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Phenomenon Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Rating: PG
  • Run Time: 123 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
  • List Price: $20.00

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Phenomenon tells the story of George Malley (John Travolta; Bolt, Pulp Fiction), a 37 year-old everyday Joe whose life is suddenly transformed after he’s knocked to the ground by a mysterious light. It’s after this oddity, that George finds himself having newfound mental abilities. While everyone in town is obviously stunned by these sudden events, the real change may come not only from the impact on George’s life, but also the change this event has on everyone around him. What results is a great film that is every bit as good as it was some 15 years ago.

It’s not necessarily the acting in the film (although Travolta and his wide range of supporting actors are convincing in their roles). Nor is it that Director Jon Turteltaub (who I had never really heard of before the National Treasure films) delivers an impressive early job in his career. More it’s the idea that a random act, or unknown meaning, can occur and have the greatest impact on not only one single soul, but also everyone around that person. Regardless if you believe in a higher being (and I want say whether or not I do for obvious reasons), you can deny the power an event like the one that happens here is impacting. That, truly, is the reason why Phenomenon has lasted as long as it has.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Shot using Panavision Panaflex Cameras, this 2:40:1 aspect ratio, AVC MPEG-4 framed transfer, looks quite good for a 15 year-old catalogue title. While the transfer can have a somewhat darker look and feel to it at times, the overall quality here impressed me quite a bit. The film’s color palette features a rich, golden tone to it. Browns, blues, and blacks tend to dominate the transfer. There is a slight layer of grain, but this is more a stylistic decision, not a print issue. Anomalies like that of scratches, noise or print damage is nowhere to be found. Flesh tones and contrast levels are accurate, with nothing overly pumped up. All in all, this is a fine effort from the folks at Disney.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Arriving with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, this mix suits the film quite well. Dialogue is well reproduced via the center channel, with no instance of drop out. Atmosphere is solid, whether it be the score increase in key moments, or the simple discrete effects of a car driving by/background dialogue. LFE can be a bit reserved at times, mostly giving us some response during the ‘phenomenon’ moment. All in all, I couldn’t really find any major problems with this as the track handles everything just fine.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

Sorry Touchstone/Disney, “Enhanced High Definition Picture and Sound” don’t count as extra features.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Despite no features, I can’t help but recommend Touchstone/Disney’s excellent Blu-ray for Phenomenon, solely based on the impact of the film.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Phenomenon on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B007JNR4WI[/amazon-product]

Purchase Phenomenon on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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