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The Island Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • List Price: $24.99

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BestBuy.com:
The Island - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

Purchase The Island on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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:4/5]

Director Michael Bay (Transformers; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Armageddon) is the master of the mindless action film that looks marvelous and is a welcome escape from reality, but with 2005’s The Island he managed to helm a somewhat thoughtful view of a dystopian future courtesy of a story and screenplay from Caspian Tredwell-Owen.

The Island is not only a splendid piece of eye candy saturated with color and, of course, populated with plenty scenes of the beautiful Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2; He’s Just Not That Into You) and her not-too-bad-looking co-star Ewan McGregor (I Love You Phillip Morris; The Men Who Stare at Goats), but it explores a complex topic of humanity’s desire to obtain immortality intersecting with our ability to finally achieve it through technological advancements.

But, hey, this is a Michael Bay film after all, so before you start thinking that The Island gets too heady, it doesn’t. It’s an edge of the seat action/thriller from start to finish with awesome special effects and a stunning visual aesthetic.

The story follows Lincoln Six Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Six Delta (Johansson), two citizens of a closed-off safe haven for the last survivors on Earth after the outside world has been contaminated. The one habitable place left, “The Island”, is an oasis that looms like a dream in the minds of the citizens of this tightly controlled world where the only way to get there is through a lottery – or so it seems. Lincoln finds that this place isn’t what they have been told. In fact, they are all just clones of people on the outside who are sick. They’re to be used for spare body parts, with their organs harvested, and then they are to be discarded; killed. Upon finding this out, Lincoln makes a break for the outside with his closest friend, Jordan Six Delta, who has just been chosen to go to “the island.” He figures they have one chance to survive and that is to find their originals and expose what is going on.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Island has been floating around out there on Blu-ray from Warner as a region-free UK release for years, but I’m here to tell you that this new release from Paramount Home Entertainment blows Warner’s low-bitrate VC-1 HD-DVD port-over out of the water. The film itself is purposely over-saturated a bit and tends toward graininess, but this brand-new AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement looks much sharper, with better defined textures and details, less artifacting, and unbelievably inky blacks.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Once again this release trumps the previously available Blu-ray by offering a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack over the Dolby Digital 5.1 track on the Warner release. Dialogue is much cleaner, high frequencies smoother, and separation of sounds is strong, It’s an aggressive mix that makes use of the surround channels pretty much from the beginning of the film for discrete sounds and lots of ambient effects. Low frequencies are also extended well into the lower ranges.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

There’s not anything new offered here, but the various behind-the-scenes featurettes supply a good amount of extra time with the stars and crew, even of they do feel a bit promotional in nature.

  • Commentary by Director Michael Bay
  • The Future in Action (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:15.42)
  • The Making of The Island (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:13.02)
  • Pre-visualization: Forward Thinking (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:08.09)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

The Island may have some deficits in its plot, but it has to be one of the better thought out sci-fi films from Bay, even better than Transformers. The chemistry between the leads is superb and the action sequences leave no time to breathe. It’s not perfect, but it is an excellent piece of escapist fun with just a bit of brains behind it and this Blu-ray is an awesome home theatre experience.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004V2S4WY[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
The Island - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

Purchase The Island on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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