[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=6862[/img]Title: The Island
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Djimon Hounsou and Sean Bean
Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Caspian Tredwell-Owen Alex Kurtzman Roberto Orci and Caspian Tredwell-Owen
Runtime: 136 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 6/22/2011
The Island doesn’t start off like your typical Michael Bay movie. It has a bit of a build up before things get into high gear, but even then it never reaches what I would describe as full-bore Bay. Ewan Macgregor (Star Wars), Scarlet Johanson (Iron Man 2) and Djimon Hounsou (Amistad) star in this action/sci-fi film that pays homage to films suchs as 'Logan's Run' while also creating it's own identity.
The movie opens as Lincoln Six Echo (MacGregor) awakens from a nightmare. Lincoln lives in what appears at first glance to be a futuristic utopian society made of survivors of “The Great Contamination” and overseen by administrators of the town sized facility. The citizens of this community live a fairly bland existence as they all hope for the day that they win “The Lottery”, a random drawing where the winner is sent to the “The Island”, a place that is free of contamination and home to many other survivors. But Lincoln Six is about to discover that this entire existence is based on a lie and unless he acts quickly it may cost the lives of him and many of his friends.
I have found among many of my friends that ‘The Island’ is somewhat of an acquired taste. The biggest complaint that I have run into is that the pacing is extremely unbalanced. Personally I don’t have that issue with the movie, but considering the first real action sequence doesn’t begin for almost 45 minutes I can see where some would make that argument. Just know going in that it does take a bit of time to get this one off the ground and while there are some really good action sequences, The Island is not your typical Michael Bay fare.
The Island is probably my favorite Michael Bay movie. There is something about it that just works for me. Maybe it’s the Logan’s Run nods in the beginning, maybe it’s the awesome chase scene with the train wheels being thrown off of the trailer, but whatever it is I like it.
The performances are alright, but nothing to write home about. Several actors that Bay likes to use make an appearance such as Michael Clark Duncan, Steve Buscemi and Glenn Morshower. MacGregor, Bean and Johanson turn in passable performances as well, but for me it’s Djimon Hounsou (Pronounced JEE-mahn hahn-SOO) that stood out the most. I have said it before and will probably say it again; Hounsou is one of the most underrated actors out there and I think he only lacks the proper role to really get him on the map.
The Island failed to generate the type of box office receipts that most Michael Bay movies do, it was critically panned and I doubt it will ever reach any type of 'cult film' status. That being said, I personally think it is a fairly engaging and fun action/sci-fi movie and as long as you keep it in perspective, you more than likely will to.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexuality and language
The Island was shot on 35mm film using modified Arriflex cameras in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and the results are pretty good. The natural grain gives the film a very gritty film and grand cinematic quality. The resolution is very sharp revealing tons of detail from facial and skin imperfections to the grain in the wood on the deck of Lincoln’s boat. Colors are vibrant without being intrusive due to very light alternating sheens of blue and gold over the transfer. Outside scenes often appear as dusk, even though it is the middle of the day however; this is due to the way the film was shot and not a deficiency of the transfer. Black levels were fairly deep, but give way to some light crushing in some of the darkest scenes. Additionally, shadow delineation also suffered a similar scenario with limited perceived depth. Fleshtones were fairly accurate and natural looking even in scenes that involved fluorescent lighting such as the hospital scenes. Overall this is a very solid transfer, just not what I would call reference quality.
I went back and forth on this 5.1 DTS-HD-MA presentation. Compared to the DVD release and even the import Bluray that I have, this 5.1 DTS-HD-MA presentation is indescribably superior in every way. This is an extremely dynamic audio presentation that runs the gambit from every imaginable frequency. LFE is thoughtful and even abusive at times. The chase scene for instance provides some absolutely awesome impact in the low end thud department and the collision of the train wheels with anything in its path is incredibly satisfying. The surround presentation is tremendous throughout the entire film. The clarity and amount of detail that can be heard throughout is a treat for the ears as each channel is given an abundance of attention. Dialogue reproduction was accurate however; there were times that I felt it did not come through the way I would have liked it to during the chaos. The volume level seemed appropriate when matching a voice to the on screen action, but the voices seemed a bit low because of it. This is by far the best The Island has ever sounded and as a fan of the movie I really appreciate finally having a lossless audio track. If you are a fan of this movie then this alone will give you justification to replace your old DVD with the Bluray version.
- Director Commentary
- The Future in Action
- The Making of The Island
- Per-Visualization: Forward Thinking
This is my third purchase of The Island. The first was DVD and the second was an import Bluray from the UK, but this is the first version to sport an HD audio presentation and I am very thrilled with the result. If you are a fan of this movie then you owe it to yourself to pick it up. As a movie, ‘The Island’ may not appeal to everyone, especially those of you expecting a beginning to end full throttle Michael Bay action extravaganza, but if you overlook a couple of plot flaws and can appreciate simple action science fiction, then The Island on Bluray may just be your destination. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night! :wave:
Recommendation: Rent It First!