Disc Size: 36,869,589,828 bytes
Feature Size: 33,084,370,944 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.47 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 16th, 2007
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1615 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1615 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1698 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1698 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -3dB)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Spanish 1686 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1686 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -1dB)
• English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, none (Bonus Features in optional French or Spanish - although it says 'Korean' on the box)
Supplements: 'Making of: Anatomy of a Thriller", "Fleshing Out Hollow Man": 15 Behind-the-Scenes, VFX 'picture-in-picture' comparisons
Sebastian Caine heads a top-secret research project to unlock the secret of invisibility. When the formula works successfully on animals, an ecstatic Caine recklessly disobeys orders and experiments on himself. Unfortunately, the dangerous gamble goes terribly wrong when the procedure cannot be reversed. Caine and his chief lieutenants Linda McKay and Matt Kensington, frantically attempt to counteract the effect. But the invisible Caine, fueled by latent megalomaniac tendencies, quickly becomes intoxicated with his newfound power. The laboratory becomes a house divided as the scientists realize their suddenly omnipotent leader perceives them as a threat to his very existence.
Next to the corrosive social commentary of Showgirls and Starship Troopers or even the satirical undertones of Total Recall and Basic Instinct, Hollow Man doesn’t look like much more than a straight-ahead SF action thriller, a genre exercise derived from an original script that’s delivered with exquisite punch and polish. (If you don’t want to know what some of the more predictable punches are, check out now.) It even has a mad scientist whose lab explodes at the end—as venerable a horror staple as one can imagine. And, as I’ve already noted, it has a prelude to sexual ravishment that turns out to be a dream—a cliche at least since Brian De Palma started using it repeatedly in the mid-70s. There’s a passing suggestion that the Pentagon might commit more mischief with invisibility than the selfish hero, but that’s about the sum of Verhoeven’s overt social commentary, apart from what he has to say implicitly about movie spectators.
Moreover, if you expect this movie to have anything to do with T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men,” the only corroboration you’re likely to find is indirect. Yet this movie’s eroticism as well as its violence, combined with the hyperrealism of its overall look—including its brilliant special effects, which specialize in making bodies materialize from the inside out, with guts and veins sprouting and spreading like gardens—make it as much a Verhoeven production as any of its predecessors. It too makes ethical and ideological observations, in this case mainly about the implications of being invisible—in particular the significance of being able to watch someone without being watched back, a capacity available to anyone who watches a movie. And watching movies, as I suggested in my review of Total Recall ten years ago, is what Verhoeven’s movies are ultimately about.
The AVC transferred image is decent on this 2007 dual-layered Blu-ray. It does exhibit, at times, the depth that fans crave who choose to adopt the new formats. Never as much depth as we might like but it is there - colors look rich but skin tones are calm without visible boosting. I think it's much better than the Superbit Deluxe that I own (which is was actually $4 more!) - less artifacts and some of the science visual effects are more intensely impressive. Certain sequences kind of jump off the screen. I see there is a 2-disc SD 'Director's Cut' available for $5 less but I haven't seen it so can't comment but highly suspect this Blu-ray will champion it easily. I hope the captures below bare-out the visual quality.
NOTE: The 2007 Blu-ray box has many inaccuracies on it - ex. there is no Uncompressed PCM track option and there are more subtitle options than French and English (see list above and below) and there are no Korean subs on the extras.
The Dolby Digital True 5.1 option does the job. It had some good body to it and there are many scenes that utilize it for strong effect. The score is by the great Jerry Goldsmith (Link, Breakout, The Salamander, The Mephisto Waltz, Seconds, Hoosiers, The Blue Max, Breakheart Pass, The Omen) Powerful orchestra spikes infiltrate the audio track and punctuate the action sequences with intensity. There are optional English, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic subtitles available on the feature and a choice of French or Spanish on the supplements. This Sony Blu-ray is Region FREE.
Some good featurettes that probably appear on the new SD as well - a 'Making of: Anatomy of a Thriller" runs 15 minutes and has input from cast and Verhoeven. "Fleshing Out Hollow Man" offers 15 Behind-the-Scenes featurettes and give a strong overview of the entire creation of Hollow Man and its effects. We have performers (who all seem to love Verhoeven) give detail on how they required support from crew since often they would be working with nothing at all - as the effects would be digitally put in later. Most of these shorts focus on the effects with the final one simply showing some computer graphics of a moving skeletal structure. It's actually very cool. There are also weak VFX 'picture-in-picture' comparisons giving samples of Bacon wearing the black or blue suit to eventually help simulate the invisibility of his character - the small screen shows how it looked in the film itself. None of these extras are in high-definition.
BOTTOM LINE: Despite appearing as if Sony put little in this (and inaccuracies on the box) - for what you get - a dual-layered Blu-ray with plenty of extras - it has value. I doubt we will see this image getting any better. The film has more depth to it and many realize this and appreciate it's subtleties hidden by the violence. People have loved the 'Invisible Man' concept since it was first introduced - so there probably won't be too much middle ground on enjoying this Verhoeven modernization offering with its frequent eroticism. I did and I'm glad I re-watched it on Blu-ray. - the effects are still impressive.
In 2003 Mill Creek came out with a Hollow Man & Hollow Man 2 Double Feature Blu-ray set:
Also available in the UK on Region 'B' Blu-ray on August 12th, in a Special Edition with Hollow Man 2: