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Atlas Shrugged: Part One Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 97 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 8th, 2011
  • List Price: $29.98

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Atlas Shrugged Part 1 - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

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Overall
[Rating:1.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:0.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:0.5/5]

Atlas Shrugged is a unique movie; a piece of work that can definitely be called a film because it was filmed. That’s the essence of the production of Atlas, as it was at least made competently. There are no truly B-level special effects, acting, or set design in this film, but it has the FEEL of such a movie.

When it comes to the plot, the viewer really has to be somewhat familiar with the original 1957 novel by Ayn Rand if they want to understand anything. The film skirts on many different topics and areas of discussion on society, politics, individualism, the US economy and suchlike that it is fascinating to watch for any reasonable person, but it is the very lack of detail in any of the previous that prevent me from recommending it. If you can’t truly learn anything from a movie, its only purpose is to be entertaining. And Atlas Shrugged simply isn’t.

Taking place in the near future of 2016, America has forcibly returned to the dominance of the railroad system, mostly due to international turmoil (conveniently explained at a frantic pace in the first 5 minutes; probably the best part of the film). The main characters of Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden are immensely wealthy corporate trendsetters who seek to undermine the government’s efforts to undermine them. Who the villains are is up to the viewer, but I just found this film’s jarring nature of quick cuts to be too difficult to establish which characters to root for and which to revile.

The standard problems of corporate reality are briefly touched up, leading us to a panacea in the form of Hank’s new metal called Rearden Steel. This new alloy is said to be much stronger than steel and far lighter as well, which will no doubt revolutionize this now singular American transport system. But the US government objects to it for reasonable reasons such as safety, lack of field testing on the metal, and suchlike. A complex issue is boiled down to government vs. the individual and their creativity, a truly banal way to explain an issue of such importance.

The rest of the movie is a lot of corporate lingo, board meetings in which a lot is said with little actual meaning, and parties in which alcohol flows freely. As above, it is a truly fascinating look in a world in which limousines are just as commonplace as homeless people, but the filmmakers want us to see the limos far more often. SEE THIS MOVIE, if only to achieve the kind of understanding that will aid you against those who accuse detractors of automatically NOT understanding it.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The 2:35:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is solid, but not quite the day-and-date transfer I’ve come to expect from FOX. Even though the film was shot with the now infamous Red One, the film’s color palette just looked..well….bland. The colors lacked a great amount of pop to them. Clarity is fine as well, but again there are moments (in particular seen in screenshot #6 below) where the image lacks overall clarity. I can’t necessarily blame the encode as the film does take up roughly (22.22GB) of the 50GB disc it’s featured on, but more possibly DP Ross Berryman. His style of lighting resulted in far too many low lit sequences, most of which lacked a truly fine image. I’ll be honest and say this isn’t a “poor” image but any means, but not what FOX is typically capable of.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The film’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a slight notch below the video. This film’s audio consists of little more than different people engaging in conversation about a variety of subjects. What audio is present is clear and full of clarity. All discussions were easily discernible to this listener, regardless of whether the viewer makes use of the language subtitles. I did notice a slight pause in the dialogue when one pauses the film and then resumes. Atmosphere is surprisingly low key throughout the film minus some of the moments where the Taggart trains zip by. All in all, this is an okay audio track; however, like the video, I was disappointed considering FOX’s track record.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The included features are shown in SD:

  • The Road to Atlas Shrugged – A 5 minute explanation of the film’s history and road to production, including a brief overview of the 1957 novel. Very basic information.
  • Who is John Galt?  – One of the most disturbing special features I’ve yet seen on any media. This 31 minute “feature” consists of a filmmaker pleading people to see the movie during its initial run and post all about it on Facebook and other social media. Then we get reel after reel of people of all shapes, sizes, and personalities saying the phrase “Who is John Galt?” I don’t know, and I don’t really care, as this feature is nothing more than a shoddy attempt to rally supporters of the film, even if they often don’t understand what they saying (the rather young looking child in the carseat early on)
  • Audio Commentary with Writers Brian Patrick O’Toole and John Aglialoro and Producer Harmon Kaslow
  • The John Galt Theme – Roughly 4 minutes of stills are shown in a slideshow format.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:1.5/5]

There really isn’t much to recommend here. Atlas Shrugged is laughably bad while FOX’s Blu-ray doesn’t fair that much better. An awful film, decent video/audio and a few, forgettable features all add up to a Blu-ray you should avoid at all costs.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005N4DMMG[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Atlas Shrugged Part 1 - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

Purchase Atlas Shrugged on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Atlas Shrugged Part 1

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:1.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:0.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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