal to the mass market (despite the success of director Danny Boyle’s previous works) and released it to a VERY limited number of theaters. Thankfully, the powers that be saw it fit to release this little known gem to Blu-ray. I don’t want to say anything about the plot line, as this is a film best seen with no real knowledge, but I will say it is a must-see and one of the best sci-fi movies I’ve seen in quite some time. Highly Recommended!!

Technical

I was a bit worried when I looked at the back cover and saw that Fox had listed this one as an AVC transfer with an average bitrate of only 16 Mbps. That is a number I would expect to see from a HD DVD release but not what we normally get from Fox on their Blu-ray releases. Not to worry though, Fox has done a tremendous job on this transfer. I must say I was most impressed with the level of shadow detail in this film. Some of the effects work on the outside of the ship has some really low light levels, but the transfer shows every little detail even in the darkest scenes. Fine detail is impeccable, and dimension is as good as anything else I’ve seen out there. Fine film grain is obvious from time to time, but overall this is a very clean transfer that is incredibly sharp.

The soundtrack is presented in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio and is a sonic powerhouse. I would give this one a 5+ if I could! Dynamic range is incredible, and the bass response is some of the deepest and most enveloping I’ve heard in quite some time. They didn’t skimp at all on the production value of this movie and the soundtrack is as good as some of the best sci-fi movies I’ve heard. I also loved the musical selections which add a lot to the intensity of the film. Surrounds are used aggressively to put you in the action, and it never felt like a single part of the soundtrack was unbalanced. A superb 5.1 presentation from Fox.

Extras

This is the first profile 1.1 disc from Fox on Blu-ray. The release includes a full picture-in-picture feature that features commentary, interviews, and production insight on the film. There is also a surround sound feature that allows you to change the location of the ship’s voice, but I thought it was a bit gimmicky. All of the PiP content is also available on its own for those of you without a 1.1 compliant Blu-ray player. Also included are deleted scenes, two short films from director Danny Boyle, two commentaries, and the trailer in HD. Overall, a great supplement package from Fox.