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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Ender's Game [Blu-ray]

 

(Gavin Hood, 2013)

 

Released March 10th in the UK:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Summit Entertainment

Video: Lions Gate

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:54:48.867

Disc Size: 41,002,228,525 bytes

Feature Size: 36,567,840,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.70 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 11th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4974 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4974 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by director Gavin Hood
Audio Commentary with producers Gigi Pritzker and Roberto Orci
Ender's Game: The Making of Ender's Game (49:03)
Deleted/Extended Scenes with optional commentary by Gavid Hood (10:48)
Inside the Mind Games (3:49)
2 Theatrical Trailers

DVD of the Film + UltraViolet/iTunes HD digital copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In the near future, a hostile alien race has attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training the best and brightest young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite.

 

 

The Film:

Ender's Game, long a staple of science fiction readers, has had a strange, winding trip to the silver screen. For many years, Orson Scott Card refused to sell the rights to the book, wanting to maintain control over the final product. This iteration, the result of numerous screenplay rewrites (several of which were authored by Card), has the author's blessing. He is listed as a producer and is the uncredited writing co-collaborator to director Gavin Hood. Fans of the novel will understand that a sub-two hour running time necessitated numerous changes and the inherent difficulties of working with young children forced changes in characters' ages. However, the movie Ender's Game is recognizable in tone, thematic content, and narrative progression as Card's vision. It has been developed as a stand-alone project with the potential for additional chapters, thereby giving it the potential to satisfy regardless of whether the box office take warrants a sequel.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at Reel Views located HERE

A brilliant young strategist rises to the top of his class in Battle School while training to defend Earth against hostile aliens intent on exterminating the entire human race in this sci-fi epic based on the celebrated novel. In the not-too-distant future, our planet has come under attack from a malevolent race of aliens known as the Formics. Incredibly, fearless International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) sent them fleeing back into the stars, becoming a living legend in the process. But decorated Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) knows that the Formics will soon return even stronger than they were before, and he's determined to find a new hero who can meet them head on. Enter Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a modest young man with vast untapped potential. Upon being recruited into Battle School, Ender partakes in a grueling series of simulations, effortlessly mastering every challenge presented to him. Celebrated by his peers and respected by his superiors, Ender is quickly promoted to Command School, where the one and only Mazer Rackham provides him with the knowledge and tools needed to save mankind from certain extinction. As the final battle approaches, Ender prepares to embrace his destiny as one of the greatest heroes in the history of planet Earth.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Ender's Game gets a very solid transfer to Blu-ray from Summit/Lions Gate.  The image quality - more kudos to the film - is quite brilliant in 1080P. It has a strong blue-leaning and the extensive effects don't seem transparent in the higher resolution. It looks quite impressive in the darkness of your home theater. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and the efforts that went into the film's 'look' (Red Epic  scanned at 5K source format) all seem dynamically supported on the Blu-ray rendering. Detail in close-ups is very remarkable and the contrast is at premium levels helping to produce some grand detail. Depth is readily apparent and, no question that, this is a jaw-dropping image. It is almost hypnotic in its clarity. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Matching the impressive video we get a wow'ser audio transfer a resounding DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a mammoth 4974 kbps. Effects are rife with deep bass of punchy crispness separating to all areas of the home theatre. Steve Jablonsky (Transformers, The Island) does the score which has some surprisingly effective subdued segments and the audio of it certainly benefits from the lossless transfer. This is near reference levels. There are optional subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

Supplements include two audio commentaries. The first, by director Gavin Hood, covers many specifics with reliance on his military experiences. The second, is even more production based, with producers Gigi Pritzker and Roberto Orci delving into some of the minutia of the visual appearance and effects used in Ender's Game. Both are quite good if you are at all keen on the books or film. Ender's Game: The Making of Ender's Game is a detailed overview, with separated chapters, of more of the film's production with interviews of performers and crew - running almost 50-minutes. There is also 10-minutes worth of Deleted/Extended scenes with optional commentary by director Hood and a brief Inside the Mind Games as well as 2 theatrical trailers. The package has a DVD of the Film + UltraViolet/iTunes HD digital copy information.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I can appreciate the large production effort that went into Ender's Game and fans of Orson Scott Card's novels will appreciate that. Personally, I found it a little over-produced but it held my attention till the end. There are many positives but I would say - it is just not my type of movie although I can see many loving the grandiose science-fiction spectacle.  The Summit/Lions Gate Blu-ray produces a very strong presentation - exceptional a/v. It is almost worth it for the brilliant visuals and powerful audio track, alone. If you are keen on this story - I highly doubt you will be disappointed with the 1080P. To those individuals - this is recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 5th, 2014

Released March 10th in the UK:

 

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 5000 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.

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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