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Since I guessed the surprise ending of THE SIXTH SENSE within the film’s first five minutes, I never understood all the hype the film or writer/director M. Night Shyamalan received at the time of that movie’s theatrical release. Ironically, it wasn’t until the release of UNBREAKABLE ($30), which received mixed reviews and performed less than impressively at the box office that I found myself impressed with M. Night Shyamalan. Influenced by the world of comic books, UNBREAKABLE is very much a character driven piece, in the guise of a superhero origin film. UNBREAKABLE is the story of David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), men who are complete polar opposites. David is the sole survivor of a train wreck, who walks away from the tragedy without a scratch, while on the other hand; Elijah was born with osteogenesis imperfecta- a rare disease that left him with very brittle bones that have shattered repeatedly throughout his life and earned him the moniker "Mr. Glass."

Following the train wreck, Elijah contacts David and lays before him an outlandish theory- disease and frailty places Elijah at one end of the human spectrum, while David’s miraculous survival represents the other end- and for all intents and purposes David is unbreakable. David initially dismisses Elijah and his theory, however after examining his life and other circumstances, David comes to the realization that Elijah’s theory may have some credence. Slowly and very reluctantly David emerges as the hero that Elijah suspects him to be… but the birth of a superhero does not come without consequences. UNBREAKABLE benefits from the thoughtful, somewhat introspective performances from Willis and Jackson, who make every moment they are on the screen interesting. The cast of UNBREAKABLE also includes Robin Wright Penn, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, Eamonn Walker, Leslie Stefanson, Johnny Hiram Jamison, Michaelia Carroll, Bostin Christopher and Elizabeth Lawrence.

Touchstone Home Entertainment has made UNBREAKABLE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. UNBREAKABLE is not an overly attractive looking movie; the cinematography takes a more naturalistic and somewhat somber tact, never trying to glamorize the story or the characters. The 1080p presentation provides an accurate representation of the film’s intended look, without trying to artificially enhance, brighten or sweeten the image. Sharpness and image detail are generally good, but not exemplary. Close ups look best and deliver the finer details that one would expect from a high definition release. Medium and long shots do not resolve as crisply, nor do they appear particularly soft either. Colors are subdued and a little drab, but the effect is intentional. Flesh tones appear pretty realistic. Blacks are pretty accurate, while the whites are stable. Contrast appears more than adequate, while shadow detail is a little variable, with certain dark sequences being slightly muddy. The elements from which UNBREAKABLE have been transferred appear very clean. Grain is ever-present, but is never excessive or bothersome.

UNBREAKABLE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel uncompressed PCM soundtrack. The soundtrack is generally of excellent quality, which makes the most of the film’s interesting sound design. UNBREAKABLE is very talky, but there is a lot of ambient sound and incidentals that create natural sounding sonic environments. Sound effects implementation is excellent; at key moments, the entire soundstage can become quite lively. Fidelity is very strong, plus the base channel produces some effective rumble. Dialogue is well reproduced and is usually easy to understand. English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The disc’s interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Behind The Scenes is a fourteen-minute interview based program with principle members of the cast & crew. Comic Books And Superheroes runs nearly twenty minutes and provides an overview of… you guessed it. The Train Station Sequence run four minutes and allows comparisons between storyboard and final film. Night’s First Fight Sequence is one of the filmmaker’s youthful forays into moviemaking. Seven Deleted Scenes with director’s introduction are also provided. Bonus Trailers close out the supplements.

UNBREAKABLE remains a personal favorite amongst M. Night Shyamalan films and one I am glad to see released in high definition. If you are a fan of UNBREAKABLE, the Blu-ray Disc is a very worthy upgrade. Recommended.



Unbreakable [Blu-ray] (2000)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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