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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The Day of the Triffids [Blu-ray]

 

(Nick Copus, 2009)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Television: BBC Wales

Video: Showbox Media Group Ltd

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:32:54.291 + 1:32:53.083

Disc Size: 45,798,124,544 bytes

Episodes Size: 17,758,629,888 bytes + 17,793,183,744 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps

Chapters: 20 + 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 22nd, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1901 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1901 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Interviews with 12 members of the cast

Interviews with 5 members of the crew

• Making of (34:04)

• 6 Deleted Scenes (about 6.5 minutes)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: An epic adaptation of John Wyndham’s best-selling iconic novel, which brings his terrifying creation of carnivorous plant species to life in a CGI extravaganza, supported by a sensational all-star cast that includes Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Brian Cox, Eddie Izzard, Vanessa Redgrave and Jason Priestley.

In this electrifying thriller, social order collapses as humanity confronts a double catastrophe. The majority of people have been blinded in a freak solar storm leaving them at the mercy of opportunists who still have their sight. Meanwhile the Triffids are evolving and advancing on the towns in search of human prey.

In the face of total human annihilation, it is down to a select few to take a stand against mankind’s deadliest adversary, a foe with a fatal sting and an unquenchable taste for human flesh.


****


An epic adaptation of John Wyndhams best-selling iconic novel, which brings his terrifying creation of carnivorous plant species to life in a CGI extravaganza, supported by a sensational all-star cast that includes Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Brian Cox, Eddie Izzard, Vanessa Redgrave and Jason Priestley. In this electrifying thriller, social order collapses as humanity confronts a double catastrophe. The majority of people have been blinded in a freak solar storm leaving them at the mercy of opportunists who still have their sight. Meanwhile the Triffids are evolving and advancing on the towns in search of human prey. In the face of total human annihilation, it is down to a select few to take a stand against mankinds deadliest adversary, a foe with a fatal sting and an unquenchable taste for human flesh..

 

 

The Film:

As for the passage of time blunting the impact of television, I watched the first episode of The Day of the Triffids with my children, expecting at least the youngest of them to be as spooked as I was when, at about the same age, I watched the 1962 film on the telly. Yet he pronounced it no scarier than an average episode of Doctor Who.

Still, we all thought it was jolly good. Writer Patrick Harbinson had a creditable stab at updating John Wyndham's 1951 story for the 21st century, presenting the psychopathic plants as the source of an oil that has replaced diminishing fossil fuels and saved the planet from global warming. And the acting was as splendid as you would expect of a cast including Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson and, entering the fray tonight, Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Cox. Not to mention Eddie Izzard, who might in fact be the scariest thing of all about the production, the amiable comedian looking entirely at home as the sinister villain of the piece.

All credit to director Nick Copus, too, for making the Triffids about as intimidating as he could, and not allowing them to look too much like killer rhubarb. I wonder, though, whether he might have missed a trick. At this time of year, there is a ubiquitous plant that frankly alarms the hell out of me: poinsettias are taking over the world, and nobody seems to have noticed.

Excerpt from Brian Viner's review at The Independant located HERE

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Shot on HD (Sony CineAlta F35) the two part series 'Day of the Triffids' looks quite strong on Blu-ray. I *think* some of the flashback sequences were on film though as either grain or noise was quite heavy - but for the majority of the two-part series detail is excellent, colors a bit flatter than I might expect, but there is even some depth. There are impressive moments. The effects aren't overwhelming - and I can appreciate that factor - but what was utilized fit the bill well and I was surprised at it's professional level.  This is a dual-layered disc with each 1.5 hour part taking up about 17 Gig of space and the video bitrate is modest. Contrast levels for the indoors sequences are healthy, in natural light often a notch below. There isn't anything to complain about with this Blu-ray.  It appears competently rendered and supports the presentation very well as I hope the screen captures below will prove.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 1901 kbps shows some depth and occasional punchy separations. It's not 'demo' material but does a good job helping the film's moods along nicely. There is also a 2.0 channel stereo track to choose, but no subtitles are offered. Surprisingly, my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

We get about 1.5 hour's worth of cast interviews - very weak image - and mostly they talked about their characters. During Jason Priestly's there is plenty of background screaming as the film was being made at the same time - but the interviewer and he, amusingly, ignored it. There is also interview pieces on 5 of the crew, 6 shortish deleted scenes and a slap-dash, half-hour, 'Making of...' shot during production.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I was reminded a lot of Fernando Meirelles' Blindness, with the more frank explorations of harrowing social events that might transpire if most of the world lost their ability to see. I like the whole flesh-eating plant thing too - even enjoying the 81' UK/Aussie TV flic (reviewed HERE). I loved the 62' original film (reviewed HERE) and I might put this one somewhere in between. It has good value for sci-fi fans, a great cast, and an impressive visual appearance on Blu-ray. It may be a perfect late Friday night fodder for the insomniac types (3 hours here folks!) - worthy of a spin and probable revisit one day. 

Gary Tooze

February 19th, 2010

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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