TheInvisible - BRD
(David S. Goyer - 2007)
Studio: Spyglass & Hollywood Films / Walt Disney Home Entertainment (USA)
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Feature film: 1080p
Supplements: 1080p/480i [letterboxed]
English 51. Uncompressed (48kHz/24-bit)
English DD 5.1 Surround
French DD 5.1 Surround
Spanish DD 5.1 Surround
English SDH, Spanish, French
• Commentary with Director David Goyer & Writer Christine Roum
• Commentary with Writer Mick Davis
• Music Video: 30 Seconds to Mars ~ The Kill
• Music Video: Sparta ~ Taking Back Control
• Deleted Scenes with optional commentary
Standard Blu-ray case:
1 disc: 25GB single layer
Release Date: October 16th, 2007
The Invisible ~ Comment
Let's hear it for "low expectations!" After checking out the grades for The Invisible at Metacritics.com and RottonTomatoes.com, where it received scores of 36 and 20 respectively, I dived into my Blu-ray copy whose banner read "From the producers of THE SIXTH SENSE". With body and senses steeled for the coming onslaught, I found the experience, much to my surprise, to be relatively harmless. Lame, perhaps, but not revolting, nor a complete waste of time, nor entirely insulting to my intelligence. I wouldn't even go so far as to call it mindless. The Invisible has a message, pertinent to otherwise self-involved and angry teens, about forgiveness leading to seeing even one's enemies as human. Alas, I felt the director and writers were heavy-handed about it all and not particularly convincing at either a rational or emotional level. On the other hand, I like how the physical reality of being invisible is handled – the major visual challenge for any movie that deals with this phenomenon. A refreshing idea that runs out of gas before long.
My major problem with the movie, however, is with the casting: caricatured and unbelievable by turns. Given the target audience, I suppose only the latter really matters, and here I lay the blame entirely on the decision to cast the relatively inexperienced, Russian-born Margarita Levieva as the character on whom much of the moral weight of the film depends. She has one face: anger mixed with disdain. She has a little better time of it when she is expected to seem sympathetic, but for most of the film, she just doesn't cut it for me. When Leveiva tries to strong-arm her fellow high school students, I almost laughed out loud. If she weren't almost always accompanied by thugs, she would never be taken seriously as a threat. Miserable and pissed does not a bruiser make. She simply lacks the necessary reckless menace – someone like in Buffy'sEliza Dushku as Faith.
The Invisible ~ The Score Card
The Movie : 5
Nick Powell (played as a kind of OrlandoBloom-lite) is about to graduate from high school. He is smart, popular, good looking. His father died a few years earlier and his mother's controlling tendencies took a course familiar to many teens. Not least important: her goals for her son's future and his were not in line. Even though his family is well off, Nick makes extra dollars by doing his classmates' assigned essays for them. His objective is to study writing in London, something his mother objects to. Elsewhere, fellow student Annie Newton simmers in a world of hatred and violence. She dotes on her baby brother, for all the good it does either of them since she would rather hustle, steal and strongarm the rest of the planet than be there for him. Apparently, little Victor lives in a home that has more than its share of domestic violence and Annie, unable to do anything other than make threatening sounds to her parents, takes out her impotence on others less able to fend for themselves. She never makes the connection. [I doubt your average teen in the audience will either – but we can always hope.]
Annie's rage eventually leads to murder: the hapless victim is Nick – for, in one of the more incredible leaps of logic in the film, she believes he ratted on her. After Annie and her thugs – and, not unimportantly, Nick's best friend, Pete (played sympathetically by Chris Marquette), whom Annie & Co. tormented first, in another one of the more incredible leaps of logic in the film, believing Pete ratted on her. (I feel like I'm repeating myself here.) For most of the remainder of the film, things take a new, more interesting and, in that way that fantasy films have, more credible turn: Nick reappears after being left for dead in a storm drain. He walks the streets, goes to class, and visits his friends and mother. It doesn't take him very long to come to the realization that he has come to a bad end – or so he thinks.
Now usually what happens from here is that Nick would try to get the world to see who killed him. But the writers are setting us up for a different and far more elevated goal that should, if all goes as hoped, lead to forgiveness, acceptance and growth, even if dead. There's a good deal of the thriller before we get there which contributes to the denouement.
Image : 9 (8.5~9/9.5)
The score of 9 indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray DVDs. The score in parentheses represents: first, a value for the image in absolute terms; and, second, how that image compares to what I believe is the current best we can expect in the theatre. What we have here is a good looking picture that passes all the usual tests for clarity, cleanliness and freedom from artifacts. In my system, the blacks get black a little quickly, but that works for the kind of movie it is.
Audio & Music : 8/8
The music borrows the brooding elements of Psycho with the more percussive elements from most thrillers. Given the subject, I thought it worked pretty well.
Operations : 7
Curiously, the chapters are titled when accessed from the main menu (a feature I always appreciate) but not from the smart menu while the movie is playing. Why not all the time, thought I?
Extras : 7
I rather liked the Sparta music video for being at least an attempt at integrating feature footage with rock group studio performance, and rather hated the 30 Seconds to Mars spot for its being unimaginatively edited live concert footage.
A harmless morality tale gussied up as fantasy thriller. Target audience: young and mid-teens. The Blu-ray looks and sounds very good.
October 15th, 2007
Enter the Dragon