Unbreakable—Touchstone Pictures (Blu-ray)
M. Night Shyamalan set the bar pretty high with the monumental success of The Sixth Sense. This follow-up didn't make quite the box office splash that one did, but it has created a following since its release on DVD. This is one of the best "comic" movies out there in my opinion and a great start to a series that we may never see finished.
This film was presented under Touchstone's "Vista Series" label on DVD and boasted a DVD transfer that looked good, but was riddled with excessive edge enhancement. Thankfully that has been fully remedied with this release. The majority of the ringing in the image is gone and I only noticed a spot of edge enhancement from time to time. The rest of the image benefits from the HD presentation as well, but this was never a sharp film. Fine detail is excellent in close ups but longer shots are on the softer side compared to a lot of HD we see today. The film has a cold and monochromatic look to it but it lends a lot to the atmosphere. Colors are on the muted side but occasionally you'll see some nice bright hues. Whites are slightly overdriven at times and this lends to the contrasty nature of the image, but it also adds a bit of noise. Blacks are a bit elevated but shadow detail is never compromised. By far the best I've seen this film look, but not the eye candy that some may be looking for.
The PCM 5.1 soundtrack delivers the very engaging sound design brilliantly. This film is all about atmosphere and mood and even the score keeps you on edge for most of it. There is a nice sense of space in the mix and side wall imaging is exceptional. Deep bass is almost a character at times and gets most of its support from the film's score. Dialogue is balanced well with the rest of the mix and imaging across the main soundstage is excellent.
While not as impressive as the Vista DVD release, the Blu-ray release does have some solid features included. You get a set of deleted scenes with comments from the director, some behind the scenes features and a multi-angle look at the train station sequence near the end of the film. There is also a great look at comic books and lure of the hobby with comments from Samuel L. Jackson. Overall a nice package for a great catalog release.
I was hoping we'd see a few films from M. Night hit the HD shelves before his new film was released to theaters this summer. I can only hope we'll be seeing more of them as I've become a huge fan of the director. Touchstone has done a great job with this release though some may be a bit disappointed in the drab look of the film, despite being its intentional style.